Modules for course D3AQ | MSC/FORDL
MSc Forestry (Distance Learning)

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) Core
    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.
  • DDL-4999: Distance learning 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. 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 12 months part-time work, typically including: 6-8 months for data collection from the field, laboratory or computer; 2-3 months for data analysis; and 2-3 months for writing-up, including correction of the first draft after the comments of the supervisor are received.

Semester 2

  • DXX-4532: Forestry Field Course (20)
  • DDL-4999: Distance learning Dissertation
    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. 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 12 months part-time work, typically including: 6-8 months for data collection from the field, laboratory or computer; 2-3 months for data analysis; and 2-3 months for writing-up, including correction of the first draft after the comments of the supervisor are received.

Optional Modules

80 credits from:

  • DDL-4004: Agroforestry Systems & Prac. (20) (Semester 1)
    Agroforestry practices worldwide and their role within the farming and forest systems. Introduction to systems analysis. Principles of agroecology. Ecological interactions and biophysics of multi-component systems: Soil and microclimate effects; land equivalent area, multiple outputs. Case studies illustrating a wide range of ecological interactions. Social and economic interactions with specific reference to agroforestry. Land use and sustainable livelihoods. Income diversity/stability/resilience/risk mitigation. Ecosystems services (external benefits) specifically relating to agroforestry. Case studies illustrating social and economic aspects of agroforestry.
  • DDL-4204: Forest Ecosystems (20) (Semester 2)
    World forest ecosystems, alpine, boreal and temperate forests, tropical moist and dryland forests. Forest soils, chemical and physical properties, soil formation and conservation. Carbon cycling in Forests. Forests in global carbon cycles. Nutrient cycling in forests.
  • 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.
  • DXX-4505: Natural Resource Management (20) (Semester 2)
    Ecosystem services and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment; Systems concepts and the sustainable livelihoods framework; Participatory modelling of natural resource management issues; Using systems models to explore natural resource management issues; Using visualisation systems to explore natural resource management issues; Incorporating local knowledge in natural resource management; Systematic approaches to local knowledge.
  • DXX-4530: Forest Management Planning (20) (Semester 2)
    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-4536: Urban Forestry (20) (Semester 1)
  • Ecology and Management stream

80 credits from:

  • DDL-4003: Forest History, Policy and Mgt (20) (Semester 2)
    The course starts with natural processes in forest history. Do we need foresters at all? Forests are, in fact, influenced by policy at many governance levels; global, regional, national, and local. Legislation, regulation, grant schemes, certification, and other incentives are put in place to control and influence what we do as foresters. The course explores a number of questions. How do policy measures interact with natural processes in forests over time? How do circumstances vary between different countries and continents? What can the history of forest development and forestry policies teach us? Are current grant schemes / initiatives delivering intended policy goals? How can they go wrong? How much should we plan and control?
  • DDL-4004: Agroforestry Systems & Prac. (20) (Semester 1)
    Agroforestry practices worldwide and their role within the farming and forest systems. Introduction to systems analysis. Principles of agroecology. Ecological interactions and biophysics of multi-component systems: Soil and microclimate effects; land equivalent area, multiple outputs. Case studies illustrating a wide range of ecological interactions. Social and economic interactions with specific reference to agroforestry. Land use and sustainable livelihoods. Income diversity/stability/resilience/risk mitigation. Ecosystems services (external benefits) specifically relating to agroforestry. Case studies illustrating social and economic aspects of agroforestry.
  • 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-4206: Sustainable use of NTFPs (20) (Semester 2)
    Non-timber forest products (NTFPs): definitions; classification; production systems. Historical perspectives: hunter-gathering; commercialisation; domestication; marginalisation; resurgence. Trade and markets: certification and green markets; international trade regulation; grey economies; market analysis and development; intellectual property rights Management systems: design and implementation of resource assessment; harvesting rules; sustainable yields; adaptive management; involving people. Policy and strategic planning: law and customary rights; regulation vs. incentives; identifying priorities for intervention. NTFP-based small scale enterprise development. Personal, social and economic use of forest resources and services.
  • DXX-4505: Natural Resource Management (20) (Semester 2)
    Ecosystem services and the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment; Systems concepts and the sustainable livelihoods framework; Participatory modelling of natural resource management issues; Using systems models to explore natural resource management issues; Using visualisation systems to explore natural resource management issues; Incorporating local knowledge in natural resource management; Systematic approaches to local knowledge.
  • DXX-4536: Urban Forestry (20) (Semester 1)
  • Forests, Trees and People Stream