University of Chester

Programme Specification
Conservation Biology BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2015 - 2016

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September

5C18

C150

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Biological Sciences

 

QAA Subject Specific Standards for Ecology and Environmental Biology

5.15 For a degree programme in which the study of ecology and environmental biology forms a significant proportion, criteria for achievement might include the following, although details would depend on the learning outcomes of particular programmes.

 

Threshold standard

 

5.16 On graduating with an honours degree in biosciences in which the study of ecology and environmental biology forms a significant proportion, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of biogeochemical cycles and pathways
  • describe and exemplify nutrient and energy flow through individuals, populations and communities
  • describe the structure, biogeography and diversity of ecosystems in relation to climate, geology, soils, palaeo-historical and evolutionary factors
  • describe and exemplify patterns of distribution of organisms in relation to biotic and abiotic factors
  • demonstrate knowledge of population processes, dynamics and interactions, and associated theoretical models
  • demonstrate knowledge of community structure, development, biodiversity, and associated theoretical models
  • demonstrate awareness of human interactions with natural populations and ecosystems, including habitat modification, pollution, exploitation and conservation
  • demonstrate awareness of the applied significance of species as resources and as damage-causing organisms
  • carry out routine investigations as instructed, using ecological methodologies and data analyses.

 

Typical standard

 

5.17 On graduating with an honours degree in biosciences in which the study of ecology and environmental biology forms a significant proportion, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate comprehension and intelligent engagement with biogeochemical cycles and pathways
  • discuss and demonstrate comprehension of nutrient and energy flow through individuals, populations and communities
  • demonstrate comprehension of the structure, biogeography and diversity of ecosystems in relation to climate, geology, soils, palaeo-historical and evolutionary factors
  • discuss and critically analyse patterns of distribution of organisms in relation to biotic and abiotic factors
  • demonstrate comprehension and critical analysis of population processes, dynamics and interactions, and associated models
  • demonstrate comprehension and critical analysis of community structure, development, biodiversity, and associated models
  • evaluate and critically analyse the effects of such human interactions on natural populations and ecosystems
  • be capable of evaluating the impacts of harvesting resources, controlling pest/pathogens and different approaches to species management
  • apply critical understanding of ecological methodologies and data analyses.

Department of Biological Sciences

Monday 24th November 2014

Conservation Biology is becoming an increasingly important and relevant discipline due to the rapid loss of biodiversity on a global scale and the legal requirement of governments to counter this loss. This loss of biodiversity is directly caused by a range of human activities such as habitat destruction, over exploitation, introduction of alien species and climate change. Consequently, it is predicted that the rate of species loss will continue to rise in tandem with the rapidly increasing human population. However, biodiversity provides a variety of ecosystem services that are fundamental to human health and welbeing. There is, therefore, a growing awareness across all areas of society that science driven conservation efforts are increasingly required in order to conserve the remaining biodiversity.

The educational aims of this programme are as follows.

  • To introduce students to the importance of conservation biology in a global context.
  • Provide students with the relevant knowledge, understanding and practical skills required to gain employment in the field of conservation biology.
  • To enable students to develop key practical, professional and transferable skills.
  • Provide an appropriate and challenging learning experience for students in the area of Conservation Biology.
  • Encourage a theoretically informed approach to practical conservation issues. 
  • To foster an appreciation of the role and value of research and of a scientific approach to study.
  • Provide a degree programme that provides students with the academic skills, professional expertise and confidence to engage in further learning throughout their lives.

 


Subject Knowledge

  • A detailed understanding of the biological and ecological principles underlying Conservation Biology. This should include knowledge biogeochemical cycles and pathways, nutrient and energy flows, genetics and evolution, population dynamics and theoretical ecology, animal behaviour and community ecology. (SK1)
  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge of concepts relating to biodiversity and ecosystems including biogeography of current and historical species and the factors which influence their distributions, measurement of biodiversity and field skills related to biodiversity conservation. (SK2)
  • An awareness and critical understanding of the social and economic aspects of conservation biology including species conservation, law and policy, socio-economic considerations of species exploitation and protection, human-wildlife conflict and wildlife crime. (SK3)


Key skills are embedded in all modules and developed in a progressive manner throughout the programme. These include:

