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Masters Degrees (Conservation Agriculture)

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This programme is for individuals already working in environmental conservation who seek to broaden or update their knowledge, and for graduates who wish to become professionally involved in conservation and environmental management. Read more

This programme is for individuals already working in environmental conservation who seek to broaden or update their knowledge, and for graduates who wish to become professionally involved in conservation and environmental management.

Professional and conservation organisations have advised on the content of this degree, ensuring strong links between the programme and the needs of the conservation industry.

Accreditation

This programme is accredited by and maintains strong links with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). the programme has received two awards for 'Best Practice' from the CIEEM.

Degree structure

The programme is structured around six compulsory courses that integrate theoretical and practical aspects of contemporary conservation and environmental management. You will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of modern-day conservation and environmental management, and gain a practical understanding of ecological techniques and strategies.

Acquire the skills to critically apply environmental management techniques and methods to practical situations and to understand decision making processes and the underlying criteria and values. In addition, you will gain specific knowledge and skills through their chosen optional courses.

Research project

During June to September students undertake a research project in a specialist area of their choice, often in collaboration with an external organisation. There is a high component of practical work including field trips.

Outcomes

The aims of the programme are:

  • Provide a broad-based understanding of the current issues facing practitioners
  • Equip graduates to develop a career in the environmental sector
  • Enable students to develop a portfolio of skills and specialist knowledge of a particular area during the research project.

Full time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.

Part time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Year 2

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 1 course from this list of options.

Assessment

Students are assessed through assessments, coursework and examinations that are practically focused using real-world examples and case studies. Portfolios demonstrating competencies are an important component and provide a tangible record to show potential employers.

Professional recognition

This programme is accredited by and maintains strong links with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Careers

Graduates from this programme can pursue careers with conservation organisations in the UK and overseas, including central and local government, environmental consultancies, non-governmental organisations, business, the media and environmental education.



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Part 1 (120 credits). runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. Read more
Part 1 (120 credits): runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. They must be completed successfully before proceeding to Part 2.

Part 2 (60 credits): is the dissertation phase and runs from end of May to September. This is a supervised project phase which gives students further opportunity for specialisation in their chosen field. Dissertation topics are related to the interests and needs of the individual and must show evidence of wide reading and understanding as well as critical analysis or appropriate use of advanced techniques. The quality of the dissertation is taken into account in the award of the Masters degree. Bangor University regulations prescribe a maximum word limit of 20,000 words for Masters Dissertations. A length of 12,000 to 15,000 words is suggested for Masters programmes in our School.

Summary of modules taken in Part 1:

All students undertake 6 modules of 20 credits each which are described below.

Conservation Science considers questions such as ‘in a post-wild world what should be the focus of conservation attention?’ ‘What are the relative roles of ecology, economics and social science in conservation?’ ‘What are the advantage and disadvantages of the introduction of market-like mechanisms into conservation policy?’ We look closely at the current and emerging drivers of biodiversity loss world-wide, while carefully analysing the range of responses.

Insect Pollinators and Plants is at the interface between agriculture and conservation, this module introduces students to plant ecology and insect pollinators. Students will gain unique understanding of the ecological interactions between plants and insect pollinators including honey-bees to implement more sensitive conservation management. The module explores the current conservation status of insect pollinators and their corresponding plant groups; how populations are monitored, and how interventions in the broader landscape can contribute to improving their conservation status. Module components relate specifically to ecosystem pollination services, apiculture and habitat restoration and/or maintenance. The module has a strong practical skills focus, which includes beekeeping and contemporary challenges to apiculture; plant and insect sampling and habitat surveying. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on “learning by doing.

Agriculture and the Environment reviews the impact of agricultural systems and practices on the environment and the scientific principles involved. It includes examples from a range of geographical areas. It is now recognised that many of the farming practices adopted in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, aimed at maximising production and profit, have had adverse effects on the environment. These include water and air pollution, soil degradation, loss of certain habitats and decreased biodiversity. In the UK and Europe this has led to the introduction of regulatory instruments and codes of practice aimed at minimising these problems and the promotion of new approaches to managing farmland. However, as world population continues to rise, there are increased concerns about food security, particularly in stressful environments such as arid zones where farmers have to cope with natural problems of low rainfall and poor soils. Although new technologies including the use of GM crops have potential to resolve some of these issues, concerns have been expressed about the impact of the release of these new genetically-engineered crops into the environment.

