Modules for course D5AC | MSC/TF
MSc Tropical Forestry (Distance Learning)

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.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2018–19.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • DDL-4004: Agroforestry Systems & Prac. (20)
    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-4202: Silviculture (20)
    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)
    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

  • DDL-4201: Social Issues in Forest Mgt. (20)
    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-4205: Inv., Assessment & Monitoring (20)
    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.
  • DDL-4206: Sustainable use of NTFPs (20)
    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.
  • DDL-4545: Tropical Forestry Study Tour (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.