Second year Ecology and Conservation BSc(Hons) student, Seniz, tells us about what she’s found so far studying here.
You need to research different courses before making a decision
Choosing what to study was slightly difficult as there are a range of courses related to the environment, each specialising in varyingly different areas. Originally I wanted to study zoology because I loved learning about animals, but I changed my mind to Ecology because I also wanted to learn about the environment in addition to that. It required looking at different courses and what they each taught, for my course I was really excited by the opportunities of field trips and lab work to supplement my knowledge – such as trips to Shropshire and Stanmer park where I learned about bird and plant identification.
Ecology and Conservation is a well-rounded course
In first year you learn about different ecosystems, genetics, microorganisms, and conservation. This is a great range of modules to have when first learning about ecology. You attend different field trips including to a rocky shore area at the coast in Brighton and you do lab work too. It’s a great opportunity to meet and interact with other course mates!
My course gives opportunities to study further into the topic that really interests you
The topic of evolution genuinely fascinates me. In my second year, I chose an optional module called ‘Human Origins and Evolution’. Here I learned about the history of humans as not only a species, but our extinct ancestors and other closely related species such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans. I enjoy that my course gives students opportunities to study further into the topic that really interests them by providing optional modules such as this.
In second year you can apply for a placement year
These run between your second and third years. I would like to do a placement year myself, in particular being an educational ranger. This is where you teach young people about conservation and the environment. I would hope to gain more employability skills, but also learn more about conservation in practise and gain knowledge from those in full-time work in that field. Course leader Maureen Berg is always providing us with extra learning opportunities. For example, during the summer after my first year, I completed a course with Conservation Careers. This taught me what areas of conservation most suited me, and got me to reflect on what it is I was really passionate about. I would not have known of this without it being recommended by my course leader.