Management Planning for Conservation provides students with an understanding of the Conservation Management System approach to management planning. This involves describing a major habitat feature at a high level of definition; the preparation of a conservation objective (with performance indicators) for the habitat; identification and consideration of the implications of all factors and thus the main management activities; preparation of a conceptual model of the planning process for a case study site and creating maps using spatial data within a desktop GIS.

Research Methods Module: this prepares students for the dissertation stage of their MSc course. The module provides students with an introduction to principles of hypothesis generation, sampling, study design, spatial methods, social research methods, quantitative & qualitative analysis and presentation of research findings. Practicals and field visits illustrate examples of these principles. Course assessment is aligned to the research process from the proposal stage, through study write up to presentation of results. The module is in two phases. The taught content phase is until the period following Christmas. This is followed by a project planning phase for dissertation title choice and plan preparation.

Field Visit Module: this is an annual programme of scientific visits related to Conservation and Land Management. The main purpose of the trip will be to appreciate the range of activities different conservation organisations are undertaking, to understand their different management objectives and constraints. Previous field trips have visited farms, forests and reserves run by Scottish Wildlife Trust, National Trust, RSPB, local authorities, community groups and private individuals.

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Agriculture faces many challenges, not least coping with the rising demand for food, biofuel and other products by an increasing population combined with the demands for a more sustainable industry. Read more
Agriculture faces many challenges, not least coping with the rising demand for food, biofuel and other products by an increasing population combined with the demands for a more sustainable industry. Food security is key and requires the reconciliation of efficient production of food with reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint.

About the course

The MSc Environmental Management for Agriculture course examines agriculture activities and their potential to impact both positively and negatively on the environment. It explains how environmental management systems, environmental auditing, life cycle assessment and environmental impact assessment can be used in the farm situation.

This course aims to use environmental management to deliver sustainable agricultural management. Students will gain a holistic understanding and the interdisciplinary training to identify on-farm environmental risks and the knowledge and skills needed to develop answers.

The two specialist core modules have been designed to ensure understanding of the issues, where the science is balanced with the practical demands of the farm/producer/grower. You will develop the expertise required for a career in research, development, policy, or within the advisory sector relating to sustainability in farming systems, the food supply chain, environmental management and rural development, or to apply there skills in agriculture.

Crop plants are prone to suffer the effects of pests, pathogens and weeds and these reduce crop productivity. The next generation of crop protection scientists need to be educated to undertake this task and the MSc Environmental Management for Agriculture course also has two option modules in crop protection to enable this route to be followed if you want to pursue a career in applied biology, particularly in the area of crop protection science, peri-urban agriculture/horticulture and related areas.

The structure of the MSc Environmental Management for Agriculture course is based on four core modules and a choice of five specialist modules, as well as a supervised research project related to the field of agriculture. Students will begin their studies, for both full-time and part time students, with a core module in Sustainability and Environmental Systems.

This course is available both full and part-time with intakes in September (Semester A) and January (Semester B). Full time study in Semester A takes 1 year. Full time study beginning in Semester B will take 15 months. Part time study options typically take two years but students are given a maximum of five years to complete.

Why choose this course?

-Learn environmental skills to enable the delivery of sustainable agricultural production
-Crop protection modules are available
-BASIS points are available for specialist agriculture modules
-Flexible modular structure enables students to study whilst working. This allows part-time student to not have to take more than 12 days off a year (if studying over 2/3 years)
-Accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessement (IEMA) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
-Networking opportunities per module with lunch and refreshments provided within your fees
-Learning resources such as textbooks will be provided within your fees

Professional Accreditations

Three modules are accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) for Associate membership (giving exemption from the Associate Entry Examination). Accreditation by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is being applied for. BASIS points are available for the specialised agriculture modules.

Teaching methods

The MSc Environmental Management for Agriculture course approach integrates blended learning, combining:
-Face-to-face teaching and tutorials with online learning materials
-Field and laboratory work
-Easy contact with tutors
-Online submission of assignments

All modules are delivered as intensive two or three day short courses that run primarily on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Full-time students attend tutorials in the weeks following a short course, receiving face-to-face support.

