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Module titleEcology
Module codeBIO1336
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Orly Razgour (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Ecology is fundamental to understanding the interactions between organisms and their environments. In this module you will study the key concepts, knowledge and unanswered questions in the ecology of individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. We will look at key theories and their application. We will consider the various approaches to ecological science, including observations, experiments and theoretical models. Wherever feasible, we will look at how a general predictive theory can emerge and how it can be applied to explain patterns and processes. In skills training you will learn about techniques in spatial ecology, undertake a research project on bumble bees and act as a professional ecologist undertaking research on a campus species.

In order to take BIO1336 you must normally have an A Level (or equivalent) in Biology.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to introduce you to key concepts and investigative approaches in ecology. The relationship between ecology and conservation will be explored. Practical investigations will introduce basic scientific testing of ecological hypotheses, including data collection, analysis and interpretation. In particular, this module aims to provide you with knowledge and understanding that will enable you to take second and final year modules in organismal biology, ecology and evolution.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Outline some of the major theories that can explain the form, distribution, and abundance of organisms
  • 2. Relate ecological knowledge to the conservation of biodiversity
  • 3. Develop skills in analysis of ecological data and biodiversity surveys

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Summarise essential facts and theory in a sub-discipline of the biosciences
  • 5. With some guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation and enquiry within the biosciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. With guidance, study autonomously and undertake defined projects
  • 7. With some guidance, select and properly manage information drawn from books, journals and the internet

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Lectures will deal with various aspects of ecology, moving across scales from the individual to the ecosystem. Topics will include:

  • definition of ecology;
  • spatial ecology and biogeography;
  • population ecology;
  • community ecology and species interactions;
  • ecosystem ecology;
  • behavioural ecology;
  • conservation biology;
  • global change.

The three skills sessions will encompass  projects: using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map species distribution, analysing video footage from an experiment on bumble bees, and individual student-led research on the ecology and conservation of species occurring on the University campus. 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Ecology Skills (3 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching9Live contact review/feedback/recap/Q&A sessions (9 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study70Lecture consolidation and reading, researching for and writing assignments
Guided Independent Study43Revision


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical report1 A4 page1, 3, 5General feedback and discussion in live contact session
Multiple choice questions (provided as virtual learning environment tasks)2 x 30 minutes1-2, 4-7Model answers provided online and discussed in live contact sessions

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
2 x Practical write-ups401 A4 page; 1500 wordsAllModel answers
MCQ examination601.5 hour1-2, 4-7Model answers


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
2 x Practical write-ups2 practical write-upsAllAugust Referral/Deferral
MCQ examinationMCQ examination1-2, 4-7August Referral/Deferral

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Campbell et al. (2017) Biology, 11th Ed. Pearson. ISBN 9781292170565

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE page:

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Ecology, ecosystems, environment, global change, conservation biology

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date