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Masters Degrees (Biodiversity Conservation)

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This biodiversity conservation degree, taught by specialists in the field, will give you an in-depth knowledge of the science and practice of biodiversity conservation. Read more

This biodiversity conservation degree, taught by specialists in the field, will give you an in-depth knowledge of the science and practice of biodiversity conservation. It will equip you with the skills required for a career in biodiversity conservation. 

Topics covered include biodiversity assessment and monitoring, site survey, management and restoration, GIS and data analysis, ecological principles and regulatory frameworks. You'll learn about the latest developments in conservation science and practice, and hone your ability to communicate effectively.

Field-based teaching features throughout to capitalise on the BU’s location within a biodiversity hotspot. Situated on the Dorset coast, BU is within easy reach of outstanding environments of global importance for conservation, including the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Wessex Downs, Dorset heaths, Poole Harbour and New Forest.



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You study biodiversity conservation as applied ecology in the context of land use - agriculture, forestry and amenity. Focusing on wildlife conservation in the UK and Europe, you develop practical skills in plant identification and habitat assessment from a wide range of upland and lowland areas. Read more
You study biodiversity conservation as applied ecology in the context of land use - agriculture, forestry and amenity. Focusing on wildlife conservation in the UK and Europe, you develop practical skills in plant identification and habitat assessment from a wide range of upland and lowland areas.

Your studies focus on wildlife conservation with a particular emphasis on agriculture, forestry and amenity. Elements of the course have strong links with national, statutory and non-governmental conservation organisations. Practical management skills are gained through involvement in management problems on nature reserves and field courses that provide experience in species identification.

The course has compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests. Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as:
-Understanding the range of temperate zone ecosystems and wildlife species
-Developing a critical awareness of contemporary conservation issues and research insights
-Understanding scientific survey, habitat assessment and experimental techniques and the ability to identify common species from selected habitats
-The development of effective management plans for species and ecosystems
-Understanding complex biodiversity and ecosystem management issues
-Advanced knowledge and understanding of the influence of environmental, management and land-use factors on ecosystems and wildlife species

You also undertake a major conservation project and are supported through training in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis.

Our staff

You benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on soil science, plant science and ecology, spanning a range of scales from: pot – plot – farm – landscape.
Strategic research embraces work on:
-Soil quality
-Rhizosphere function
-Plant-soil feedback
-Soil-carbon dynamics
-Nutrient cycling

Applied research addresses issues of:
-Climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
-Ecological (organic) farming systems
-Low-input crop systems
-Agriculture-environment interactions

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About this course. This course combines research and academic skills with field surveying skills, ready for practical application within the ecological consultancy industry. Read more

About this course

This course combines research and academic skills with field surveying skills, ready for practical application within the ecological consultancy industry. It’s designed to meet a rising need for highly skilled conservationists. Through practical experience, taught sessions and interaction with experienced field ecologists, you’ll gain taxonomic expertise. This will enable you to accurately identify a wide range of species and communities; use the appropriate field skills and techniques to carry out biodiversity surveys across different habitat types; and produce reports and assessments to professional standards. You’ll also have an additional and distinctive opportunity to be trained in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) – a vital tool in the surveying and management of the environment.

The skills you learn will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge of why some species and communities are conservation priorities in law or policy. You’ll also study the fundamentals of project planning, data collection and statistical analysis, in order to properly conduct your surveys and assessments. You’ll be given the chance to become a critical thinker, capable of evaluating what you do, and adept at reporting your findings to the key audiences.

How do you study

This course is delivered with a strong practical approach to learning. You’ll be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, field and laboratory work, and online learning.

Independent learning is required, and you’ll undertake high-quality research. You’ll research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, before communicating the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our Brackenhurst Campus – a 200-hectare country estate and working farm. The campus is part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship scheme, which supports effective environmental management of farm land and countryside estates. It offers a good range of wetland and terrestrial habitats, which are invaluable for learning and practising surveying techniques, and the sampling of species.

