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Semester 1

Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences (ECSC10032)


Ecological Science





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year




Course Summary

Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences is an honours course which aims to equip students with a set of transferable skills needed to become a successful ecologist or environmental scientist.

Course Description

This course will help to prepare students to be practicing ecologists and environmental scientists capable of executing good scientific practice and effectively communicating science to a range of academic, professional and lay audiences. It will cover diverse topics from scientific writing and presentation to critical thinking and data analysis. In addition, the course covers topics that should help you to deliver an outstanding honours project. The continuous assessment for the course will take the form of a critical appraisal of an ecological/environmental science paper in the form of a briefing for policy makers, a presentation of your planned dissertation research, and demonstrated skill in conducting data analysis.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100%, Practical Exam: 0%.Critical thinking assignment (40%)At the session in Week 2 you will be provided with a choice of two recent ecological/environmental science papers. You will be asked to read one of the papers, critically assess its scientific merits, and write a clear and concise account of your findings as a briefing statement for the Scottish Government. Your report should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 5.Presentation of dissertation plan (20%)During the session in Week 7 you will be asked to present a short summary of your dissertation plan to the class. Your slides should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 7.Statistical analysis assignment (40%)At the session in Week 8 students will receive a statistical analysis exercise to be conducted using the R Statistical Software and to apply the scientific method to investigate ecological questions. This should be submitted online to Learn by 12 noon on Thursday, Week 11.

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