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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

The students will learn about the basic ecological theory and modelling approaches required to understand population dynamics, and which are great importance for the successful management of animal populations to meet conservation or sustainable exploitation objectives. Students will have the opportunity to apply the theory learned in a series of field- and computer-based practicals. The course will provide the students with valuable analytical skills and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of population dynamics of animals.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Vasilis Louca

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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 aims to help students gain an understanding of the factors that affect animal population dynamics and describes a range of simple mathematical models representing population growth, competition and predation, which are useful for predicting changes in population size. Furthermore, the course offers students practical experience in the collection, handling and interpretation of animal population data. Throughout the course, concepts are illustrated using examples of animal populations that are of high conservation importance or which are managed to assure sustainable exploitation.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

This course extends over five weeks; it is available only to students in year 3 of their programme.

This course runs in weeks  13-17, 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

First Assessment:

The course is assessed through in-course assessments. These comprise online tests, a final report and an in-class, computer based assessment. The online tests will cover material from both the practical classes and the lectures associated with each practical. Tests will be available on MyAberdeen and will include various types of questions including multiple choice and short answer. The final report will be in the format of a scientific paper and will be based on work undertaken during the practical classes. The in-class online assessment will be problem –based and will assess the students’ understanding of basic population ecology modeling. Extra credit activities will be available.


Similar to 1st attempt, with an opportunity to resit either the report, computer-based assessment or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt.

Formative Assessment

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


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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