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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY5188M Population Dynamics

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Lochran Traill

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module introduces students to fundamental theory of population ecology, and further contextualises this theory within the fields of conservation genetics and conservation biology.


The module aims to give students an understanding of the theory of describing changes in population size in animals and plants and be trained in techniques for the estimation of population sizes and the description of factors influencing population sizes.

They should be able to contribute to the planning and execution of studies on the population status of target species and make informed contributions to management discussions.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of theory describing changes in population size in organisms;

2. Explain population dynamics;

3. Analyse population data to estimate population size;

4. Apply mathematical techniques to estimate population extinction risks.

Skills outcomes
Leslie matrices, population viability analyses


- Dynamics of single species populations

- Diagnosing drivers of population change in rare, pest and exploited species

- Dynamics of metapopulations.

- Case studies of selected species.

- Population modelling and projection.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Review of lecture material, completion of coursework, study of key research papers and texts, working through case studies.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance at practical classes

- Completion of in-course assessments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportExtinction risk report (5 pages including tables)60.00
Practical ReportPractical write-up and problem solving (3 pages)40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:12:01


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