Biodiversity - WCON3050

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Helen Pheasey checkmark-circle


This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, including how past geophysical processes have shaped biodiversity as we see it distributed across biomes today. The importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values) will be discussed – including a case study of the global carbon cycle, explaining how that links to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.


Contact hours

Private Study: 122
Contact Hours: 28
Total: 150


Compulsory to the following courses:
• BSc Wildlife Conservation
• BA Environment and Sustainability

Optional to the following courses:
• BSc Anthropology
• BSc Human Biology
• BSc Human Geography

Also available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Poster Presentation (30%)
Examination, 2 hours (70%)*
* this element is pass compulsory and must be passed to achieved the learning outcomes of the module

Reassessment methods
100% Exam

*Exams will be online*

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge of environments being the result of natural processes
2 Demonstrate a clear understanding of the drivers of change in the natural world over space and time, demonstrating knowledge of the interactions between climate, ecosystems, and landscapes
3 Demonstrate a clear understanding of the biodiversity concept and the magnitude of biodiversity
4 Demonstrate a knowledge of how biodiversity is distributed across the planet and the key hypotheses that have been proposed to explain observed patterns in both space and time
5 Demonstrate an appreciation of the different use and non-use values of biodiversity, using real world examples
6 Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the contemporary threats to biodiversity and the ways in which conservationists attempt to protect/maintain biodiversity.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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