Part-time students attend courses at the University for only about eight working days a year. These students complete their assignments through making use of our outstanding virtual learning environment Studynet and keeping in remote contact with tutors. Students normally complete the part time course within two years but we give maximum of five years.

Our outstanding virtual learning environment Studynet will enable you to keep in remote contact with tutors and submit assignments online.

Assessment is primarily by assignments, often directly related to environmental management in the workplace or field. These can include reports, essays, seminars and online tests.

You have access to excellent University facilities including a field station, laboratories and state of the art Learning Resource Centres.
Each module can be studied individually as a stand-alone course, please enquire for further details.

Structure

Core Modules
-Agricultural Pollution and Mitigation
-Foundation in Environmental Auditing
-Integrated Farm Management
-Management Skills for Environmental Management
-Sustainability and Environmental Systems

Optional
-Crop Pathogens, Pests and Weeds
-Crop Protection; Principles & Practice
-Ecology and Conservation
-Environmental Management for Agriculture Individual Research Project
-Integrated Waste and Pollution Management
-Research Methods
-Sustainability and Environmental Systems
-Water Pollution Control

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On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. Read more

The course

On a national and international scale there is an increasing need to reconcile the need for increased food production with the need for conservation of natural resources. There is also a need for people to understand and deal with complex land situations such as within agricultural systems. This course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied agro-ecology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, the increased and shifting needs for food production and on the other the need for conservation and management of natural resources. Sustainable food production and sustainable intensification are of high policy importance both nationally and internationally. Agro-ecology is a key aspect of sustainable intensification.

How will it benefit me?

An understanding of agro-ecology and the organisms and systems that underpin agricultural systems can facilitate the ability to manage agricultural systems in a more sustainable manner.
This course will provide the foundation for a career in both conservation and in agriculture.
The course will provide you with specialized training in agroecology and farmland conservation.

You will be able to:

Appraise the role of agro-ecology within the wider context of global food security and sustainable food production
Evaluate the strategic and operational issues and conflicts affecting the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems in order to select the most appropriate conservation management solutions.
Evaluate the interactions between organisms and consider these when making management recommendations for successful agro-ecological landscapes
Develop the ability to solve conflicts in agro-ecosystems by the application of novel research techniques

The course will:
Prepare you for a career in conservation agriculture, or agriculture or conservation more widely.
Offer vocational training in the field of agroecology.
Enable you to make a more informed choices for further study, such as PhD studies or other career development

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Within conservation science there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions, however scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Read more

Within conservation science there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions, however scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Within this arena, wildlife forensics is an exciting new field that is attracting increasing global attention in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.

The Cert/Dip/MSc in Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics aims to provide a blend of theoretical and practical education in the application of genetic data to wildlife management and conservation law enforcement. The programme will cover all essential aspects, from population genetic theory, through data analysis, to the considerations involved in the interpretation and transfer of scientific findings to management, policy and criminal investigation.

Students will have the choice to specialise in either applied conservation genetics or wildlife forensics, with both options providing transferable scientific skills relating to knowledge acquisition and application, problem solving, science communication and decision making. The overall aim of the programme is to equip current and future wildlife professionals with the knowledge, skills and global networks to address modern challenges in conservation management and law enforcement.

The programme is designed as an institutional collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), a government facility which houses the UK wildlife DNA forensics laboratory. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists in the application of genetic analysis to conservation management and wildlife forensics.

In addition, individual courses will engage a number of external tutors from local and international organisations with specific expertise in the subject matter. Course materials will based on actual examples from wildlife management projects and forensic casework.

Suitable participants include wildlife professionals interested in learning how DNA analysis can be applied to conservation management, from captive breeding programmes to reintroductions and natural population management.

The programme will also be appropriate for those working in wildlife law enforcement or wildlife policy sectors who want to understand how genetic data is now relied upon to inform conservation decision-making, trade regulation and criminal investigations.

As a comprehensive introduction to the fields of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, the programme is will also provide a valuable stepping stone to students seeking to pursue an advanced scientific career in these fields.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh's excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Learning outcomes

Beyond gaining factual knowledge of the immediate subject matter, programme participation is designed to achieve a series of key learning outcomes:

Knowledge and Understanding

The student will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of practical and ethical issues relating to the application of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics.

