Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
This module explores the fundamental biology that underpins the way that populations, communities and ecosystems function in the real world. These classical fields of ecology are of wide importance in biology, and have been reinvigorated recently by the use of new technological and analytical approaches. Population and community ecology is increasingly relevant to our understanding of the natural world, particularly in regard to the ecology of climate change, sustainability and conservation. This module complements NS6208Conservation Ecology
This module considers the theoretical foundations of population and community ecology, and uses this knowledge to consider relevant questions in biology. How and why do populations grow, remain stable or decline in size? How does competition regulate interactions between populations, including predator-prey interactions, parasitism and symbiosis? What is the nature of an ecological community, and how do population interactions influence its structure? What makes a food web robust to disturbance? This module will use a range of learning approaches including lectures, practical exercises, data workshops, seminars and a field study. This module would suit students with broadinterests who would like to study ecology in more depth.
A student passing this module should be able to:
1. Understand and explain the complex processes in population and community ecology
2. Recognise and justify the importance of ecological interactions in shaping the structure of ecological communities
3. Apply advanced theoretical understanding to current issues in ecology and critically evaluate the value of long term studies of populations and communities
4. Use computing resources to construct and test population models
5. Provide pertinent answers to questions under time-constrained conditions
6. Critically evaluate the theoretical basis of biological concepts, and illustrate understanding using supporting evidence from primary sources and case studies
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.
Contact our enquiries team.
Find out more about fees, funding options and ways to pay.