LSC-20097 - Environmental Biology
Coordinator: David Hulse Room: HUX204B Tel: +44 1782 7 33640
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

In this module you will attend a summer field course where you will visit a range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats and develop fieldwork skills such as identification of specimens, surveying, and data analysis. Towards the end of the field course you will work in a group to undertake a research project. Your professional skills will be assessed during this time. Upon return to Keele, at the start of level 5, you will be given guidance on how to write up your project report in a formal scientific format. This whole assessment is an excellent preparation for your final year project at level 6.

To enable students to experience various types of fieldwork, undertake data collection and analysis, execute and write up a project, and understand how life can live in a variety of habitats.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify and classify, with and without keys, a range of organisms in the lab and in-situ in their respective habitats: 1,3
identify and assess the ethical considerations and hazards associated with field work: 2,3
work in a team to formulate a research hypothesis, carry out a field investigation to test this hypothesis, and communicate the results: 2,3
describe, assess and compare the abundance and distribution of organisms based on field observations within a range of habitats and relate them to the abiotic and biotic factors that influence their distributions: 1,3
compare and contrast a variety of adaptations that enable resident organisms to survive in a range of environments: 1,3

Study hours

Active learning :
45 hours fieldwork with associated lectures and data analysis
2 hours tutorials
Independent study:
1 hour class test
10 hours class test preparation
20 hours report preparation
72 hours independent study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Online Tasks weighted 30%
1 hour field course class test
Online open book class test covering the core learning materials from the field course, comprising a mix of MCQ and short-answer questions, data handling as well as identification of key plant and animal species. Duration will be 1-hour expected active working time with an assessment window of 2-hours. The test will be held in the week following the field course.

2: Competence weighted 20%
Professional Practical Skills assessment
Professional skills assessment. Marks are awarded to each student based on a range of professional skills that the student is able to demonstrate across the project. Skills include: awareness of and compliance with health and safety; ethics; time keeping; organisation; independence; preparation; technical competence; working in a group; problem-solving and communication skills.

3: Individual Report weighted 50%
Field course project report
Individual write-up of the group project undertaken on the field course. The report's word count is 2,500 words. The report will be written in the professional scientific report format. Group sizes on the field course are typically 12-15 students.