A 3-day Field Studies Council A Level Biology course offers a fantastic opportunity for students to undertake ecological investigations in a variety of inspiring habitats.

Students will develop their practical skills, use of apparatus and techniques, and deepen their understanding of ecological syllabus content and synoptic links through first-hand experience. A wide range of mathematical skills are embedded into every course, including a variety of graphical forms, calculations such as Simpson’s index of diversity and the appropriate use of statistical tests. 

Example Timetable

The following is an example of how a 3-day course might look. Our courses are as flexible as possible to meet your requirements, with other topics and skills able to be substituted into this timetable. There will be some variation between what is offered at specific centres due to habitat availability.

Day 1

Arrive Midday

  • Welcome by staff, centre tour and introduction, pre-course meeting of FSC staff and teachers, allocation of wellies and waterproofs as appropriate.
  • Afternoon and evening
  • Biodiversity
  • Students will use random sampling to compare two habitats, calculate species diversity and investigate variation within a species using Student’s t-test. This could be done in various habitats, including rocky shore, woodland, heathland or moorland depending on the centre visited.

Day 2

  • Transect sampling
  • A full day session investigating either zonation, succession or trampling using systematic sampling. Students will measure abundance and distribution of species and analyse the data using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Day 3

  • Choice chambers and mark-release-recapture
  • A half-day session looking at population dynamics and animal behaviour. Students will use the mark, release, recapture method and Lincoln index to estimate the population size of a mobile species, and use choice chambers to study innate behaviours in organisms, analysing the data using a chi-squared test.

Depart Midday 

How this course fulfills the specification

Detailed coverage of ecological content from topic 18, ‘Classification, biodiversity and conservation’, with opportunities to make synoptic links to other units.

Practical Skills

The ‘hands on’ nature of our courses provide multiple opportunities for students to apply higher order practical skills on which they will be assessed, following the scientific route to enquiry from planning through to analysis, conclusions and evaluation. These skills will be integrated and contextualised within the topics and ecological investigations undertaken.

Maths and Statistical Skills

Our courses include a wide range of applied maths and graphical skills and, depending on the topics covered, can cover the following statistical tests: Student’s t-test, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient, and the chi-squared test. Students can also calculate Simpson’s 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