Our GCSE courses offer students the opportunity to contextualise specification content and complete a required practical in new and inspiring environments.   

Tailored to awarding body specifications this course will cover key ecology subject content, as well as use of apparatus and techniques and mathematical requirements through enquiry-based activities. Students will develop their understanding of the natural world by working scientifically, developing their experimental and analytical skills.    

Students will measure the population size of a common species in a habitat and use sampling techniques to investigate the effect of a factor on the distribution of a species.  

Example Timetable

The following is an example of how this course might look. This course usually runs from 9.30am – 3.30pm, 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.


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.


Investigate 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.

Please note specific timings and 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 GCSE Biology

  • 4.7.1 Adaptations, interdependence and competition
  • 4.7.2 Organisation of an ecosystem
  • 4.7.3 Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems
  • 8.2.9 Required practical activity 9

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Synergy

  • 4.4.2 Ecosystems and biodiversity
  • 8.2.12 Required practical activity 12

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy

  • 4.7.1 Adaptations, interdependence and competition
  • 4.7.2 Organisations of an ecosystem
  • 4.7.3 Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems
  • 10.2.7 Required practical activity 7

Edexcel GCSE Science and Biology

  • Subject content from Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles.
  • 9.5 Core Practical: Investigate the relationship between organisms and their environment using field-work techniques, including quadrats and belt transects.

Edexcel International GCSE Science and Biology

  • Subject content from Topic 4 – Ecology and the environment.
  • Practical activities:
  • 4.2 investigate the population size of an organism in two different areas using quadrats
  • 4.4B investigate the distribution of organisms in their habitats and measure biodiversity using quadrats

OCR GCSE Gateway Science Suite Biology A and Combined Science A

  • Topic B4: Community level systems – B4.1 Ecosystems
  • Topic B6: Global Challenges – B6.1 Monitoring and maintaining the environment
  • Biology PAG 3 and Combined Science PAG B2: Sampling techniques

OCR GCSE 21st Century Science Suite Biology B and Combined Science B

  • Chapter B3: Living together- food and ecosystems
  • B3.3 How are organisms in an ecosystem interdependent?
  • B3.4 How are populations affected by conditions in an ecosystem?
  • Biology PAG 3 and Combined Science PAG B2: Sampling techniques.

WJEC GCSE Double Award Science and Biology

  • Subject content from: 1.6 Ecosystems, nutrient cycles and human impact on the environment.
  • 4.1/2.1 Classification and biodiversity.
  • Specified practical work: Investigation into factors affecting the distribution and abundance of a species

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