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Ecology and Conservation Biology | Undergraduate Degrees at University of Leeds

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Ecology is the study of
the whole world, basically. Conservation is a
science, very much. It’s the bigger picture. So we’d be looking
for people ideally with a scientific background. You can tell who is going to
apply to Leeds, because they’re the enthusiastic ones. What we’re not into it here
is spoon-feeding students with information. You’re asking and answering
the big questions, things like climate
change, how the world’s going to feed itself. What we’re really about
essentially is lighting fires. [MUSIC PLAYING] Leeds is a very well
respected university. It’s very well known
internationally, and increasingly so. Leeds was the
university that offered the most dynamic and
flexible choice of modules within the degree. The first year is about
introducing students to the topic, making sure
that by the end of the year everyone is on a
level playing field. The first year we do all the
cell biology and the genetics. As well as the ecological focus. And then in second year, you
start to specialise more. Things like population
ecology, community ecology. You can kind of pick and
choose from different things. It is kind of where
you want to go with it. And then as they
move into third year, the emphasis is more
on advanced modules. You can choose very much exactly
what you want to specialise in. And now that I’m in
fourth year, the MBiol is pretty much one
big research project. So what we offer is an
integrated single course offering BSc and then an MSc. It was the only
place that did it. And I was like, if I
wanted to go into research, then having a MBiol would
be a good thing to have. The skills and qualifications
that students need seem to progressively increase. It’s just about kind of
giving you that edge. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the things that
we’re really keen on here is that students get out
into the natural world, so we have a strong
emphasis on fieldwork. A great opportunity to put into
practise what you’re learning about in your lectures. The field trips help you with
your experimental design. They basically take
you through the process of coming up with an idea, doing
an experiment in the field, and then presenting the
results that you get. Asking research
questions for themselves, and hopefully coming
up with some answers. I’ve been to Scarborough, Malham
Tarn, up the road in Yorkshire. I went on a field
course to Spain as well, which was
really good fun. And I’ve just come
back from Kenya. You get a very
one-on-one experience with some of the lecturers. It kind of brings the lectures
down to a personal level. And you get to know them,
rather than just someone who stands in front of you for an
hour, which is really nice. So yeah, it’s a
great opportunity to tap into their passions
and their interests as well. Universities right
from the outset were set up as places where
people were taught by people who were doing the research. The fact that we’re taught
by world-leading ecologists and biologists from across
the planet all here at Leeds is really, really exciting. Most of the lecturers
that I’ve had all have papers out on
their certain topics. They’ll bring that
up in lectures, like use it as examples. You can tell they’re all really
enthusiastic about what they’re teaching and what
they’re researching, so it really does
make a difference. One of the really
important things is developing the right
experimental skills. And lab work’s
fantastic for that. Whether it’s, yeah,
lab work, dissections, things like that, anything
that’s kind of hands-on really helps to reinforce the
knowledge that you’re gaining. [MUSIC PLAYING] This course has really
developed me as a person and given me a real
interest in ecology. And I really do have that
drive now to study it further. I’ve made lots of new friends. The field trip’s definitely one
of the best things I’ve done. It does actually feel
like two minutes ago since I started uni. It’s gone really fast. We have a really excellent
ecology department, some world leaders. And it’s really exciting
to be part of that here. You just get that
feel when you walk in and you know it’s for you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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