Our courses offer students the opportunity to get outside the classroom and develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through first-hand experience of the natural world.  

Tailored to the Common Entrance Science specification, this course will cover key biology subject content, as well developing scientific skills.  

Students will use different sampling techniques to investigate the distribution and abundance of species within habitats such as woodland or freshwater streams and ponds. They will measure different abiotic factors that might affect ecological communities, for example light and temperature. They will consider the key concepts of interdependence and adaptation. 

Example Timetable

Our day courses usually run from 9:30 until 3:00, but times can be adjusted to suit your group and travel plans. There is also the option to extend the day to allow more time for fieldwork and more detailed follow up.

Below is a typical programme but this can be adapted to meet your needs and/or the habitat availability at each of our centres.


Habitat comparison

  • Students will carry out fieldwork to compare abiotic and biotic factors in two contrasting areas, for example coniferous and deciduous woodland.
  • They will use random sampling to measure the population size of common species in each habitat and measure abiotic factors such as temperature and light intensity.
  • Reviewing the data collected, students will consider how varying abiotic factors are affecting the community of living organisms.

Note: This could be extended to a full day for a more in-depth study


A choice of one of the following investigations:

Pond investigation: Feeding relationships and adaptation 

  • Students will sample invertebrates in a freshwater pond, using keys to identify them and considering the ways in which they are adapted to their environment. They will consider the feeding relationships between the organisms found and use their data to construct simple pyramids of numbers to illustrate these.

Investigating change along a transect

  • Students will Investigate the distribution and abundance of plant species in a relation to changing environmental variables, for example from the edge to the middle of a woodland, using systematic sampling along an interrupted belt transect.
  • They will finish the day with analysis and evaluation of the data collected.

Mini projects in small groups

  • Students will make observations in the natural environment.  From these they will form hypotheses and collect data to investigate these.

Students will present their findings to the rest of the class including drawing conclusions and evaluating their methodology. (Time dependent).

How this course fulfills the specification

Thinking and working like a scientist

Students will carry out a scientific investigation, developing their experimental skills. They will make predications using scientific knowledge and understanding, identify independent and dependent variables, use appropriate techniques to collect data and apply sampling techniques, interpret and explain the data collected and evaluate the validity of their conclusions.

Subject content


  • Living things and their environment including classification, feeding relationships, and adaptation.


  • The interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, including investigating producers and consumers in a local habitat.
  • Classification of living organisms
  • Variation in living organisms

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