This beginner course will make use of both online and in-person learning to introduce you to skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in ecological consultancy, specifically related to faunal surveys.

What will this course cover?

  • Why faunal surveys are undertaken, and what species are typically the focus of surveys
  • How to collect data and developing an understanding of how it is used
  • Examples of field survey techniques for certain species/groups of species
  • Field session to practice some survey techniques explored
  • What it takes to be a successful ecological consultant
  • How to craft a first-class CV and get noticed by potential employers

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This hybrid beginner course will prepare you for undertaking faunal surveys – a crucial skill when starting your ecological career. You will become familiar with the subjects of these faunal surveys in the UK, and develop an understanding of why they are important. The mixture of online and in-person learning will ensure that you receive a thorough grounding in this topic, undertaking practical experience alongside your expert tutor and receiving support with translating these learnings into attractive entries for your CV.

This course will have both online and in-person elements – you will be required to attend a live zoom tutorial in advance of your in-person course – please see the course listings below for specific dates.

The online learning platform (Moodle) course will stay open for 7 days after your course, so you have time to complete any work and download your certificate.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Have an understanding of which species of animals are the focus of faunal surveys and why
  • Have a broad understanding of the different types of faunal surveys routinely undertaken
  • Have obtained some practical ID skills in relation to specific groups/species, focused on the faunal surveys typically needed for a career in ecological consultancy
  • Have practiced some of the skills learnt in relation to specific groups/species dependent on the location of the course and availability of field sites nearby

Who should attend? – Those who have chosen a career in ecological consultancy and require an introduction to the practical skills and knowledge needed to help in that chosen career.

Knowledge level – Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following web-page: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior knowledge – knowledge of the ecological consultancy industry and protected species would be beneficial, but is not essential.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no accommodation or meal facilities provided with this course. If we are unable to reach viable numbers for this course, we will inform you of the course cancellation 4-5 weeks prior to the course run. We would recommend when purchasing accommodation and/or travel you should take out your own insurance.

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

About the Tutor

Mike Dean

Mike has been an Ecological Consultant since 1997, a career choice born out of a love of the outdoors and a passion for wildlife​. He is a Fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), a Chartered Ecologist and a Chartered Environmentalist. His specialism is protected species, with a focus on water voles. He is involved in writing good practice guidance for the profession and is the author of recently published practical guides for ecologists on report writing and water vole surveys:

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This course is comprised of both in-person and online elements. Please read below for more details on each.

Online Session

The Zoom session will last for 2 hours and will cover:

  • One person's story of becoming a successful ecological consultant & key learnings
  • What it takes to be successful in the industry
  • How to craft a CV that will get you noticed (in the right way!)

You will be sent instructions on how to access our online learning platform 'Moodle' via email - details on how to join the session will be contained here, and you will also be sent a reminder directly.

Place-based Session 

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect.

  • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 09:30
  • The course will end at 16:30

9:30-10:15 - Introductions & background context
10:15-10:30 - Break (refreshments provided)
10:30-11:15 - How to collect data and what is it used for
11:15-11:30 - Break (refreshments provided)
11:30-12:30 - PowerPoint covering examples of field survey techniques for certain species / groups of species (e.g., Great crested newts, reptiles, bats, badgers, dormice, etc.)
12:30-13:15 - Lunch (not provided)
13:15-16:15 - Field session - practicing some of the skills covering in the morning content. Activities determined by time of year and availability of sites close to venue but are likely to include: finding and identifying badger setts, assessing suitability of trees and/or buildings for use by bats, HSI assessment of a pond, reptile surveying, and finding and identifying field signs of water voles and / or otters
16:15-16:30 - Reflection on field visit learnings & Q&A

Refreshments will be supplied but you will need to bring your own lunch. No transport or accommodation is included in this course.

To receive your certificate, you will need to log in to our Moodle platform and provide feedback within 7 days of attending your in-person course. As mentioned above, you will be sent details on how to access the platform via email.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Hot and Cold Drinks

The course has been carefully created by expert tutors and educators to help you continue to build and develop your knowledge and apply it within the field surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The course includes:

  • Classroom learning covering the theory of the species
  • Field excursions to apply new knowledge
  • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Bursaries and Subsidies

Student Discount

This course is eligible for a student discount. If you are a current student, please use discount code BioStudent20 at checkout for 20% off all Biodiversity courses.

Natural History Bursaries

There are a number of natural history bursaries available to help with the cost of your course. To find out if you and your chosen course are eligible, read more here.

Before You Attend

What to Bring:

(In-person session)

  • Appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear - good quality wellies (advised) or hiking boots
  • Notepad and pen/pencil
  • Binoculars
  • Packed lunch

Recommended Literature

You may want to purchase the following Field Studies Council guides to support your independent learning:

(Online session)

Accessing Your Course:

  • Once you sign up you’ll receive an email at least 24 hours in advance of the course opening with details of how to access our easy-to-use platform, Moodle.
  • Moodle can be accessed through a browser or an app.
  • The webinar will be via Zoom so you won’t need any new software to attend.

Recommended Devices

It is recommended that you access your course through a PC or laptop. Please be aware that there will be reduced functionality if you decide to access the course through a tablet or smartphone. The Field Studies Council is unable to email content directly to you.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Thu 18, May 2023 09:30 - 16:30

    The live online Zoom session will take place on the 15.05.23, 6:00-8:00pm - this is a prerequisite to your in-person course. The venue is unable to offer accommodation with this course, please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays and ensure you take out the appropriate insurance.

    Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 1AA
    East of England
    Mike Dean
  • Wed 06, September 2023 09:30 - 16:30

    The live online Zoom session will take place on the 04.09.23, 6:00-8:00 pm - this is a prerequisite to your in-person course. The centre is unable to offer accommodation with this course, please book local accommodation if you require overnight stays and ensure you take out the appropriate insurance.

    West Midlands
    Mike Dean

Progress Your Learning

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, delivered by expert tutors with an approachable learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

If you have any questions about our courses please check our Frequently Asked Questions or email [email protected].

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses. Click here to find out more!

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.