This programme is designed for those who want to use scientific communication in their careers; educators at nature reserves, zoos and aquaria, campaign co-ordinators for wildlife charities, educators in the natural history sections of museums, eco-tour guides, teachers, environmental interpretation designers, scientific journalists, and, of course, wildlife photographers and film-makers who want a lot more science in their education.
This specialist foundation degree mixes biological and conservation science with creative modes of communication. A lot more emphasis is placed on environmental education delivery and interpretation than most courses, using media as a vehicle for environmental education.
Being a small programme, the attention you’ll receive from teaching staff will be intensive, with a lot of guidance given. We believe that this can help launch your career. To assist with that aim, we will guide your creation of a portfolio of your output, something to take to interview.
Those with no media or education delivery background are welcome to apply – we will teach you that. Those without a Level 3 science qualification are also welcome to apply.
We have laboratories equipped with Leica microscopes and can be equipped with Canon SLRs to capture images and video for photomicroscopy and videomicroscopy. We have a collection of Canon SLRs and macro, zoom and wide angle lenses. We also have Sony HD video cameras with Manfrotto tripods, as well as infra-red lighting for night filming. Editing of images and footage can be undertaken on PCs or Macs equipped with Adobe software and Final Cut Pro. We have our own primary school-targeted science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) club called Saplings for you to learn your teaching practice. Guest lecturers often come to the College, and the media modules are all taught by external professional lecturers giving you more variety in your learning environment. Finally, you have access to Newquay Zoo and to Blue Reef Aquarium.
There are regular field trips to local woodlands, beaches, dunes and other types of location to further improve your knowledge of your local surrounding area. There are also trips further afield to Bristol Zoo and @Bristol centre (and often BBC at Bristol) and the Natural History Museum in London. This is crucial for understanding how to communicate knowledge in order to educate people, which is a central aspect of this programme. These trips are not covered under the tuition fee and are of additional cost. Therefore they are not mandatory although it is highly recommended that you participate. Often, the costs are subsidised.
The college also organises trips further afield, at your own cost. These trips are a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and practise your skills learnt at the college. They could also be considered highly valuable if you are looking to pursue a career in ecotourism, as a wildlife tour guide. Past trips have visited the forests of Borneo, the reefs of Egypt, nature reserves in Portugal and the beautiful island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. For 2013, trips included Borneo and the Kruger National Park in South Africa and both of these locations are proposed for 2014/15.
To see video of an activity from this year’s Kruger fieldtrip, please see below (click on the view at YouTube button to see it at full size):
Possible careers available with this qualification:
- Zoo, aquarium, nature reserve or museum natural history education
- Wildlife campaigns/PR coordination
- Educational events management
- Ecotourism and wildlife tourism
- Scientific journalism
- Design of environmental interpretation and signage
- Production of wildlife media
Wildlife Education (20 credits)
This module provides you with an understanding of the biodiversity of this planet and allows you to develop methods of informal and formal teaching delivery to a range of audiences, including our afterschool club, Saplings. Being able to communicate difficult scientific concepts to the general public is a key element of a zoo, aquarium or nature reserve education officer, as well as a number of other careers.
Wildlife and Media (20 credits)
This module explores the variety of media forms available to communicate information about wildlife and conservation. You will be taught through a series of hands-on workshops how to use a range of media, including film, photography, web design, and graphic design: your tutors have all worked extensively in this field. You will have to apply this practical knowledge with other information taught on the degree plus your own interests to compile a portfolio for assessment.
Evolutionary Theories (10 credits)
The basic classification questions that underlie all studies of animal biology, ecology and behaviour are considered in this module. It considers the scientific theory of natural selection and how scientists have amended Darwin’s original theory over time. The assessment features an optional media piece: you could write an essay but you could answer the question instead by using film, radio or slideshow.
Personal & Employability Skills Development (20 credits)
This module is designed to support you to develop your personal and employability skills to give you the best possible chance of success in your future career. This module has been developed in conjunction with Deloitte, international business specialists.
Introduction to Zoology (20 credits)
This module provides you with an understanding of the key scientific concepts and practical skills which underpin the study of zoological conservation. Delivered in an exciting range of lectures and practical sessions, topics covered range from basic molecular biology and chemistry to whole animal systems. You will develop skills in microscopy, colorimetry and chemical analysis amongst others and learn how to carry out a rigorous scientific investigation.
Introduction to Ecology (10 credits)
This module introduces basic ecological concepts from the ecology of the individual and populations to ecosystems and biomes. You will have the opportunity to undertake field work and practicals. The data gathered is linked to simple computer programmes that help analyse the distribution and abundance of animals and populations.
Introduction to Animal Behaviour (10 credits)
An introduction to the basic principles of animal behaviour, an understanding of animal instinct, motivation and knowledge of behavioural research including Pavlov, Skinner, Darwin, Tinbergen and Lorenz. The module will cover the basic concepts of optimality theory and behavioural ecology.
Fieldwork Techniques (10 credits)
This module equips you with the skills and knowledge required to carry out field work using appropriate techniques, data handling and analyses, and effective communication of ecological information.
Education & Interpretation in Public Spaces (20 credits)
This module will develop your ability to observe and evaluate wildlife related interpretation and to develop techniques to communicate information about wildlife and environmental science to an audience within public spaces. You will visit various institutions to evaluate educational programmes offered for informal settings. Furthermore, you will develop the media knowledge you gained in the first year to produce media pieces for use in public setting.
Educational Event Management (20 credits)
This module enables you to organise educational events effectively. It also encourages you to reflect and use previously taught knowledge regarding the use of media, teaching and learning techniques, and targeting audiences to deliver a scientifically themed event in a coherent manner.
Communicating Science & Natural History (20 credits)
This module addresses the diverse ways in which science is communicated to a range of audiences: scientific, lay, young and old. You will study the range of communication methods used for disseminating scientific information and evaluate the effectiveness of each. Additionally, you will write pieces for the in-house wildlife magazine, Gizzard.
Primate Behaviour & Learning (10 credits)
Our nearest cousins, the primates, display fascinating and complex behaviour giving us insights into the development of our own behaviour and society. Through this module you will explore some of the fundamentals of behaviour as applied to primates, including how they learn and behave in natural and captive situations. Part of the assessment of this module will have you exploring the effects of captivity on behaviour and how these can be mitigated with enrichment schemes. Newquay Zoo has an extensive collection of primates providing a wonderful opportunity to develop practical skills in observing and analysing their behaviour.
Introduction to Avian Biology & Conservation (10 credits)
In this module you will compare the basic body forms of birds and relate form to function. You will also explore, through case studies, the behavioural ecology of named species and how birds are being protected and conserved. The assignment features a choice of ways to answer: essay, film, audio piece or photographic slide show.
Marine Vertebrate Biology & Conservation (20 credits)
This module explores the functional biology of a range of marine vertebrate species you will focus and compare the extremes of physiological and anatomical adaptations shown by marine mammals and reptiles. The module also explores the challenges we face to conserve flagship species such as turtles, marine mammals and sharks. A detailed understanding of life history including feeding migration, social and reproductive behaviour will be explored and related to conservation. Newquay’s coastal location provides excellent opportunities to study at least one species – the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) in the wild. For your assessment you will outline a conservation action plan for a named species.
Individual Project (20 credits)
Giving you the opportunity to conduct your own project. Your involvement and responsibility stretches from project conception and planning, through defining the aims and objectives of the project, researching relevant literature, day to day management of the project, to analysis and interpretation of data, report writing and presentation. The project can be a completely scientific piece or it can be an experimental evaluation of an educational or media developed piece of your own devising, allowing you to personalise your craft in the career direction of your choice.
The application process for full-time and part-time degree level courses with The Cornwall College Group starting in September 2017 is still open and we are taking applications. Full-time applicants should apply via UCAS and part-time applicants directly via the College website.
- UCAS Code: XP33
- Institution codes: CORN C78
- Awarded by: Cornwall College & Plymouth University
- Course Fee (per annum): £7500
If you are aged 18-20:
We welcome anyone with 48 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g., AS and A-Levels, BTEC/City and Guilds Diploma/BTEC Extended Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Access to HE Diplomas, Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish equivalents to Level 3 qualifications). These Level 3 qualifications do not need to be in science (see below) or media to apply for this course.
For the AS/A-Level route, 32 UCAS points must be at A2-Level.
For the Access to HE route, you must have 45 credits at Level 3.
We also welcome candidates with an International Baccalaureate with 24 points or above.
Other qualifications meeting 48 UCAS points are welcome and will be assessed on application.
Those applicants with Level 3 qualifications in non-scientific subjects are more than welcome to apply because the course is about explaining environmental science and wildlife biology to the general public and you will learn the science needed on the course. You will be invited to interview and further entry requirements may be decided. It is strongly recommended if you are offered a place on the course that you read up on biology before enrolling - a reading list can be given.
All applicants need to have GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above in English language, mathematics and a science: alternatives at Level 2 may be considered.
If you are aged 21 or over:
We invite you to apply! You do not need a background in media or science, although reading up before entry, if accepted, is strongly recommended. The advice given and acceptance will depend on individual experience. You will be invited to interview (interview by phone or in person) and further entry requirements may be decided. Previous learning and experience may be credited. If in doubt, call 01637 857 957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Course DocumentsFdSc Wildlife Education & Media
Indicative Modules Year 1
- Wildlife Education
- Wildlife & the Media
- Evolutionary Theories
- Introduction to Ecology
- Introduction to Animal Behaviour
- Introduction to Zoology
- Fieldwork Techniques
- Personal & Employability Skills Development
Indicative Modules Year 2
- Education & Interpretation in Public Spaces
- Educational Event Management
- Communicating Science & Natural History
- Marine Vertebrate Biology & Conservation
- Primate Behaviour & Cognition
- Introduction to Avian Biology & Conservation
- Individual Project
*Modules are subject to change and availability
*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility.
Careers advice available
If you are considering an undergraduate programme with us, you may wish to access our free Careers and Employability advice service. This gives you the opportunity to talk with an advisor about career options before, during and after your study with us. To make an appointment, please e-mail: H.E.Advice@cornwall.ac.uk
If you come into the International category (non EU*) and Channel Island (inc. Isle of Man) the tuition fee may vary – click here for full fee information