You’ll also benefit from active conservation projects on the estate, including bird ringing and small mammal trapping and monitoring, alongside environmental impact assessments on construction work and renewable energy technologies.

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in field trips to Rutland and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. There are also opportunities to complete a research project in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our courses, please visit our website.



Read less
About this course. This course combines research and academic skills with field surveying skills, ready for practical application within the ecological consultancy industry. Read more

About this course

This course combines research and academic skills with field surveying skills, ready for practical application within the ecological consultancy industry. It’s designed to meet a rising need for highly skilled conservationists. Through practical experience, taught sessions and interaction with experienced field ecologists, you’ll gain taxonomic expertise. This will enable you to accurately identify a wide range of species and communities; use the appropriate field skills and techniques to carry out biodiversity surveys across different habitat types; and produce reports and assessments to professional standards. You’ll also have an additional and distinctive opportunity to be trained in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) – a vital tool in the surveying and management of the environment.

The skills you learn will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge of why some species and communities are conservation priorities in law or policy. You’ll also study the fundamentals of project planning, data collection and statistical analysis, in order to properly conduct your surveys and assessments. You’ll be given the chance to become a critical thinker, capable of evaluating what you do, and adept at reporting your findings to the key audiences.

How do you study

This course is delivered with a strong practical approach to learning. You’ll be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, field and laboratory work, and online learning.

Independent learning is required, and you’ll undertake high-quality research. You’ll research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, before communicating the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching is supported by our Brackenhurst Campus – a 200-hectare country estate and working farm. The campus is part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship scheme, which supports effective environmental management of farm land and countryside estates. It offers a good range of wetland and terrestrial habitats, which are invaluable for learning and practising surveying techniques, and the sampling of species.

You’ll also benefit from active conservation projects on the estate, including bird ringing and small mammal trapping and monitoring, alongside environmental impact assessments on construction work and renewable energy technologies.

You’ll have the opportunity to take part in field trips to Rutland and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. There are also opportunities to complete a research project in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about our Brackenhurst Campus on our website

Visit us

Want to find out more about studying with us? Find out more at one of our upcoming open days. Reserve your place.

More information

For more information on our courses, please visit our website.



Read less
This MSc is an outstanding learning experience that will give you advanced knowledge and skills in conservation biology. You’ll gain an advanced, global outlook on conservation and will be ready to help solve the challenges of change in the modern world. Read more
This MSc is an outstanding learning experience that will give you advanced knowledge and skills in conservation biology.

You’ll gain an advanced, global outlook on conservation and will be ready to help solve the challenges of change in the modern world.

You’ll learn about the positive approaches that conservation biologists use to address conservation challenges and have the chance to participate in unique research in the field.

How will I study?
Core modules, which give you fundamental skills in conservation skills and biology, are supplemented by a choice of options on:
-Climate change
-Law
-Governance
-Engagement
-Unique field modules in tropical rainforest and Mediterranean regions

In the spring and summer terms, you will work on an independent research project.

Modules are assessed through:
-Essays
-Reports
-Presentations

The project is assessed with a dissertation.

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

Geoff Lockwood Scholarship (2017)
-1 scholarship for Postgraduate (taught) of £3,000 fee waive
-Application deadline: 24 July 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
Research in conservation biology at Sussex is primarily carried out in the School of Life Sciences, also drawing on expertise within the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme.

Our research interests include:
-Rewilding
-Ecosystem services and ecological assessment
-Ecology and conservation of bees and other pollinators
-Ecology and impact of diseases on animals
-Apex predator conservation biology
-Ecology and conservation of biodiversity hotspots
-Assessing the impacts of global change
-Development of policy-relevant strategies to manage human impacts

Careers
This course teaches concrete conservation and biology skills within a vigorous research environment, giving you a diverse skillset and a global perspective which will place you in a strong position to secure a career in conservation.

