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Masters Degrees (Conservation Ecology)

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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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Your programme of study. Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. Read more

Your programme of study

Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. There is an increasing desire to utilise sites which are environmentally sensitive and this puts pressure on ecology and habitat survival. There are many other types of environmental impacts which are often hidden but also affect Ecology such as the many different pollutants which are often highlighted monthly. Species decline is becoming a well known issue globally and the ability to maintain and continue species and grow is important in a declining environment.

The programme comes from a very strong department which has been ranked consistently at number 1 in soil science and soil ecology in the UK (REF 2014). The Master's in Ecology has very solid foundations as it has been taught to generations for over 50 years and with this comes considerable knowledge and experience. With this programme you get a chance to influence how we utilise our environment and manage it to the best ability to preserve our ecology.

Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. The programme runs through a full year, starting with a field course and culminating in a major research project. You will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of everything from field survey to chairing discussions, from statistics and modelling to report writing and from identifying important ecological questions to researching them and writing a scientific paper. Previous graduates have gone on to the top of their chosen profession in research, consultancy, conservation, policy, education and advocacy.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Plant Ecology
  • Population and Community Ecology

Optional Courses

  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Introduction to Ecological Field Research in Northern Scotland
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Soils for Food Security
  • Aquaculture
  • Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Semester 2

Compulsory

  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Applied Forest Ecology
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation

Semester 3

  • Project in Ecology

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Ecology has been taught at Aberdeen for over 50 years and Plant Ecology and Soil Science is No 1 in the UK (REF 2014)
  • You will be taught be known ecologists who are active in research, management and nature conservation
  • Aberdeen is ideally situated to take full advantage of coastal, inland, rural and wild landscapes and environments

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. Read more

The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. This two-year master program consists in both lessons and fieldtrips, while half of the second year is devoted to a personal research project conducted by students in an international research team.

OUR MASTER PROGRAM

The Master program has a two-year span, with most of the courses taught in english. Our teaching philosophy is based on the idea that biodiversity conservation must be grounded in a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology and evolution with recent technical advances in the fields of biometry, molecular ecology and management tools. The teaching content is rooted in our established strengths in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, quantitative ecology and research design. The master program is enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision-making policies.

The specific teaching objectives aim at developing and improving students’ skills to:

  • engage with concepts and theory in behavioural ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level.
  • assess the ability of organisms to react, cope with and adjust to environmental change occurring over different spatial and time scales.
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on animal behaviour and wildlife management
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and fieldwork so as to identify and develop innovative research questions and design.

Half of the second year is devoted to conducting a personal research project and writing a thesis of 12,000 words. Research projects are conducted within an international team previously selected by the students, and led with the support of an expert supervisor.

TEACHING & FIELDTRIPS

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars by international researchers, class tutorials and practical training in the laboratory and in the field, providing in-depth exploration of key issues. Our teaching philosophy is to stimulate balanced and evidence-based discussions and debates between academic staff and students. Such interactions provide efficient training to identify and explore theory, methods and practice in an academic environment.

Field courses allow students to apply the methods and ideas developed in the classroom to practical use in the field. Each year, you will attend at least one week-long fieldtrip, and several one-day field sessions. The "Camargue field course" provides the opportunity to work on a model species for wildlife management in the Camargue Natural Regional Park (CNRP): the greater flamingo. Fieldwork will be grounded on extensive research on wildlife populations in the context of the various activities taking place in the CNRP. Other field courses address the quantitative analysis of animal behaviour, the monitoring of wildlife, and ex-situ conservation. The “Parc Polaire fieldtrip”, in the Jura mountains, allows students to experience the role of and, stakes faced by, a park dedicated to the conservation of European wild species such as the European bison and deer species.

CAREER PROSPECTS

The aim of our master program is to train future scientific leaders in animal behaviour and conservation biology, as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity, conservation and wildlife management.

Therefore, our program aims at providing both a diversified and specialized expertise in the general fields of animal behaviour and wildlife management. It also combines behavioural ecology and conservation biology as major disciplines with some other relevant topics – ethics and deontology, epistemology, socioeconomics of conservation, structure and management of environmental organizations, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.

