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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 30/11/2022 14:31:34

Title of Module: Behavioural Ecology

Code: BIOL10011 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Mhairi  Alexander

Summary of Module

The aim of the course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of concepts in behavioural ecology. The module builds on themes presented at level 9, combining aspects of animal behaviour and conservation.

The class begins by introducing the field of behavioural ecology with a focus on wildlife management and conservation in addition to human influences on animal behaviour in urban environments. A range of the major concepts will then be addressed with a focus on current literature and research.

Practical work will enable competency in communication of important information related to the field as well as building further confidence in numeracy and writing abilities in an applied context.

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. Examine and critically assess a range of environmental issues from a behavioural perspective

L2. Explain and evaluate in detail a range of methods in behavioural ecology that can be applied to the conservation of animals.

L3. Investigate and describe behavioural ecology frameworks used to explain observed behaviours

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 10.

Understanding of the key concepts involved in the study of behavioural ecology.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Engage with research investigation of behavioural ecology and habitat conservation over a range of situations to appreciate the challenges involved and how these may be dealt with in a scientific manner

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Undertake critical analysis of a wide range of primary literature, including ethical aspects using a variety of study methods

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Work in groups to undertake research investigations, appreciate the use of IT in gathering and processing information, and the value of modelling data to test hypotheses (e.g. qualitative vs quantitative and ‘value’ judgments).

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Solve problems in teams and on own initiative. Engage with a range of ethical issues associated with the ‘exploitation’ of the environment.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Animal Behaviour
Other:No specific prerequisites, but preference for Animal Behaviour : completion of SCQF L9
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
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/Workshop8
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity16
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:

Web-based handouts, lecture notes, practical support. See course on VLE.

Caughley, G. 1994. Wildlife ecology and management. Boston: Blackwell. Library ref: 3rd floor north 591.7/CAU

Danchin, E., Giraldeau, L-C., & Cezilly, F. 2008 Behavioural Ecology, OUP, Oxford.Krebs, J.R. 1993 Introduction to behavioural ecology. 3rd ed. Oxford : Blackwell, Library ref: 3rd floor north 591.5/KRE

Krebs, J.R. & N.B. Davies 1991. Behavioural ecology: an evolutionary approach. 3rd ed. - Oxford : Blackwell, 1991

Current journals: Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Nature, Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology

(**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, workshops and tutorials), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

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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 DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Online open book exam (60%)
Coursework (40%) - Quantitative data analysis, Grant proposal, Individual presentation
(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 mark00

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck markcheck mark102
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oralcheck markcheck markcheck mark102
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck mark2010
Combined Total For All Components100% 16 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.
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)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

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

Charity number SC002520.