Module: Ecological Consultancy

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Kelly Hemmings
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    40 hours

Module content

This employment-focused module enables students to learn the applied industry-standard knowledge to reach professional standards in the ecological business sector.

Students will synthesise ecological, business and legislative content to write a professional field report and plan for a real world ecological consultancy scenario. Higher level skills such as decision-making, independent judgement and professionalism will prepare students for future employment or higher level study. Surveys of key protected species are considered through case studies, not simply in terms of how to conduct a survey, but with regard to planning and legislative requirements, seasonality, site-specific design, alternative or supplementary survey methods, mitigation and professional reporting.

The module has three main themes:

  • Professional, employability and communication skills for the ecological sector.
  • The ecological, legislative, business, planning and client requirements of ecological consultancy work.
  • The role of an ecological consultant in the management of wildlife and habitats.

Module outcomes

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

  1. Professionally communicate consultancy project outcomes to clients in the form of a report.
  2. Critically review and apply wildlife survey methods to a real world scenario, with ecological and legislative justification.
  3. Demonstrate professional and business attributes and skills to create an ecological consultancy site appraisal.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Professional field survey report (2000 words) 40%
Coursework Professional ecological consultancy site appraisal (3000 words) 60%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of the following:

  • Barrow, C. (2008) Practical financial management: a guide to budgets, balance sheets and business finance. 7th edn. Kogan Page. [E-book].
  • Carroll, B. et al. (2009) Environmental impact assessment handbook: a practical guide for planners, developers and communities. 2nd edn. Thomas Telford
  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (2016) Publications. Accessed online 07/06/16. Available from URL:
  • Department for Communities and Local Government (2014) Plain English guide to the planning system. Accessed online 07/06/16. Available from here
  • Glasson, J., Therivel, R. and Chadwick, A. (2012) Introduction to environmental impact assessment. 4th edn. London: Routledge. (Natural and built environment series).
  • Hunter, M. L., Lindenmayer, D, B. and Calhoun, A. J. K. (2016) Saving the Earth as a career: advice on becoming a conservation professional. Wiley-Blackwell
  • Middleton, N. (2016) The effective ecologist: succeed in the office environment. Pelagic Publishing.
  • Natural England and DEFRA (2015) Protected species and sites: how to review planning proposals. Accessed online 07/06/16. Available from here
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (2016) Statutory advisor to UK government and devolved administrations. Accessed online 07/06/16. Available from URL:
  • Pearce, G.E. (2011) Badger behaviour : conservation & rehabilitation : 70 years of getting to know badgers. Exeter, [United Kingdom]: Pelagic Publishing.
  • Searle, S.M. (2011) How to become an ecological consultant. Createspace
  • Tromans, S. (2012) Environmental impact assessment. 2nd edn. Bloomsbury