Practice: applied knowledge, skills and understanding

The student will be able to demonstrate how to plan, apply and interpret the outputs of appropriate research and forensic techniques.

Generic cognitive skills

The student will be able to analyse complex issues and identify solutions, even in the absence of complete or consistent information.

Communication, ICT, Numeracy Skills

The student will be able to communicate relevant scientific concepts and results, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise.

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

The student will be able to manage complex wildlife conservation and law enforcement issues and make or contribute to informed judgements that address current challenges in these fields.



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The ever increasing demand for organically produced foods requires new and different production systems. In order to create such sustainable organic production systems a fresh scientific approach is needed. Read more

The ever increasing demand for organically produced foods requires new and different production systems. In order to create such sustainable organic production systems a fresh scientific approach is needed. The university has created a programme to train academic professionals who want to work in this field.

Study programme

The Organic Agriculture programme has been designed to train students in multiple aspects of organic agriculture and the associated processing and marketing chain. An important goal is to prepare the students for interdisciplinary teamwork at an academic level.

On the programme of Organic Agriculture page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.

Specialisations

Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Specialisations to meet your personal interests.

Your future career

The experience and diverse skills our students acquire working in interdisciplinary teams on practical cases, make them eligible for a broad range of jobs. Graduates of this programme will have career opportunities in agribusiness, research, extension, non-governmental organisations and public administration. Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.

Related programmes:

MSc Food Quality Management 

MSc Environmental Sciences 

MSc Plant Sciences

MSc Animal sciences

MSc Biology 

MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation



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Have an impact on conservation. Learn how to address conservation management problems that are relevant to the world today. Find out more about the . Read more

Have an impact on conservation

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.

Work on real projects

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.

Take advantage of our globally-renowned expertise

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.

Why postgraduate study?

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.

Not just more of the same

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.

Complete in 1.5 years

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.



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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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Our Conservation and Biodiversity Masters offers great flexibility, with a wide choice of topics from across disciplines, enabling you to construct a programme that suits your individual interests and career ambitions in this increasingly important field. Read more

Our Conservation and Biodiversity Masters offers great flexibility, with a wide choice of topics from across disciplines, enabling you to construct a programme that suits your individual interests and career ambitions in this increasingly important field.

You will have the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in the key theoretical issues, such as wildlife population dynamics and conservation biology, and learn how these are applied to real-world problems, such as managing habitats or dealing with wildlife-human conflicts. Additionally, you will gain and develop the key skills that are valued by employers, such as problem solving, report writing, data analysis and presentation skills.

You will complete six taught modules delivered by world-leading researchers from our three internationally-renowned partner organisations: Lancaster Environment Centre, Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. This gives you the opportunity to interact with a wide range of expert specialists, including lake ecologists, political ecologists, food security biologists, earth observation geographers, social scientists and others, so that you can put your learning into a wider context.

Several modules include field trips to the beautiful and topographically varied countryside around Lancaster, and beyond. If you want to travel further afield, we have research projects and partners across the globe that provide exiting opportunities when it comes to selecting your dissertation project.

This project forms a substantial part of your Masters degree. It will enhance your practical and analytical skills and give you the opportunity to apply your learning to a real-world challenge. This may involve a doing a project with a government agency or conservation organisation through our award winning Centre for Global Eco-innovation, which uses our excellent links with the environmental and conservation sectors. Examples of previous dissertation projects are:

  • Effectiveness of habitat management for fritillary butterflies (with Butterfly Conservation)
  • Impact of tourist disturbance on breeding seabirds on the Isle of May (with CEH)
  • Predation impacts on breeding success of black-tailed godwits (with RSPB)
  • Deer and forestry interactions in the Czech Republic (placement with Czech university)
  • Habitat selection by sand lizards in coastal dunes
  • Impact of urbanization on blue tit song behaviour
  • Habitat loss and biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest (with Lavras University, Brazil)
  • Biodiversity in reed fringes on Lake Windermere (with Freshwater Biological Association)

Graduates have gone on to successful careers in the environmental and conservation sectors, as well as further study for a PhD.

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.



