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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Current issues in biological and environmental sciences will be discussed in weekly seminars. Student-led group presentations will enable students to critically examine ecologically or environmentally-relevant topics of their choice, and also discuss the wider societal scientific and societal ramifications of these issues with their peers. Students will have the opportunity to develop their analytical and science communication skills through a debate, written policy brief (modelled on the UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology’s “POSTnotes”) and an individually-produced short film.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Yit Arn Teh

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

  • 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)
  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Any Undergraduate 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

Current topical issues in biological and environmental sciences will be explored in a seminar setting. This will take the form of formative student-led discussions and reviews of the current literature, and will lead to a debate, the production of written policy briefings and student-produced short films.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

This course runs in weeks 25-29, and is scheduled in Thread 2, so may have contact hours in any or all of these times:  Mondays, 14-18; Tuesday, all day; Friday, 14-18.  If this is an optional course, there may also be contact hours on Wednesdays, 9-11.

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 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 100% continuous assessment, consisting of (1) a debate; (2) written policy brief; and (3) a student-produced short film.

Resit: Similar to 1st attempt, with continuous assessment mark(s) carried forward with an opportunity to resit the component which was failed in the first attempt

Formative Assessment

Feedback will be provided on the student-led group presentations


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each summative assignment, provided as written comments. Student groups will also receive verbal feedback following formative group presentations and written feedback following summative group presentations (e.g. the debate exercise). Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks or participating in the student-led presentations will be invited to meet the course coordinator to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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