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Module Specifications

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024
Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Pollution & Biosphere
Module Code BE208
School School of Biotechnology

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
The purpose of this module is to develop an understanding of ecological principles relevant to ecosystem dynamics, pollution control in air, land and water and to relate this understanding to practical and simulated field ecology. An integral component of the module is a half-day field trip to bull island.

Learning Outcomes
1. Explain how organisms interact in the environment.
2. Discuss how energy and nutrients flow through ecosystems, how this impacts upon biomass at each level, and the consequences for environmental pollution.
3. Carry out a field examination of a terrestrial and an aquatic ecosystem.
4. Examine data from an ecosystem and draw appropriate conclusions.
5. Write up reports on ecosystem ecology.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Group work3Practical Field trip to Bull island to examine coastal ecology
Directed learning12Study on global warming
Directed learning12Study of data from an aquatic ecosystem
Independent Study83Independent study
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Students will work in groups of 4-6 throughout this module.

Weeks 1-3 Ecosystem Ecology
Interactions between organisms, ecological niches, predator/prey relationships, biomes, succession

Week 4 Field trip
Bull Island Field trip

Weeks 5-6 Energetics
Trophic levels. Flow of nutrients and energy through ecosystems. Microbial energetics and the consequences for nutrient cycling and pollution.

Weeks 7-9 Aquatic pollution
Data from a polluted aquatic ecosystem. Students need to examine the ecosystem to determine: the likely source of the pollutant; the likely nature of the pollutant; the timescale of pollution and the prognosis.

Weeks 10-12 Global warming
Students will be given an ecosystem and need to write up a report detailing: how the ecosystem is likely to respond to global warming; the evidence for global warming.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List
  • Cunningham: 0, Environmental Science,
  • Freeman: 2005, Biological Science, 2nd, Pearson,
Other Resources
Programme or List of Programmes
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ESHBSc Environmental Science & Tech
ESTBSc in Environmental Science & Tech
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
PEBB.Sc Physical Education with Biology
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
Timetable this semester: Timetable for BE208
Date of Last Revision16-MAY-08