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Advanced Diploma in Tropical Habitat Conservation

BTEC Advanced Diploma in Tropical Habitat Conservation

The BTEC Advanced Diploma in Tropical Habitat Conservation incorporates the training and participatory learning already experienced by all volunteers on Frontier expeditions but adds depth to your experience by actively building your research and fieldwork skills under the close supervision of professional field staff. To complete the BTEC you'll fill in a daily work diary, submit one written report based on data collected and give one verbal presentation, among other things. The written report may be completed at home, but all other elements are completed in the field.

This qualification is available for volunteer Research Assistants on 10 week, or longer, group research projects. The syllabus comprises of 270 guided learning hours and the Advanced BTEC Diploma is a level 3 qualification, the same level as an A-Level.

This qualification covers 4 units:

  1. Maintain environmental good practice
  2. Work effectively
  3. Monitor & report on environmental change
  4. Prepare, conduct & report on field surveys

What extra work will I do on the project to gain a BTEC diploma?

Your BTEC qualification will be assessed by your mentors in the field throughout your project, except for your final report which will be assessed at the London office on completion. Assessments include a log-book, a verbal presentation and a number of practical assessments whilst in the field, as well as the final written report which is to be submitted 6 weeks after you have finished your project. Full training on what to expect and a student handbook will be provided by our staff prior to the project. This is distributed at the briefing weekend which we strongly recommend you attend (though there is provision for those candidates who are not able to do so).

Did you say a written report?

To demonstrate that you can report on project survey work, you'll write one short report (2,000 words) on data that you've collected during the project, separate to that of the main research. You'll be encouraged to plan the report during the project and have 6 weeks to complete the report after the last day of your project. If you miss this deadline we cannot register your BTEC with Edexcel however a limited extension may be granted in special circumstances if you contact the London office. Completed reports are sent to our London HQ for grading and assessment.

Here are some examples of past written reports:

  • Fishery Assessment using Underwater Visual Census
  • A Survey of the edible plants in the Toliara region, Madagascar
  • Comparing the species richness of birds in three habitats in South West Madagascar

And a verbal presentation?

Being able to present your work verbally to other people is an important skill. You will prepare one short verbal presentation (roughly 10 minutes) about your personal project. Your presentation will usually be given to the rest of the project group; and sometimes local community members too. Although we encourage our volunteers to communally participate, you have the option of giving your presentation privately to a Frontier staff member if you prefer.

How difficult is a BTEC Advanced Diploma to pass?

The basis of a BTEC qualification is to demonstrate competence. Frontier staff have been trained to think laterally to identify how you are competent at a task – we want you to succeed! However, you will need to successfully complete the assessments, including the log-book, verbal presentation and written report. The Advanced Diploma is graded (pass/merit/distinction) according to competence demonstrated in these three specific assessments.

Conditions for enrolment in BTEC Advanced Diploma in Tropical Habitat Conservation

If you're on a 10-week placement, make sure the enrolment form in your online area is complete and payment is made at least 2 weeks before briefing weekend.

For Research Assistants participating on more than one 10 week project who would like to complete a BTEC qualification in the first 10 weeks, you need to fill out the enrolment form in your online area and payment is made at least 2 weeks before the relevant briefing weekend.

If you want to complete the BTEC qualification during your second 10-week slot, the enrolment form and payment must be completed at least 2 weeks before the start date of the second half.

Should you need to withdraw your enrolment to this course, you will be refunded of 50% of the BTEC fee if you notify Frontier's London HQ of your withdrawal in writing no less than 35 days prior to the project start date.

No refund will be given if you withdraw from the BTEC course less than 35 days prior to the project start date.