Contemporary Conservation Science - WCON5180

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Mohammad Farhadinia checkmark-circle


Conservationists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding contemporary research, critically evaluating its ecological, evolutionary and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to conservation problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, students will use and apply knowledge/skills gained throughout their degree programme during in-depth discussions of how current research programmes, as presented at the weekly DICE seminars, fit into the wider conservation context. In addition, they will write up these evaluations as a series of 'News and Views' style commentary articles, as published in the top international journal Nature.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 23
Private study hours: 127
Total study hours: 150


BSc Wildlife Conservation
BSc Environmental Social Sciences

Method of assessment

Written assignment 1 (2 pages) (33.3%)
Written assignment 2 (2 pages) (33.3%)
Written assignment 3 (2 pages) (33.4%).

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

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

Relevant readings relate to the seminars in the DICE seminar series, and thus change from year to year. The following readings are examples of Nature 'News and Views' articles which provide a model for written assessments.

Gill, D.A. et al. 2017. Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally. Nature 543: 665-671.

Worm, B. 2017. How to heal an ocean. Nature 543: 630-631.

Birkenbach, A.M. et al. 2017. Catch shares slow the race to fish. Nature 544: 223-226.

Rosenberg, A.A. 2017. The race to fish slows down. Nature 544: 165-166.

Stegen, G. et al. 2017. Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytridium salamandrivorans. Nature 544: 353-356.

Fisher, M.C. 2017. In peril from a perfect pathogen. Nature 544: 300-301.

Carvell, C. et al. 2017. Bumblebee family lineage survival is enhanced in high-quality landscapes. Nature 543: 547-549.

Lozier, J.D. 2017. A helping habitat for bumblebees. Nature 543: 498-499.

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 place research ideas and concepts into a wider contemporary conservation context

8.2 appreciate the interplay between pure and applied conservation studies

8.3 review, summarise and commentate on current research topics

8.4 synthesise information in the specialist primary peer-reviewed journal literature, and subsequently use it to support a personal opinion

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

9.1 confidently and actively participate in research discussions so as to

9.2 understand how to manage study/work time effectively

9.3 develop critical thinking and reading skills

9.4 improve written presentation skills

9.5 successfully conduct in-depth independent library-based research


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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