Module title: Humans and Wildlife

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV11101
Module leader: Jay MacKinnon
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science


2017/8, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Jay MacKinnon
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Weekly interactive lectures/workshops introduce and engage with topics in human-wildlife interaction (LOs 1, 2, 3 & 4). Several academic staff and external speakers with varied research interests contribute to the module. Lectures, exercises and discussion questions are posted on Moodle as discussion papers, recorded lectures or instructions for independent study. Online discussion of issues raised in class is strongly encouraged. A visit to the Natural History Museum (for campus-based students) supports practical learning about wildlife interpretation and facilitates preparation for the guided tour assignment (LOs 2 & 3).

Formative Assessment:
Two workshop/tutorial sessions provide formative feedback on the development proposal: students critique example proposals, engage with the grading criteria, ask questions of the markers and articulate their own (draft) idea for peer and tutor feedback. Similar group work for distance learners is facilitated remotely.

A visit to the National Museum of Scotland ahead of the guided tour assignment allows students to propose ideas for their tour and get tutor (and peer) feedback. Outside of class time, guided tour rehearsals are encouraged, with peers who can give formative feedback.

Summative Assessment:
Assignments are based on the application of theory and principles to tasks of a type that might be encountered in employment.

The development proposal assignment requires students to invent a proposal to manage a specific piece of land for the mutual benefit of wildlife and the surrounding human community. Creative thinking is encouraged and there is considerable scope to explore personal interests. A named site in Scotland is assigned but the assignment may be transposed to any other country of the student’s choice. This assignment exercises skills in urban habitat management, community engagement, identifying the needs of stakeholders, budgeting with funds, preparing a grant bid and constructing an effective argument with justification.

The guided tour (campus-based students) is delivered to an audience of peers and tutors who play the role of the intended target audience (whether this is general public, school children or a special interest group). Principles of effective interpretation are exercised in practice, while skills are developed in verbal communication and using examples to illustrate points. An element of peer-assessment contributing to the final grade requires students to critically examine what constitutes effective public engagement. Guidelines for constructive feedback are applied to ensure rapid, effective and supportive peer feedback.

Distance learners design a leaflet relating to a natural area or attraction of their choice which acts as a self-guided tour for the general public. Identifying the needs of the audience, selecting features constructively and applying principles of effective interpretation are exercised. Distance learners also evaluate the documents produced by their peers to provide an element of peer assessment and feedback (as above).

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 36
Face To Face Fieldwork 1
Face To Face External visits 5
Independent Learning Guided independent study 158
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 60 1,2,3 & 4 7 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Oral Assessment 40 1,2,3 & 4 13 HOURS= 0.20, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Topics include ecotourism, wildlife guiding and environmental education. Aspects of urban ecology, community engagement and social research in conservation, relate directly to the challenges of land management in an urban setting which forms one of the assessments. Agricultural ecology and examples of human-wildlife conflict around the world are also studied in relation to wildlife law and economics. The Yellowstone National Park reintroduction of wolves acts as a case study in protected area management.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Engage in critical dialogue on a variety of issues related to human-wildlife interaction.
LO2: Appraise and apply instruments and techniques to alter human activity in favour of wildlife conservation.
LO3: Apply principles of effective conservation outreach.
LO4: Design a proposal for land management and argue the benefits of your proposal effectively.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL: