A combination of hard-work, determination and the right support will see you through. If you’ve got the first two, Christ Church can provide the third.

Marie, current PhD student

Overview

Kent, the “Garden of England” is rich with plant and animal diversity. The course combines applied modules designed to increase practical skills with modules giving you vital background theory.

We want to enable you to work as a thinking, flexible, modern ecologist, giving you the practical in-the-field experience needed to help you succeed.

The course will help you develop your own research throughout your studies and network with potential employers. Close links to environmental organisations including Natural England, the Environment Agency and Kent Wildlife Trust, give you the chance to work with employers in the field.

You will also have the chance to gain further skills as part of our ‘Added Value’ programme and collaborate with biotech companies through the Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab and advisory companies such as FAST Brogdale.

Why study Ecology?

With the challenges we face from climate change and the impact it is having on biodiversity, there has never been a more important time to study Ecology. This fascinating subject is concerned with the relationships organisms have with their living and non-living environment. From animals and plants to fungi, microbes and bacteria, ecology enriches our world and it is crucial for our wellbeing and prosperity.

On this course, you'll delve deeply into the diversity of life, exploring important aspects of ecology, population genetics, the ecology of animal behaviour and other biological disciplines. You'll learn how they relate to geology and landscape as well as local and global ecosystems.

Entry requirements

For entry to the three-year full-time course (6 year part-time) candidates usually require between 88-112 UCAS tariff points. Of which 32 UCAS tariff points or equivalent (e.g. A level grade C or BTEC Subsidiary Diploma grade Merit) are in a science subject for example biology, chemistry.

More information about entry requirements.

88-112
UCAS Points

All about the course

Throughout the course, you'll study topics relating to how living things interact with each other and their environment (their ecology), how these interactions are shaped and determined by local and global environmental factors and how this affects our efforts to preserve and protect species of conservation interest.

You'll learn practical skills in the field and in the laboratory, enabling you to effectively survey, identify and assess environments and the organisms living within them.

In Year 1, you'll learn about core aspects of ecology, genetics and evolution and you'll  develop you statistics and science skills.

In Years 2 and 3, you'll study ecology in more depth, gaining specialist skills  and knowledge. You'll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement, giving you valuable experience working with ecology experts.

In Year 3, you'll undertake a project researching a commercially/socially relevant issue in the field of ecology. You'll identify an area of interest directly linked to ecology and you'll design and undertake appropriate field-based experiments. This will involve a minimum of 10 days field work. 

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, laboratory practicals, field trips, visits to employers, seminars, guest speaker lectures and practical workshops. You'll also benefit from tutorial sessions where you can discuss your work and progress with an individual personal tutor, and small group seminars focusing on specific topics. 

The course is designed to support you in becoming a confident, independent learner and some of your learning will be through experimentation and observation.

In the first year, two thirds of each module are delivered as practical experimentation either in laboratories, IT labs or in the field. These sessions are supplemented by lectures, and seminars/workshops where you feedback from your structured independent study.

In the second year, you'll continue laboratory and field based experimentation and you'll start analysing published research.

In the final year the teaching will move into student-led workshops where you'll discuss published research papers

All teaching material is posted on the virtual learning environment.

Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select. 

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars. Your module director will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class through the virtual learning environment.

For the 40 credit individual study in your final year, you will undertake independent research working under the supervision of a member of the teaching team who you will meet with regularly. 

Each 20 credit module requires 200 hours of study which includes formal contact (lectures, practicals, tutorials, workshops), structured independent learning (prescribed reading and/or online exercises) and independent learning.

Each module in Year 1 has 60 hours of formal contact, supplemented with 40 hours of structured independent learning. As you develop and become more independent, formal contact and structured learning reduces to 50 hours of contact and 30 hours of structured independent learning per module in Year 2 and 40 hours of contact and 20 hours of structured independent learning per module in Year 3.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience. They are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching.

All our core team members hold doctoral qualifications and most hold or are working toward postgraduate teaching qualifications. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Meet the Team web page.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules, however, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

You will gain extensive field and lab experience as part of your degree, plus a range of extracurricular training and trips to make you the best ecologist that you can be.

Phil BuckleySenior Lecturer in Ecology

How you’ll be assessed

Assessment is by both coursework and examination. The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each year you will be set formative assignments to go through with your tutor. There will also be 'formative' assessment within some of the modules. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There are also formal or 'summative' assessments. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year individual study project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Coursework assessments permit you to develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations. There is a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied.

Feedback 

You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.

100% Coursework

Your future career

The Ecology course prepares you for a diverse range of careers in environmental conservation organisations, such as the RSPB and Natural England; for careers in environmental and ecological consultancy or for work with government environmental agencies. The course also provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to go into further study toward a postgraduate degree (MSc, PhD) and a research career in ecology, conservation and environmental sciences.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - placement year £1,850 N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Specialist Facilities

This course is associated with the university’s Industry Liaison Labs at Discovery Park, Sandwich. You will have the opportunity to undertake laboratory work at this site. The location of these specialist facilities within an industrial setting facilitates access to and collaboration with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Industry Links

The University’s Industry Liaison Lab works with many companies in healthcare research and development, drug discovery and equipment design and manufacture.

"Venomtech have been very impressed with our partners at Canterbury Christ Church University, this partnership has enabled us to progress projects much faster than we could on our own. This includes being able to generate novel data on the use of our products through student projects, advancing research into new antibiotics and cancer therapies from venoms and increasing the understanding of invertebrate welfare. Generation of this proof of concept data has, and continues to have, a positive influence with our potential customers and therefore our business. I also impart my 10+ years industrial drug discovery experience directly to the students as part of the Drug Discovery and Development module.

As a science employer in the area, Venomtech benefit greatly from being directly involved in the curriculum to make sure the new graduates have the skills useful to employers. This includes an understanding of applied drug discovery that will make CCCU graduates stand out from others in job interviews.”

Steve Trim, CEO, Venomtech Ltd

Apply now

UCAS code:

C180

Location(s):

Canterbury
Apply via UCAS
Any questions?

Phone us

+44 (0)1227 928000

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