Module title: Biodiversity and Conservation

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

Module code: ENV11100
Module leader: Jason Gilchrist
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science


2018/9, Trimester 2, 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: Jason Gilchrist
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module is delivered as a series of lectures and tutorials, with additional practical sessions. Through the lectures, students will gain a critical overview of the relevant concepts with examples from all taxonomic groups and environments (LO1-3). Questions posed during teaching sessions facilitate active learning. ‘Homework’ activities allow campus and distance students to research and post useful resources via Moodle discussion forums. The tutorial sessions enable personalisation, interaction, collaboration, and active learning by facilitating group work, incorporating critical review, problem-solving, statistics, oral presentation (via science slam [short entertaining presentation on chosen topic followed by questions from class) and discussion (LO1-3). The coursework assessment facilitates L04 (building upon LOs 1, 2 and 3). Together, the aforementioned methods contribute to embedding the knowledge and skills required to meet the Learning Outcomes.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment is built into the data analysis tutorials, where there are problem-solving exercises with feedback to students.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment is represented by a report incorporating analysis of a biodiversity database making recommendation. The assessment incorporates literature search, written communication, word processing and referencing, with data manipulation and analysis. The assessment (max 2500 words) is made up of two components to ensure level of competence in quantitative and communication/presentation skills.
I: Abstract and Methods, with Appendix including annotated R-code
II: Results and Recommendations

The assessment puts the student in the context of a professional ecological consultant and therefore facilitates the development and practise of employer-focussed skills.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 33
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 143
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40 1,2,3,4 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Report 60 1-4 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Why should we conserve biodiversity? Indeed, what is it? This module looks at levels and patterns of biodiversity and how they are measured using estimators & indices. You will use R to carry out biodiversity measurement and consider how to use such data to prioritise areas for protection. You will study aspects of conservation biology such as speciation and extinction and debate the challenges around reintroduction programmes and conservation in the face of climate change.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: Critically assess the value and practicalities of conserving areas.
LO2: Evaluate literature, data collection and analysis methods within the fields of biodiversity and conservation.
LO3: Utilise R to analyse data, calculate biodiversity indices and effectively present results; demonstrate effective discrimination, appraisal and interpretation.
LO4: evaluate a biodiversity dataset and justify practical and effective conservation recommendations.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Click here to view the LibrarySearch.