Modules for course D9AN | MSC/CLM
MSc Conservation and Land Management
This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.
The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.
- DXX-4016: Conservation science (20) The module presents the key concepts which underpin the conservation of populations, species and habitats. It also considers the conservation and management of biological resources in their wider context, and appreciates the interactions between natural and social systems. Emphasis is placed on using scientific methodology and evidence-based practice in all aspects of conservation and wildlife management. Specific areas covered include: evidence for an extinction crisis, conservation ethics, global patterns of diversity and threat, population ecology and the theory of sustainable exploitation, marine conservation, natural resource economics, conservation genetics and the challenges faced by small populations, the theory of island biogeography and its relevance to reserve design, setting conservation priorities, payments for ecosystem services and market mechanisms for conservation, conservation status & legislation, invasive species, ex situ conservation, engaging local people in conservation, wildlife disease, climate change and pollution.
- DXX-4042: Agriculture & the environment (20) Introduction to farming systems in the UK: crop areas and livestock numbers; land capability classification, land tenure; upland and lowland farming systems; organic, conventional and integrated farm management systems. Historical trends in land use and their impact on the landscape. Goods and services provided by agricultural systems. Crop management: principles and practices involved in the use of pesticides and fertilizers, their fate in the environment and their impact on biodiversity and water quality. Statutory and voluntary measures to minimise negative effects. Water Framework Directive. Livestock production systems. Systems used for the management of ruminant and housed livestock. Farm waste management. Impact of grazing management in the hills and uplands. Climate change: contribution of agriculture to climate change; impact of climate change on agriculture. Carbon footprinting. EU support for agriculture: single farm payment, agri-environment schemes. Environmental impact of conventional, low input and organic farming systems.
- DXX-4534: Conservation Research Methods (10)
- DXX-4013: Management planning (20) The module will contain a range of topics relevant to management planning including: Land law; Landscape evaluation and design; principles and evaluation. Recreation; supply and demand; disabled access; congestion; Archaeological resource management. Management planning for protected sites; local, UK, European and international designations; Management Planning systems (Conservation Management System and Eurosite); Monitoring techniques (Common Standards Monitoring; compliance monitoring); Use of desktop Geographical Information System (MapInfo / ArcView). The module provides an opportunity to observe different planning approaches adopted by statutory bodies responsible for the management of protected sites. The quantification of site habitats with respect to the National Vegetation Classification and status of key species. Review of ecological census/monitoring techniques with respect to the site features and the development of a monitoring programme in accordance with common standards monitoring.
- DXX-4505: Natural Resource Management (20) 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-4531: Botanical Ecology & Ecosystem (20) Module description Insects have a major impact on the ecology and economy of the world. The great diversity of insect form and function means their impact on human populations and activities can be beneficial or detrimental. During this module you will explore the complex beneficial interactions between insect pollinators and humans. For example insect pollinators provide an important service to plants, which in turn results in fruit, nuts and seed of vital nutritional importance to humans. Module aims The module will consider how key pressures (e.g. land-use, disease) affect pollination services to crops (including cultivars) and wild plant species by altering pollinator populations and communities. The module will summarise how changes to pollinators (e.g. abundance, diversity, complementarity, redundancy, range shifts, phenology) may limit pollination services. The ecological and economic impacts will be considered with a focus on the main groups (bees and flies) involved in pollination services encompassing both managed (honey bees & bumblebees) and wild pollinators (butterflies & hoverflies). Throughout the module how local context (e.g. geographic region, landscape type) affects pollination services, and consequent effects on crop yields, biodiversity and wild ecosystem health, will be made clear. This module will introduce you to the diversity of insect pollinators and the plants they provide pollination services for and the role they play in the environment in terms of their interactions with plants, humans and other animals. Since insects play a key role in our environment, the knowledge and skills acquired by taking this module are relevant to many areas of employment such as conservation, consultancy, environmental planning, and agriculture.
- DXX-4533: Conservation Field Course (10)
- DXX-4534: Conservation Research Methods
- 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.