& Plant Biology
5 YRS (PT)
Why choose this course?
Climate change, biodiversity conservation, habitat and reserve management and sustainable business have created a demand for skilled graduates in whole organism, biological science.
Our course will give you subject knowledge and hands-on, practical skills and experience of both animals and plants. It is important to have a thorough understanding of both animals and plants for the science of living organisms and for a career in conservation as ecosystems comprise of both.
Based at our rural Northop campus, set in the stunning north Wales countryside, the course is ideally placed for field studies. With Snowdonia, rivers and the sea coast all nearby you will study plants and wildlife in the natural world.
- KEY COURSE FEATURES
- Great links with conservation organisations.
- University owned farmland and woodland available for student projects.
- Pursue your interest in wildlife and plants while gaining key skills for employment.
- Learn from and work alongside staff who are active in the industry and have specialist academic and practical skills.
- Take part in placements and field trips to equip you for the real world.
- Use the excellent facilities at our Northop campus and take advantage of access to the rich and diverse north Wales countryside.
- Active student societies in zoology and botany with field visits, competitions and social events.
- WHAT WILL YOU STUDY?
The course involves both plant and animal biology. The emphasis is on ecology and the study of habitats. So, you will learn the biological theory and the practical field and laboratory field skills fundamental to whole organism biology. Each successive year builds on the knowledge and experience developed in the previous year. You also undertake a project on an organisation concerned with habitat management and a research project on a topic which is of particular interest to you.
Throughout the programme there is a focus on skills for employability. This is especially important in the environmental sector as the majority of careers are in consultancies, government or charities.
Year 1 (Level 4)
In the first year you will be introduced to the concepts that you will use throughout your degree. These will include biological theory and an introduction to the statistical methods that are crucial to a science degree. You will also be introduced to laboratory work and how to collect precise data and design experiments. You will be involved in field trips and work on the rural campus at Northop. You will begin learning the identification of animals and plants, in order to build up your expertise, and you will be taught introductory field skills in how to find plants and animals and how to get the most out of fieldwork.
- Foundation Zoological Science: This module gives you an understanding of the key principles of animal biology. The syllabus includes characteristics of life, animal phyla, animal cell, tissue and organ structure and function and a study of digestive, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, nervous and reproductive systems. The module involves work in the laboratory.
- Plant Form and Function: In this module, you will learn about how plant structure and physiology allows different species to survive in particular environments. You will also learn about how plants cope – or fail to cope – with the changes we are making to the environment, and what we can expect the future to look like for the vegetation on which we all depend.
- Soils and the Rooting Environment: The soil and its underlying geology is fundamental in determining the types of plants and animals that make up an ecosystem. This module describes the physical and chemical structures of soil and soil eco systems – species, trophic levels and the concepts of assessing soil quality, structure and fertility.
- Field Skills and Identification: Field visits and practical sessions in the laboratory will be used to deliver the skills of plant and animal, including insects, identification. Field sessions will take place in the campus fields and woodlands and on the nearby seashore. There will also be an introduction to the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in species mapping.
- Ecology: In this first year module you will begin one of the main themes of the course – understanding and looking after natural communities. Ecology is the science that investigates how living things survive in particular places, through their interactions with their habitat and with one another. Alongside lectures that look at our current understanding of how these communities of plants and animals work, you will learn some of the practical techniques needed to study them. Using locations around the university, you will practise the Phase 1 habitat surveys used by ecological and conservation professionals, and the sort of vegetation analysis that lies behind the National Vegetation Classification.
Year 2 (Level 5)
In Year 2 you will study subjects in more detail and acquire a greater knowledge of observation, experimentation and data analysis. You will also be involved in developing a project with external organisations so that you are familiar with the sector and your future work environments. You will also learn the personal skills that you need in work such as report writing and you will have practice and coaching at giving presentations.
- Ecosystems: Having studied basic ecology in the first year, you will now go on to see how the principles apply to examples of real ecosystems. To look after the environment effectively, we have to understand as much as we can about the way natural systems function.
- In this module you will learn about the principles that apply to all ecosystems, as well as the special features that make each type different. The university is well-placed for the study of different ecosystem types. Field visits to all types of habitat, from coast to moorland, are used to demonstrate the features discussed in class.
- Survey Skills for Conservation: This module will equip you with the skills necessary to carry out a range of surveys for animal and plant species. Students will identify and survey a range of animal species and analyse and interpret data collected.
- Population Biology and Genetics: In this module you will relate the importance of population biology to the survival of organisms and develop an understanding of the genetic and mathematical principles of population biology. The syllabus includes population growth and regulation, competition, predator-prey interactions, host- parasite interactions, genetic drift, quantitative variation and epigenetics
- Research Methodologies: This module will enable you to understand the role of relevant research within the field of animal studies. In addition it will provide you with sufficient capability to plan a research project in your field of study, to define the research parameters, assess appropriate methodologies and present your findings.
