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BIO8066 : Policy and Licensing

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Pete Robertson
  • Lecturer: Professor Clare Fitzsimmons
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The module will examine how scientific evidence is used to support decision making in the context of wildlife management policy and licensing.

Students will gain:
An in depth knowledge of the legal framework within which UK wildlife policy sits.
Knowledge of how wildlife acts and regulations are used to manage species and habitats in the UK.
Understanding of how research and evidence is used in the formulation of government policy.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will examine how scientific evidence is used to support decision making in the context of natural resource management policy and licensing.

It will provide an overview of the science-policy interface as it relates to current management practice in the UK and explore the roles of government, agencies, non-government organisations and stakeholders in this process.

It will provide a review of relevant UK law and statutes for enforcement and licensing in relation to species protected areas and commercial operations.

It will examine methods to support evidence-based policy making, including the Defra policy cycle, quantitative decision making and adaptive management. This will include consideration of decision making in the absence of evidence, and the presentation of uncertainty.

It will include practical experience of preparing evidence to present to decision makers, including the use of ministerial submissions.

Lastly, it will examine how evidence is procured and case studies of how stakeholder groups use evidence to influence decision makers.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:3021:30Ministerial Submission
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:3030:30Deeper engagement with materials in preparation for workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:408:00Practice the application of knowledge to real world examples
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching will be a combination of lectures, seminars, a workshop and independent study with directed reading.

Lectures and seminars will be used to introduce new ideas, factual information and the policy framework. Case study examples will be taught in a workshop using participatory learning, role play and scenario decision making using current UK wildlife examples.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M100Ministerial Submision 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The course will be assessed by a written assignment that will test the ability to communicate science for policy.

Reading Lists