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The University of Stirling has offered an innovative postgraduate course in Environmental Management with a Conservation specialisation since 2013, leading to the qualification of Diploma or MSc. Read more
The University of Stirling has offered an innovative postgraduate course in Environmental Management with a Conservation specialisation since 2013, leading to the qualification of Diploma or MSc. The course provides the scientific knowledge and approaches for conservation science and practice and the opportunity to specialise in particular areas via the selection of relevant modules and the research project. Areas of potential specialisation include ecosystem services, environmental economics, conservation conflicts, habitat and biodiversity management and application of GIS and remote sensing.

There is a compulsory residential course in field techniques, which takes place in the Cairngorm National Park. The MSc course is equally relevant to recent and mature graduates seeking a career in conservation science, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Our course gives students:
-An understanding of the science that underpin conservation and sustainability.
-An understanding of the ecological, economic, social, political and legal frameworks for conservation.
-A comprehensive training in quantitative, theoretical, analytical and practical and generic skills.

Key information

-Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc.
-Study methods: Full time, Campus based.
-Duration: MSc 1 Year, PG Diploma 9 months, PG Certificate 4 months.
-Start date: September.
-Course Director: Dr Nils Bunnefeld.

Course objectives

Graduates from this course will have gained knowledge in the broad field of conservation science, including collecting and analysing relevant data for sustainable decision-making and transferable skills relevant to future employment at national and international level.

About the Faculty

The Faculty of Natural Sciences provides a distinctive and distinguished academic arena that explores the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological, environmental and aquatic systems.

The Faculty brings together four divisions:
-Institute of Aquaculture.
-Biological and Environmental Sciences.
-Computing Science and Mathematics.
-Psychology.

World-leading original, significant and rigorous research is found in all of our academic disciplines. Our approach is interdisciplinary and research aspires to be cutting-edge, collaborative and excellent – internationally recognised for its quality and relevance.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Faculty participated in six units of assessment where it excelled in a breadth of disciplines:
-1st in the UK in Aquaculture.
-4th in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science.
-3rd in Scotland (18th in the UK) for Psychology.
-One of only four UK universities with Psychology research rated as having 100% world-leading impact.

Other course requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
-IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill.
-Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C.
-Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B.
-Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component.
-IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17.

For more information go to English language requirements: https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses: http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx

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“It [Harper Adams University] is already a centre of excellence for entomology teaching and research in the UK”. Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Read more

“It [Harper Adams University] is already a centre of excellence for entomology teaching and research in the UK”

Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

The course

Harper Adams is the only UK institution to teach general and applied entomology at postgraduate level. The course has a particular focus on conservation and agriculture. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and the understanding of biodiversity. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunities.

Insects and allied invertebrates comprise approximately 78 per cent of the world’s macro-biodiversity, whereas vertebrates, even using the most generous estimates, make up less than three per cent. Insects and their relatives play an important role in all of our ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects. Many are also important pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems.

Many insects are also rare and endangered and need to be managed for conservation. Other insects are used as model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies. 

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized training in entomology and conservation.

The course will:

  • prepare students for a career in entomology and/or conservation
  • offer vocational training in the area of applied entomology or insect conservation
  • prepare students for PhD studies 

The course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and, on the other, the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and longstanding collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from entomologists and ecologists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organizations. 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 organizations.

Examples of collaborating organizations include The Natural History Museum London, CEH Wallingford, Butterfly Conservation, Bug Life, Horticultural Development Company, Rothamsted Research, and Forest Research.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the taught part of MSc you will be able to identify insects to at least family level, determine their key characteristics, and critically evaluate the role of insects in managed and natural ecosystems. You will also learn to assess and exploit technology to solve insect-related problems.

The course will focus on producing integrated management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social and environmental requirements. Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to insect control and conservation to a range of audiences using various methods of communication.

The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pure and applied entomological research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will also learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing entomological studies.

The MSc covers a broad range of topics in entomology and conservation and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an entomological work environment or a research career in ecological entomology or insect conservation. There is, however, considerable flexibility, enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Scholarships and funding

The Royal Entomological Society typically fund five bursaries each of £4,000 to support the MSc Entomology course. Visit the scholarship page for further details and application information.

The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Entomologists are like endangered mammals such as tigers and polar bears in that they and their habitats are on the verge of extinction and this is likely to have a profound negative effect on science in general

The Biologist, 2009



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Overview. This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure. Read more

Overview

This is an advanced course for students who want to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the biology, welfare and conservation of domesticated and wild animals managed for production or leisure.

