Critical Issues for 21st Century Ecosystems

Module Aim: To provide core skills in ecosystem knowledge and lead into for third year research led-modules.

Module background: This module will provide a second-year module that bridges the generalised first year and research-focussed third year modules in ecology/conservation. It will provide you with an ecosystem approach which is truly dynamic in its content and delivery, reacting to issues of the ‘moment’. It is an opportunity for you to experience research-led teaching as the themes taught in the module are directly related to core College research themes.

Module structure: The module would be structured around four semi-independent topics related to critical issues in biosystems/ecosystems that map onto expertise within both BIOS and GEES. The topics covered each year may include for example: Climate change, Food security, Pollution, Over-harvesting, Threatened ecosystems, Anthropomorphic ecosystems, Ecosystem valuation & conservation.

  • Lectures will be based around case studies that promote skills training but not exam assessment.
  • Practical/skills session: These will include off site visits and will allow you the opportunity to collect and analyse ecological data
  • Mini-projects: Students will select one of the four topics and undertake the mini-project. Students will work in groups containing a deliberate mix of Bio and GEES students to get diversity of skills and perspectives.


Continuous Assessment : Coursework (50%)
Main Exam : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Open Book (50%)