Read less
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The independent research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A number of our students have been based overseas for their project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The course is made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Advanced Statistics 10 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Practical Conservation with the National Trust 10 credits
  • Masters Mediterranean Ecology Field Course 15 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas: projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and research project work. You can also build your analytical skills, with modules in GIS and statistics.

Leeds is one of the best locations geographically to study Biodiversity and Conservation. You’ll be within easy reach of three areas of great natural beauty and dramatic scenery; Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District – providing you with a wide range of project and fieldwork opportunities.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area. Potential employers look for academic qualifications in combination with practical skills and experience, and a relevant MSc course can give you the edge in a highly competitive field.

Please visit the website for more details regarding career opportunities and support.



Read less
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

You’ll also undertake the African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. You’ll gain a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area. As well as learning about the local environment, flora and fauna, s, you’ll spend most of the time designing and carrying out group research projects.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The independent research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A number of our students have been based overseas for their project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The course is made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 10 credits
  • African Field Ecology 20 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Advanced Statistics 10 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Practical Conservation with the National Trust 10 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas: projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and research project work. You can also build your analytical skills, with modules in GIS and statistics.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area.



Read less
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

You’ll also undertake the African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. You’ll gain a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area. As well as learning about the local environment, flora and fauna, you’ll spend most of the time designing and carrying out group research projects.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The two independent research projects are one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and allow you to develop a range of research skills. A number of our students have been based overseas for their summer project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The programmes are made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • MRes Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 15 credits
  • African Field Ecology 20 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Research Project 1 40 credits

Optional modules

  • Community Ecology 15 credits
  • Conservation Genetics 15 credits
  • Habitat Management 10 credits
  • Introduction to GIS Skills for Ecologists 10 credits
  • Population Dynamics 10 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Internships 15 credits
  • Plant Identification 15 credits
  • Insect Identification Skills 15 credits
  • Conservation Skills 5 credits
  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Environmental Economics and Policy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MRes Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation with African Field Course MRes Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MRes student, you’ll carry out two research projects. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. The first (winter) project is usually Leeds-based, while the second (summer) projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas. Projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical and analytical research skills through modules such as Insect Identification, Plant Identification, the GIS modules and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses). Statistical methods using R are a key component of the compulsory skills modules.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area.



Read less
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment. Read more

This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.

Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.

The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.

Course content

This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.

We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.

The two independent research projects are one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and allow you to develop a range of research skills. A number of our students have been based overseas for their summer project.

If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.

MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?

MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.

Course structure

The course is made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I 10 credits
  • MRes Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II 15 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project 60 credits
  • Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Research Project 140 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biodiversity and Conservation MRes Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Research projects

As an MRes student, you’ll carry out two research projects. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. The first (winter) project is usually Leeds-based, while the second (summer) project can be carried out in the UK or overseas. Projects have been carried out in over 20 countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.

Practical skills

There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical and analytical research skills through modules such as Insect Identification, Plant Identification, the GIS modules and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses). Statistical methods using R are a key component of the compulsory skills modules.

Leeds is one of the best locations geographically to study Biodiversity and Conservation. You’ll be within easy reach of three areas of great natural beauty and dramatic scenery; Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District – providing you with a wide range of project and fieldwork opportunities.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

Specialist and transferable skills are key component of our degrees, opening up diverse opportunities for our graduates. A proportion of both MSc and MRes graduates go on to study for a PhD and enter a research career. Many graduates go on to a career in an applied ecology or conservation-related area. Potential employers look for academic qualifications in combination with practical skills and experience, and a relevant MSc course can give you the edge in a highly competitive field.

Please visit the website for more details regarding career opportunities and support.



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The MSc in Conservation Biology provides you with a knowledge base and the practical experience to address issues relating to biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management. Read more
The MSc in Conservation Biology provides you with a knowledge base and the practical experience to address issues relating to biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management.

