ACE1010 : Environment and Land use Field Course

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The module supports students to develop their understanding of the issues affecting rural landscapes and communities and to build their portfolio of research skills used in investigations of rural landscapes and communities. A combination of lectures and workshops will be used to support students skills development which will be mainly achieved during field visits. Key concepts and contemporary issues relevant to rural landscapes and communities will be introduced in the scoping sessions supported by guided reading and then explored in field visits which will be selected to give a broad overview of land use, land management, rural communities, rural policy and planning and their interactions at regional and local levels. The field visits will also be used to provide practical opportunities for students to learn and then practice a range of skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will be introduced to the factors affecting land use change and the potential conflicts that might arise due to multiple land uses in rural areas. Field visits have been selected to give an overview of the policy institutions responsible for rural policy implementation, including local government, landscape designations and to allow the interaction of physical and social factors affecting rural landscape quality and quality of life to be examined.
The key skills sets that will be developed are:
Basic habitat survey (applying Phase 1 and Phase 2 methods as appropriate)
Basic study of land resources (describing a soil profile, assessing land use capability)
Simple methods to determine river flow and water quality
Surveys and qualitative methods as applied to study issues in rural communities

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion45:0020:00Writing up field notes / compiling short reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introductory session
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading44:0016:00Background reading and preparation ahead of field visits
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Preparation to develop skills and/or carry out scoping ahead of field visits
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork47:0028:00Practical sessions in the field to practise skills
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study126:0026:00Research and reading to develop personal understanding of topics beyond course material
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ACE1045Investigating Rural Landscapes
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Module is introduced and students directed to key reading materials during the first practical class.
The students then prepare themselves for the fieldwork through scoping exercises in the practical class in the week before the trip.
Most work is based in the field where students undertake structured exercises in order to introduce major concepts. This learning is consolidated by the need to compile the field notes and use them to interpret observations and make judgements of the implications for land use.
Students will develop their own research proposal which will enable them to consolidate their understanding.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M100Short reports (4, 2-3 pages, worth 25% each) associated with the field visits to develop key skill sets (LOs 1, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

All students will show the achievement of the basic skill set needed to study rural landscapes and communities (LOs 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 - see learning outcomes) through submission of short reports following each of the field classes.

Reading Lists