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Programme Specification: Part IB Ecology

This course is taught jointly by the Departments of Genetics, Plants Sciences and Zoology.


  1. to develop key ecological concepts and approaches;
  2. to introduce major ecosystems;
  3. to offer information and literature references to enable you to develop and defend a reasoned position on some controversial issues;
  4. to introduce habitats, organisms, approaches and the methodology of ecological research on the field course and through project work.

Learning outcomes

  1. to be aware of the scope of ecology and able to select areas for further study;
  2. to be alert to the complexity of ecological systems and able to address controversial issues in a rational way;
  3. to be able to plan and carry out fieldwork in ecological research, environmental monitoring or expedition projects;
  4. to understand the interface between ecology and environment.

Teaching and learning methods

These include lectures, supervisions, a field course and presentations of project results.


Assessment for this course is through

  • two unseen written examinations (for aims 1-3 and learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4);
  • one report on independent project work carried out either on the field course or during the academic year (for aims 1, 3 and 4 and learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4)

Courses of Preparation

Essential: None.

Recommended: NST Part IA Evolution and Behaviour; NST Part IA Physiology of Organisms; A Level Biology.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.