The master's Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.

LIFE IN DIJON, CAPITAL CITY OF BURGUNDY (FRANCE)

The whole of the program takes place at the University of Burgundy-Franche Comté, located in the scenic city of Dijon. The former capital city of the Duchy of Burgundy, Dijon is now a medium-size French city, where you can enjoy a vibrant and active cultural life, as well as quick getaways to the countryside and the world famous neighbouring vineyards of the so-called “Golden coast”.

Life in Dijon is very affordable and accommodation easily accessible. The city is well-equipped with modern tramway and bus lines, making commuting between any place in Dijon and the University easy and convenient.

Showing marks of its medieval past, Dijon has excelled in making any subsequent architectural revolution his own. Dijon possesses a fair number of outstanding museums and remarkable monuments, and is also internationally known as the hometown of the notorious French gastronomy. Dijon has a vibrant cultural life with music and food festivals all over the year. Cultural and leisure attractions are widespread, from classical music concerts to jazz festivals, food fairs, cinemas… Dijon is also host of several top-level professional sports teams (football, basketball, handball, rugby…), while also offering a large diversity of sports facilities for the amateur. From beach-volley fields to suburban hiking and cycling paths, urban parks and the much appreciated Lake Kir, incentives to jump in a pair of trainers will be everywhere.

GRANTS

Up to five fellowship grants (800 € per month, during up to 10 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students, with a particular attention to applications coming from Mediterranean countries and Caribbean island nations and territories.

APPLICATIONS

During the first year, students take examinations associated with the Master in Conservation Biology, specialized in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management. Examinations must be successfully passed (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS credits) in order to proceed to the second year. In the second year, the thesis following your research project accounts for half the marks of the second year.

For further information about how to apply, please directly contact the head of the master program, Professor Frank Cézilly ().

Please also visit our dedicated webpage (http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/bewm/fr/), and like our facebook page (“Master BEWM – UBFC Dijon”) to stay up to date with the life of and the latest news about our program!



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The Master in Conservation Biology, specialization Ecology, Monitoring and Management of Ecosystems aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of structure, functioning, monitoring, and management of ecosystems submitted to various natural and anthropogenic pressures, in the framework of biodiversity conservation. Read more

The Master in Conservation Biology, specialization Ecology, Monitoring and Management of Ecosystems aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of structure, functioning, monitoring, and management of ecosystems submitted to various natural and anthropogenic pressures, in the framework of biodiversity conservation. Half of the second year is devoted to a personal Master thesis project.

The Master is a two-year course. In the first year, the course design is based upon the idea that biodiversity conservation must be based on a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology, and including recent technical advances in numerical ecology, molecular ecology, wildlife monitoring and ecosystem management. The course content is rooted in our established strengths in functional ecology (ecosystem structure and function, population and community ecology), paleoecology (long-term evolution of ecosystems), ecotoxicology (fate and effects of pollutants), epidemiology (transmission of zoonotic pathogens), conservation biology (status and threats of patrimonial animal and plant species), numerical ecology, ecological modelling and research design. The master degree program is further enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, with the aim to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision making procedures.

The specific course objectives are to develop abilities to:

  • critically engage with concepts and theory in functional ecology from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level,
  • critically assess the ability of populations and communities to react, cope with and adjust to environmental changes occurring over different spatial and time scales,
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on ecosystem monitoring and management,
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and field work to identify and develop innovative applied or fundamental research questions and designs.

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, class tutorials and practical training in the field and in the laboratory, which provide in-depth exploration of key issues. The teaching philosophy is to stimulate discussion and debate between academic staff and students to identify and explore theory, methods and practices in an academic space that encourages a critical dialogue.