- Applied Project: Investigate workplace issues through a consultancy activity in an wildlife and plant setting (e.g. ESDGC, habitat conservation, compliance with legislation and welfare needs, Customer service, cost effectiveness and time budgets). The module will include a significant amount of off-campus work within an organisation (work experience).
Year 3 (Level 6)
In the final year of your degree (Year 3), the emphasis is on the practical application of your knowledge to science and conservation. You will develop your own research project, in a subject area in which you are particularly interested and wish to become an expert. You will write a dissertation from this work. You will also work with a conservation organisation to develop a management plan. Your subject knowledge will be extended up to degree level.
- Conservation Policy: Explore the ecology of a range of animal species native to the UK and understand the need for, and methods of, conservation of these species including environmental impact assessment.
- Applied Research Skills and Professional Development: This module will enable you to review relevant literature to present a research proposal that forms an appropriate and ethically sound basis for a research project. It will teach you methods of data collection and statistical analysis to interpret those data.
- Research Project: A chance for you to carry out your own research in a topic which particularly interests you. In doing this project you will review literature pertinent to the chosen area of research, evaluate relevant research design and develop a suitable method for data collection and analysis, analyse and interpret data collected and finally write up and discuss your findings in relation to the existing knowledge.
- Conservation Biology: In the final year of the programme you will apply what you have learned about ecology and how ecosystems function, to the practical management of those ecosystems. You will study global threats like invasive species and habitat fragmentation, but also see conservation in action in local examples of managed systems like this small valley bog.
- Practical Conservation Management: For students who want to work in practical conservation, practical experience is often as important as a relevant degree. This module allows you to combine the two, by replacing lectures with practical work alongside conservation organisations like the Wildlife Trust.
You will carry out 60 hours of practical experience, doing anything from counting newts to clearing scrub, and at the same time study the theory behind what you are doing. Contact with conservation practitioners is one of the most valuable outcomes of this module, and many of our students have found this part of the degree their route into employment.
The information listed in this section is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal academic framework review, so may be subject to change.
- ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND APPLYING
Please note that UCAS will be using a new tariff for courses starting from September 2017.
BSc (Hons) Wildlife and Plant Biology
The academic requirements for the course are 240 (2016)/112 (2017) UCAS tariff points at GCE A-level or equivalent, including a science and/or mathematics-based subject. Appropriate AS-level and Level 3 Key Skills qualifications will also be taken into account.
The entry requirements are for general guidance. Alternative qualifications and experience are considered. All applications are considered on their individual merits.
If you have studied in another European country, please check the Entry Requirements for your qualification.
Part-time applicants should apply using this form.
If you are an international student please visit the countries page and select your country to see the relevant academic and English language entry requirements.
UCAS code: CD24
BSc (Hons) Wildlife and Plant Biology (four years including foundation year)
Our general entry requirement for the foundation year is 80-120 (2016)/48 (2017) UCAS tariff points but all applications are considered individually and we consider work experience, vocational training/qualifications as well as motivation and potential to succeed.
UCAS code: 13C9
Applicants are not normally interviewed but are invited to attend the applicants’ day in order to meet staff and view the campus.
Applicants who have taken different paths and have alternative routes to qualifications are welcome to apply and admission is usually through interview.
You will be assessed in each module and the methods are varied.
The emphasis is on methods of assessment that are relevant to skills necessary in the workplace. These methods include essays, reports, presentations, production of portfolios, reflective diaries and research proposals.
Whilst these form the majority of assessments there are also a small number of in-class tests.
Teaching and learning
Wrexham Glyndŵr University is committed to supporting our students to maximise their academic potential.
We offer workshops and support sessions in areas such as academic writing, effective note-making and preparing for assignments. Students can book appointments with academic skills tutors dedicated to helping deal with the practicalities of university work. Our student support section has more information on the help available.
Each module involves around 50 hours of contact time with tutors and you will be expected to read subject material in directed and self-directed study time.
- CAREER PROSPECTS
The Careers & Zone at Wrexham Glyndŵr University is there to help you make decisions and plan the next steps towards a bright future. From finding work or further study to working out your interests, skills and aspirations, they can provide you with the expert information, advice and guidance you need.
Because of the way the course is structured you will be well prepared to pursue careers in areas including:
- Environmental consultancy.
- Conservation charities and environmental organisations.
- Academic research and teaching.
- Field studies centres.
- Wildlife Reserves management.
- FEES AND FUNDING
You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.
For 2016/17, Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s tuition fees will be £9,000 per year for a full time undergraduate degree course.
The fees you pay and the support available will depend on a number of different factors. Full information can be found on
our fees & finance pages.
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