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2019/20 Undergraduate Programme Catalogue

MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology (Integrated Masters)

Programme code:MBBS-ECO/CBUCAS code:C189
Duration:4 Years Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Steve Sait Contact address:S.M.Sait@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 480

Entry requirements:

- A-level: AAA
- Including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded
- We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
- Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.
- Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement
- GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School (School of Biology)

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

The three year BSc programmes upon which the Integrated Masters are built meet the QAA Benchmarks and meet the QAA expectations for integrated masters programmes. There are no specified QAA Benchmarks for Integrated Masters degrees in Bioscience, however the principle of such programmes is to ensure coverage of Honours level Benchmark requirements plus ensure that the higher Masters levels objectives are met including:

Research training:
- Project-specific experimental skills
- Accessing literature
- Planning, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects
- Making oral presentations, writing reports, including critical evaluation
- Participating in colloquia

Research project:
- Implementation of planned experiments
- Recording of data and their critical analysis
- Dissertation
- Outcome potentially publishable

Advanced studies:
- In area of specialism to support research topic
- Complementary studies outside, but cognate to, area of specialism

Problem solving:
- Development of general strategies including the identification of additional information required and problems where there is not a unique solution
- Application of advanced studies to the solutions of problems

Professional studies:
- Ethics and societal responsibilities
- Environmental impact
- Sustainability

The proportion of each activity will vary depending upon the programmes learning objectives. However, research studies (training and project) are likely to form at least one-half of the masters level study.

It is important to note that for students who may elect not to complete the fourth year of the programme, or who are advised that their performance makes it unlikely that they would be successful in completing the programme will have met the University requirements for the BSc and so will be able to graduate after 3 years.

Programme specification:

The MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme offers students an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge plus an exceptional experience of advanced research. The initial two years of the programme follows the existing BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology. The year 3 will be similar to that for students enrolled on the 3 year BSc programme but will be integrated with year 4 with students undertaking a research project comprising of a 20 credit practical research project and 20 credit research literature project at Level 3. The fourth year of the programme is research focused, comprising an 80 credit research project and 40 credits of advanced research training. There is a strong emphasis on independent learning, problem solving and data analysis, taught in the context of the subject. The extended individual project allows students to develop their research skills in greater depth and produce a report containing material of publishable quality that could contribute to a research publication.

By the end of the programme, students will have a broad grounding in biological science, complimenting a specific knowledge and understanding of the interactions between species and their environments, the behaviour and ecology of populations and communities of organisms, and the application of these ideas to key conservation topics such as population management, sustainable agriculture and reducing the effects of climate change on the natural world. Students will also have the opportunity to expand this programme with a broad range of additional taught modules from within the School of Biology and beyond.

Field-based research training will be provided on residential field courses in each of the first two years of the programme, and there will be further opportunity for field-based independent research in the third and fourth years. At Level 3 all students will carry out independent research projects comprising a 20 credit Research and Manuscript project and a 20 credit Research Literature Review and poster presentation. In year 4 students will extend their specialist knowledge and research training through completion of an extended Masters level 80 credit research project and 40 credits of additional Masters level taught modules. In years 3 and 4, students will attend supervisory meetings with their research project supervisor who will guide them through their research project. The content of both projects will be specific to Ecology and Conservation Biology.

Academic tutorials will be offered at levels 1 and 2 with a different tutor each semester, providing opportunities to interact more closely with a variety of staff. Students will also have a personal tutor for the full 4 years, providing continuity and progressive guidance. Level 1 and level 2 tutorials will include a number of workshops to teach transferable skills e.g. library use, presentation skills etc. followed by assessed exercises e.g. essays, talks etc. as opportunities to practice these skills in a subject-specific context. Students will build on these over subsequent years of specialisation and training. In years 3 and 4 students will continue with their personal tutorial meetings and attend supervision meetings with their project supervisor.

The MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme is one of 5 Integrated Masters programmes in the School of Biology. Differentiation of the Ecology and Conservation Biology programme at year 4 (level 5) from the others will be through the extended research project which comprises two-thirds of the final year. Research topics will be specific to Ecology and Conservation Biology and hence substantial subject-specific specialisation will be achieved through the project. In addition, specialisation will be achieved through taught module topics offered, again aligned to Ecology and Conservation Biology. There is overlap in content between the taught modules in year 4 with those offered in year 4 of the MBiol, BSc Zoology programme, which are relevant to both programme areas. The research project and the Ecology and Conservation Biology specialist modules covered during the different levels of study, will collectively develop both depth and breadth of knowledge in Ecology and Conservation Biology together with an exceptional experience of advanced research delivered through an integrated research project.