Field courses allow students to apply in the field the methods and ideas presented in the classroom. Each year, they will attend one week-long fieldtrip and several field courses. One of these field courses (in the framework of the teaching unit “Conservation Biology and Ecosystem Management”) allows them to test a hypothesis dealing with the potential impact of anthropogenic disturbances on plant or animal populations or communities, in the context of the various activities taking place in the Jura Mountains, known for their outstanding landscapes, typical ecosystems (e.g. peatbogs, wood-pastures) and patrimonial species (e.g. boreal lynx). Other field courses address the assessment and the management of ecosystems, and the monitoring of plant and animal wildlife.

Students must pass the examinations taken during the first year (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS) in order to proceed without further selection into the second year.

The second year is mainly devoted to the thesis project within a research team or a professional structure (NGOs, consultancy companies, governmental agencies…) with the support of an academic supervisor, specialist of the related research domain. Half of this second year is devoted to researching and writing a thesis of about 12,000 words. The research topic will be devised at the end of the first year. The thesis accounts for half the marks for the second year.

Graduate destinations

The aim of the course is to train future scientific leaders in functional ecology, ecotoxicology and epidemiology as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. In that respect, the course combines functional ecology and conservation biology as two major disciplines with some other relevant topics – paleoecology, ecotoxicology, epidemiology, ethics and deontology, epistemology, environmental regulation and socioeconomics of conservation, structure and management of environmental organizations, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.

The Master’s Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.

Application

Available spots: 16 in M1 and M2

Students already registered in a French university apply online on eCandidat. All information available on ttp://http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/emme/en/.

Non-registered students should rather look at http://www.univ-fcomte.fr/pages/fr/menu1/accueil-international-131.html

Candidacy file:

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae with personal, training, internship, professional, and other information allowing the recruitment committee to assess the quality of the candidacy.
  • Evidence of completion of upper secondary school (high school) in the form of final and official diploma and transcripts. Note that the transcripts must specify all coursework completed.
  • Cover letter.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Application examination:

Examination by the recruitment committee of the Master EDGE

After a first examination of all complete files by the recruitment committee, some candidates may be called for an interview with some members of the recruitment committee.

Selection criteria:

  • Previous training in line with the Master EDGE objectives
  • Quality of the training (marks, ranks, distinction)
  • Internships and/or professional experiences in line with the Master EDGE objectives
  • Motivation and career objectives
  • Recommendation

General requirements:

To meet the general entrance requirements for programme studies at the Master’s level, you must have graduated from an accredited university with a degree equivalent to at least a Swedish Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS). Please note that you must provide adequate supporting documentation in the form of diplomas or official transcripts specifying all courses completed, including any transferred credits from previous schools, both in the original language and translated into English or French.

Specific requirements:

Specific entrance requirements consist of previous university studies within the following subjects: biology, ecology, and statistics.

English requirement

In order to be eligible, the English language entry requirement corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in France.

GRANTS

Up to five fellowship grants (800 € per month, during up to 10 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students, with a particular attention to applications coming from Mediterranean countries and Caribbean island nations and territories.



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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.

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, 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.



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This course covers a broad range of topics in conservation and forestry related topics. All students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a conservation or forestry related work environment, a research career in conservation or forestry and woodland ecology. Read more
This course covers a broad range of topics in conservation and forestry related topics. All students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a conservation or forestry related work environment, a research career in conservation or forestry and woodland ecology. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions. The MSc was designed in response to demands from conservation bodies for people with practical conservation skills as well as a strong academic background and has a strong practical field based component in each module.

The course

Forests are the lungs of the world. The great boreal forests cover almost 17 million square kilometers of North America, Europe and Asia. Tropical forests cover perhaps 6.5 million square kilometers and temperate forest systems another 10 million square kilometers. Tropical forests are renowned as sources of biodiversity, the northern boreal forests are major regions of carbon sequestration and they too are under threat through timber and mineral exploitation. Without forests our climate would be drastically different from the one we experience today, much of the globe would be desert and uninhabitable. Yet despite their importance as sources of biodiversity and climate regulation they are, especially in the tropics and the far north, constantly under threat. In temperate regions commercially managed forests are important sources of much needed products for our homes and industry. They are also important refugia for threatened wild life and provide educational and recreational uses for a significant proportion of the population. Despite their importance we still know very little about how to manage them sustainably and how to protect our rapidly shrinking natural forests and woodlands and the organisms that live within them.

