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MSc (T) Ecological Management & Conservation Biology

Academic Year 2017/18

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

MSc (T) Ecological Management & Conservation Biology

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Science

Programme Code

BIO-MSC-EM

UCAS Code

JACS Code

C180 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

MSc: a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

INTERNATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

180

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Biological Sciences

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences (2009)

Accreditations (PSRB)

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Professor Yvonne M Buckley

Trinity College Dublin

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

N/A

Programme Specific Regulations

Awards, Credits & Progression of Learning Outcomes
• A candidate who fails to satisfy the Board of Examiners for the award of an MSc may, provided a satisfactory standard has been achieved (and on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners), be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma

Students with protected characteristics

The programme does not contain barriers to access or progression among protected groups.

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

On completion of the programme the student will be able to:
• Critically apply their knowledge and skills to evaluate current and emerging risks to biodiversity and ecosystems.
• Apply an in-depth understanding of the mechanistic processes underpinning ecosystem degradation.
• Identify and critically evaluate the key risks to ecological systems across a range of spatial and temporal scales.
• Critically assess the appropriateness and usefulness of the numerical and other analytical methods currently available to monitor and detect risks to ecosystem function.
• Critically evaluate the underlying scientific theory and principles behind environmental risk assessment and apply these to real world examples.
• Either a) Undertake a Professional Development Work Placement with a project focus within Business or Industry with an associated write report OR b) Develop, plan and undertake a substantial piece of self-directed critical scientific writing as part of an academic research project within the field of ecological management or conservation biology.
To prepare graduates in the life sciences and those with other relevant first degrees for careers in research, industry and other areas of professional scientific employment.
To give students with appropriate scientific backgrounds the opportunity to expand their knowledge and practical experience of ecological management and conservation biology.

To prepare graduates in the life sciences and those with other relevant first degrees for careers in research, industry and other areas of professional scientific employment.

To give students with appropriate scientific backgrounds the opportunity to expand their knowledge and practical experience of ecological management and conservation biology.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Apply new knowledge to critically assess and reflect on practical problems in conservation management based on an in-depth understanding of the underlying scientific theory.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will develop the cognitive skills of critical analysis and evaluation through teaching on a number of key modules.

Methods of Assessment

Cognitive skills are assessed throughout programme modules based on completion of continuous assessment assignments and either a work placement or research project.

Analyse and critically evaluate data obtained from numerical, analytical, survey or experimental investigations

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will develop appropriate skills through targeted practical skills and a firm grounding in theory. Practical demonstrations are incorporated throughout the modules and applied during the work placement or research project. Skills in judgement of evidence and synthesis are demonstrated through problem-based exercises.

Methods of Assessment

Practical analytical skills are assessed as key CA exercises.

Apply either work placement experience or self-driven research to challenging conservation biology problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The work placement or research project requires students to work independently, guided by a work placement provider or supervisor. Students are encouraged to learn independently and to apply professional standards to their work.

Methods of Assessment

Completion of continuous assessment assignments and either a work placement or research project thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate and critically apply subject specific knowledge surrounding current issues in conservation management.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Subject-specific knowledge is principally obtained through taught specialist modules. In-depth knowledge of a specific area is developed through key assignments and either a work placement report or research project thesis.

Methods of Assessment

Assessed via continuous assessment, work placement written report or research project thesis.

Identify a range of current and emerging challenges in ecological management and conservation biology and identify the underpinning ecological theory and appropriate practical management responses.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, videos and seminars, supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and practical method reports

Critically assess the underlying theory and knowledge-base in ecosystem analyses.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, videos and seminars, supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and practical method reports

Apply to case studies a wide spectrum of ecological principles to critically evaluate ecosystem and population management practices and outcomes.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, videos and seminars, supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and practical method reports.

Analyse complex numerical data and draw defensible conclusions and sound management recommendations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures and practical interactive demonstrations, supported by directed reading of textbooks and journal articles.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, including case studies.

Critically apply knowledge and understanding gained to synthesise a body of work related to a conservation management problem, and use this to critically evaluate evidence and policy recommendations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Directed and self-directed reading, on-line learning resources, on-line reflective practice, academic/work placement provision/supervision.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and practical method reports

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Make sound scientific judgements based on proper statistical analysis of available data and information

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through demonstration and interactive practicals, students will obtain working knowledge of a range of advanced statistical and modelling techniques applicable to conservation management problems.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment assignments, work placement written report or research project thesis.

Communicate observations and conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, written reports.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, work placement written report or research thesis.

Demonstrate personal initiative, independence and use team-oriented skills to tackle and solve problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, written reports.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, work placement written report or research thesis.

Demonstrate the ability for independent learning required for continuing professional development

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Continuous assessment tasks based on self-directed learning, written reports

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, work placement written report or research thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Develop their transferable skills to a NQF M-level standard. These skills can be subdivided as:
a) Application of numerical skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students develop hands-on statistical and numerical skills through practical classes in the Skills Module including GIS and programming in the language R.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment and research project thesis.

b) Communication skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students practise and develop communication skills throughout the course; oral presentations are incorporated into BBC8034, BBC8035 and BBC8042. Skills development is facilitated through feedback. Students prepare work for different audiences, from the general public to professional specialists. Communication skills include the preparation and delivery of slides and written reports.

Methods of Assessment

Feedback and assessment on performance in continuous assessment tasks.

c) Information technology skills

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is generally supported through IT-based resources. Students develop skills in internet searching for literature and other web-based material as part of their general learning but also for focussed assignments and examinations. Email is used to communicate with the students and use of this resource is covered (along with online databases and use of library catalogues) in the course introduction. Students produce coursework assessments using different packages and the specialist Skills Module BBC8035 includes a substantial specialist IT component (R, GIS).

Methods of Assessment

Focuses assignments in the skills module; presentation quality.

d) Improved own learning and performance

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning through feedback given formally and informally. Research project topics are chosen following discussion and reflection on personal goals and motivation for different types of research. Students are expected to assess their own performance using evidence from course work and interactions with peers and teaching staff.

Methods of Assessment

Continuous assessment, literature review and research project.

e) Problem solving

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Problem solving is practised in course work assignments and the work placement or research project. Intellectual and practical flexibility, along with creativity, are necessary for much scientific research. Addressing conservation management issues within the Skills Module allows a problem-based approach. Students are directed to generic sources of assistance and guidance within the University.

Methods of Assessment

Assessments in subject specific modules including case studies, elements of problem solving and report writing.

f) Working with others

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Group work is included in BIO8204 whilst interaction with others is included in presentations on multiple modules. Work placements are based in business and industry which requires professional interaction with work placement providers whilst research projects requires collaborative interactions with supervisors.

Methods of Assessment

Feedback from peers, work placement providers or academic staff.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Research Project: Ecological Management and Conservation Biology

BBC8001

7

60

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Foundations for Research in the Biosciences

BBC8042

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Ecological Management and Conservation Biology

BBC8034

7

40

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Skills in Ecological Management

BBC8035

7

30

YES

16 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Literature Review: Conservation Biology

BIO8305

7

20

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Conservation Biology Group Project

BIO8204

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Professional Development and Work Placement

BIO8205

7

60

YES

24 weeks

N

YES

80%

20%

0%

Notes