We can support all the SQA Environmental Science courses and will flexible with our topics, content and style of delivery. Each course can be designed individually, whether it is a typical three-day programme or just for the one day. There are two approaches that groups can take. Students can use our sites and expertise to collect data in order to complete their assignments back at school. Alternatively, the whole assignment can be completed during the stay at Millport.

Assignments can be completed either as group projects or as individual investigations. In addition to core curriculum requirements the course will also develop students broad generic skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. These will include skills related to literacy, numeracy, thinking skills and working with others.

Example Timetable

Day 1

Morning and Afternoon

  • Students greeted by FSC staff.
  • Welcome talk and Centre tour.
  • Pre-course meeting between FSC staff and teachers.
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs
To sample plants & animals using a range of qualitative and quantitative techniques

All students will explore a range of environmental concepts and how habitats may be investigated and sampled. This will include the use of qualitative and quantitative techniques and the measurement of abiotic factors.


To sample a small mammal population

Discussion of human influences and interdependence on the population size of small mammals in grounds. Then we will set some mammal traps. Methods of estimating motile animal population size will be discussed and students will simulate the mark-release-recapture techniques.


Pilot project

Students will develop their plans for their Added Value Assignments and carry out a quick data collection exercise in order to improve their own investigations.


Follow up

Students will explore different ways to present data and the pros and cons of the different techniques used. Plans will be discussed, students encouraged to look at potential adaptations/alterations to their plan.

Day 2

Morning and Afternoon

To measure related abiotic factors and their effects on the frequency and distribution of organisms in the intertidal environment.

We will visit a rocky or sandy shore on the island and introduce the students to intertidal ecology and the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the distribution of organisms in the intertidal zone. We will also identify organisms using keys.

To study different aspects of the hydrosphere

Whilst investigating elements of the hydrological cycle within the Firth of Clyde drainage basin, students will be introduced to storm hydrographs. Fieldwork includes measuring interception rates, storm simulation plots and infiltration rates in different land uses and relating this to flood risk.


Project data collection Day

Students will move on to the main data collection for their project, making notes on each of the areas they collect data from to ensure they can discuss any further improvements to their methodology, and start to explain the data they have collected.


Follow up

Data collected will be discussed and presented in different ways.Organisms collected will be studied in the classroom. Students will focus on drawing conclusions from the information collected during the investigations, and will be given opportunities to integrate geographical knowledge.

Day 3


Investigate different aquatic and terrestrial food webs

Students will use different habitats around the centre grounds and island to explore different aspects of food-webs. Gaining new techniques and comparative understanding of the energy flow in different habitats.


Project work

Students may continue to collect more data, carry out repeat sampling or make progress with the written part of their assignments.

Alternative activities:
  • Potential additional/replacement sessions related to:
  • Sustainability: Energy 3c and D including wave power.

The data collected will be used to construct food-webs in the classroom and examine trophic levels.


Depart Midday

A final farewell from FSC staff as the students depart at midday.

This programme is based on a 9.00am arrival and 12.30pm departure. We do offer longer options and can tailor your activities to your students and specific learning outcomes.

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experienced for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at Centres.

How this course fulfills the specification

Curriculum for Excellence links. Living environment: Investigating ecosystems and biodiversity (a, b, c, e and f).

CfE Links. Living environment: Interdependence (a, c) & Human influences on biodiversity: (a).

CfE Links. Living environment: Investigating ecosystems and biodiversity: (d, e & f)

CfE Links: Earth’s Resources: Hydrosphere: (a)

Cfe Links: 2. Interdependence: (a,b & c)

Sustainability: Energy 3c and D including wave power.

Added value of this course

Develop skills

  • Communication | Resilience | Independent thinking | Leadership
  • Numeracy | Literacy | Investigative skills | Observation

Enhance Knowledge

  • Ask questions.
  • Apply knowledge in the real world and make links.
  • Make sense of new places and understand our place and role within this.


  • Have fun | Make friendships | Connect with nature

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