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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 30/11/2022 14:28:59

Title of Module: Biological Conservation

Code: BIOL09010 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Frances  Orton

Summary of Module

This module continues organismal themes introduced in level 7 and appreciation of natural habitats introduced in level 8. It is concerned with ways in which we look at our environment in terms of biodiversity and focuses on methods used to obtain data to provide information on natural resources and environmental conditions that are so often affected by human activities. The main aims are to enable appreciation of the application of biological science to the description of environmental systems and their monitoring and development of skills in field techniques, in conjunction with relevant data handling, analysis and interpretation. Sampling techniques for sampling  animals are reviewed. Potential problems relating to accurate and representative sampling are considered and the relevance of biodiversity to nature conservation is identified.

Habitat fragility and site management issues are considered, with regard to ecological impacts and their assessment. Key issues in global environmental conservation (e.g. climate change, over-exploitation, pollution, habitat destruction, multiple stressors) are included. 

The value of birds to mankind is considered with a specific focus on environmental monitoring. Bird survey methods are dealt with in relation to the monitoring of changes in population size and distribution. A brief review outlining examples of birds and specific conservation issues is provided

Aspects of water quality, including physical, chemical and biological indicators are outlined.

UWS graduate attributes covered include: gaining knowledge in data handling and scientific writing skills; enhancing teamwork skills and; improving professinal communication skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a broad and integrated knowledge of criteria and practice relating to conservation of biodiversity, with particular reference to the United Kingdom.

L2. Practice and evaluate a range of methods for the field sampling and assessment of biodiversity.

L3. Use and interpret numerical data relating to biodiversity measurement and evaluation.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Knowledge of the framework of biodiversity conservation in the UK, criteria and priorities

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Experience in sampling techniques for assessment and evaluation of biodiversity, with respect to selected habitats and groups of organisms.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Evaluation of conflicts in habitat management, evaluation of data, development of diagnostic skills as exemplified by identification techniques, report writing.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Use of spreadsheet software, data analysis, use and comparison of ecological indices.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Group work and cooperation in field sampling, data analysis and report production; consideration of impacts of sampling techniques.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module is based on both theory and practical application of active conservation. The topic of Biological Conservation is covered taking a global perspective and highlighted with local examples. Students are required to attend lectures and to take part in group work for the completion of some assignments. Regular tutorial are timetabled to facilitate interactions between students in the class. Four field trips are scheduled for within this module, which all students are expected to attend as long as it is safe for them to do so. One laboratory class is also timetabled to analyse samples collected on one of the field trips.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop0
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Contents of VLE for this module.

Microsoft Excel

Jarvis, P. J. (2000). Ecological principles and environmental issues. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions (lectures, tutorials and practicals), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module. This module has a practical element as part of the Royal Society of Biology accreditation which must be attended.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorRichard Thacker
External ExaminerJ Spicer
Accreditation DetailsNot applicable
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Coursework: class test (60%)
Coursework: Reports based on field trips/data analysis, Essay, ID quiz (40%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck mark605

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck mark  120
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck markcheck mark280
Combined Total For All Components100% 5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link:

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

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University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.