BIO1006 : Ecology

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


An introduction to ecological interactions between animals, plants and environment, and to ecological concepts applied at the level of individuals, populations and communities. The lecture programme is complemented by field trips during which a range of methods for ecological study are used.

Outline Of Syllabus

i) What is ecology? Defining ecological terms and concepts; the species, population, community and ecosystem.
ii) The environment. Defining the environment as perceived by the organism. Physical, Chemical and Biotic factors.
iii) Species responses to the environment I: Temperature.
iv) Species responses to the environment II: Radiation.
v) Species responses to the environment III: Water, air etc.
vi) Chemical resources
vii) Chemical pollutants
viii) The biotic environment: Interactions within a species
ix) The biotic environment: Interactions with other species
x) Natural enemies
xi) The role of natural enemies in population regulation
xii) Communities: Their description and causes of change
xiii) Species-area relationships
xiv) Patterns of species richness
xv) Applied ecology
xvi) There will be 4 x 4 hour field classes

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation for Field class and report write-up
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:307:30Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical44:0016:00Includes field trips
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading151:0015:00Completion of post-lecture directed reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study14:154:15Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:4511:15Lecture follow up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide a theoretical framework for ecology, 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 preparing and presenting their own data.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination601A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M50Carried out in small groups - will include data analysis & presentation (x4; total 50%)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will test for: Insight into the major concepts used to understand ecology; knowledge of relevant examples; understanding of terminology; and definitions. The practical classes test for data handling, interpretation and presentation skills. Students are required to prepare for each field class and to examine the feedback on their own reports and that provided collectively to the class. The exam comprises 50 True:False and 50 multiple choice questions. The In-course work has deadlines in teaching weeks 8, 9, 10 and 11.

To ensure that students have achieved a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, students are required to attain at least 30% in the exam in order to pass the module. For students failing to attain at least 30% in the exam, the module mark will be the exam mark without the inclusion of the in-course assessment marks.

The resit is examination only (no coursework) and covers both the lecture and practical material presented in the module. There are questions on all parts of the module. The resit examination lasts for 2 hours.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists