KE5031 - Biodiversity and Climate Change

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about biodiversity and climate change: how we identify species, how we monitor species and how we can use that data to improve our environment. The module begins with an introduction to biodiversity, climate, the tree of life and taxonomy. This is followed by a series of in depth lectures on individual groups of organisms (groups covered dependent on staff specialisms). The module then flows through three teaching “blocks”. Each block will explore an aspect of biodiversity or climate change with practical work that will build into the module assignment. At the end of the module you will present a concisely written professional report that makes recommendations for conservation, taking into account climate change.

How will I learn on this module?

The theory and background knowledge will be taught through lectures, including refreshers of relevant knowledge gained from prior modules. Your knowledge will be consolidated and you will develop your skills in species identification through hands-on lab and field-based activities. Seminars are used to support your understanding and enhance your ability to successfully complete the assignment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

All teaching materials for the module are made available on the module eLP site. You will also have access to a number of on line self assessment quizzes which will allow you to check your understanding of topics and direct you to further reading where your knowledge needs improving. The module involves both lab-based and field-based teaching, giving you the opportunity to engage with staff for regular formative feedback. Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module. You may approach the module tutor for additional support as required.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge and Understanding
MLO1 – Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge of organisms to a conservation issue.
MLO2 – Relate climate change to issues of biodiversity and conservation
Intellectual / Professional Skills and Abilities
MLO3 – Apply taxonomy for the purposes of collecting data
MLO4 – Demonstrate the correct application of standard statistical tests
Personal Values Attributes
MLO5 – Demonstrate an ability to produce a professional report, working to a concise page limit.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on the three teaching blocks and your application of your knowledge of taxonomy, biodiversity and climate change for the purposes of making conservation recommendations.
The report will be concisely written with a maximum length of 2-pages for each topic (6-page total + reference list). A template document with indicative word length for each section will be provided to support you.
This assessment will cover all Module Learning Outcomes.


KE5014 Fundamentals of Ecology



Module abstract

How many species are there on Earth? Two million, 8.7 million, 100,000,000? How do you identify and document biodiversity? How has climate change affected biodiversity and how might it in the future? In this module you will gain the knowledge and practical skills to identify species using their morphology. You will use this to complete three in-depth studies on taxonomy, biodiversity and climate change to make practical conservation recommendations. The module starts with a broad overview of biodiversity and climate change, introduces you to taxonomy and the tree of life. After this you begin to explore particular groups and organisms in more depth including hands-on practical experience. This research-rich module is over 50% lab and field work to give you crucial practical skills for careers in ecology, conservation and scientific research.

Course info

UCAS Code F751

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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