University Handbook 2017

Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology)

Course code/s: SBSWBW

Course details
Location Albury-Wodonga
Course code SBSWBW
Course coordinator Dr Nick Murphy
Course advisor Dr Ewen Silvester
Available to international students No
Course duration 3 years full-time, or part-time equivalent
Credit points 360 credit points
Exchange opportunity Yes
Leave of absence available Yes, for a maximum of 12 months
Course queries Current students: ASK La Trobe
Prospective students: Future Students
Notes Only the first year of this degree is offered on the Albury-Wodonga Campus. Students transfer to the Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus to complete the remainder of the degree.

Course description

Under the influence of the biodiversity crisis, the discipline of conservation biology and ecology has developed into a field of study, drawing material from all areas of biology and from law and management, and with its own conceptual and theoretical strengths. The aim of the degree program is to:

  • provide students with a multidisciplinary education in conservation biology and ecology based on the core subjects of zoology, botany and genetics, plus appropriate areas from mathematics and statistics, management, law and policy
  • lead to employment in conservation-based positions in local, state and federal government, not for profit conservation organisations, environmental consultancies and in research in biology generally
  • provide a degree leading to postgraduate studies in any of the core disciplines covered in the course.

Student exchange & overseas short programs

Student exchange and overseas short programs offer a unique opportunity for a meaningful learning and educational experience abroad.  La Trobe University encourages all students to make the world their campus by participating in an exchange or overseas short program that fits within your degree structure.  Student exchange and overseas short programs may also be eligible for a mobility grant.

Essentials subjects

The three Essentials - Global Citizenship, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Thinking are specialist areas designed to give you an edge with employers. Essentials will enable you to adapt your knowledge and skills to new contexts in a rapidly changing world. Subjects addressing the Essentials are part of all undergraduate La Trobe degrees and can be identified in the subject search by distinct icons. The list of approved subjects can be found on the Essentials webpage.

Course intended learning outcomes

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) are brief statements defining what students are expected to demonstrate they know and can do by the end of a course.

Produce clear, concise, grammatically correct written work (e.g., scientific reports, essays, summaries) that present coherent evidence‐based explanations to communicate appropriately to the intended audience (e.g. peers, scientific community, non‐scientific community).
Conduct oral presentations that use correct terminology to communicate logically the results of scientific experiments, current scientific/discipline issues, or theoretical concepts to the intended audience (e.g. peers, scientific community, non scientific community).
Utilise quantitative literacy skills and basic mathematical techniques to analyse and summarise numerical experimental data into tables and/or graphs; and evaluate data from sources such as scientific reports and journal articles.
Display independent learning and research skills by locating, interrogating and evaluating relevant scientific information to generate scientific reports.
Develop rational and rigorous arguments to interrogate assumptions, synthesise scientific information, formulate hypotheses, draw unbiased conclusions and defend scientific ideas.
Analyse using a systematic approach to reasoning and conceptualising scientific ideas to solve constructed and real world scientific and technical problems.
Demonstrate effective teamwork in a range of roles using team‐building, self assessment and communication skills to complete tasks.
Employ academic integrity and scientific rigour in conducting and evaluating scientific research, and managing self in professional practice.
Use scientific terminology to discuss the fundamental ecological concepts and current issues of the discipline area of conservation biology and be able to apply relevant concepts to analyse and evaluate the results of investigations into real world problems.
Use a systematic approach to develop a management plan addressing a real world conservation issue that is based around SMART objectives.

Course structure

The course requires the completion of 360 credit points over three years full-time or equivalent part-time duration.

First year

First year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Academic Integrity Module (online) * LTU0AIM 0
TE-SEM-1 Wominjeka La Trobe: Indigenous Cultural Literacy for Higher Education (online) ** ABS0WOM 0
TE-SEM-1 Molecules, Genes and Cells BIO1MGC 15
TE-SEM-1 Chemistry Foundations CHE1CHF 15
TE-SEM-1 Two first year level electives.  GEO1PRO is recommended.   30
TE-SEM-2 Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity BIO1EEB 15
TE-SEM-2 Critical Thinking with Statistics STA1CTS 15
TE-SEM-2 Animal, Plant and Microbial Life BIO1APM 15
TE-SEM-2

Climate, Sustainability and Society

ENV1CSS 15

Key: *LTU0AIM (formerly SCI1AIM) is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to enhance your knowledge and awareness of issues concerning academic integrity.
** ABS0WOM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to introduce students to Indigenous Australian perspectives, experiences, history, culture and customs.

Course structure – for students who commenced prior to 2015

The course is of three years full-time or equivalent part-time duration and requires the completion of 360 credit points overall. In all years, students have freedom to follow their particular interests by the choice of optional subjects to combine with their core subjects. Students should select subjects carefully to make sure that prerequisites for later year subjects are met.

First year

First year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Academic Integrity Module (online) * LTU0AIM 0
TE-SEM-1 Animal Evolution and Diversity BIO1AD 15
TE-SEM-1 Chemistry Foundations CHE1CHF 15
TE-SEM-1 Organisation and Function of Cells and Organisms BIO1OF 15
TE-SEM-1 First year level elective. GEO1ES is recommended.   15
TE-SEM-2 Genetics, Human Biology and Evolution BIO1GEN 15
TE-SEM-2 Critical Thinking with Statistics STA1CTS 15
TE-SEM-2 Plant Science BIO1PS 15
TE-SEM-2

Climate, Sustainability and Society

ENV1CSS 15

Key: *LTU0AIM (formerly SCI1AIM) is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to enhance your knowledge and awareness of issues concerning academic integrity.

Second year

Second year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Quantitative Research Methods WEM2QRM 15
TE-SEM-1 Issues in Conservation WCB2IC 15
TE-SEM-1 Freshwater Ecology WEM2FRE 15
TE-SEM-1 Second year level elective. ECO2ERE is recommended   15
TE-SEM-2 Flora and Fauna of Australia WEM2FFA 15
TE-SEM-2 Environmental Law LST2EL 15
TE-SEM-2 Remote Sensing and GIS ENV2REM 15
TE-SEM-1 Principles of Ecology and Evolution WEM2PEE 15

Third year

Third year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Endangered Species Biology and Management ENV3ESB 15
TE-SEM-1 Water Management WEM3WM 15
TE-SEM-2 Landscape Ecology and Conservation ENV3LEC 15
TE-SEM-2 Environmental Management WEM3EM 15
TE-SEM-2 Environmental Work Placement WEM3WP 15
TE-SEM-2 Choose three electives from the list below:   45
Recommended subject options
Teaching period Subject name Subject code Credit points
TE-WK-04-12 Mountain Ecosystems Field Course B ENV3ME 15
TE-WK-20-39 Arid Ecosystem Conservation Field Course ENV3AEC 15
TE-SEM-1 International Politics of Climate Change POL3IPC 15
TE-SEM-2 Science in the Media STC3SIM 15

Please note: Some of these subjects may not be offered in the current year. For a full description of subjects, including the subject name, subject code, credit points, campus/location, teaching period and availability, subject coordinator, class requirements, assessment, prerequisites and readings, please click on the appropriate subject code.

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