Nottingham Trent University Course Specification

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1 Nottingham Trent University Course Specification Basic Course Information 1 Awarding Institution: Nottingham Trent University 2 School/Campus: School of Animal, Rural & Environmental Sciences / Brackenhurst Campus 3 Final Award, Course Title and Modes of Study: FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management (Full Time, Part Time, Sandwich) 4 Normal Duration: FT 2 years, SW 3 years, PT 3 years 5 UCAS code: DN455 6 Overview and general educational aims of the course An increased awareness of environmental issues and recognition of the human impact on the environment has resulted in expansion of countryside management and environmental protection sectors in recent years. The countryside industry requires highly motivated, technically adept and multi-skilled individuals to tackle these problems and issues. The FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management is designed to provide you with technical skills appropriate to working in the countryside industry and also gives you a firm basis on which to progress to the BSc Environmental Conservation degree course in the same area of study. This course provides you with industry-related experience in areas such as habitat management and countryside recreation, coupled with the scientific, legal and cultural principles underpinning countryside management. On completion of the course the rich blend of practical, technical and problem-solving skills acquired should enable graduates to be effective at conserving the countryside for the best interests of the communities that visit, use and depend on it. You will experience a course which emphasises development of self-reliance and the skills necessary to achieve academic progress. The course links theory with practice, with an emphasis on developing skills that are relevant to the countryside industry and the world of work. A special feature of the course is that the Brackenhurst estate is used for practice of wildlife surveying skills and practical conservation. You will also study the impact of human intervention on the land with visits to many local examples such as farms, former coal fields and costal sites. The course has strong links with industry, with previous students and employers Updated July

2 representing a range of related industries, statutory bodies, environmental consultancies and the voluntary sector providing support for the delivery of the course through speaker sessions and visit opportunities. The course includes an optional sandwich placement of one year whereby you can be involved in environmental conservation with a company, organisation or charity. In summary, the course aims to: develop the students underpinning knowledge of the cultural and historical issues relevant to conservation and countryside management. develop the students appreciation and understanding of the scientific principles underpinning the ecology of the habitats within the countryside. provide the students with the skills necessary to carry out or supervise estate management practice and to design and implement habitat management plans. engender the students appreciation of the value of countryside activities and the threats to the habitats, wildlife and recreational and industrial business of the countryside. provide the opportunity for students to learn through experience the application of countryside practice and to provide a basis for continuing career and educational development. provide the students with skills to enable them to manage recreational areas for visitors and interpret the countryside for a range of different users. develop students understanding and personal transferable skills set. equip students with the skills and knowledge to make an effective contribution to their chosen career and to wider society. 7 Course outcomes Course outcomes describe what you should know and be able to do by the end of your course if you take advantage of the opportunities for learning that we provide. Knowledge and understanding. By the end of the course you should be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural, historical and contemporary issues influencing the development and present patterns of rural land use and communities. (B) Appraise the economic and cultural values underpinning countryside activities and exhibit an awareness of the potential environmental impacts related to such activities. (B) Apply scientific principles, surveying, monitoring and assessment techniques to enable effective management of the countryside. (B) Demonstrate the ability to plan and carry out practical management tasks to appropriate industry standards within a working environment. Updated July

3 Skills, qualities and attributes. By the end of the course you should be able to: Demonstrate organisational, inter-personal and interpretative skills appropriate to the management and education of countryside users. (B) Apply a range of transferable skills in order to work effectively in a diverse range of activities within the conservation sector such as the ability to express themselves with confidence, both orally and in writing; good visual presentational skills; good analytical and problem-solving skills. (B) Demonstrate organisational, inter-personal and interpretative skills appropriate to the management and education of countryside users. (B) (B) = indicates those outcomes having specific reference to the QAA Subject Benchmark statements - Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences (2009). 8 Teaching and Learning Methods The FdSc Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management course is delivered with a strong emphasis on a practical approach to learning. The methods used to deliver the modules vary according to the outcomes expected. In some sessions you will be working on practical skills, in others you will develop subject knowledge through exercises and participation in lectures. The hands-on approach used for delivery means that you become involved in the subjects of the sessions; discussion is encouraged and group exercises are used to allow you to reflect on what you have learnt. You are encouraged to undertake independent reading to supplement and consolidate what is being taught. The attribute of real-world awareness is developed through links with many external organisations in teaching sessions, through speaker visits and projects linked to outside agencies. The work carried out in many of the modules uses examples of real situations where you are required to provide survey results, produce reports for industry and work to the standards expected in the industry on practical tasks. The Industry Placement module at level 5 aims to give you the skills needed to work in the industry. You will have an opportunity to undertake work in countryside management in a discipline of your choice. The experience is tailored to your needs, so that each student progresses whether they have already worked in the sector or are new to the industry. 9 Assessment Methods A variety of assessment methods are used to allow you to demonstrate the learning outcomes of this course. Subject knowledge and understanding is mainly tested through assignments, reports, projects, practical tests, presentations and unseen examinations. At the same time transferable skills such as written and oral communication will be Updated July

