Fact File

Course Code: DFECOL

Course Title: Field Ecology

College: Adult Continuing Education, Science, Engineering and Food Science

Field Ecology

Duration: 2 years

Teaching Mode: Part-Time, Distance Learning

Three weekend meetings with lectures and workshops and a two-week summer school with field trips and lectures

Qualifications: Cert / Dip

NFQ Level: Level 7

NFQ Award Type: Special Purpose

Costs: €1,150 per academic year

Entry Requirements: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application, and will have shown an interest or be employed in the area of ecology and or ecological assessment. While there are no formal educational requirements, it is expected that proposed candidates will have attained Leaving Certificate or an equivalent qualification. Prior experience will be taken into account. ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score. Candidates who successfully complete First Year may opt not to proceed to Second Year and may exit the programme with a Certificate in Field Ecology. Diploma programmes are offered subject to a minimum number of eligible applicants registering for the programme. Following completion of year 1 of this programme, should a sufficient number of eligible students not wish to progress form year 1 to year 2 of this programme as to make the year 2 viable, students will graduate with a certificate at that point. Programme viability is determined by reference to fee income and applicable costs in running the programme.

Next Intake: November 2017

Overview

The Diploma in Field Ecology is a part-time distance-learning course running over 27 months. It is a unique programme combining home-based distance learning, field courses, weekend classes and an independent field project. This course will give you a sound scientific understanding of the ecological principles of field ecology. It will also give you a broad background in general and field ecology and environmental biology and provide the basis for independent ecological investigation and field studies. You will develop practical skills in scientific data collection and analysis, report writing and oral presentation of results.

Course Details

Each year, there are three weekend meetings involving lectures, field visits and tutorials plus a two-week summer field school which consists mainly of morning lectures, field visits and practical laboratory sessions. At home, you will undertake distance learning which will consists of written assignments, data handling, completing reports and recommended reading. In the second year, the bulk of the distance learning element is an independent research project which you will present at the end of the Diploma.

Click on any module code for a detailed module description.


In the first year you will study 4 modules to a total value of 30 credits and in the second year you will study 3 modules to the value of 30 credits:

Each year, there are three weekend meetings involving lectures, field visits and tutorials plus a two-week summer field school which consists mainly of morning lectures, field visits and practical laboratory sessions. At home, you will undertake distance learning which will consists of written assignments, data handling, completing reports and recommended reading. In the second year, the bulk of the distance learning element is an independent research project which you will present at the end of the Diploma.

Year 1 Modules:

  • AE1820: Introduction to Ecology (5 credits)
    Elements of ecology; adaptation and natural selection; geology; climate and habitat; biogeography.
  • AE1821: Integrated Ecological Concepts (5 credits)
    Scientific writing: critical review of scientific literature.
  • AE1823: Ecological Methods (10 credits)
    Irish wildlife focusing on a range of Irish plant and animal communities; identification and sampling techniques; habitat mapping.
  • AE1824: Reporting Ecological Data (10 credits)
    Scientific method, formulating a hypothesis, gathering data, practical statistics for field biology; presenting data, interpretation.

Year 2 Modules:

  • AE2820: Ecological Methodology and Practice (10 credits)
    Pollution; ecotoxicology; EIA legislation; Environmental Assessment; Mitigation; ecological methods.
  • AE2821: Ecological Reporting and Interpretation (10 credits)
    Sampling Irish ecosystems; Practical statistics for field biology II; Data presentation II, Animal and plant communities of a range of Irish habitats.
  • AE2822: Research Project (10 credits)
    The research project involves an independent piece of scientific research in an area of field ecology of interest to the student. The project will be field based, and will be conducted over a period of approximately 6 months. The planning, design and analysis of the project will be carried out under the supervision of a member of staff.

Course Practicalities

This fee covers the costs of running this hands-on course. The fee does not cover accommodation, books or field trip costs (transport, food etc.).

Assessment

The course is assessed using continuous assessment and exams. The continuous assessments will be written assignments/essays on ecological concepts, field reports based on practical field work and data handling exercises. The examinations will be based on material covered during the course in lectures, field trips and assignments.

Who Teaches This Course

The course is taught by staff of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and guest lecturers.

Further Contact Information

Caroline Lalor MSc. CIEEM
Field Ecology Cert/Dip Co-ordinator
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Distillery Fields
North Mall
UCC
Cork
e: caroline.lalor@ucc.ie
t: 086-3462091

Contact us

E: Caroline Lalor

P: 086-3462091
W: Website

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