SCIU3FE: Environmental Science & Environmental Geography Residential Field Course (Cumbria)

(Environmental Science/Environmental Geography Degree Programmes)

CO-ORDINATOR: Dr Richard Quilliam (4B144)

This is a Residential Field Course, which runs from Monday 5th September - Friday 9th September 2016

The Cost is £245, which includes all of your travel, four night’s accommodation and all of your meals whilst on the field class.

Where: Castle Head Field Centre, situated between the southern fells of the Lake District and the shores of Morecambe Bay (

Aim of this module:

The aim of this module is to (1), develop fieldwork skills relevant to the Environmental Science and Environmental Geography programmes; (2) develop skills in hypothesis testing & experimental design

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the process of conducting hypothesis-driven experiments
  • Proficiency in fieldwork skills & collecting field data
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
  • Team working skills through group projects
  • Improved skills in report writing through critical reading
  • Using social media as a tool for disseminating information 

Acquired Skills:

By the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate these skills:

  • Fieldwork skills appropriate to the mini-projects chosen during the residential field course.
  • Team working; hypothesis testing & experimental design; project management, design and execution; data analysis; and report writing
  • Structuring a piece of writing, i.e. field repots
  • Targeting Twitter to explain learning process

Teaching Programme:

This module consists of a five-day residential field course at the Field Studies Council Castle Head Field Centre in Cumbria,

  • Residential field course: The field sessions will take place in and around the Castle Head Field Centre, situated between the southern fells of the Lake District and the shores of Morecambe Bay. The region offers an ideal base for the field class with easy access to a range of habitats, for example: The centre also has a fully equipped observatory and an industrial standard laboratory. Students working in small groups will complete three one-day projects during the residential portion of this module. Project work will be based on recording and analysing environmental field data; each group will analyse & interpret their data and produce three individual reports on their projects.


On the residential field course, training in sampling techniques and guidance for completing project assignments will be provided by academic staff. Projects will be chosen from a prescribed list and there will be a choice of approximately six group projects. Each group needs to complete three of these projects during the week. Details of the projects will be provided at the initial introductory meeting, and you will sign up to your preferred projects on Succeed. Many of the projects will run twice or even three times during the week, depending on the staff member supervising the project. Each of the three projects must be written up as individual reports, and must include a thorough analysis all of the data you have collected during each project. During the week you will start your own designated Twitter account and tweet about your projects – the quality and content of your tweets will be assessed at the end of the week.


Residential field report 1 (30 %)

Residential field report 2 (30 %)

Residential field report 3 (30 %)

Twitter account (10 %)

What to bring

If staff consider you to be improperly equipped for fieldwork, you will not be allowed to complete the projects and may fail the module.

The field class is in September and so there is a good chance it could be hot & sunny and/or wet & cold. You should bring with you:

  • Sun hat and sun cream
  • Lightweight clothes
  • Waterproof trousers and waterproof jacket.
  • Warm clothing including hats and gloves.
  • Appropriate footwear: waterproof walking boots and/or wellington boots.
  • A towel (bedding will be supplied)
  • Pencil and A3 notebook (ideally waterproof). Otherwise, bring a clear plastic bag to protect your notes. Do not bring an A4 pad.
  • A 30 cm ruler.
  • A calculator.
  • A thermos flask for hot drinks.
  • Medication – if you need to take medication e.g. an inhaler for asthma you should bring all medication with you.
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