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BI2020: ECOLOGY (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

A range of practical and workshop classes will enable you to consider information from lectures in more detail and develop ideas.

A range of types of continuous assessment allow you to consolidate learning throughout the semester.

Weekly opportunities to practice writing skills needed for the exam and regular feedback provided on writing exercises.

Detailed feedback on practical assignments will help you develop essential scientific writing skills

You will use Peerwise to write multiple choice questions, requiring thorough engagement with taught material and developing an extensive set of questions for use in revision

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study Yes
  • Dr Clare Trinder
  • Professor Michelle Pinard

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 content reflects important topics in ecology, demonstrated with examples from plant, soil and marine systems. It features the following themes:

  1. The nature and description of ecological communities - terrestrial and marine.
  2. Community dynamics (disturbance, succession, regeneration and species coexistence) - terrestrial and marine examples.
  3. Trophic interactions (food webs, herbivory, parasitism, predation etc).
  4. Symbioses as case studies of community interactions: biological nitrogen fixation, mycorrhizas, cellular endo-symbionts.
  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem function.
  6. Community assembly and biogeography.
  7. Population dynamics
  8. Ecosystem processes

The content integrates these generic themes in a critical manner across different terrestrial and marine systems with the aim of developing a generic understanding of ecological processes. Topics typically include examples from each area, with a focus on similarities and differences between systems and an interrogative look at whether general rules apply in ecological systems within the context of environmental change, conservation and other contemporary relevant/associated themes that the students will expand on at later levels.

Associated Costs

Course practicals require the use of a lab coat which can be purchased locally for £15

Further Information & Notes

You need to have taken this course in order to take the following courses in third and fourth year:



Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written exam (50%) / continuous assessment (50%).
Resit: Similar to 1st Attempt, with continuous assessment mark(s) and/or exam mark carried forward with an opportunity to resit exam and / or resubmit continuous assessment assignments, depending on which was failed in the 1st Attempt.

Formative Assessment


There will be feedback on weekly writing exercises carried out in lecture classes.


Students will receive regular written feedback on non-assessed writing exercises and on each practical report (assessed) before the start of the next practical class. Where students are having difficulty with writing exercises they will be invited to discuss options to help them improve with course staff.

Course Learning Outcomes


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