Biology A' Level and Transition to University
This course is designed for Biology students transitioning from A' Level to Higher Education, and will guide students through a series of tailored modules built around the WJEC Biology A' Level specifications. Each module covers information from across the curriculum, helping to link key biological concepts and build from core knowledge to more complex applications. The learning activities will consist of a short (10 ¿ 20 minutes) recorded or annotated lecture that will include self-assessment of understanding by a short quiz consisting of multiple-choice questions. Further on-line materials will be provided to assist students with learning independently. Personal support will be available through online tutor meetings at arranged time.
Animal Diversity and Behaviour
This 20 credit module is divided into two sections and broadly introduces students to the diversity of animal groups, and the study of animal behaviour. The first 12 lectures will consider the taxonomy and physiology of organisms within the animal kingdom, and will provide students with a broad understanding of all animal life, from single celled protozoa through to megafauna such as the blue whale and concluding with human evolution. The following 10 lectures will consider the evolutionary pressures that drive animal behaviour and give rise to the behavioural adaptations witnessed across the animal kingdom today, from learning and cultural transmission, to anti-predatory mechanisms and migration. The section is concluded with a lecture on human behaviour, determining how we are influenced by the same set of natural regulations that govern our wild counterparts. During this module, students will develop their understanding of animal classification, interrelationships and evolution, and will gain valuable practical experience of animal biology. A sister module, BIO114C, will provide the same content but delivered via the medium of Welsh.
Animal behaviour in conservation and welfare
This module assesses how animal behaviour is often the most significant cause of species declines and how understanding patterns of behaviour can assist in developing effective conservation and management strategies for species on the brink of extinction. Students will be introduced to the concept of conservation biology and the vast array of human-induced activities that currently threaten biological diversity on a global scale. There is a focus on the five main activities of conversational concern; fragmentation, habitat degradation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change. Examples will be provided from specific taxa affected. The shortfalls of in situ and ex situ conservation are introduced and examples are provided of how behavioural studies and knowledge of animal behaviour can, and have been used within conservation.
The role of understanding behaviour in domestic animal welfare is also introduced. Here students learn about the history and current UK policy on the use of farm and laboratory animals. Following that an insight is provided into how our domesticated animals perceive the captive environment and have developed behavioural mechanisms to cope with incarceration that can also be assessed to ensure sufficient welfare is provided.
Introduction to field ecology
This field course comprises practical work employing ecological techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (freshwater systems, woodlands, sand dunes). You will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore, you will be able to recognise different British temperate wildlife, habitats and indicator species associated with them.
This five-day course will be residential and delivered in Stackpole National Trust Field centre in September.
Introduction to field zoology
This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sampling the zoological biodiversity of a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (coastland, woodland, grassland, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of zoological and ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise and describe key groups of animals associated with a range of temperate habitats.
Professional skills in conservation
This field based module will introduce students to the professional techniques utilised to monitor and study animals and plants in a variety of terrestrial habitat types and in relation to conservation management and biodiversity monitoring in the United Kingdom. The course places a strong emphasis on ecological census techniques and basic classification and taxonomy. Students will develop key techniques relevant to the environmental sector including Protected Species (specifically birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and plants), River and Phase 1 habitat surveys and Environmental Impact Assessment. Students will also learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that define different UK habitats and be introduced to the natural history of Wales. A focus is on developing key transferable skills that enhance employability such as problem solving, data analysis, report writing, evaluation, communication and teamwork.This module is therefore suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in ecological consultancy or conservation.
Advanced Techniques in Biodiversity Assessment
This module aims to introduce advanced professional techniques in biodiversity assessment and management.
Students will learn how to use, interpret and evaluate appropriate metrics and methodologies to assess the impacts of new developments on biodiversity such as Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), UK Habitats, Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Environment Net Gain (ENG). Student will also learn the evaluation of ecological and broader environmental features as part of an economic valuation of the environment e.g. for ecosystem services assessment, natural capital valuation and/or environmental net gain.
This module provides students with highly employable skills within the environmental and conservation sector, aligning with the CIEEM's Competency Framework. While undertaking the module student will gain the experiences and develop a portfolio to allow them to apply for Qualifying Membership with the CIEEM.
