Getting out and about with conservation


Most practitioners involved in fieldwork are of the firm belief that it is a ‘good thing’. Staff at the School of the Built and Natural Environment hold the conviction that students on the BSc and MSc Environmental Conservation learn better in the field rather than in the classroom, that fieldwork offers the best means for students to grasp the fundamental concepts associated with environmental disciplines and that it is essential to acquiring the generic and subject-specific skills that will equip them for future employment. The overriding view, is that fieldwork is a vital component of learning offering a ‘hands on’ approach to studying environmental sciences.

Conservation fieldwork

This view is supported by organisations responsible for setting out academic standards. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmark statement for Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies says, “it is impossible for students to develop a satisfactory understanding of Environmental Science without a significant exposure to field-based learning and teaching, and the related assessment”.

Moreover, fieldwork consistently has received positive feedback from students, external examiners and employers; Overall I was impressed with the subject matter and content delivered on all modules.  The range of topics offered is entirely suitable for this Award and provides students with the precise knowledge, information and skills for employment in the appropriate environmental sector”. 

Clearly, fieldwork offers students the opportunity to experience real complexity of natural and anthropogenic processes and allows them through a range of assessment means to appreciate our environment. Fieldwork is by far the best means in which to develop the skills needed for real world challenges