This course covers a broad range of topics in conservation and forestry related topics. All students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a conservation or forestry related work environment or a research career in conservation or forestry and woodland ecology. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions. The MSc was designed in response to demands from conservation bodies for people with practical conservation skills as well as a strong academic background and has a strong practical field based component in each taught module.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the MSc you will be able to recognize the major biotic and abiotic problems affecting temperate and tropical trees and forests. The course will develop your analytical skills to enable you to recognize and resolve environmental, conservation and landscape management problems using fundamental principles of forest ecology and integrated forest management. You will also be able to show how forest and tree protection is directed to economic and social objectives and how ecological processes can be used to meet these objectives. You will also learn how to source and evaluate the latest developments in technology, and produce integrated management solutions that pay due regard to silvicultural, social and environmental requirements. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to forest ecology 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 forest conservation 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 aims of the MSc are to provide students with which will (a) prepare them for a career in sustainable forest management and/or conservation (b) prepare them for PhD studies (c) enable them to make a more informed choice for their PhD research and (d) offer practical vocational training in the area of conservation

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

Careers

Students from the MSc in Conservation and Forest Protection have gone on to work for Research Institutes such as Forest Research, FERA, RHS Wisley and Kew, or become ecological consultants. They have also gained employment with conservation bodies such as Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, The National Trust or overseas. A number of graduates have worked as Council Tree Officers and Biodiversity Officers and others have joined the Forestry Commission. Typically 60% of M.Sc graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

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With the increasing pressures on the marine environment, both in the South Pacific region and worldwide, experts in the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems are in demand. Read more

With the increasing pressures on the marine environment, both in the South Pacific region and worldwide, experts in the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems are in demand.

As a world-leader in marine conservation, New Zealand is a great place to develop your expertise in the field. Its unique and lengthy coastline is home to numerous marine organisms—from the tiny phytoplankton to the endangered New Zealand sea lion.

Study with Victoria's School of Biological Sciences, a leader in marine biology research. Examine marine conservation issues and practice using examples from New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific and wider Indo-Pacific region, which can be applied worldwide.

Marine Conservation can be studied through two qualifications. The Master of Marine Conservation (MMarCon) is a taught Master's with no thesis component and is the only taught Marine Conservation Master's degree in New Zealand.

Or you can choose to study the Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation (PGCertMarCon), a shorter qualification for those who want to expand their expertise into a new area of interest.

Master of Marine Conservation

The 180-point Master of Marine Conservation consists of three core courses and three courses chosen from a range of marine biology, biodiversity, ecology, ecological restoration and conservation courses. You can also choose courses that specialise in environmental management and conservation issues relating to New Zealand Māori and Pacific Island communities.

Two of your core courses, BIOL 424 New Zealand Conservation Practice and BIOL 529 Tropical Marine Conservation Practice, are field courses. You'll visit several world-renowned marine conservation sites in New Zealand and overseas.

The field courses will have costs over and above the course fees.

You'll also examine marine conservation issues of cultural and socioeconomic significance to Māori and Pacific peoples, such as exploitation of coastal regions and ecotourism, seabed and foreshore rights, and community-led conservation strategies.

Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation

The Postgraduate Certificate is made up of three courses totalling 90 points chosen from any of the courses in the MMarCon programme; however, you must include at least one of the core courses.

Workload

If you are studying full time you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.

You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.

Duration

The Master of Marine Conservation can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, or in 24 months part time.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Marine Conservation can be completed in six months of full-time study or in 12 months part time.

Community

Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues. You'll have opportunities to attend events, workshops, social functions and seminars.

The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information and provides a voice for you on campus.

Careers

You'll gain skills and knowledge in a wide range of areas within the conservation and management of marine organisms and ecosystems, in both temperate and tropical climates. You might find work at Crown Research Institutes, private research institutes or with national government agencies managing marine conservation and fisheries.

