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Module DDL-4003:
Forest History, Policy and Mgt

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Organiser: Dr Alexander Dauncey

Overall aims and purpose

What forests do we want? Some of us have been involved in planting forests we now think should not have been planted, and have failed to protect forests which we now think should have been preserved. This module introduces students to the history and many challenges of forest policy and forest management. It then explores polices through which we might be able to bequeath appropriate forests to future generations.

Course content

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?

Structure - the module is divided into three units.
1. Forests, Nature, and Human Interaction. 2. Forestry Policy, Ends, Means and Errors. 3. Plans, Management, and Problems.

• Module Handbook - which guides a programme of reading and vodcasts, each comprising exercises and activities including essential, recommended and supplementary reading and self-assessment exercises. Both historical and recent research papers, book chapters and other written materials are provided to students. • Additional Materials - provided through Blackboard, including voice-annotated Powerpoints, webcasts and links to other external sources.
• Text Books - all key material is in e-book form. • Module Handbook - contains a timetable for working through the units and module assessment details.
• Formative ‘self-assessments’ and discussion points. • End of Module - students submit a summative assessment and sit an online 24 hr examination. • All module resources are available on Blackboard, students are strongly encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion fora where key issues will be regularly posted for discussion.
• Contact - by phone or email to seek guidance and students can expect to receive a response from module organiser within 48 hours.

Assessment Criteria


Threshold – Basic knowledge and understanding of issues relevant to the history, policy and management of forests


Good – Application and analysis of issues relevant to the history, policy and management of forests


Excellent – Evaluation and synthesis of issues relevant to the history, policy and management of forests

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the history of human interactions with forests, using specific country-level examples

  2. Evaluate the development of international initiatives to influence forest management and practice

  3. Evaluate the influence that global, regional, national and local policies and politics have upon forests and people

  4. Critically evaluate the limitations of management planning and certification as a tool for achieving policy level aspirations

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Compare and contrast / forest policy change / film clip 60
Examination 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Online lectures/field videos


Online discussion forums

Private study 185

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Appreciation of the reciprocal nature of human-environmental relationships.
  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Recognize the moral, ethical and social issues relating to the subject.


Courses including this module

Optional in courses: