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Module DXX-1003:
Forestry in the 21st Century

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Tim Pagella

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to introduce students to a number of issues and concepts in forestry and equip them with an understanding of aspects which are unique to trees, rather than other plants. In the first semester the module introduces basic silvoculture and forestry skills such as site classification, tree identification and wood science. There are also a series of specialist lecturers that open up and introduce different broader aspects of forestry and forest science (such as the role of forests in climate change; global land-use systems; deforestation; history of the UK forests). These continue in the second semester, and finish with an introduction to agroforestry systems

Course content

Global Forests; Climate change; global land-use systems; deforestation; history of the UK forests; Tree Identification and Tree measurement; Silvicultural systems and characteristics; Introduction to forest practice: site classification, establishment to harvesting, and stand stability; Tree biology and growth; primary and secondary meristems; buds, bark and xylem, root structure; Wood and wood-based forest products, non-timber forest products; Wood and its cellular characteristics, an introduction, conifers and angiosperms; Forest biology; root and mycorrhizal interactions; Introduction to forest health; Basic wood science: wood properties and the effect of water on its properties

Assessment Criteria


Shows a basic knowledge of without major omissions or misunderstanding and in sufficient depth to form a coherent answer, where gradings within the D category (40-49%) would be appropriate.


Shows an intermediate level of understanding, competence and skill with some evidence of additional reading, where gradings within the B and C categories (50-69%) would be appropriate.


Shows and advanced and in depth knowledge with extensive use of primary and current literature resources, where gradings within the A category (70+%) would be appropriate.

Learning outcomes

  1. Evaluate the global value of trees, forests and agroforestry systems. This includes an introduction to the role that trees and woodlands play for a variety of different ecosystem functions (such as climate regulation) and the effects of deforestation, disease and other processes on these benefits.

  2. Understand the main features of silvicultural systems (including tree identification, site classification and tree and woodland mensuration practices)

  3. Introduction to basic tree biology and wood science (including key structures, growth patterns, and both positive and negative interactions with decomposer organisms )

  4. Demonstrate an understanding of wood structure, properties and processing to produce materials fit for purpose

  5. Understand the basics of tree ecology and the functions that trees can provide to ecosystems and agroecosystems

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
REPORT Species Report 20
EXAM Exam 50
REPORT Site visit summary descriptions 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private and guided self-study


27 x 1 hour lectures


13 hours in Semester 1 and 6 hours in semester 2


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • 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.

Subject specific skills

  • Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Engagement with current developments in the biosciences and their application.
  • Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.
  • Undertake field and/or laboratory studies of living systems.
  • Undertake practical work to ensure competence in basic experimental skills.
  • Collect and record data generated by a diverse range of methods.


Resource implications for students

Walking boots and waterproof clothing needed for field visits. Waterproof notebooks an advantage.

Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module