FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

AQA Specification

These courses have been specifically developed for those studying AS and A Level biology, following the AQA specification that is taught from September 2015 onwards.

Our inspiring biology fieldwork courses enable students to explore our stunning locations within easy reach of our Centre. They will take ownership of their learning, debate topical issues and develop their knowledge using specially designed ICT and data from real-life ecology projects.

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A Level Biology2 day

A two day programme to provide students with opportunities to cover and practise the skills required in Practical 12.

Day 1 aims:

  • To study biodiversity in two freshwater ecosystems.
  • To compare the distribution of ground flora in a deciduous and coniferous woodland ecosystems.

Day 2 aims:

  • To investigate the effect of trampling and or management on a plant species.

Students will use the skills gained during the course to work independently in small groups to collect and analyse abiotic and biotic data in a range of habitats, allowing teachers to check them off for Practical 12.

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AS Level Environmental Science1 day

Students will have an opportunity to develop an understanding of a range of methodologies and sampling techniques. These will be carried out within a environmental context enabling students to gain first hand experiences. Students will also consider the purpose and application of each method as well as the limitations. Risk management of the fieldwork including how to safely and correctly use a range of practical equipment will also be included throughout the day.

During this fieldwork experience students will:

  • Carry out random sampling techniques within 2 woodland types.
  • Carry out systematic sampling along a transect.
  • Have the opportunity to use 3 types of quadrat (open frame, grid and point).
  • Build an appreciation of the potential risks during fieldwork and how these might be managed.
  • Measure abiotic factors (Light intensity/temperature/pH).
  • Carry out a range of fieldwork techniques, both qualitative and quantitative.
  • Carry out quantitative/comparative/numerical measures e.g. abundance scales, species richness and diversity, percentage cover, Simpsons Index of Biodiversity.
  • Consider the limitations of the fieldwork skills carried out.
  • Consider the environmental impacts of their fieldwork and how this can be minimised.
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