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NES1302 : Ecology and Conservation

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Maddock
  • Lecturer: Dr Gavin Stewart, Professor Mark Whittingham
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


An introduction to ecological interactions between organisms and environment, and to ecological concepts applied at the level of individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. Introduction to conservation principles, policy and practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

The lecture material provides the theoretical framework for ecology and conservation and will cover topics such as:
•       Introduction to ecological concepts
•       Research methods in ecology
•       Climate, air, water and chemicals
•       Intraspecific and interspecific interactions, predation
•       Succession, population dynamics, communities, biogeography
•       Applied ecology
•       Conservation principles, policy and practice
•       Valuing biodiversity
•       Threats to biodiversity
•       Conservation of habitats, populations and species
•       Practical Conservation
•       UN Sustainable Development Goals

The lecture programme is complemented by field trips in which practical aspects of ecology and conservation are introduced and practiced.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Summative on-line computer test
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials161:0016:00Lectures. Includes instructions for field classes and directed preparation).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Problem Solving exercise (Summative)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading451:0045:00Lecture follow-up
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading35:0015:00Preparation for field classes and follow-up
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity62:0012:00Formative assessment preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork38:0024:00(PIP) Local field classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery42:008:00Drop-in session for students to obtain any assistance with lecture material or assessments. Online or in person.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Background reading.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide a theoretical framework for ecology and conservation, illustrated with examples. The field classes support the lecture material by means of actual examples of the concepts and processes. The field classes also enable the students to gain experience of collecting and presenting their own data. Literature searching and citing references from scientific sources will be included in reports.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M90Although based on field trips data will be provided to students to ensure parity. Element of applying lecture material to a problem
Computer assessment1M10Online summative MCQ
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination1MWeekly online tests (based on lectures)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The problem-solving task will assess: insight into the major concepts used to understand ecology or conservation; application of ideas in lectures to address a choice of problems with the use of supporting scientific literature; and data handling, basic understanding of experimental design and statistics. The practical classes explore how to apply concepts in lectures to real-world examples. The computer test assesses understanding across all of the lectures.

The resit will be on-line only and will cover both the lecture and practical material presented in the module. There will be questions on all parts of the module.

Reading Lists