4 assessed through written reports, presentations and innovation for problem-solving in assignments and case studies. Real life problems are often used as case studies to give you the opportunity to deal with actual problem-solving and this can also provide outside agencies such as the Wildlife Trusts with data that can be used to formulate their own management plans. Students undertake formative assessments such as practice reports, desktop studies and give seminar presentations which help develop their study and communication skills without contributing to the module grades. 10 Course structure and curriculum The course is studied on either a full-time (2 years) or part-time (3 years) basis, with the option of an industrial sandwich placement between years one and two. The design of the course is to develop subject knowledge and skills to help you become more employable. To this end modules have been included to enhance and develop these attributes. One such module, Skills for Scientists, is designed to support your transition to this level of study and towards your future career. The Industry Placement module in year 2 will give you an opportunity to experience working in the sector, tailored to each individual s interests and needs. The following schedule of modules has been devised to enable you to achieve the course outcomes. A curriculum map is available on request to identify how each module contributes to the course outcomes. Level 4 Biodiversity Conservation (20 credits) Ecology; Terrestrial & Water (20 credits) Landscape and Land Use (20 credits) Skills for Scientists (20 credits) Wildlife Surveying (20 credits) Practical Conservation Skills (20 credits) Level 5 Applied Habitat Management (20 credits) Planning and Recreation (20 credits) Environmental Law & Policy (20 credits) Environmental Monitoring & GIS (20 credits) Integrated Project (ECCM) (20 credits) Industry Placement (20 credits) Sandwich Award Updated July

5 Students have the opportunity of taking a placement for one year between years one and two with employers such as the Environment Agency and environmental consultancies. The placements focus on developing employment skills and a deeper understanding of the chosen sector of industry. The students will acquire transferable skills through placement work, as well as the chance to achieve a professional development qualification. Students who undertake the sandwich placement will be eligible for a Placement Diploma in Industrial Studies award if they: a) satisfactorily complete at least 36 weeks of supervised work experience; b) receive satisfactory reports from the placement tutor and/or workplace supervisor in respect of the competencies or learning outcomes or experience gained; c) submit a satisfactory placement report. These arrangements are consistent with the University s new guidelines on the certification of placement activity. Interim Awards At the end of level 4 students completing all modules successfully but not progressing further are eligible for the Higher Certificate in Wildlife and Countryside Conservation. 11 Admission to the course Entry requirements For current information regarding all entry requirements for this course, please see the `Applying tab on the course information web page. 12 Support for Learning Student support is provided in the first instance through an induction course when you will be given all of the essential information about the course and the support we provide for your learning. During the year, further support is provided through a structured tutorial process for academic support through each year of study. You will be encouraged to enhance your skills for employment by the use of personal development planning. This process will allow you to develop your study and communication skills through a structured process. Support will be given to enable you to access online tools for this. The School has been praised for the support students receive whilst on courses here. You will be given the opportunity to take up additional support as you need it. The School has well established links with Student Support Services who have a centre based in the Brackenhurst Campus. Additional learning support is provided for students with specific learning needs such as dyslexia. 13 Graduate destinations/ employability Potential employers were asked to contribute to the development of the course outcomes and content at its inception. Updated July

6 Students are encouraged to develop skills for work through the work-related activities in sessions, through the Industry Placement module in year 2 and through the industrial placement opportunities between years 1 and 2. Students are also encouraged to work in the industry during holidays and at weekends, either paid or voluntarily. The diversity of employment opportunities within the countryside management and conservation industries continues to expand, reflecting public and scientific concerns about the state of the environment and the future protection of natural resources. This has produced greater funding levels through both private and public initiatives which has had a positive knock-on effect on the job market. The FdSc qualification is intended as a pathway to employment in technical, supervisory and project assistant roles and has been developed in close consultation with potential graduate employers ensuring students have the necessary skills required to gain employment upon completion of the course. The employment opportunities include: Community Liaison Officers, Reserve Wardens, Promotions and Publicity Officers and a range of specialist technician s roles such as country park rangers. Finally, students may progress from the Foundation Degree to the BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation on successful completion of the course. 14 Course standards and quality The quality of this course will be monitored through induction questionnaires, mid-year reviews, end-of-year reviews, module feedback questionnaires, School end-of-year questionnaires, statistical data and external examiners. Students are involved in the reviews and questionnaires, and contribute to the maintenance of the quality of the course. In addition, student feedback is obtained during tutorials which help to address concerns as they arise. Two student representatives are appointed for each year of the course to provide a mechanism where student feedback is reported to the academic staff that teach on the course. The outcomes of the above measures inform quality management committees through the annual reporting process and inform action plans for the following year, leading to curriculum modifications and development. An action plan produced as a result of monitoring provides a focus for the course teams and the School. This is monitored through the course committees to ensure that the action loops are closed and there are no outstanding issues. 15 Assessment regulations This course is subject to the University s Common Assessment Regulations (located in its Academic Standards and Quality Handbook). Any course-specific assessment features are described below: Updated July

7 The award classification will be calculated using 20% of the aggregate mark for level 4 and 80% of the aggregate grade at level Additional Information Collaborative partner(s): Course referenced to national QAA Benchmark Statements: None Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food and consumer sciences (2009) Course recognised by: None Date implemented: May 2012 Any additional information: Students will have the opportunity to interact with others on related courses and exchange ideas, thus broadening their experiences through attending modules undertaken by other students on countryside management and animal science courses. Fieldwork Students will be expected to make a financial contribution to the cost of any field courses they undertake. Updated July

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