  • Numeracy and IT. The ability to apply mathematical concepts to ecological and economic problems as well as to display, effectively analyse and interpret data related to Conservation Biology both with and without the use of Information Technology. (GTKS1)
  • Interpersonal and Teamwork skills. Be able to work effectively within a team, giving and receiving information and ideas, and modifying responses as appropriate while respecting the need for diversity of approaches and opinions. (GTKS3)
  • Self-management and professional skills. The ability to work and learn independently while effectively managing time and resources, demonstrating academic integrity and possessing the skills of self-evaluation to understand own strengths and weaknesses in order to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies where judged necessary. (GTKS4)

 

 

Programme Learning outcomes by Module

 

   

SK1

SK2

SK3

STC1

STC2

P1

P2

GTKS1

GTKS2

GTKS3

GTKS4

BI4110

Essential Physiology

X

X

       

X

X

X

X

X

BI4111

Genetics and Evolution

X

X

 

X

X

     

X

 

X

BI4114

Data Handling and Project Design

         

X

X

X

X

X

X

BI4117

Forensic Identification

X

 

X

X

       

X

 

X

BI4118

Introduction to Animal Behaviour

X

   

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

BI4128

Wildlife Ecology

X

X

           

X

 

X

BI4141

Global Biodiversity: Concepts and Threats

X

X

X

X

X

   

X

X

 

X

BI5110

Research Methods

         

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI5113

Experiential Learning

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

BI5118

Behavioural Ecology

X

   

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI5119

Adaptations to the Environment

 

X

           

X

 

X

BI5121

Field Ecology

     

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

BI5126

Wildlife Crime and Conservation

X

 

X

   

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI5135

Population Biology and Conservation

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI5138

Conservation Technologies

         

X

X

X

X

 

X

WB5101

Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning

               

X

X

X

WB5004

Learning in the Wider World

               

X

X

X

BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project       x x x x x x   x

BI6109

Non-experimental project with presentation

     

x

x

x

x

x

x

 

x

BI6110

Dissertation

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI6129

Animal Behaviour and Conservation

X

 

X

X

X

     

X

 

X

BI6143

Wildlife Forensics - Detection and Investigation

   

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

BI6168

Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability

   

X

X

X

     

X

X

X

BI6169

Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals

X

 

X

X

X

     

X

 

X

BI6170

Animal Parasitism: Medical, Veterinary and Ecological Aspects

X

   

X

X

     

X

 

X

BI6171

Applied Conservation Genetics

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

BI6172

Managing Marine Environmental Impacts

   

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

  • Be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gathered from the academic literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the work place, in order to propose solutions to problems relevant to Conservation Biology. (STC1)
  • Critically apply information from an extensive understanding of theory and knowledge of case-studies to relevant issues and current developments in conservation biology. (STC2)

  • The ability to design and perform research in Conservation Biology. This includes selection of appropriate research questions, experimental design, field methods and equipment as well as the use and interpretation of appropriate statistical tests, the effective use of graphical displays of data and the ability to come to well supported conclusions through reflection and discussion of results. (P1)
  • Be able to deploy academic and practical techniques for the integration of academic knowledge and understanding into effective professional practice in Conservation Biology with appropriate consideration of ethical issues and risk. (P2)

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately at a graduate level with a range of audiences using oral, visual and written media. (GTKS2)

The programme is designed so that academic knowledge and understanding accompany the development of work-related skills. The curriculum is modular and is built over three Levels of Study, and will be delivered predominantly via blended learning, comprising face-to-face tuition and requiring self-directed study.

Within the programme students are expected to undertake 120 credits of study each year. Modules have a value of 20 credits with the exception of the Level 6 Dissertation module, which is 40 credits. Modules are assessed on a 4000 word-equivalent basis using a variety of assessment strategies.

The development of the programme reflects level-related characteristics, as indicated in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. In respect of subject knowledge, emphasis at Level 4 concerns “describing” and “knowing about” fundamental principles that can be reinforced and developed when constructing rational argument and questioning skills. Level 5 encourages and promotes more research informed study, making reference to, and linking, complex elements of knowledge, and subsequently allowing students to demonstrate their own critical approach to data and evidence.

Level 6 focusses on analysis and synthesis of knowledge, data and evidence, which requires students to develop a more reflective approach to skills and concepts. Level-specific characteristics are embedded in the learning outcomes of the programme and Level 6 outcomes necessitate high order cognitive application in both generic and subject-specific areas.

Level 4

The modules at Level 4 provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for a range of students. Students undertake three core modules and select 3 optional modules. This is to ensure that students develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, skills and concepts necessary for the study of conservation and ecology. There is also an opportunity for students to take responsibility for their choice of learning and begin to develop specific pathways in conservation and ecology according to the student's aspirations and academic interests.

Level 5

Level 5 requires students to study four core modules and to select one optional module. The study of modules at Level 5 involves far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing understanding and further enhance key concepts and skills. Study at Level 5 culminates with students taking either an Experiential Learning module (ELM) or Work Based Learning (WBL) option (it is not possible to take both ELM or WBL nor two WBL modules); both of which provide an opportunity for students to apply and enhance their knowledge in an industry or work-related environment. Therefore, it is expected that the ELM or WBL will form an integral part of the programme in developing students in a professional capacity.

Level 6

Modules at Level 6 of the programme are directed towards developing academic expertise and professional skills within the conservation sector. There is only one core module at Level 6 and this is Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability. Students are generally encouraged to also take the Dissertation module (40 credits) module plus three optional modules. However, as an alternative, students may choose to take one of the Non-Experimental project options as an alternative to the Dissertation (it is not possible to take more than one of these options).

The dissertation module allows students to focus on individual research interests, and will require them to use advanced knowledge and understanding, as well as practical skills, in conservation and ecology. The development of subject specialism at Level 6 will support the transition to a particular area of employment within conservation biology.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BI4110 4 Essential Physiology 20 Optional
BI4111 4 Genetics and Evolution 20 Comp
BI4114 4 Data Handling and Project Design 20 Comp
BI4117 4 Forensic Identification 20 Optional
BI4118 4 Introduction to Animal Behaviour 20 Optional
BI4128 4 Wildlife Ecology 20 Optional
BI4141 4 Global Biodiversity: Concepts & Threats 20 Comp
BI5110 5 Research Methods 20 Comp
BI5113 5 Experiential Learning 20 Optional
BI5118 5 Behavioural Ecology 20 Optional
BI5119 5 Adaptations to the Environment 20 Optional
BI5121 5 Field Ecology 20 Comp
BI5126 5 Wildlife Crime and Conservation 20 Optional
BI5135 5 Population biology and Conservation 20 Comp
BI5138 5 Conservation Technologies 20 Comp
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
BI6108 6 Non-experimental project with Information project 40 Optional
BI6109 6 Non-experimental project with presentation 40 Optional
BI6110 6 Dissertation 40 Optional
BI6129 6 Animal Behaviour and Conservation 20 Optional
BI6143 6 Wildlife Forensics - Detection and Investigation 20 Optional
BI6168 6 Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability 20 Comp
BI6169 6 Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals 20 Optional
BI6170 6 Animal Parasitism: Medical, Veterinary and Ecological Aspects 20 Optional
BI6171 6 Applied Conservation Genetics 20 Optional
BI6172 6 Managing Marine Environmental Impacts 20 Optional

Students graduate with BSc Honours on completion of Level 6 having obtained 360 credits (120 per year).
Students may obtain an exit award of Dip HE on completion of Level 5 having obtained 240 credits (120 per year).
Students may obtain an exit award of Cert HE on completion of Level 4 having obtained 120 credits.

A minimum of 280 UCAS points including a grade C in one of the subjects recommended by the department.

The remaining points may be achieved from GCE AS Levels, or from Level 3 Key Skills. The department recommends one of the following subjects:

  • GCE A Level: Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Science, Environmental Science
  • GCE Applied A Level: Applied Science
  • BTEC National Diploma/Certificate (Animal Care, Animal Management or Applied Science): merit/distinction profile (MMM from a BTEC National Diploma and DD from a BTEC National Certificate).
  • OCR National Extended Diploma/Diploma: pass/merit profile plus one of the GCE A Level subjects listed above
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects, including Biology, Chemistry or Human Biology
  • International Baccalaureate: 24 points, including 4 in Biology or Chemistry
  • QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma (Science), Open College Units or Open University Credits
  • The Advanced Diploma: acceptable in combination with one of the GCE A Level subjects listed above

Please note: A BTEC National Award, OCR National Certificate or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.

Accreditation of prior learning will be considered in line with University policy.

 

This programme has been contructed using the Biosciences (2007) benchmark statement as a guide.  Particular reference has been made to the threshold statements - these being the minimum requirement described in the benchmarking statements by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Any individual student will take the equivalent to 18 modules in total, which will include core and optional modules. The structure and content of the core modules is such that all students will have the opportunity to develop the "skills and attributes required by the biosciences graduate...for a career in biosciences or elsewhere, and make them valued by employers." (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education 2007. Biosciences). The particular sets of statements that have been referred to during the development of the programme are: generic standards, molecular aspects of biology, organisms, and ecology and environmental biology.

 

QAA Subject Specific Standards for Ecology and Environmental Biology

5.6 All honours graduates in the biosciences would be expected to have achieved these standards at one of the two levels. Students achieving typical standards would, of course, also achieve the threshold.

Threshold standard

5.7 On graduating with an honours degree in biosciences, students should:

 

  • be able to access bioscience information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles in a manner appropriate to the programme of study (G1)
  • have ability in a range of practical bioscience techniques, including data collection, analysis and interpretation of those data, and testing of hypotheses (G2)

 

  • have an understanding of the explanation of biological phenomena at a variety of levels (from molecular to ecological systems) and be able to explain how evolutionary theory is relevant to their area of study (G3)
  • be able to plan, execute and present an independent piece of hypothesis-driven work (eg a project) within a supported framework in which qualities such as time management, problem solving, and independence are evident (G4)
  • have some understanding of ethical issues and the impact on society of advances in the biosciences (G5)
  • be able to record data accurately, and to carry out basic manipulation of data (including qualitative data and some statistical analysis, when appropriate) (G6)
  • have developed basic strategies to enable them to update their knowledge of the biosciences (G7)

Typical standard

5.8 On graduating with an honours degree in biosciences, students should:

  • be able to access and evaluate bioscience information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles both orally and in writing (eg essays, laboratory reports) in a way that is well organised, topical and recognises the limits of current hypotheses
  • have ability in a broad range of appropriate practical techniques and skills relevant to the biosciences. This will include the ability to place the work in context and to suggest lines of further investigation have a secure and accurate understanding of the explanation of biological phenomena at a variety of levels (from molecular to ecological systems) and be able to understand the relationship of evolutionary theory to their area of study
  • be able to plan, execute and present an independent piece of work (eg a project), in which qualities such as time management, problem solving and independence are evident, as well interpretation and critical awareness of the quality of evidence
  • be able to construct reasoned arguments to support their position on the ethical and social impact of advances in the biosciences be able to apply relevant advanced numerical skills (including statistical analysis, where appropriate) to biological data
  • have well-developed strategies for updating, maintaining and enhancing their knowledge of the biosciences.

5.15 For a degree programme in which the study of ecology and environmental biology forms a significant proportion, criteria for achievement might include the following, although details would depend on the learning outcomes of particular programmes.

Threshold standard

5.16 On graduating with an honours degree in biosciences in which the study of ecology and environmental biology forms a significant proportion, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of biogeochemical cycles and pathways (S1)
  • describe and exemplify nutrient and energy flow through individuals, populations and communities (S2)
  • describe the structure, biogeography and diversity of ecosystems in relation to climate, geology, soils, palaeo-historical and evolutionary factors (S3)
  • describe and exemplify patterns of distribution of organisms in relation to biotic and abiotic factors (S4)
  • demonstrate knowledge of population processes, dynamics and interactions, and associated theoretical models (S5)
  • demonstrate knowledge of community structure, development, biodiversity, and associated theoretical models (S6)
  • demonstrate awareness of human interactions with natural populations and ecosystems, including habitat modification, pollution, exploitation and conservation (S7)
  • demonstrate awareness of the applied significance of species as resources and as damage-causing organisms (S8)
  • carry out routine investigations as instructed, using ecological methodologies and data analyses (S9)

 

Subject Benchmarks and Programme Learning outcomes

 

Subject Knowledge

Subject-specific thinking and cognitive skills

Practical skills

Graduate, transferable and key skills

 

SK1

SK2

SK3

STC1

STC2

P1

P2

GTKS1

GTKS2

GTKS3

GTKS4

Generic Standards

                     

G1

     

X

X

 

X

 

X

   

G2

         

X

X

X

     

G3

X

X

X

               

G4

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

G5

   

X

     

X

       

G6

         

X

 

X

     

G7

                   

X

Subject specific standards

                     

S1

X

                   

S2

X

                   

S3

 

X

                 

S4

 

X

                 

S5

X

                   

S6

X

                   

S7

   

X

               

S8

   

X

               

S9

         

X

X

X

     

Members of the Department of Biological Sciences have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience levels. The Department has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with "non-standard entry" qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development. Consequently, students encounter a broad range of teaching and learning experiences across all levels of study as befits the subject matter. The diversity of learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures

These feature in most modules as an effective way of imparting important content, themes and pointers for further study. They will be used to set a framework for further study and inform students of the value of the discipline. However, they are supplemented by a variety of other methods of teaching and learning as described below.

Practical classes

A number of modules at Levels 4 and 5 include practical classes. These provide the opportunity for students to develop their data handling and analytical skills as well as their practical skills. An important aspect of practical work is the opportunity for students to engage in group work thus encouraging working with others. At level 6, the amount of taught practical work is reduced, although the dissertation module would require practical activities during, for example, trials or observations.

Seminars

Seminars are used most often in Level 6 optional modules in which group sizes are relatively small and students tend to be more confident. Selected topics within module content are chosen to provide the opportunity for more in-depth study and dissemination of ideas. Amongst other key skills, students are able to practice oral communication skills in a relatively informal context.

When students have specific queries that have not been addressed during formal teaching sessions, they can contact module tutors directly. In practice, these discussions tend to focus on assessment issues, including feedback on formative essays and performance in examinations. A system is in operation whereby students can make appointments to consult tutors.

Intranet-based support materials

The University has an intranet (Sharepoint) available to all students on or off campus. This offers access to a wide range of facilities including Learning Resources, the Library and all modular support materials. Staff are committed to using Sharepoint for making additional support materials available for students including lecture slides or notes, supporting videos, reading lists and increasingly, formative muliple choice questions for students to test themselves with.

 

Directed reading

As reading is central to the process of knowledge acquisition in higher education, module tutors provide reading lists to guide their students to appropriate material. Increasingly, these lists include references to the Internet and electronic sources, as well as more traditional book and journal references.

Group work

The QCA Key Skills document lists ‘working with others’ as one of the six categories of Key Skills that needs to be demonstrated in higher education. Throughout the programme, working with others has been incorporated at each level. In many modules, particularly in practical work in the laboratory or field, students are encouraged to work in groups and to share ideas. The assessment in certain modules is based on group assignments.

Work Related Studies


All students will be required to undertake work related studies at level 5 of the programme. There will be choice offered so that students can either do Work Based Learning (organised by the Centre for Work Related Studies) or do Experiential Learning which is organised and staffed by the Department of Biological Sciences.

Independent research

In line with benchmarking and the Department's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy, the need for students to become effective as independent learners is planned for and encouraged. The programme structures its learning outcomes so that this will happen progressively across the programme. At Level 6, students have the opportunity to do an extensive piece of independent research (equivalent to two modules) that requires them to plan and implement a research project, analyse data and report on their study.

 



The strategy is designed to introduce students to a range of assessment methods and develop their performance in assessment. Generally, there is a balance between course work and examination – this has been Departmental policy for some time. The staff believe that in preparing and submitting course work, which can include essays, laboratory and data handling exercises, oral and poster presentations, students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes where an examination would be inappropriate. However, we are aware that examinations have an important role in summative assessment as well as giving academic credibility, both externally and internally, to the work of the Department. All students receive written comments on coursework and additional feedback on the work is usually given more informally by individual tutors. Additionally, students are invited to discuss their assessment results with the appropriate tutor. This opportunity allows students to discuss their performance and ways to enhance it for the future.

Formative assessment features particularly in the Level 4 modules and is designed to introduce students to assessment within higher education and make them aware of what is expected of them. Work will be set  which will be assessed using the normal marking criteria but the marks will not be formally recorded. Feedback will be given to students following such tasks and students will have the opportunity to discuss points with the module tutor. 

Reassessment will address the learning outcomes not achieved in the failed components. For modules forming part of programmes in the Department of Biological Sciences, reassessment will normally take the form of repeating the failed compontent of the module. The module descriptors indicate how each module is reassessed.

 

Assessment grid

 

   

Essay

Lab or Field Report

Presentation

Other (E.g. worksheet, project report, case study, critical review, diagram)

Exam

BI4110

Essential Physiology

       

X

BI4111

Genetics and Evolution

X

     

X

BI4114

Data Handling and Project Design

 

X

   

X

BI4117

Forensic Identification

 

X

 

X

X

BI4118

Introduction to Animal Behaviour

X

X

   

X

BI4128

Wildlife Ecology

 

X

 

X

X

BI4141

Global Biodiversity: Concepts and Threats

     

X

X

BI5110

Research Methods

     

X

 

BI5113

Experiential Learning

 

X

 

X

 

BI5118

Behavioural Ecology

     

X

X

BI5119

Adaptations to the Environment

 

X

   

X

BI5121

Field Ecology

 

X

 

X

 

BI5126

Wildlife Crime and Conservation

 

X

     

BI5135

Population Biology and Conservation

     

X

 

BI5138

Conservation Technologies

   

X

X

 

WB5101

Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning

     

X

 

WB5004

Learning in the Wider World

     

X

 
BI6108 Non-experimental project with Information project        x  

BI6109

Non-experimental project with presentation         x  

BI6110

Dissertation

     

X

 

BI6129

Animal Behaviour and Conservation

     

X

X

BI6143

Wildlife Forensics - Detection and Investigation

X

X

   

X

BI6168

Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability

   

X

X

X

BI6169

Stress and Welfare Assessment in Animals

     

X

X

BI6170

Animal Parasitism: Medical, Veterinary and Ecological Aspects

   

X

X

BI6171

Applied Conservation Genetics

X

   

X

 

BI6172

Managing Marine Environmental Impacts

X

   

X

 

 

 

Graduates of the BSc (Hons) will possess the essential knowledge, skills, experience and attributes required of a newly qualified conservation biologist, such as:  

  • Knowledge and understanding of the application of science and research methods to the practice of conservation biology.
  • Ability to apply academic knowledge and techniques to practical solutions in the field of conservation biology.
  • Skills of academic enquiry to generate potential solutions to problems in conservation biology, and cognitive skills to critically evaluate these to arrive at solutions fitted to context.
  • An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretation based on that knowledge in a conservation context
  • Skills to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in written and oral form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Confidence and transferable skills to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies that will enable them to assume responsibility within conservation biology organisations. .

In light of the above, this degree programme will equip graduates with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to make a significant contribution to the field of conservation biology. Some graduates may ultimately decide to further enhance their professional standing by continuing with their studies in order to gain an appropriate postgraduate qualification.  

Conservation Biology is an expanding field and as the global community continues to respond to the questions posed by habitat loss and a changing climate it offers a range of career possibilities. Conservation biologists are in demand by a wide range of employers such as government bodies, zoos, wildlife trusts and NGOs both in the UK and overseas.

Graduates from this programme will be trained in a variety of transferable skills which are also highly valued by employers across a wide range of sectors.

The programmes of study in the Dept of Biological Sciences fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues. Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
  • All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.

Conservation biology is a global discipline. On the BSc in Conservation Biology at the University of Chester students will have the opportunity to take part in conservation research both at home and overseas. Our course involves fieldwork wherever possible, including a residential fieldtrip in the second year. Students will also get to choose between an international research experience (BI5113 Experiential Learning Module or WBL5004 Learning in the Wider World) with members of our staff or a work-placement (WBL5101 Enhancing your employability through Work Based Learning) where you’ll experience the field of conservation biology among professionals.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel