The School of Life Sciences currently runs an optional field course module for undergraduate students. This provides the opportunity to do research in a novel environment and to study local plants and animals.
As part of the module, students have previously visited the following locations:
- Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, South Africa
Many of these locations are biodiversity hot spots with a variety of animals, birds, insects and plants to study, providing students with the chance to experience species they may not have previously encountered. The field trips provide opportunities to see animals in their natural environment; such as dolphins and whales in Portugal, elephants and giraffes in South Africa and hummingbirds in Ecuador. Each of the excursions offer opportunities to explore the local area and experience a new culture.
These field courses are an excellent opportunity to gain valuable field study experience and practical skills, which may enhance your employability and can boost your CV. Working on projects with other students and tackling challenges can enable you to develop your problem solving and transferable skills and gain confidence. Lecturers from across the School of Life Sciences take part in the trip, providing you with an opportunity to learn from a range of experts.
Students can learn about the ecology and conservation of the area. Before the trip students write a project proposal to develop their knowledge of the location and its wildlife. On each trip students are introduced to local flora and fauna, present a group project, complete an identification test of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, work on an allocated project and write a report on their project. Projects can range from ecology, animal behaviour and plant ecology to the study of antimicrobial compounds. The trips can take place in the summer before the start of the final year of your degree. The field trips last for approximately 8-10 nights.
Students who opt to undertake a field trip overseas will be expected to cover transport costs (including flight costs). These costs will vary depending on the location of the field trip. Accommodation and meals at the field sites are fully funded by the University.
Students may be required to pay for overnight stays, local travel and food close to the destination if their flights arrive the day before the team are scheduled to meet. Students may bring personal items of clothing and travel equipment, some of which may be specialised for the environment they are travelling to, and recommended medicines and travel toiletries such as anti-malaria medication, vaccinations, insect repellent and sunscreen. These costs will depend on what you choose to bring.
You can find out more about the Overseas Field Course module, and look at previous trips to Cloud Forest, Ecuador, on our blog