Undergraduate field courses in the School of Biological Sciences
One of the most exciting aspects of our degrees in the School of Biological Sciences is the range of local fieldwork opportunities we have on offer. If you are studying Biological Sciences, Zoology, Marine Biology, Microbiology or Environmental Management then you will have the opportunity to work in the field as part of your degree course. All exercises and assessments on field courses are inspired by the research interests of our staff.
Level 1 Biodiversity – Co Down
A 3-day residential course encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecology projects. Based at fantastic facilities at the Greenhill YMCA site, students travel up into the Mourne Mountains to assess water quality, examine species diversity and create mesocosm experiments on the shores of Strangford Lough and investigate the impact of disturbance on soil invertebrate communities at Mount Stewart.
Level 1 Environmental Sciences- Belfast
This is a non-residential first year field course, based in and around Belfast, which introduces students to skills that are crucial in environmental consultancy, conservation, and natural site management. This course is run in collaboration with Botanic Gardens and in addition to learning about urban biodiversity, students will get hands-on experience of natural pest management and horticulture.
Level 2 Applied Ecology – Co Tyrone
5-day residential course based in the Gortin, Co Tyrone with visits to local farmland, lakes and rivers and Gortin Forest Park. Working in small groups, directly supervised by a member of academic staff, students design and conduct a unique research project. Work is based in farmland, woodland, bogs, freshwater lakes and rivers and involves a wide range of taxa from plants to lichens, insects to mammals.
Level 2 Coastal and Oceanic Biology – Queens Marine Lab, Portaferry
1-week course based at our QUB Marine Lab, ideally located right on the shoreline of the beautiful Strangford Lough. As a Designated Special Area of Conservation, Strangford Lough enables students to study diverse coastal habitats, such as rocky shores and vast mudflats, protected species such as common seals, and the effect of the immense tidal flow in this unique habitat. This field course is designed specifically to enable Marine Biology students to put into practice everything they have learnt in lectures to study marine life in a practical, quantitative and progressive way.
The field courses are often the most popular aspects of our undergraduate degree programmes with our students
“Being able to go out and interact with the environment and nature helped me with material I had been taught in lectures” Level 1 Biological Sciences student
“A real eye-opening experience which has caused me to consider new career pathways that I had not entertained the idea of before, thoroughly enjoyable” Level 1 Biological Sciences student
“Hands-on marine biology experience was amazing, a different way of learning” Level 2 Marine Biology student
“Working in small student groups and having direct contact with staff was a great experience, I have made lots of new friends on this course” Level 2 Zoology student
Where can field skills take you?
- Environmental Consultancy
- Field Technician
- Research Scientists and Research Assistants
- Conservation and Environmental Management
- Park Ranger
- Natural Resource Manager
- Policy Development
- Science Education