Protected Terrestrial Mammals: Ecology, Survey Techniques and Legislation
Many of Britain's terrestrial mammals are protected by law and it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them or damage their habitats. These species are often encountered on sites proposed for development and it is therefore important to understand their ecology to ensure their protection. This course is aimed at environmental professionals or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector that wish to learn about the survey techniques, ecology and legislation for several of Britain's protected terrestrial mammal species (primarily dormouse, badger, otter, water vole, bats and pine marten).
Pine Marten Ecology, Survey Techniques and Legislation
This course builds on Terrestrial Mammals: Ecology, Survey Techniques and Legislation by focusing on pine martens. Pine martens are protected by law and it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them or damage their habitats. These species are often encountered on sites proposed for development and it is therefore important to understand their ecology to ensure their protection. Due to their reduced distribution they are also a focal species for reintroduction programmes within England and Wales. The course is aimed at environmental professionals or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector that wish to specialise on this particular mammalian species and gain in-depth knowledge about the survey techniques, ecology, legislation and best-practice guidance for monitoring and reintroduction based on the latest evidence-based research.
Introduction to terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates
Terrestrial invertebrates can be used to monitor environmental change and their presence is fundamental in measuring biodiversity. Successful identification of these groups plays an important role in maintaining our ecosystems.
This course is aimed at environmental professionals, or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector, that wish to learn the major groups of terrestrial invertebrates and their key survey methods. The course will focus on those easily-recognised and familiar insect groups such as butterflies and dragonflies.
Freshwater macroinvertebrate biological indicators
This course is aimed at environmental professionals who wish to improve their freshwater invertebrate identification skills. The syllabus will enable learners to apply taxonomic and problem solving skills in the identification of freshwater invertebrates. Course participants will be guided on the use of identification keys and will be introduced to freshwater sampling techniques. Practical training is provided through a combination of e-learning and personal study. The professional learner will develop the confidence and tools they need to know how to identify the major groups of British freshwater invertebrates. The course uses active learning to ensure the learners can identify the key features of the macroinvertebrate families. An optional on-campus workshop is provided for learners to put the their knowledge into practice and identify preserved specimens of the key macroinvertebrate families.
Nature Based Solutions
Three hundred years of industrial development has led to abrupt and often irreversible environmental change resulting in significant climatic and non-climatic challenges in the 21st Century that adversely impacts human development. Rapid population growth, urbanisation, intensive land use and change, uncapped commodity extraction and pollution are degrading ecosystems, while climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity and magnitude of natural disasters leading to human and wildlife fatalities and increasing property and economic losses.
Conventional engineering solutions can address these issues to some extent. However, there is a growing consensus for the need to work with ecosystems to enhance the livability in cities, providing resilient communities and allow adaptation to climate change, while protecting and enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are inspired and supported by nature and use, or mimic, natural processes and can be applied strategically to and equitably to help societies address a variety of global environmental challenges. NBS can concomitantly lead to multiple economic, societal and and environmental benefits, such as reducing infrastructure costs, job creation, green growth, enhancing health, wellbeing and recreational opportunities.
This course will introduce the learner to the paradigm shift in cultural norms, from working against, to with nature. Each topic will be supplemented by relevant local case studies and applied examples of NBS.
Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)
This residential field course module explores the relationship between environment and society in the Himalayan state of Sikkim in NE India on the borders with China, Nepal, Tibet and West Bengal. The course is inter-disciplinary in approach and policy-oriented. Students work with members of University Staff in mixed groups of biologists, human geographers, physical geographers and zoologists. Through intensive inter-disciplinary group working students utilise (and pass on) their specialist skills in the group exercises and projects that are undertaken.
Senior Leaders’ Development Programme
This programme is developed by the All-Wales Intensive Learning Academy for Innovation in Health and Social Care (in FHSS), AGORIP and the Swansea University STEM Skills Academy Wales, together with colleagues from Faculty of Medical, Health and Life Sciences at Swansea University. This is an 18-month bespoke Skills Development Programme. The programme is designed to enable senior management and clinical leaders in University Health Boards to acquire and apply new skills in order to maximise their effectiveness in leading services and providing benefit to their populations. The approach has four main elements, as follows: Evaluative Framework, Thematic Modules, Community of Practice and Coaching and Mentoring.