The most important values which inform the MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme are to provide excellent students with the opportunity to gain substantial research training and experience through engagement with an individual research project conducted as part of a research team in an internationally recognised research laboratory.

The academic content of the MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme concentrates on developing an understanding of research through the delivery and active engagement in taught components, practical skills development, data analysis and problem solving elements culminating in a major research project supported by further research and transferable skills training and career planning opportunities.

The most important intellectual skills developed in the MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme are appreciation of the fundamental underpinning principles of the subject area leading through to the current state of the field informed by the research-based ethos of teaching and investigation.

The most useful practical skills, techniques and capabilities developed will be those underpinning the Ecology and Conservation Biology, together with advanced level research skills expected of early stage PhD students.

Competency will be developed in a broad range of topics associated with Ecology and Conservation Biology combined with competency in research methodology, the development of hypothesis driven research, the approach to the analysis of data and ability to solve problems, appropriate practical skills in the design and execution of suitable experiments, the production of publication quality outputs and the ability to communicate effectively.

The most important ways in which a student will learn are dependent upon the level of the students as they progress through the course. Initially delivery will be more research-informed teaching in lecture and seminar/tutorial and practical class settings leading to more independent research-based learning through lectures and independent study, small class teaching and project team or individual mentoring. Students will progress from the development of research-based practical skills in teaching labs to the design and execution of independent research work.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme we want students to know and understand their programme specialist subject from basic principles through to cutting edge research, and to appreciate the process of research and to be able to demonstrate implementation of these principles.

On completing the MBiol, BSc Ecology and Conservation Biology programme we want students to be able to compete worldwide with other students for high quality research opportunities within appropriate industries or for PhD positions to pursue research careers.


Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY1115Introduction to Cell Biology: from Molecules to Cells and Tissues10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1125Biology Practicals and Data Analysis20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1128Living Planet20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY1232Introduction to Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1238Exploring Whole Organism Biology in the Lab and Field10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1300Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1304Research Experience and Skills Level 110 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates must take at least 20 credits and up to 30 credits from the following optional modules.

BIOL1223Career and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL1225How can Biological Sciences change the world10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1211Applied Biology and Agriculture10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY1234Practical Genetics10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1120Vertebrate Evolution10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1181Ecology10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1610Introduction to Creating Sustainable Futures10 creditsSemester 1

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 10 credits of discovery modules


Year2 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY2144Population and Community Ecology20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2192Experimental Design and Analysis10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2301Research Experience and Skills Level 210 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
BLGY2313Mediterranean Ecology Field Course10 creditsSemester 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study at least 60 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL2223Employment, Career planning and Professional Development for Life Scientists10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2163How Plants Work10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2175Human Populations10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY2222Animal Behaviour
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3135
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2223Organismal Evolution
Pre-requisite for: BLGY3245
10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2225Sustainable Food Production10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2253Animals as Pests10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2293Animal Physiology: from Ants to Whales10 creditsSemester 2
BLGY2330Terrestrial Ecology and Behaviour Field Course10 creditsSemester 2
FOBS2240Skills in Communicating Research beyond the University10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2160Climate Change: Science and Impacts10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE2165Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2690Managing Biodiversity10 creditsSemester 1

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 10 credits of discovery modules


Year3 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 120 credits

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY3133Advanced Topics in Ecology20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3247Advanced Topics in Conservation Science20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3395Advanced Research Skills and Experience20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3396Research Literature Review20 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study at least 30 credits from the following optional modules:

BLGY3122Social Insect Biology10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3135Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death20 creditsSemester 1
BLGY3245Advanced Topics in Evolution
Pre-requisite for: BLGY2223
20 creditsSemester 2
BLGY3300Level 3 Field Course (South Africa)20 creditsSemester 1
LAW3132Law and the Environment II: Governing the Environment10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3112Environmental Risk: Science, Policy and Management10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3190Earth Observations from Space10 creditsSemester 2

Discovery modules:

Candidates may study up to 10 credits of discovery modules


Year4 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates must study 120 credits of modules.

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BLGY5380MExtended Research Project80 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 40 credits of advanced research training from the following optional modules:

BLGY5102MCommunity Ecology15 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5104MConservation Genetics15 creditsSemester 2
BLGY5112MAdvanced Statistics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5117MIntroduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5118MPopulation Dynamics10 creditsSemester 1
BLGY5153MAfrican Field Ecology20 creditsSemester 2

Last updated: 21/06/2019

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