Other organisations you may work with include regional authorities such as city, regional and district councils, consultancy firms carrying out contract marine biology work or non-government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.



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Why choose this course?. This comprehensive course provides an in-depth view of the contemporary issues and techniques required of professional wildlife conservationists working both in the UK and overseas. Read more

Why choose this course?

This comprehensive course provides an in-depth view of the contemporary issues and techniques required of professional wildlife conservationists working both in the UK and overseas. The course is taught not only by our experienced academic staff but with the assistance of world-leading experts and conservation practitioners both in class and also in the field.

Importantly throughout the course we stress a holistic appreciation of the link between field and laboratory-based work and the necessity of professional level communication with a range of audiences. Where possible teaching will be undertaken through workshops and seminars so providing a more immersive environment to help develop an understanding of the operation of professional-level applied conservation skills in communication and problem solving.

What happens on the course?

The focus throughout is on animals in their wild settings and as such there is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and applied wildlife research. Modules to be studied are:

7AB012 Conservation Genetics - This module is focused on genetic applications to problems of conservation, reflecting the diversity of concerns relevant to conservation biology and covering the management of captive populations for conservation. Modern genetic techniques used by conservationists are also examined.

7AB009 Advanced Survey and Monitoring Techniques –The desktop survey, design, collection, processing, analysis and output production of environmental data (physical, vegetation and organismal) will be explored in a problem-based setting. This will involve the integrated use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), geospatial imagery, telemetry, image acquisition, sound acquisition, ground-truthing and field survey techniques.

7AB011 Primate Conservation and Behaviour - This module focuses on the evolution of primate societies and asks how environmental and demographic factors influence animals’ decisions about how to organise their social and reproductive strategies. Throughout, the emphasis is on understanding key theoretical concepts and how these may be applied to empirical studies of non-human primates. This module explores also the science of scarcity and diversity of wild primate populations and the successful management of captive populations for conservation.

7AB013 Research Methods for Wildlife Conservation - This module prepares you with the skills needed for wildlife conservation research. You will develop advanced skills in literature searching and critical analysis of published work. You will explore the development of a research question, research design, data handling and statistics. You will prepare a professional portfolio of your research methods covered in the module.

7AB010 Field Course - The module will examine the whole process of research trip planning from funding and logistical planning through to the detail of content for individual session activities. The culmination of this process will be a residential field course in the UK or overseas.

7AB014 Conservation of UK Protected Species – In-depth consideration of the conservation of UK protected species including their ecology, protection legislation, conservation measures, habitat management and habitat creation.

7AB015 The Masters Project module - an opportunity to plan, undertake and deliver an extended, problem-focused, original independent investigation related to the chosen programme of study and is a requirement for the award of a Masters degree.

Whilst the majority of the material will be delivered by the core Departmental staff the course aims to bring-in external speakers from wildlife research, practice and policy to allow students access to the knowledge of professionals working in the sector.

Why Wolverhampton?

  • Wolverhampton is developing a national reputation for the study of Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation. Studying the MSc provides real opportunities to influence the direction of study and research of the staff and student body.
  • There are significant opportunities to undertake fieldwork in a range of local, national and international settings. This is an important driver for the department and provides a strong applied focus for Masters-level study across the range of modules studied.
  • A strong emphasis is placed on developing the link from strategic/logistical planning through field and laboratory work to the professional communication of the information generated.
  • The facilities of the new Science building at the university provide a significant opportunity to develop complementary wildlife-related laboratory skills which are often not explored at undergraduate level.
  • Innovative approaches to learning are used including student-led workshops, seminars and practical activities that mirror workplace scenarios. This gives students a strong role in directing their own development and links strongly to career development and aspiration.
  • There is a strong emphasis on the individual and the nurturing of individual study and career aspirations.

Career Path

The course prepares you for a role as a conservation professional working with strong applied and field-based components. In particular it gives you key opportunities for employment in conservation-type roles in the UK and beyond where higher-level qualifications are essential for demonstrating topic knowledge and technical competency. Such roles are found in a host of statutory and non-governmental organisations across the wildlife sector.

