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Ecology with Foundation Year 2017/18

Year of entry

Apply from September 2017. Come to an Open Day

Newly Validated for September 2017 start

Ecology encompasses the study of organisms and their interactions with the environment, and as such, has implications for many aspects of human society and development as we tackle major global issues.

This programme of study places a particular emphasis on developing your field skills, and you will have the opportunity to gain practical experience, spending a minimum of 30 days in field-based study or experimentation. You will be encouraged to interact and work with a range of employers in the field, including: Howletts and Port Lympne Zoos, Wildwood and Wingham Wildlife Park, and Natural England.

You will explore areas including:

  • animal ecology
  • plant ecology
  • molecular ecology
  • conservation biology

Our Ecology degree takes an interdisciplinary approach and incorporates applied modules designed to increase practical skills with modules giving you vital background theory. Our aim is to enable you to work as a thinking, flexible, modern ecologist. You will be trained to explore important aspects of ecology, population genetics, the ecology of animal behaviour and other biological disciplines while also learning how they relate to geology, landscape as well as local and global ecosystems.

The course is actively supported by the University’s Ecology Research Group (ERG). This research group offers you opportunities to collaborate with lecturers on their research from the very start of your undergraduate career. The ERG has close links with environmental organisations, including Natural England, the Environment Agency and Kent Wildlife Trust, creating opportunities for you to network and speak with professionals about employment and career advice. You can even apply for Associate membership of the ERG, subject to completion of a set programme of research training.

As you progress through the course, you will have the opportunity to hone your skills in conducting independent research, analysing data statistically and presenting them effectively in writing and in oral presentations.

This course ideally suited to individuals with a passion for the natural world interested in developing field-based skills and deepening their knowledge of fundamental scientific processes of living organisms.

The course prepares you for roles in ecology based enterprises. 

You will study topics relating to how living things interact with each other and their environment (their ecology), how these interactions are shaped and determined by local and global environmental factors and how this affects our efforts to preserve and protect species of conservation interest.

You will learn practical skills in the field and in the laboratory that are required for surveying, identifying and assessing environments and the organisms living within them.

In line with good practice, module content is regularly updated and module titles may on occasion change to reflect updated content in the advances in the field of study. 

Level 0 - Foundation Level

Biological concepts

This module aims to aims to introduce students to the central principles of biology, namely the basic structure, function and variety of living organisms and how they reproduce. It also aims to give students the basic transferable skills needed to understand scientific reasoning and to undertake scientific investigations.

Advancing biology

The aim of this module is to build on material learned in the module ‘Biological concepts’. Elements of genetics and molecular biology are extended and you will be introduced to various facets of the environmental sciences, including ecology and conservation, agricultural science, and pollution science. The module also aims to extend your practical skills within the life sciences.

Principles of chemistry

This is an introductory module that aims to develop your familiarity with fundamental chemical concepts such as atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, bonding, stoichiometry and a range of chemical reactions. The module also aims to develop your basic chemistry laboratory skills.

Advancing chemistry

This module aims to build on the knowledge acquired in Principles of Chemistry and to explore different fields within the subject of chemistry (physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry). The module will also further develop your laboratory skills.

Physical laws of the natural world

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the physical concepts that underpin all of science and how physics are studied in the natural sciences. You will develop an understanding of how physical laws are used to describe natural phenomena and how they may be applied to gain a deeper knowledge of particular systems and processes.

Study skills

The course aims to give you the basic transferable skills needed to understand and practice scientific reasoning, to undertake scientific investigations and to communicate effectively scientific ideas and outcomes.

Level 4

Level 5

Optional modules

Options are subject to availability and may change. The work placement module is offered based on suitable work placement being available and the student being accepted by the employer offering the placement.  

Level 6

Optional modules

Options are subject to availability and may change

The Ecology course prepares you for a diverse range of careers in environmental conservation organisations, such as the RSPB and Natural England; for careers in environmental and ecological consultancy or for work with government environmental agencies. The course also provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to go into further study toward a postgraduate degree (MSc, PhD) and a research career in ecology, conservation and environmental sciences.

Tuition Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Full-time £9,250*  £11,000** 
Part-time £4,625  N/A 

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2017/18 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,165 in Year 0.

**Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

In the Section of Life Sciences, we practice ‘research-involved teaching’. This means that all of the modules you will study are led by experienced academic staff who are specialists and active researchers in relevant areas, including animal scientists, biochemists, ecologists, chemists and physicists. The programme is designed to give you opportunities to develop skills and experience by engaging with research as part of taught modules or via extra-curricular internships and volunteering. 

The emphasis of the programme is on developing independent learners and learning by student experimentation and observation. At level 0 and level 4, two thirds of each module is delivered as practical experimentation either in laboratories, IT labs or in the field. These sessions are supplemented by lectures, and seminars/workshops in which students’ feedback from their structured independent study. By level 5 laboratory and field based experimentation is complemented by analysis of published research and by level 6 the emphasis is on learning being driven by student led workshops discussing published research papers. All teaching material is posted on the internal VLE Blackboard. Learning is supplemented at all levels by tutorial sessions with an individual personal tutor and small group seminars (I2 sessions) which are requested by students to address specific topics.

Each 20 credit module requires 200 hours of study which comprises of formal contact (lectures, practicals, tutorials, workshops), structured independent learning (prescribed reading and/or online exercises) and independent learning.  Each module at level 4 has 60 hours of formal contact, supplemented with 40 hours of structured independent learning. As students develop and become more independent formal contact and structured learning reduces to 50 hours of contact and 30 hours of structured independent learning at level 5, and 40 hours of contact and 20 hours of structured independent learning at level 6.

Assessment is by both coursework and examination. Individual modules are assessed either solely by coursework or by an equally-weighted combination of coursework and examination. Examination allows assessment of a student’s understanding of important key concepts and accounts for less than half the assessment of the programme. Coursework assessments permit students to develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations. There is a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied.

You will often be able to use modern, research­ grade equipment during taught modules and for your individual research on your dissertation project. 

 

The Ecology course was developed and continues to be improved by speaking to employers and other stakeholder partners. We have established numerous links with local and regional wildlife parks and organisations e.g. Wildwood, Howletts, Aspinall Foundation, The Powell-Cotton Museum, Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust. They either collaborate with our researchers or provide opportunities for research projects for our students.

The Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent was launched in March 2016. Discovery Park is a fabulous site with well over 100 companies now based there, many of which are active in the science sector.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • C181 Ecology with Foundation Year

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 4 years full-time

Starts

  • September 2017

Entry requirements

  • For entry onto the 4 year full-time programme (7 year part-time/level 0 full-time only) candidates should hold a GCSE in English language grade C or above, or be able to demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with a score of 6.0 in writing and a minimum score of 5.5 in all other sections.

Location

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Last edited: 21/04/2017 13:43:00