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Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 20:26

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 6th - 14th June 2018 (TBC), 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

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Programme Level 2 or Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • One of Biology (BI) or Ecology (EK) or Environmental Sciences (EV) or Forestry (FY) or Marine And Coastal Resource Management (MR) or Plant Science (PL) or Soil Science (SS) or Zoology (ZO)

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.

Provisional Dates: 6th-14th June 2018

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.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

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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