Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a stunning natural location and explore the diversity of nature.  

Students will use random sampling and systematic sampling to investigate factors which affect biodiversity.  They will have the opportunity to compare two habitats, practise identifying and classifying a range of organisms, calculate species diversity and analyse data using appropriate statistical tests (time dependent). This could be done in various habitats including rocky shore, woodland, grassland, heathland, or moorland depending on the centre visited. 

Example Timetable

The following is an example of how this day course might look. There will be some variation in what is offered at specific centres due to habitat availability.

This course usually runs from 9.30am – 4pm, but times can be adjusted to suit your group and travel plans.


  • Arrival, welcome to the centre and health and safety briefing.
  • Classroom session - introduction to the day, aims and objectives.

Investigation 1 – Habitat comparison - background information about the habitats to inform hypotheses.

  • Fieldwork – collection of abiotic and biotic data in two contrasting habitats.
  • Data analysis – Time dependent this may include calculation of an index of diversity, statistical analysis (means, standard deviation, and/or t-test), and discussion of conclusions and limitations.

Investigation 2 – investigating change along a transect.

  • Fieldwork – collection of abiotic and biotic data along an interrupted belt transect.
  • Data analysis - Time dependent this may include statistical analysis (Spearman’s rank), data presentation, and discussion of conclusions and limitations.

Please note specific activities are subject to change. We go out in all weathers and seasons and will tailor the content of the day accordingly. There will be some variation between what is offered at specific centres due to habitat availability.

How this course fulfills the specification

  • AQA: 4.5 Species and Taxonomy, 4.6 Biodiversity within a community
  • OCR A: 4.2.1 Biodiversity, 4.2.2 Classification and evolution, 6.3.2 Populations and sustainability
  • OCR B: 3.1.3 The development of species: evolution and classification, 4.3.2 The impact of population increases
  • Edexcel A: Topic 4 Biodiversity and Natural Resources
  • Edexcel B: Topic 3 Classification and Biodiversity
  • Eduqas: Ecological elements from Component 1 (Energy for Life) and Component 2 (Continuity of Life)

Practical Endorsement

  • Practical Skills: Independent thinking; use and application of scientific methods and practices; research and referencing (post course). Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) (2) (3) (4) (5 – pre/post course)
  • AQA:  Required Practical 12 could be covered with the data collected.
  • OCR A and B: PAG3.
  • Eduqas specified practicals: Investigation into biodiversity in a habitat (2.1) and investigation into the abundance and distribution of plants in a habitat (1.5).

Practical Skills, Apparatus and Techniques

The ‘hands on’ nature of our courses provide multiple opportunities for students to apply the practical skills on which they will be assessed and develop and demonstrate their use of apparatus and techniques including ATa, ATe (if requested), and ATk.

These skills will be integrated and contextualised within the topic and ecological investigation undertaken.

Maths and Statistical Skills

This course includes a range of applied maths and graphical skills and could cover Student’s t-test, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, and/or an index of diversity using their own data.

Added value of this course

  • Develop personal skills
  • Have fun
  • Be inspired by a passion for the subject
  • Build friendships

Why Choose Field Studies Council?

  • Expert tuition by fully trained staff

  • Stunning locations across the UK

  • Outstanding curriculum knowledge

  • Rigorous health and safety procedures

  • Support before and after your visit

  • Free places for visiting staff