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This module will introduce the basic principles of ecology, incorporating appropriate terminology and techniques required for field work. The syllabus will enable learners to work safely and be competent with record keeping in the field. Course participants will be guided on the use of identification keys, and learn some of the key practical ecology skills needed for further study.
This module is designed to develop the core analytical skills of foundation year students in Biosciences. The module focuses on the elements of literature research and data analysis, drawing to together these important skills to develop a critical approach to learning in Biosciences. Students will be guided through the process of researching and writing a literature review on a pertinent topic in Biosciences. Workshops will focus on the different stages of research and writing and will be supported in developing these skills through group activities and short weekly tests. Students will also develop their literature review topic into a scientific poster - a valuable skills for future academic study. In the second part of this module, students continue to develop analytical skills through the introduction of experimental design and hypothesis testing as well as some of the key methods of presenting and analysing data. All coursework will be submitted electronically via TURNITIN to ensure compliance with the University's policies on plagiarism.
Insects are arguably one of the most successful groups of organisms on the planet, and represent up to 90% of multicellular life. This course aims to encourage an understanding and appreciation for the adaptations and diversity of insect life, as well as emphasising the ecological and economic importance of this fascinating group. Lectures will aim to provide a broad understanding of the physiology and anatomy of insects, as well as aspects of their behaviour and ecology. Practical sessions will support the information provided in lectures, and provide opportunities to improve transferable skills. Topics covered are: Insects classification and taxonomy; insect anatomy, focussing on key adaptations of insects to life histories and features contributing to the success of this group; insect physiology, including the digestive, reproductive, nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems; insect senses and communication; the role of the cuticle and ecdysis; insect-plant interactions; insect defences, including the immune system; beneficial insects, including the role of insects as pollinators, in medicine, and in forensic science. Lectures are complemented by three practicals sessions that include: a demonstration of the insect orders to support lecture material, including examples of key groups and an introduction to identification; dissection of insects to investigate the mouth parts, digestive system and general anatomy; a choice of further development of taxonomic skills to enhance field study, or an investigation of bee population dynamics using modelling software.
This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sampling the zoological biodiversity of a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (coastland, woodland, grassland, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of zoological and ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise and describe key groups of animals associated with a range of temperate habitats.
This field based module will introduce students to the professional techniques utilised to monitor and study animals and plants in a variety of terrestrial habitat types and in relation to conservation management and biodiversity monitoring in the United Kingdom. The course places a strong emphasis on ecological census techniques and basic classification and taxonomy. Students will develop key techniques relevant to the environmental sector including Protected Species (specifically birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and plants), River and Phase 1 habitat surveys and Environmental Impact Assessment. Students will also learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that define different UK habitats and be introduced to the natural history of Wales. A focus is on developing key transferable skills that enhance employability such as problem solving, data analysis, report writing, evaluation, communication and teamwork.This module is therefore suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in ecological consultancy or conservation.
In this module, the students will learn to identify and understand the diversity and contrasting characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on the origin and effects of various human-induced environmental impacts.
As rapid human population expansion, mass species extinction and climate change challenge sustainability, scientific research plays a critical role in developing the policies, practice and technologies at strategic and operational levels that are essential for environmental security. Understanding the different vectors of scientific communications and assessing their rigour is essential if the information is to be utilised effectively and ethically to influence practice. Reviewing research has an important place in the scienti¿c progress, providing a means by which advances in scientific research can be collated, assessed and evaluated to inform policy and drive future innovations. Three general approaches to reviewing literature have evolved in recent decades encompassing expert driven narratives, systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Each approach differs in rigour, comprehension and methodology. Understanding the function and utility of each style is critical if the information is to be used to effectively drive practice and further research. Within this module students undertake two of the three approaches to reviewing literature; a 3,000 word narrative and a 6,000 word group-based systematic review. A key expectation in graduate skills is the ability to synthesise information, critically evaluate its content and create new innovative knowledge on the topic that enhances the discipline. This module allows students to study and develop these post-graduate skills by undertaking the reviews. In addition, in order to enhance essential reflective practice and interpersonal skills a key theme within the module is on individual and collective goal setting, self- and peer reviewing professional practice and key skills development.
This course builds on Terrestrial Mammals: Ecology, Survey Techniques and Legislation by focusing on pine martens. Pine martens are protected by law and it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them or damage their habitats. These species are often encountered on sites proposed for development and it is therefore important to understand their ecology to ensure their protection. Due to their reduced distribution they are also a focal species for reintroduction programmes within England and Wales. The course is aimed at environmental professionals or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector that wish to specialise on this particular mammalian species and gain in-depth knowledge about the survey techniques, ecology, legislation and best-practice guidance for monitoring and reintroduction based on the latest evidence-based research.