The Conservation MSc at UCL is widely recognised as the leading programme for aspiring nature conservation professionals. This highly successful degree programme saw its first students graduate in 1960, and nearly 80% of its graduates have gone on to secure posts related to conservation.
The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and engages with environmental, social and policy dimensions. It has a vocational orientation, with residential field classes providing first-hand experience of practical conservation challenges. At the same time, the programme provides the scientific rigour needed for evidence-based analysis and understanding of the natural environment, which also forms a sound foundation for a career in academia.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma - four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits) full-time nine months, part-time two years is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate - four core modules (60 credits) full-time 12 weeks, part-time two years is offered.
-Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation
-The Rural Matrix
-Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
-Conservation and Environmental Management
Optional modules (indicative list)
-Changing Landscapes - Nature, Culture, Politics
-Changing Landscapes - Nature Conservation
-Politics of Climate Change
-Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
-Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and field studies, including a residential field study to a coastal site in Norfolk and a residential field study in Snowdonia, as well as the option to join a two-week field-class to an overseas destination. Assessment is through coursework, essays and the dissertation, which includes a presentation of dissertation results.
Fieldwork includes a residential field study to a coastal site in Norfolk and a residential field study in Snowdonia, as well as the option to join a two-week field-class to an overseas destination. Fieldwork costs may be incurred but these are dependent on module selection; please contact the department for further information on individual modules.
The MSc provides an excellent preparation for employment with the full range of public sector and voluntary conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, or in academia.
Top career destinations for this degree:
-Marine Advisor, Natural England
-PhD in Biology, University of York
-People Engagement Officer, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
-DPhil in Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
-Freshwater Ecologist, Ensis
Not least due to the programme's vocational orientation, Conservation MSc graduates have been very successful in securing employment with government organisations (for example DEFRA, Natural England, local councils), conservation NGOs (for example RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, IUCN, WCMC) and environmental consultancies. Equally, the Conservation MSc has provided a very good basis for future academic careers, while some graduates also found employment at zoos and botanical gardens.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Conservation MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.
The programme is unique not only on account of its long history and extensive alumni network, but also due to its vocational orientation and the active involvement of nature conservation professionals in the delivery of degree material.
Research groups contributing to this MSc include those concerned with environmental change; environmental modelling; and environment, science and society. The programme also benefits from the participation of staff from a variety of external conservation and environmental organisations.