Tel: +44 (0)28 70124401
School of Environmental Sciences
Fieldwork is an integral and enjoyable component of all courses in the School of Environmental Sciences. Field activities provide the chance for classroom and lab-based learning to be applied in the field, enabling students to gain invaluable experience for undertaking their own research projects and for entry into the workplace. It is during such investigations that students acquire the practical and interpretative skills which are so attractive to potential employers. This practical experience adds another dimension to the learning experience, providing invaluable insights into the workings of the planet, its environments and society.
Local and overseas fieldtrips are core to all of our degree programmes:
 Donegal field course
In first year there is a two-day induction fieldtrip for all new students to Ardara in sunny Donegal. This ice-breaker introduces students to their subject areas, each other and the academic staff in an informal setting.
 Portugal field course
Second year Environmental Science students travel to the Algarve in Portugal where they undertake fieldwork in a number of different areas such as coastal studies, landscape ecology and hydrology. In addition to learning field-based skills, students develop their spatial mapping and presentation skills in a real-world environment. Geography students also travel to Portugal for their field second year residential fieldtrip, splitting their time between the urban environment of Lisbon and the beautiful coastline of the Algarve.
 Africa field course
The field trip to Africa (Tanzania in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and Tunisia in 2010) gives second year geography students the chance to experience first hand the sights, sounds and diverse cultures of an African country. The fieldtrip comprises a mixture of physical- and human-geography exercises.
 Scientific cruise
We run an annual scientific cruise on the state research vessels Celtic Explorer and Celtic Voyager, funded through the Marine Institute Shiptime Programme. Marine science undergraduate students get the opportunity to map the seafloor using state-of-the-art sonar technology and high-resolution underwater cameras in addition to recovering and analysing biological, geological and archaeological samples from the water column and seabed. These data feed into final year dissertation projects, with students studying such diverse topics as shipwreck site formation processes, benthic habitat mapping, submerged archaeological landscapes and the geology of the seafloor. View the training cruise photo-galleries here: 2008 (CE0803), 2009 (CE0920), 2010 (CV10002) and 2011 (CV11016) training cruises.
 Take a virtual field trip to Portugal
To experience the types of exercises and issues addressed on the field courses, take a virtual tour through the Human Geography of Portugal with Dr Martin Eaton. This virtual exercise is designed to form part of the pre- and post-field trip experience for Ulster geography students. Its aim is to supplement and enhance the real life process of observing, understanding and discussing the human geography of the country.