Modules for course C1BC | MSC/WSC
MSc Wetland Science and Conservation

This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2018–19 academic year.

The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2016–17; 2017–18.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BSM-4109: Project Preparation WSC (30)
    Topics covered will include key IT skills for citation and referencing and correctly formatting a scientific report, dissertation and seminar. Students will then develop the literature and research skills required for a research topic in their chosen field.
  • BSM-4132: WetlandsClasses&Biodiversity (20)
    The objective of this course is to equip participants with the knowledge and concepts involved in classification of wetland ecosystem types. The environmental and ecological significance of biological adaptations will be described in relation to the environmental challenges posed by different wetland conditions.
  • BSM-4133: Wetland Hydrology & Biogeochem (20)
    This module covers the main theoretical and applied aspects of wetland biogeochemistry and hydrology. Subjects covered include oxidation-reduction reactions, organic matter decomposition, nutrient and carbon cycling, and wetland water budgets.

Semester 2

  • BSM-4109: Project Preparation WSC
    Topics covered will include key IT skills for citation and referencing and correctly formatting a scientific report, dissertation and seminar. Students will then develop the literature and research skills required for a research topic in their chosen field.
  • BSM-4110: Research Project (60) Core
    Projects will be offered in a number of areas including Medical Biotechnology, Plant Biotechnology, Marine Biotechnology, Systems Biology, and Environmental Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Medical Genetics and Immunology The exact nature of the projects will be determined by the individual supervisors, and communicated to the students well in advance of the commencement of the Research project.
  • BSM-4131: Environmental Experience (20)
    Prepare for field courses by background reading (generally including preparing, presenting and attending peer-group presentations under the supervision of staff). Carry out field excursions to habitats normally including both managed and unmanaged environments. Learn about flora, fauna and conservation issues by a variety of means, normally including personal observations, talks by BU and local staff, signage and local interpretative centres and leaflets. Observe and record plant and animal species and habitat by various means including photography, video, audio recording and sketching. Where permitted and directed by staff, collect material for preservation and identification, including living plant and animal specimens, remains (e.g. shells, seed pods, tracks), photographs etc. Carry out species identification using field guides and keys. In some cases, quantitative ecological or ethological sampling may be carried out and data analysed quantitatively. Following excursions, there will normally be a review session, sharing experiences and summarising observations. At the end of the fieldwork, an assignment will be set which will include data, observations or material collected from the field. The field trip is planned to take place in Florida, USA. However, alternative locations include Canada, Finland and the UK. There will be a contingency for students unable to attend a week-long residential field trip, in which the students are engage in the assessments listed in box 18 using materials collected on the local trips included in the modules of the MSc Wetland Science and Conservation degree.
  • BSM-4133: Wetland Hydrology & Biogeochem
    This module covers the main theoretical and applied aspects of wetland biogeochemistry and hydrology. Subjects covered include oxidation-reduction reactions, organic matter decomposition, nutrient and carbon cycling, and wetland water budgets.
  • BSM-4134: Wetland Conservation/Managment (20)
    The module presents the key concepts which underpin the conservation of wetland 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 wetland conservation and wildlife management. Specific areas covered include: conservation ethics, global patterns of diversity and threat, population ecology and the theory of sustainable exploitation, natural resource economics, conservation genetics and the challenges faced by small populations, the theory of island biogeography and its relevance to wetland reserve design, setting conservation priorities, market mechanisms for conservation, conservation status & legislation, invasive species, ex situ conservation, engaging local people in conservation, wildlife disease, climate change and pollution.
  • BSM-4135: Wetland Ecosystem Services (10)
    The course will start with an examination of the environmental burdens of wetland land use (greenhouse gases, pesticides etc), followed by an overview of the different environmental accounting methods. Introduction to life cycle assessment (LCA), carbon footprinting. The students will undertake an identification and discussion of data requirements, before presentation of LCA and footprint results, and a comparison results from food, fibre and fuel production systems made. Further lectures will consider the history of ecosystem services; identification of ecosystem goods and services and the processes and functions that give rise to them; anthropogenic pressures on ecosystem services; valuing ecosystem services; managing ecosystem services and finally an examination of how the environmental burdens associated with land use can be reduced.