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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Through structured time in a variety of ecosystems close to the Bettyhill Field Station in the North of Scotland, students gain an understanding of how to ask questions about ecological patterns and processes, how to sample using simple field techniques to answer these questions.

By planning and executing an independent project, students will demonstrate a critical understanding of an ecological concept and aspects of experimental design relevant to their research question.

By participating in a residential field course, students will develop their team working skills and build a working relationship with their peers in the postgraduate programme.

Through an oral presentation of their project work, students will gain experience in communicating science in a concise and structured way.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No

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

  • Master Of Science In Ecology & Conservation
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (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

In this 7-day excursion to the Bettyhill Field Station in the North of Scotland, Masters students will be introduced to a variety of ecosystems and will learn to develop and assess hypotheses about the ecological patterns and processes that we encounter, using a range of ecological sampling techniques. We will also identify ecological sampling techniques used to address local conservation issues, and students will have the opportunity to develop and carry out a small-scale independent research project.

Day 1: Travel and introduction to Scottish ecosystems
Days 2-4: Team field research projects in a wide variety of habitat types and ecological systems, followed by daily synthesis sessions in the lab to discuss the methods used and results obtained from the day's activities.
Days 5-6: Independent field research projects.
Day 7: Project synthesis and short presentations.
Day 8: Travel

Students must be able to bring a sleeping bag (or at least set of sheets and blankets) and some suitable clothes for the field (waterproof windbreaker, trousers, and boots). This is only a cost if they don't own these things already.

Students are also are responsible for purchasing their own groceries for the trip. All other costs, including equipment, transport, and lodging is covered by the University.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Field trip log (45%), Group Report (45%), Engagement during the course (10%)

Resit: Resubmission of failed individual elements of continuous assessment

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Individual written feedback on the field notebook, verbal feedback at the time of the presentation, individual written feedback at the end of the course and informal verbal feedback throughout the course.

Course Learning Outcomes


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