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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences (ECSC10032)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryProfessional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences is an honours course which aims to equip students with a set of transferable skills needed to become a successful ecologist or environmental scientist.
Course description This course will help to prepare students to be practicing ecologists and environmental scientists capable of executing good scientific practice and effectively communicating science to a range of academic, professional and lay audiences. It will cover diverse topics from scientific writing and presentation to critical thinking and data analysis. In addition, the course covers topics that should help you to deliver an outstanding honours project. The continuous assessment for the course will take the form of a critical appraisal of an ecological/environmental science paper in the form of a briefing for policy makers, a presentation of your planned dissertation research, and demonstrated skill in conducting data analysis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 9, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100%, Practical Exam: 0%.

Presentation of dissertation progress (30%)
During the session in Week 4 you will be asked to present a short summary of your progress towards your dissertation project. Your slides should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Monday, Week 4.

Writing a covering letter for a job application (35%)
In Week 5 you will be provided with a job description and a curriculum vitae for a potential applicant. Your task will be to write a concise but effective covering letter to support the application. Your covering letter should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 9.

Evaluating research for a policy-maker audience (35%)
At the session in Week 8 you will be provided with a choice of two recent ecological or environmental science papers. You will be asked to read one of the papers, critically assess its scientific merits, and write a clear and concise account of your findings as a briefing statement for
Feedback Assessment and Feedback information All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of GeoSciences General Information Handbook.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Work effectively and ethically as an individual or part of a team in a professional setting
  2. Confidently navigate the process of applying for jobs in the ecological and environmental sciences.
  3. Critically evaluate and summarise scientific evidence
  4. Communicate effectively with specialist and non-specialist audiences through a variety of media.
Reading List
There is no required reading for the course, but the following suggested texts allow you to explore parts of the subject matter in greater depth. Other reading will be given for specific classes.
Emden J Van (2001) Effective communication for science and technology. Palgrave, New York.
O'Connor M (1991) Writing successfully in Science. Chapman & Hall, London.
Bowater & Yeoman (2012) Science Communication - A Practical Guide forScientists. Wiley-Blackwell.

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsECSC10017 Prof Skills in EES
Course organiserDr Aidan Keane
Tel: (01316)50 5094
Course secretaryMiss Francesca Nadal Finnegan
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842
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