Module: Species and Environment

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Nicola Cannon
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    200 hours
  • Contact hrs

    50 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

In this module, students will learn about the major biotic and abiotic factors and processes that are crucial to understanding all forms of land, ecosystem and species management. Topics include the diversity of life, taxonomy, identification of flora and fauna, geology, soils and climate. The module is enhanced with practical activities, such as species identification and soil analysis, designed to investigate and apply the science behind the processes. 

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must able to:

  1. Correctly apply taxonomic nomenclature to the identification of flora and fauna, including wild and agricultural species.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of British flora and fauna,
  3. Explain the major environmental processes and how these are influenced by human activity.
  4. Perform and understand field and laboratory techniques for the analysis of soil.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Practical flora and fauna identification in-class test (2 hours) 50%
Coursework Multiple choice and short answer in-class test (1.5 hours) 50%

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the following:

  • Ashman, M.R. and Puri, G.(2002) Essential Soil Science. Blackwell.
  • Avery, B W, (1990) Soils of the British Isles. CAB International, Wallingford
  • BEGON, M., Howarth, R.W. and TOWNSEND, C.R. (2014) Essentials of ecology. 4th edn. John Wiley.
  • Botkin, D.B. and Keller, E.A. (2010) Environmental science: earth as a living plant. 7th edn. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Chinery, M. (2005) Collins complete guide to British insects. Collins.
  • Crane, N. (2016) The Making of the British landscape: from the ice age to the present. Weidenfeld-Nicolson
  • O'Riordan, T. (ed.) (2016) Environmental Science for environmental management 2nd edn. Routledge.
  • Proctor, M. (2013) Vegetation of Britain and Ireland. Harper Collins
  • Rose, F. (2006) The wild flower key: how to identify wild plants, trees and shrubs in Britain and Ireland. Warne
  • Sterry, P. (2006) Collins complete guide to British wild flowers. Collins.
  • Sterry, P. (2007) Collins complete guide to British trees. Collins.
  • Sterry, P. (2008) Collins complete guide to British birds. Collins.
  • Sterry, P. (2008) Complete guide to British wildlife. Collins
  • Sterry, P. (2010) Collins complete guide to British animals. Collins.
  • Toghill, P. (2004) The Geology of Britain.  Airlife Publishing
  • Webster, R. and Lark, R.M. (2012) Field sampling for environmental science and management. London: Earthscan.

Supporting texts

  • Fortey R, (1993), The Hidden Landscape: a journey into the geological past. Pimlico Press/Random House.
  • Holden, Joseph (2005) An introduction to physical geography and environment.  Pearson.
  • Holmes, N. and Raven, P. (2014) Rivers. British Wildlife Publishing.
  • Levin, S.A. (ed.) (2013) Encyclopedia of biodiversity. 2nd edn. Elsevier. [E- book] Available at:
  • Rackham, O. (2003) An Illustrated History of the Countryside 2nd ed. Orion Publishing.
  • Wright, J. (2014) The naming of the shrew. Bloomsbury Publishing plc