Award: 5 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: January(Semester 2)

ENVB40430 Bioinvasions: Impact to Management


This module is for students in Semester 2 of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course.

What will I study?

This module introduces students to concepts of invasion biology, the range of impacts that result and the management options to address non-native species.

Topics include:

  • a foundation in the ecological theory of colonization and invasion including disturbance and succession
  • an evaluation of the key attributes of plants and animals that promote invasiveness and its role in risk assessment
  • the global threat of invasive species and the role of the international community
  • ecological and economic impacts addressing the issue of scale illustrated by case studies
  • practical management including mechanical, chemical and biological control and the utilization of invasive species
  • cost and benefits of control in a global context
  • case studies from terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats provided throughout

How will I study?

This module will include:

  • Online interactive learning materials
  • Online videos
  • Interactive learning reinforcement quizzes
  • Online assessed multiple choice quizzes
  • Interactive discussion boards

Expected Commitment

Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the module. However, students are expected to attend the final semester exam and spend a total 120 hours workload during the semester consisting of:
  • Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 20 hours
  • Assessments, project and quizzes (throughout the semester): 28 hours
  • Student Autonomous Learning: 72 hours

How will I be assessed?

In-semester assessment: 40%

2 hour end of semester written exam: 60%

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

At the end of the course students will understand the invasion process and role of the species characteristics and habitat context.

  • Understand the role of different sectors in the invasion of species and level of risk associated with each and how the international community is responding.
  • Understand the range of ecological impacts associated with non-native species and how the assessments of impacts are affected by scale.
  • Evaluate and critically appraise the advantages and disadvantages of control methods and the need for long term management plans to consider economic costs.
  • Understand the key aspects of benefit/cost analysis to evaluate management options.
  • Source and appraise information on species relevant to the student in their country.

The student should recognize the characteristics of invasive species and invaded habitats and the challenges faced to reduce the threats and impacts.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Otherwise, there are no pre-requisites for this module. If students do not have a knowledge of ecology they are recommended to take ENVB30130 (Ecology & its Application) prior to starting this module.