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NES2305 : Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gavin Stewart
  • Lecturer: Dr Isabel Smallegange
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 110 student places

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

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To develop students’ appreciation of biodiversity science, ecological theory and conservation biology as evidence-based scientific disciplines; to provide the background for further study of biodiversity, ecology and conservation at Stage 3.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module considers ecosystems and ecosystem processes to provide an understanding of how species interact with each other and their abiotic space. The resultant ecosystem services and how they can be managed underpin the development of understanding about conservation science covering major terrestrial ecosystems.

Lectures cover the following topics:

lectures and seminars cover the following topics:

concepts of biodiversity
life history theory
dispersal theory
ecological-evolutionary dynamics
why conservation matters
montane habitats
evidence-based conservation

Practicals and field trips cover ecological theory, analysis of life history tables, quantitative analysis of biodiversity data, and management.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Revision for exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture113:0013:00Problem solving questions.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Completing Written Exercise analysing data collected on fieldtrip.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Assessed fieldtrip write up.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:005 lectures in-person.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final Exam
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading181:0018:00Online lecture material follow up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00One 3-hour practical.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:0010 seminars in-person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork23:006:00Field trips
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork25:0010:00Two all day field trips (10.00 till 15.00)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study145:0045:00Background reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study22:004:00Field trip follow up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time51:005:00Online sessions.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A blend of online and in-person lectures and seminars provide a conceptual understanding of the underlying ecological theory of patterns and processes and the need for and design of conservation action. Practicals give students experience of analysing ecological data sets, and exploring computer simulated scenarios. The fieldwork classes expand on some biodiversity and conservation issues. Reading expands on biodiversity and conservation issues and practice.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M30Problem solving questions based on understanding of whole module content.
Written exercise2M70Written exercise analysing data collected on fieldtrip.
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
Prob solv exercises2Mperiodic "quizes to self test knowledge and understanding".
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The fieldtrip write up is designed to assess the students’ skills in applying theory to biodiversity and community ecology; data analysis, interpretation and presentation skills; plus scientific writing, with use of supporting literature. The problem solving questions test knowledge of both structured and independent learning and ability to apply knowledge to problems.

Reading Lists