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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

‘Mediterranean’ ecosystems have unique characteristics, with many endemic species. This is an 8-day field course in Catalonia, Spain. The course will run during 5th - 13th June 2019 inclusive. Cost, excluding flights, is likely to be about £420.

Field work will be in three contrasting Natural Parks. You will use observation, discussion, and group projects to understand each ecosystem more fully. You will talk with locally-based biologists.

The course will help you learn skills in developing a fast, detailed understanding of unfamiliar ecosystems and their species, and to record observations in a field notebook.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Martin Barker

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Forestry (Studied) or BSc Forest Sciences (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: For students to gain and develop: (a) an awareness of a range of Mediterranean ecosystems, with their corresponding biodiversity. (b) an understanding issues associated with the ecology and management of Mediterranean ecosystems. (c) direct and relevant experience in focusing on an aspect of Mediterranean ecosystems that is most relevant to the student's degree intention. Aspects include: plant biology, environmental science, ecology, wildlife management, conservation, forestry. (d) an ability to integrate themes from different disciplines.

Main Learning Outcomes: 1. Achieve a substantially increased awareness and understanding of selected Mediterranean ecosystems, with their corresponding biodiversity. 2. Achieve a working knowledge of the ways in which selected Mediterranean ecosystems can be (a) researched, and (b) managed. 3. Conduct a series of mini-research projects in Mediterranean ecosystems, with a focus and level that is appropriate the student's degree. 4. Present the results of a mini-research project on selected Mediterranean ecosystem(s) to a small audience.

Content: Students will visit and study several characteristics of the Mediterranean ecosystems within Catalonia's Natural Park System. Students will visit relevant sites in Catalonia. Teaching at each site will be led by an academic from the University of Aberdeen, supported by local rangers and collaborators. Students will have opportunities to meet local researchers.

Associated Costs

Cost £420

Students are required to book their own flights to attend the course, but must not do so until their place has been confirmed on the course. The costs include accommodation (including food), ground transporation and payments to local collaborators Students are required to purchase occasional restaurant meals.

Further Information & Notes

This course is open to 16 SBS students in Levels 1-4.

Dates: 5th-13th June 2019.

Please do NOT book travel until dates are confirmed, and after the course coordinator verifies that you have a place on the course.

Each full day includes briefings, field work, discussions and planning. Typical days are 08:00-20:00. Some days involve travel between sites.


Costs: £420. Depoit (inc): £140.


Deposits are normally non-refundable. The cases where deposits are likely to be refunded are as


1) where there is good cause for student withdrawing from a field course, good cause is

determined by DoT or nominated person;

2) where the withdrawal has not resulted in a gap because a different student has enrolled

to take that place; and,

3) when the student withdraws from the course in good time and before the end of the

first semester.

Full payments are also normally non-refundable. The cases where full refunds may be made are

similar to points 1 and 2 above.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Group presentation, focusing on an aspect of ecosystems (30%), and individual field notebook (70%)

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during activities and discussions in the field. Since this is a residential course, staff are available for mentoring throughout the course.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a grade for their field notebook. Each group will be given generic feedback on their presentation.

Course Learning Outcomes


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