Modules for course D3AB | MSC/EFOR
MSc Environmental Forestry

These are the modules currently offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2018–19.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • DDL-4202: Silviculture (20)
    We explore the unique characteristics of forest soils and of soil physical, chemical and biological properties, how these influence site productivity and how these are influenced by land management. The module is in seven units and runs over 14 weeks of the academic year. The module begins with a brief review of the history of silviculture and its role in the sustainable management of tree, woodland and forest resources. We will look at some of the basic botany of tree growth, and consider the role that genetics plays in shaping species’ silvicultural characteristics and responses to silvicultural interventions. Productivity is to a large extent driven by environmental conditions, particularly the edaphic (soil) environment, and we will look at how these site conditions influence the choice of species to plant. Two units will focus on silvicultural practices from regeneration through to harvesting (or should that be from harvesting through to regeneration?) considering a range of examples from temperate and tropic regions. We will look at a range of silvicultural systems, historic, current and future, again considering how the choice of system is influenced by the local environmental context as well as by management objectives. In the final unit, we will consider ways in which we might use all the above knowledge to transform woodlands or forests, bringing them into productive management, or restoring them to a desired state.
  • DXX-4517: Forest Ecology and Resources (20)
    The module will cover general principles relevant across a wide range of biomes, but primarily natural forests with high biodiversity, that are dominated by natural dynamic processes. Its focus is on the methods used to assess plant biodiversity, stand structure and dynamics, and analyse and interpret the resulting data. It is designed as a specialist module for which students will require knowledge of plant population and community ecology (from previous study or preparatory reading). Because of the limit of available time the module gives minimal coverage of ecological theory, natural history, animals or UK-specific methodologies. The module is dominated by practical sessions and there is a strong emphasis on “learning by doing”. The syllabus starts with an overview of world-forest resources (including the challenges of their definition and classification). It will assess the scale, rates, distribution and causes of deforestation and forest degradation. Then their implication of global and local ecosystem services will be considered. There will be a brief overview of forest policy issues, instruments and initiatives, leading to forest management and conservation. A brief overview of ecological theory and knowledge applied to forests is then provided, with emphasis on landscape ecology, forest dynamics, ecological diversity of tree species, the ecological basis of silviculture, and the maintenance of biodiversity. It incorporates an overview of welsh woodland and ecology as the context for the setting of the field practicals.
  • DXX-4536: Urban Forestry (20)

Semester 2

  • DXX-4530: Forest Management Planning (20)
    The origins and meaning of sustainable forest management; Pan-European operational level guidelines (PEOLG) and their implementation at national level. The forest management planning process: scoping; survey; analysis; synthesis; implementation; monitoring; review. Production of a forest management plan: site description, including use of forest datasets to produce maps; desired characteristics and limiting factors; current levels, target levels and monitoring; general approaches to implementation; five-year work programme; cash flow forecast, including estimation of timber production and grant income.
  • DXX-4532: Forestry Field Course (20)
  • DXX-4999: MSc Dissertation (60) Core
    Execution and written presentation of a suitable scientific project which is devised by the student and an individual academic supervisor and validated by the convenor and/or Programme Director in the prerequisite DXX-4040. A suitable project entails a worthwhile scientific question, of direct relevance to the degree programme being undertaken, and established against the context of framework of current knowledge and concepts, that allows the formulation and testing of one or more hypotheses. This would be expected to involve up to 5 months full-time work, typically including: 2-3 months for data collection from the field, laboratory or computer; 1-2 months for data analysis; and 1-2 months for writing-up, including correction of the first draft after the comments of the supervisor are received.

Optional Modules

20 credits from:

  • DDL-4201: Social Issues in Forest Mgt. (20) (Semester 2)
    Changing paradigms and new challenges in forest management; social and cultural values attached to trees in landscapes; multiple stakeholder groups, diverse perspectives/objectives and conflict surrounding forest use and development; Inclusive approaches to forest management: theory and practice of participation and public consultation; decentralisation and emergence of community based forest management: models, practice and impacts; changing forest tenure regimes. Forests and human health and wellbeing; symbolic, cultural, spiritual and recreational values attached to forests and trees; traditional forest knowledge and management systems in cultural landscapes. Forests and trees in livelihoods provisioning and broader processes of economic development; understanding forest transitions; changing markets for forest products and services. Emerging forest governance regimes; opportunities and challenges of multi-actor, multi-level arrangements including certification, legality verification, payments for ecosystem services (PES) and reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).
  • DDL-4205: Inv., Assessment & Monitoring (20) (Semester 2)
    Forest mensuration: terminology and units; measurement of single trees, forest stands and forest products; assessment of current/potential yield. Forest inventory planning. Sampling techniques: types and application with respect to forest trees, forest-dwelling organisms and forest products; the effects of variation on sampling systems. Forest inventory and statistics, forest resource monitoring, recurrent forest inventory and their roles in forest and forest products certification. Geographical Information Systems.