Skip to main content


Preparing for Ecological Consultancy

Module titlePreparing for Ecological Consultancy
Module codeBIOM4014
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Kelly Moyes (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module acts as an introduction for any students that are interested in pursuing a career in terrestrial ecological consultancy in the UK. Throughout the module you will be given an overview of ecological consultancy and gain a more detailed understanding of key legislation, extended phase 1 surveys, protected species surveys and ecological impact assessments. During this module you will have the valuable opportunity to gain practical experience of completing extended phase 1 surveys and species survey techniques. This module will provide you with an excellent platform for a future career in ecological consultancy.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module deals with the key issues and techniques involved in terrestrial ecological consultancy, an intended sector for graduates from the programme. Although focused on the skills needed for an ecological consultancy career, the module would be beneficial for anyone considering a career in UK conservation. The module will include a sectoral overview, and theory, process and practice of key techniques. As parts of this programme will be conducted in the field and in sometimes remote locations, you may wish to consider the physical demands of these aspects of the module before embarking on it.

The module deals with real world problems in terms of understanding how to balance development and conservation. Some examples of research are explored regarding methods of mitigation and enhancement of sites.  You will carry out your own research on an example proposal site.  Although students from other EU nations and overseas will find this a useful module, it should be noted that it focuses on the sector within the UK.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Explain the role of ecological consultancy, the ecological impact assessment process and the techniques most widely used within the arena in the UK
  • 2. Illustrate the skills necessary to gain employment in this sector

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Describe systematically and critically current problems and/or new insights in biodiversity and conservation
  • 4. Illustrate comprehensively some techniques applicable to biodiversity and conservation in the UK
  • 5. Apply knowledge originally, describing how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • 7. Tackle and solve problems independently and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  • 8. Work independently to advance your knowledge and understanding and develop new skills to a high level

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content will vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover the following themes:

  • Overview of ecological consultancy
  • Key Legislation
  • Extended Phase 1 survey
  • Protected species surveys
  • Ecological impact assessment

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 Teaching activities18Lectures covering topics such as legislation, desk studies, phase 1 habitat assessment, dormice, otters, reptiles, bats, great crested newts, invasive species, water voles and an introduction to botany.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities2Workshops to provide feedback on formative assessment
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities12Practical session including a phase 1 surveys of the university campus and two local wildlife reserves
Guided independent study118Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short answer questions during lecturesOngoing throughout the moduleAllOral
Practice reports, providing formative assessment through peer and module convenor discussion in workshop2 hours for eachAllOral

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
Ecological Appraisal65Up to 2500 words with figuresAllWritten
Recommendations report for a client35Up to 1200 wordsAllWritten


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Ecological AppraisalEcological AppraisalAllDuring an appropriate specified time period before the end of July
Recommendations report for a clientRecommendations report for a clientAllDuring an appropriate specified time period before the end of July

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 50%) you will be required to redo the original assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Handbook for Phase 1 habitat survey, Parkins H

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Ecological consultancy, environmental impact assessment, biodiversity, conservation, research, biodiversity action plan, badgers, desk studies, dormice, legislation, otters, reptiles, bats, newts, invasive species, water voles, botany

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date