Principles of Biogeography and Ecology - WCON3111

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Matthew Struebig checkmark-circle


The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BSc Wildlife Conservation
BSc Human Geography
BSc Biology
Available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Biogeographical case-study report (2,000 words) (30%)
Examination, 2 hour (70%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (Restricted time window)**

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Begon, M, Howarth, R, & Townsend, C.R (2014) Essentials of ecology. John Wiley & Sons

Cox, C, Moore, P & Ladle, R (2016) Biogeography: an ecological and evolutionary approach, 9th Ed. Wiley-Blackwell

Raven, PH (2005) Plant Biology, 7th Revised Ed. W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 understand the basics of plant biology and how this influences the formation and geographic patterning of habitats, ecosystems and biomes across the world.

8.2 understand fundamental ecological concepts and how they apply to conservation biology.

8.3 understand the core concepts of biogeography, including speciation, extinction, dispersal, continental drift and glaciation.

8.4 describe the major biomes across the world and how these have been influenced by historic, as well as contemporary, factors

8.5 appreciate how ecological and biogeographical theory can inform conservation strategies and practice, and better understand the threats to biodiversity from habitat loss and climate change

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 demonstrate added confidence and competence in their analytical skills through report writing

9.2 demonstrate competent written and verbal communication skills

9.3 demonstrate the ability to synthesise the research of others to form a coherent argument

9.4 demonstrate research skills of their own with which to identify and locate appropriate sources through library and independent research skills


  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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