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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Introduction to techniques used in environmental and ecological modelling.

Main course materials in two parts; model development and model evaluation.

Hands on practice in model development and evaluation in two 4 hour computer classes.

Guest lectures from people using modelling in research in a range of different areas in biology.

Course assessment is based on the write up of the two practical sessions and a final course essay on a modelling topic selected by each student.

The course provides students with the key skills required for environmental and ecological modelling.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Jo Smith

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


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

The course starts with a discussion of background issues required for modelling. Skills in modelling at the regional, field and sub-field scale are developed through a combination of sequential lectures, computer classes and tutorials on carbon and nitrogen in the environment and in plant communities. A strong focus on the purpose of modelling is introduced through examples and discussion of how models are used to direct public policy and advice (global climate change, nitrate pollution and crop management).

Further Information & Notes

This is a six week course.

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 courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: In-course assessment (100%). In-course assessment is based on two computer practicals (30% each) and a 1000 word essay (40%). Resit: Resubmission of failed individual elements of continuous assessment.

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during discussion and practical sessions.


Students will receive written feedback on their practical reports and a mark. Students will receive verbal feedback on their essay and oral presentation during the presentation sessions and then will receive written feedback on the essay along with a mark. Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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