Modern conservation science transcends the traditional boundaries of biology, ecology and environmental management. Today’s managers of biodiversity need to be versed in a broad range of specialist fields, from population ecology and human community development, through to international wildlife trade and the economics of conservation, as well as the latest techniques in endangered species recovery.

Our MSc in Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary pathway that integrates all of these aspects of conservation biology. It is designed for wildlife managers with practical experience in international conservation work looking to acquire formal scientific training, as well as students with academic qualifications looking to develop a career in conservation.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/273/conservation-biology

Why study with us?

- 1 year taught Master's programme

- Teaching which integrates natural and social sciences

- Formal lectures and seminars supported by residential courses and day trips including to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, previous fieldtrips have also taken place in Scotland and Malta (these change annually)

- Mix of formal academic training and practical field conservation experience

- Research-led pathway taught by academics rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF 2014) who are members of DICE

- Benefit from DICE's extensive links with international conservation organisations

About The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

Conservation programmes offered by the School of Anthropology and Conservation are delivered by members of DICE.

DICE is Britain’s leading research centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation, and sets itself apart from more traditionally-minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:

- Break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation

- Conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors

- Disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders

- Build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training

- Strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people

Our staff have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

Course structure

The MSc consists of six months of coursework and five months of research. The optional modules allow you the flexibility to devise a pathway that suits your specific interests, with an appropriate balance between natural and social sciences.

Modules

Please note that not all modules necessarily run every year. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

DI876 - Research Methods for Social Science (15 credits)
DI877 - Population and Evolutionary Biology (15 credits)
DI1001 - Interdisciplinary Foundations for Conservation (15 credits)
DI884 - Research Methods for Natural Sciences (15 credits)
SE857 - Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour (20 credits)
DI836 - Integrated Species Conservation and Management (15 credits)
DI841 - Managing Protected Areas (15 credits)
DI849 - Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (15 credits)
DI871 - International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability (15 credits)
DI875 - Principles and Practice of Ecotourism (15 credits)
DI880 - Conservation and Community Development (15 credits)
DI881 - Advanced Topics in Conservation Ecology and Management (15 credits)
DI883 - Special Topics in Conservation (15 credits)
DI885 - Ecotourism and Rural Development Field Course (15 credits)
DI888 - Economics of Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI889 - Leadership Skills for Conservation Managers (15 credits)
DI892 - Current Issues in Primate Conservation (15 credits)
DI893 - Business Principles for Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI998 - Dissertation - Conservation (60 credits)

Assessment

Assessment is carried out primarily through coursework with written examinations for some modules. The research dissertation is written up in the format of a paper for publication.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- produce postgraduates equipped to play leading roles in the field of international conservation and biodiversity management

- develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and practice

- provide you with opportunities to gain a interdisciplinary perspective on conservation issues through collaborative exchange between DICE and the wider University

- develop your competence in applying theoretical and methodological skills to the implementation of conservation practice and biodiversity management

- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to policy formulation and data analysis and interpretation

- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change

- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills necessary for professional development

- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills

- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.

Careers

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

Our alumni progress into a wide range of organisations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability. Offers substantial field work opportunities in the UK and overseas. Read more
  • Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability
  • Offers substantial field work opportunities in the UK and overseas
  • Provides opportunities to connect with external agencies and organisations to further enhance your training
  • Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation
  • Offers access to excellent facilities including state-of-the-art research laboratories, greenhouses and controlled environment rooms
  • Comprises modules that target both research and practical conservation skills

This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall by staff at the renowned Centre for Ecology and Conservation. The course boasts a significant research component, with substantial fieldwork opportunities in the UK as well as a field course in Africa. A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from conservationists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organisations. Collaborating organisations include: Cornwall Wildlife TrustButterfly ConservationMarine Conservation SocietyNatural EnglandRoyal Botanic Gardens KewRoyal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Zoological Society of London.

This applied degree provides excellent employability, with our recent alumni moving onto ecological consultancy work, government conservation programmes, NGO conservation projects and fully funded PhD positions in ecology and conservation.

Fieldwork

The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/.

You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

Learning and teaching

The taught component of this programme is delivered in the first five months, during which time you will be encouraged to develop your census research projects. The rest of the academic year is dedicated to these projects.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of three compulsory modules and 2-4 optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Project;
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include;

  • Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation; ;
  • Marine Biodiversity and Conservation;
  • Preparing for Ecological Consultancy;
  • Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology;
  • Ecological Census;
  • African Biodiversity and Conservation Field Course;
  • African Behavioural Ecology Field Course
  • African Conservation Science and Policy Field Course

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.



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This course is designed to develop the professional and field skills, including identification and survey techniques, required for effective conservation. Read more
This course is designed to develop the professional and field skills, including identification and survey techniques, required for effective conservation. It will familiarise you with the key ecological concepts underlying evidence-based conservation. You will produce professional reports and assessments and undertake monitoring of species and communities. You will also gain additional skills essential for conservation practitioners, for example:
- knowledge of international and national wildlife legislation, planning law and environmental policy

- IT competencies, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

- an understanding of the ecological requirements of different species and the implications of environmental change

- an ability to statistically interpret field data.

The course has two pathways: one is focused on conservation within the UK/EU and the other focuses on conservation at the International level.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/conservation-ecology/

Why choose this course?

- Our lecturers conduct first-class research in conservation ecology.

- We have strong links with many conservation organisations and research institutions, such as the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, RSPB, Fauna and Flora International, TRAFFIC and Conservation International, providing excellent project opportunities and enhancing career prospects.

- Focusing on the practical application of theory means graduates can adapt quickly to the demands of the conservation professions. We develop your field skills including identification techniques, required when undertaking biodiversity surveys.

- Research-informed teaching keeps our students up to date with the latest thinking. Equipping you with current conservation legislation and practice is essential in the context of rapidly-changing demands on land use.

- We develop your transferable skills, particularly communication, organisation and research planning, which will assist you when carrying out your project and prepare you for a career in conservation ecology.

- On successful completion of the MSc, you will be able to apply for graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Professional accreditation

CIEEM accreditation indicates that a key professional body recognises that we offer our students the opportunity to develop the key skills needed for employment in conservation ecology. Additionally our students have access to vital information about current developments in ecology and consultancy and can benefit from all that CIEEM offers.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics associated with conservation ecology, and include field visits and exercises, lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, practical exercises, laboratory sessions and project work. A key component of the course is developing field skills, including species identification. Techniques for identification are taught in the field and in laboratory sessions, using expertise from the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences and, where appropriate, from the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History.

As needed, you will be taught by guest speakers who are conservation practitioners or who work in conservation research organisations. Some parts of the course share modules with master’s provision in Environmental Assessment and Management and also in Primate Conservation. This cross-disciplinary nature for certain aspects of the course is a key strength.

Field trips

We use the varied landscape of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire as our natural laboratory, and the course has a large practical component, developing survey and assessment methods as well as identification skills. This landscape is used to illustrate major conservation issues as well. Most of this field work is conducted as part of the modules during semesters but we also have a field skills based period at the end of the taught component of the course and offer opportunities to work towards gaining specialist licences, which are invaluable for consultancy work.

There are no extra costs associated with the fieldwork components of this MSc.

Work placement and professional recognition

We encourage you to conduct your research project with conservation organisations or with one of our research groups. We have good links with a range of national and local conservation organisations and ecological consultancies. On successful completion of this MSc, you will be eligible to apply for graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. With an additional two years' work experience, you will be eligible to apply for associate membership.

How this course helps you develop

We help you to develop links with potential employers, often through project work, and we encourage contact with practitioners throughout the course. The course is underpinned by theory but there is an emphasis on developing practical skills, including industry standard survey techniques and species identification skills. We also provide opportunities to develop techniques for data handling and analysis along with a focus on professional communication skills. We encourage all our students to learn from their peers as well, helping to develop essential teamworking skills.

Careers

Graduates of this course gain employment primarily with environmental consultancies or agencies, conservation organisations or charities, or continue academic research as a PhD student. Some of our past students are currently working for environmental consultants, the RSPB, the Environment Agency, DEFRA and Natural England.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 95% of our research in Biological Sciences was rated as internationally recognised, with 58% being world leading or internationally excellent. That makes us the top post’ 92 University for its Biological Sciences submission.

In addition to this research which underpins our teaching, our Centre for Ecology, Environment and Conservation is developing the use of mobile applications for data collection and processing in the field. Our Phase One Toolkit, which was developed by staff who deliver our MSc Conservation Ecology, with student input, is widely used by consultancies, demonstrating that our students have access to innovative data collection tools.

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Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. Read more

Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.

About this degree

Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Science Communication for Biologists (15 credits)
  • Computational Methods in Biodiversity Research (15 credits)
  • Analytical Tools in Biodiversity, Evolutionary and Conservation Research (30 credits)

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake two 6000-word, 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes

Careers

This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Research Assistant, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Trainee Ecologist, Thomson Ecology
  • Research Associate, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos
  • Intern, ZSL Institute of Zoology
  • PhD Researcher (Evolutionary Biology), The University of Edinburgh and studying PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Infectious Disease Research, University of Edinburgh

Employability

This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Interested in a PhD? Find out about  London NERC DTP

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.

The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. Read more

Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.

Why this programme

  • This programme encompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
  • It covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.
  • You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the university field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbrae (for marine projects); or Cochno Farm and Research Centre in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or environmental consulting firms whenever possible.
  • The uniqueness of the programme is the opportunity to gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects, which will enhance future career opportunities, including entrance into competitive PhD programmes. For example, there are identification based programmes offered elsewhere, but most others do not combine practical field skills with molecular techniques, advanced informatics for assessing biodiversity based on molecular markers, as well as advanced statistics and modelling. Other courses in epidemiology are rarely ecologically focused; the specialty in IBAHCM is understanding disease ecology, in the context of both animal conservation and implications for human public health.
  • You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunities to actively participate in internationally recognised research. Some examples of recent publications lead by students in the programme:
  • Blackburn, S., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Ogutu, J. O., Matthiopoulos, J. and Frank, L. (2016), Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12632. 
  • Rysava, K., McGill, R. A. R., Matthiopoulos, J., and Hopcraft, J. G. C. (2016) Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 30:1461-1468. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7572.
  • Ferguson, E.A., Hampson, K., Cleaveland, S., Consunji, R., Deray, R., Friar, J., Haydon, D. T., Jimenez, J., Pancipane, M. and Townsend, S.E., 2015. Heterogeneity in the spread and control of infectious disease; consequences for the elimination of canine rabies. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 18232. doi: 10.1038/srep18232.
  • A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in

  • monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
  • quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation
  • ethics and legislative policy – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 50 flexible credits in the second term. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Term 1: Core courses (assessment in %)

  • Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design). Coursework – 60%; scientific report – 40%
  • Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity. Coursework – 60%; assignment – 40%

Term 2: Core courses

  • Programming in R. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%

Term 2: Optional courses

  • Biodiversity Informatics. Coursework – 25%; assignment – 75%
  • GIS for Ecologists. Set exercise – 60%; critical review – 40%
  • Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics. Coursework – 50% assignment – 50%
  • Invertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Molecular Analyses for Biodiversity and Conservation. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Molecular Epidemiology & Phylodynamics. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Multi-species Models. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Single-species Population Models. Coursework – 30%; assignment – 70%
  • Vertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation*. Press statement – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology*. Coursework – 30%; set exercise – 15%; poster – 55%
  • Protected Area Management*. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Animal Ethics. Oral presentation – 50%; reflective essay – 50%
  • Biology of Suffering. Essay – 100%
  • Care of Captive Animals. Report – 100%
  • Enrichment of Animals in Captive Environments. Essay – 100%
  • Legislation & Societal Issues. Position paper – 50%; press release – 50%
  • Welfare Assessment. Critical essay – 100%

Term 3: Core MSc Component

  • Research project. Research proposal – 25%; project report – 60%; supervisor’s assessment –15%

Career prospects

You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, environmental consultancies, government agencies, ecotourism and conservation biology, and veterinary or public health epidemiology.



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This MSc responds to one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today. the sustainable management of our planet's natural resources and environment, to provide sustainable livelihoods for all people into the twenty-first century and beyond. Read more
This MSc responds to one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing today: the sustainable management of our planet's natural resources and environment, to provide sustainable livelihoods for all people into the twenty-first century and beyond.

The programme :

• is designed for those wishing to develop a career in natural resource management.
• allows you to explore and develop your own interests within a carefully designed and vocationally relevant set of taught modules and a dissertation.
• is taught jointly between ecologists, economists and geographers – meaning that you will study this programme to its fullest breadth and depth.
• offers postgraduates an unrivalled opportunity to understand the scientific basis of natural resource management through lectures, seminars, practical and field-based courses, both in the UK and overseas.


Course modules
Core:
• Research Design and Methods in Geography
• Living with Environmental Change
• Sustainable Management of Biological Resources: Ecosystem and Biodiversity Conservation
• Dissertation
Option modules:
• Earth Observation and Remote Sensing
• Global Climate and Environmental Change
• Biodiversity Conservation and Global Change: Tropical East Africa
• Environmental Economics
• Ecological and Environmental Assessment
• The Changing Water Cycle
• Water Quality Processes and Management

Teaching and Learning

We recognise the need for challenging and diverse methods of assessment. Our methods vary from traditional examinations, individual oral presentations, reports, web pages, research proposals, literature reviews and posters. We also include an amount of field-based teaching and computer practical sessions in our courses. As well as being taught subject knowledge, you will also receive training on how to plan, develop and execute a programme of individual research. We feel that the development of group skills is very important and a number of pieces of coursework involve a team of people. Coursework feedback is given promptly and in considerable detail, enabling you to improve continuously.

Opportunities/ Reasons to study

As a student on our MSc Sustainable Development of Natural Resources programme you will have the opportunity to:

• Engage with leading research and researchers in the field
• Select from a range of optional modules to best fit your interests and career aspirations
• Study part time if preferred, to fit with your existing professional and personal commitments
• Undertake fieldwork in the UK and Kenya
e.g. Biodiversity Conservation and Global Change: Tropical East Africa
The module will take place for ten field days at locations in the Rift Valley Kenya. It will be largely under canvas, in a safari camp that is already maintained by the Department of Biology for its Rift Valley Lakes research.
• Enhance your career prospects
• Complete an in-depth research project for your dissertation, with support from a dedicated supervisor.

World Class Facilities

Students have access to state-of-the-art Physical Geography instrumentation. There are separate laboratories for environmental, molecular stable isotope and palaeoecological research that can be used to reconstruct past climates and environments, the preparation of thin sections, hardware modelling using rainfall simulation and flume channels as well as a large, general-purpose laboratory that recently been completely refurbished.

Additional resources include an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, a Scanning Electron Microscope, a cold store, a Coulter Laser Diffraction particle size analyser, differential GPS and a wide range of field equipment. A new eddy covariance flux tower was purchased recently to measure carbon, energy and water fluxes between vegetation and the atmosphere.

The department has installed suites of PCs, LINUX work-stations and Virtual Reality Equipment (including a theatre) in several newly refurbished computing laboratories as a result of securing £3.9 million from HEFCE to house a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) on the subject of spatial literacy and spatial thinking.

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