WUC works in partnership with Colchester Zoo to support study tours and research activities in order to enhance our students learning experience.

Course Modules include:

  • Animal Genetic Resources
  • Nutritional Issues in Animal Welfare
  • Animal Ethics and Welfare
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation
  • Current Issues in Animal Science
  • Wildlife Resources


Learning & Teaching Methods

The teaching methods are a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, visits and student managed learning.

The self-guided study takes place under the supervision of experienced staff from the Centre of Equine and Animal Science at Writtle University College. 

Students are assessed using a number of methods, for example written examination, reports, essays, seminars, debates, oral presentations, case studies and project dissertation.

The research project is an essential part of the MSc programme and provides the opportunity to carry out an independent piece research, critically analyse data and write a dissertation. The project will normally include hands-on practical experimentation to teach students how to gather and process data and problem solve. The project is supervised by an academic member of staff and takes place over an extended period during the spring and summer. The project can be based either at Writtle University College or other suitable external institution. 

Examples of potential areas for dissertation projects: 

  • Investigation of keeper-animal relationships in zoos
  • Animal behaviour and welfare research in collaboration with Colchester Zoo
  • Assessment of prevalence and risk factors for obesity in companion animals
  • Lameness detection and measurement in dairy cows
  • Estimation endangered wild animal population densities
  • Use of molecular biology techniques in conservation genetics of captive wild animals
  • Incidence of small mammals in agricultural landscapes
  • Diet selection and nutrient intakes in captive animals
  • Behavioural indicators of welfare and performance using different castration methods in lambs


Careers

Graduates are likely to use their award to secure management-level jobs and/or to improve their promotion prospects if they are already employed both in international and national organisations.

Many opportunities exist in either government services or related agencies services, for example: 

  • Senior positions in DEFRA as quarantine officers
  • Animal health inspectors

There are also numerous career opportunities in companies specialising in farm animal nutrition and pet food manufacturing, breeding and reproduction, veterinary medicines and pharmaceuticals. There also opportunities in charities engaged in animal welfare such as the RSPCA, zoos, animal rescue centres and safari parks. Also, independent wildlife agencies such as the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, and the Countryside Council for Wales would be interested in Animal Welfare and Conservation graduates. 

Some graduates may take up lecturing positions in universities and colleges or proceed to do further postgraduate study e.g. PhD.



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Our Ecology and Wildlife Conservation MSc equips you with the skills necessary to pursue a successful career as ecologists or in an environmentally-related field. Read more

Our Ecology and Wildlife Conservation MSc equips you with the skills necessary to pursue a successful career as ecologists or in an environmentally-related field. The course has a professional focus, preparing you for the workplace.

What you'll learn

The course aims to provide graduates with:

  • advanced conceptual understanding
  • detailed knowledge
  • specialised technical skills
  • professional awareness

You will study chosen areas of ecological science such as:

  • wildlife conservation policy and practice
  • environmental impacts
  • sustainable development.

Your Development:

Upon the completion of the course you will be able to evaluate and solve ecological problems. You will gain knowledge from many environmental disciplines.

We will teach you skills in a range of ecologically related areas enabling you to pursue a career in:

  • qualitative techniques
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • environmental impact assessment
  • the environment business
  • ecological surveys
  • environmental law
  • environmental management.


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The main aim of the MRes is to strengthen specialist scientific skills in strategically important areas of the UK agri-food industry, through flexible, postgraduate training for people in work. Read more
The main aim of the MRes is to strengthen specialist scientific skills in strategically important areas of the UK agri-food industry, through flexible, postgraduate training for people in work. It provides an innovative way for people in work to improve their research skills while supporting the innovation capabilities of the candidate’s companThe course is aimed at professionals in the agri-food industry, conservation and environment, farmers, and agricultural policy decision makers, as well as full-time students wishing to pursue a post-graduate degree that culminates in employability in these sectors.

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We invite proposals for MPhil and PhD research projects in our three main research areas of biodiversity and conservation, agri-environment, and microbiology. Read more

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:

Ecology and conservation

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:

-Genetics

-Conservation

-Human-wildlife interactions

-Ecology

Biological, clinical and environmental systems modelling

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.

Applied and Environmental Biology

We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance. Our experimental approaches include:

-Genomics

-Molecular biology

-Biochemistry

-Physiology

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.

Industry

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.



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