Core Module Information
Module title: Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV08108
Module leader: James Thorburn
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Life Sciences


Description of module content:

This is a practical module with a strong emphasis on gaining experience with different groups of organisms and different environments. It is designed to teach you some of the skills needed for ecological surveying; what methods to use, what species to record, how to present and analyse the resulting data. You will be working outdoors e.g. at grassland, woodland and urban sites sampling different groups of organisms, including vascular plants, invertebrates, and birds. We will use the data you collect to describe the ecological communities we work on. This will involve identifying organisms to appropriate levels of taxonomic resolution, which will be species for some organisms, such as birds, and families or orders for others. It will also involve summarising data using appropriate descriptive statistics and graphs. We will link what we find with core concepts in ecology – including niche theory, competition and predation, and diversity-abundance relationships – that you will study in other modules in second year.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Demonstrate the ability to use keys and other aids in the identification of vascular plants, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, birds and other vertebrates to an appropriate level of taxonomic resolution.
LO2: Select and justify appropriate sampling methods and equipment for different taxonomic groups.
LO3: Choose and execute appropriate methods of analysis and presentation of survey data, justifying your choice.
LO4: Undertake risk assessments for survey work in a range of different settings, including
description of relevant legal considerations.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2023/4, 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: James Thorburn
Module Organiser:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 32
Face To Face Lecture 6
Face To Face Tutorial 8
Independent Learning Guided independent study 154
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Class Test 15 1 4 HOURS= 0.75, WORDS= 0
Report 40 2,3,4 14/15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Class Test 15 1 6 HOURS= 0.75, WORDS= 0
Class Test 15 1 9 HOURS= 0.75, WORDS= 0
Class Test 15 1, 2, 4 12 HOURS= 0.75
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
ENV08108 Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology