Learn how to address conservation management problems that are relevant to the world today.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
With Massey’s Master of Science (Conservation Biology) you will learn to address real conservation management problems. You will work in a small-group setting and engage with staff of conservation agencies who are working, on the ground, to save our endangered native species.
The conservation biology programme has a strong emphasis on integrating theory with practice and teaching state-of-the-art analytical techniques, providing a good stepping-stone to PhD research as well as employment opportunities.
You will have the opportunity to take part in multiple field projects - you will experience the reality of conservation work in New Zealand, all before you graduate. This gives you an advantage with potential employers.
Or you may choose to work on primarily analytical projects as part of your study, such as modelling population dynamics or ecosystems. Or you can focus on lab projects, involving genetic analysis, physiology, or post-mortem work.
Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in conservation and related areas, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Massey has strong research programmes in wildlife management, conservation genetics, and freshwater ecosystem management.
You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, ecology, zoology and environmental management.
This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 180 credit master qualification. This is made up of 90 credits of taught courses and a 90 credit research project.
A 240 credit MSc is also available if you want to do more in-depth research.
Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your masters qualification.
The human race is entirely dependent on the ecosystems that feed us, regulate our environment and recycle our wastes. They provide all we need to survive and thrive. Over the past 100 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period in history. There have been net gains in human well-being and economic development, but these gains have been achieved at growing cost in the form of environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and depletion of natural capital.
Many options exist to reverse ecosystem degradation, but an understanding of the ecological systems and science is just a starting point. Understanding how the science interacts with policies, institutions, and practices is vital to achieve real change.
The Environmental Resource Management* option is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of how ecological principles can be applied to the management and conservation of natural resources and ecosystems, as well as practical skills and techniques.
Throughout the option emphasis is placed on how best to inform management and conservation decisions using tools that range from geographical mapping software and biodiversity appraisal to life cycle analysis. The important influence of institutional arrangements and economic forces on resource use and management decisions is also a key theme.
Practical applications of ecological, institutional and economic concepts are illustrated by case studies, practical sessions, seminars and workshops. These are augmented by field trips and frequent contact with outside organisations responsible for environmental management. The option draws on a wide range of speakers with first-hand experience of environmental and ecological management in both the developed and developing world.
Students graduating from this option will be well placed to make informed decisions relating to real-world problems and able to identify and evaluate practical management options.
To equip students with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to embark on a career in natural resource management and to engage and interact with professionals in these disciplines.
Four main themes run through the option:
Theme 1: Understanding natural resource systems and human interactions
Explores renewable resource systems that are critical to human survival, ecosystem functioning and conservation. Focussing on specific examples we examine how these systems function and investigate the scientific, policy and practical issues involved in their management. Dedicated lectures and case studies include fisheries management, sustainable agriculture, conservation and management of wildlife populations.
Theme 2: Management tools and applications
Introduces and provides practical experience of some of the key tools and techniques used by environmental management professionals, including life cycle assessment, GIS, participatory appraisal and citizen science. Applications of these tools include gathering data, structuring and analysing problems, and communicate insights.
Theme 3: Policy, Assessment and Law
Informing the design of better policy is the objective of a great deal of research in understanding ecosystem processes and responses. Many conservation and resource management initiatives are also underpinned or impeded by legislation. This theme examines the interaction between policy processes, the legal system and conservation objectives. Key aspects of the national, European and international legal system and the role played by international law in the protection of the environment are identified. Regulatory instruments including Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment are also examined.
Theme 4: Management in Practice
Based around the fieldtrips and case-studies provided by external speakers and ecological management professional, this theme provides an opportunity to engage with professional working in the field and better understand what happens when theory and ideology meets practical barriers and resource constraints. Visits include forest management; farming and wildlife management, heathland management, ancient woodland and grazed pasture, ecosystem rehabilitation and wetland creation. Though these visits we explore the role of wildlife trusts in local conservation, the role of volunteers in managing sites of scientific interest, and the role of estate management in sustainable agriculture.
The Environmental Resource Management option (formerly called Ecological Management) has been running since 1978 and has more than 480 Alumni that can be found throughout all levels of Government, Industry, International agencies, Consultancy and NGOs.
Graduates are excellently placed to gain employment in a wide range of organizations dealing with natural resources, conservation and international development. Over 80% of graduates gain employment in the environmental field within months of graduating.
Common destinations include consultancy, NGOs, international organisations and government. Recent destinations include:
We invite proposals for MPhil and PhD research projects in our three main research areas of biodiversity and conservation, agri-environment, and microbiology. Our Biology PhD students play a very important role in our active research portfolio.
We supervise MPhil and PhD students whose interests match the expertise in these areas of biology:
Our Ecology and Conservation Research Group works to understand patterns observed in nature - species and habitats. This often includes anthropogenic effects.
We collaborate with a variety of organisations concerned with species and habitat conservation, including statutory responsibility. We work with research partners and conservation practitioners from the UK and across the globe.
Our research covers:
The Biological, clinical and environmental systems modelling group focuses on analysing the structure and dynamics of complex biological and clinical systems. We have a specific interest in investigating spatially and temporally heterogeneous processes in biology. We are driven by practical problem solving through the use of modelling.
We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance. Our experimental approaches include:
Some examples of the commercial applications we develop include:
-Natural products discovery
-Creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides
-Sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage
-Microbes involved in biofuel production
-Uses of microbes in bioremediation of polluted environments
We invite you to propose your own research topic, or you can follow one of the projects suggested on the School of Biology website. If you wish to develop your own research topic, you are recommended to contact a potential supervisor at the School of Biology to develop your ideas, before submitting your formal application via the Applicant Portal.
You will benefit from two supervisors from our research community. You are encouraged to present your research results at our annual Postgraduate conference. You'll also benefit from training in a wide range of transferable skills, such as statistics and web design, through the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) Graduate School.
The School of Biology has good contacts with industry and hosts seminars and workshops, some of which are attended by visiting professors from industry. Biology students have the opportunity to participate at national and international conferences and to supplement their income by undertaking undergraduate laboratory demonstrating.