Home » Academy » Courses » Introduction to Local Ecology

Introduction to Local Ecology


 CEF Reimbursable Course (CEF Course Code: 44Z114583)

Course Title:
Introduction to Local Ecology
Course Code:
Mode of Study:
Contact Hours and Study Period:
1-2 sessions per week, a total of 36 contact hours in two months’ time
Teaching Medium:
English, supplemented with Cantonese
Commencement Date:
November 9, 2021
Tuition Fee:
HKD7,980 (site visit expenses not included)
Application Deadline:
October 28, 2021
Application Method:
Download and fill in Course Application Form (proof of academic qualification is required) and return to Academy for Sustainable Communities by application deadline, by post or email
Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm Tel: 3917-4767 Email: ruralsd@hku.hk
Class Venue:
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Dr. Michael Lau

Quota: 24 students (If the quotas are exceeded, allocation of places will be determined on a first-come-first-serve basis.)

Course Description:
This course introduces the basic concepts in ecology, the ecology of Hong Kong and the interrelationships between ecology and other disciplines. The course will further discuss some pressing ecological issues and review the effectiveness of current conservation measures. Practical ecological conservation and assessment methods will be introduced and students will develop basic skills in conducting biodiversity survey through fieldwork.

Assessment and Recognition:
Students, who attained attendance rate of not less than 70% and have the course assessment passed, will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the Policy for Sustainability Lab. This course is one of the four modules of the "Certificate in Sustainable Communities" programme (QF Level: 3; QR Registration No.: 18/000784/L3; QR Registration Validity Period: From 11 Sep 2018 - on-going). Students who have obtained a Certificate of Achievement in all four modules are eligible for the "Certificate in Sustainable Communities" awarded by the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.

Entry Requirements:
(a) have gained in the HKDSE Examination Level 2 in five subjects including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(b) have passed five subjects in HKCEE, including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(c) hold equivalent academic qualifications, taking into consideration individual merit

Course Contents and Timetable (Last Update: September 3, 2021):

Date Contents
November 9, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: What is Ecology and why it matters?
November 16, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: What shapes Hong Kong ecology and biodiversity
November 20, 2021 (Saturday) 2:00pm-6:00pm Field Trip: Vegetation succession and adapation in Hong Kong: board game and field trip to Lung Fu Shan and Pokfulam
November 23, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: Natural and man-modified Ecosystems in Hong Kong
November 27, 2021 (Saturday) 4:00pm-8:00pm Field Trip: Diunal rhythm: day and night-time visit to Lions Nature Education Centre 
November 30, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: Learning from Nature - Studying Ecology and Biodiversity in Hong Kong
December 4, 2021 (Saturday) 9:30am-3:30pm Field Trip: Case study of wise use of wetlands - field visit to Deep Bay 
December 7, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: Our role in Local Ecology - threats, conservation, management and sustainability
December 11, 2021 (Saturday) 9:00am-1:00pm Field Trip: Case study of conservation in rural areas - Sha Lo Tung
December 14, 2021 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Presentation: 15 to 20-minute group presentation on environmental/conservation issues
December 18, 2021 (Saturday) 2:00pm-5:00pm Contingency
January 4, 2022 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-8:00pm Examination: 40 multiple-choice examination

Please note:
This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. The mother course (
Certificate in Sustainable Communities) of this module is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level 3).
Class schedule and teaching mode may change depending on future Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.

Students' Feedbacks:

"Enhanced my knowledge of ecology and ecotourism in the Hong Kong context."

"The field trip and post-trip poster presentation were fun 
and helpful for us to understand more about the lecture contents."


Sustainable Communities Fellowship Scheme: 
Graduates of the course will be invited to join the Academy’s Fellowship Scheme as Fellows. The Scheme aims to form a network of committed individuals which provide not only continuous support for the members but also a platform for experience sharing in pursuit of community-based sustainability across different disciplines and sectors. Fellows are also eligible to participate in the Sustainability Hackathons and the Rural in Action Start-up Scheme.

Supporting organisations: