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BIO2032 : Residential Field Course (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Zarah Pattison
  • Other Staff: Dr Evelyn Jensen, Dr Richard Bevan, Dr Marion Pfeifer, Professor John Bythell, Dr Gavin Stewart, Professor Darren Evans, Dr Aileen Mill, Dr Simon Peacock
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Three alternative week-long field courses are organised to provide integrated and holistic training in:(1) developing scientific questions and formulating hypotheses; (2) the design, planning, conduct and reporting of field investigations, using field work techniques; (3) approaches to obtaining, recording, collating, analysing and presenting data, using appropriate statistical analyses and (4) undertaking field investigations of living systems in a responsible, safe and ethical manner. This provides formative training, assessment and feedback that equips students to carry out their final year Research Project (BIO3199 and others) in whatever subject area, as well as increasing their practical field work, data processing and interpretation skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

At residential centre: hypotheses and study design, group project planning, training in field work techniques, data collection, analysis, presentation and critical appraisal.
Afterwards: preparing an individual write-up in the form of a scientific paper.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Assessment - individual report using group collated data from group activity - 80% of course mark
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork510:0050:00PiP residential course (if permissible)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity201:0020:00Data collection, analyses and presentation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Detailed planning, field data collection and group data analysis are all undertaken at the residential centre, with each team of 7 to 10 students assigned to an individual staff supervisor. Writing up is an individual activity for each student.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M80Project report (2500 words)
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Team contribution assessment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MGroup oral presentation (15-20 minutes)of results at residential centre
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The completion of a piece of scientific research is normally signalled by submission of a paper to a peer-reviewed journal. An individually-written submission (2,500 words) of this kind is submitted 2 weeks after the end of the residential field course.

Effective team-work will have a substantial influence on the utility of data collected, and the quality of analysis and interpretation, so each student’s contribution is assessed by their staff supervisor (20%) for academic impact and industry in the field.

Formative oral assessment at the end of the field visit will check understanding and practice oral presentation skills.

Reading Lists