What skills will you gain?

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of wildlife conservation and behavioural science.
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research or advanced scholarship. Specifically you will develop the higher-level field and laboratory skills that are widely applied in the wildlife conservation community.
  • A practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. Specifically you will understand the process of enquiry within wildlife conservation and behaviour from first principles and strategic/logistical planning through field and laboratory work to professional output (report, research paper, oral presentation etc.)
  • A conceptual understanding that enables you to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline as well as the knowledge to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
  • Applied skills and theoretical understanding linking policy and practice that allow you to fully engage with the advancement of knowledge in wildlife conservation and behaviour science.


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Goal of the pro­gramme. Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species.

In the master's degree program, you can become familiar with a wide variety of topics in three areas: ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. You can choose studies from any of these areas, as well as from other master's degree programmes. The programme is diverse and multidisciplinary: teaching is done with lectures, laboratory and computer training courses, interactive seminars, study tours and field courses. The field courses range from the northern subarctic region to tropical rainforests.

Our wide expertise extends from molecular ecology to population and community biology. The Centres of Excellence of Metapopulation Biology and Biological Interactions are located in our department.

Our programme offers you a wide range of options: evolutionary biology or genetics for those interested in ecological genetics and genomics, as well as the ability to take advantage of the high-quality molecular ecology and systematics laboratory; conservation biology for those interested in regional or global environmental problems; and ecological modelling skills for those interested in computational biology. Our training also offers Behavioural Ecology. 

Ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology are not only fascinating topics for basic research, they also have a key role in addressing global environmental challenges.

Upon graduating from the Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology programme, you will:

  • Have mastered the main theories and methods in ecology and evolutionary biology and be able to apply them to practical problems
  • Be able to plan and carry out a scientific research project
  • Have read the relevant scientific literature and be able to utilise your expertise in different types of work
  • Be able to work as an expert in your field
  • Be able to to write good scientific English
  • Be able to work in research projects and groups
  • Be able to continue on to doctoral studies

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The Master's degree program includes studies of ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. The studies are organised in modules. You can affect the content of the studies by planning your personal curriculum. You can study the following themes:

  • Ecology studies the abundance and distribution of species (animals, plants, microbes) and the interactions among them and with the environment. The perspective ranges from the molecular to the ecosystem level. In ecology, a central question is: Why are some species able to invade new habitats and displace native species? Which species are able to adapt to environmental change or migrate with the changing climate, and which species will become extinct?
  • Evolutionary biology examines the processes which support biodiversity on its various levels (genes – individuals – populations – species – ecosystems). You will learn about the theory of evolution and how to use population genetics and genomics methods in researching evolutionary issues.
  • Conservation Biology studies the depletion of biodiversity, its causes and consequences. You will learn to apply ecological theory to the problems of environmental conservation, to assess the effectiveness of methods of conservation, as well as to resolve the problems relating to conservation e.g. by modelling and computational methods. The training emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary education in the area of conservation.


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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

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.

Core modules

  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation
  • Rural Matrix
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Conservation and Environmental Management

Optional modules (indicative list)

  • Wetlands
  • Lakes
  • Marine Conservation
  • Coastal Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature, Culture, Politics
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature Conservation
  • Aquatic Macrophytes
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change

Dissertation/report

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 lectures, seminars, computer practicals and field studies, including two residential field-classes to Norfolk and Snowdonia, as well as an optional field-class to an overseas destination. Assessment is through coursework, essays and the dissertation, which includes a presentation of dissertation results.

Fieldwork

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Conservation MSc

Careers

The MSc provides an excellent preparation for employment with the full range of public sector and voluntary conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, and for a career in environmental research and academia.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Ecological Consultant, Applied Ecology
  • Land Management Adviser, Natural England
  • People Engagement Officer, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • DPhil in Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Coastal Protected Area Conservation, University of Cambridge

Employability

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.

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?

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.

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: Geography

81% 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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This award-winning programme combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans and wildlife in forest and woodland environments. Read more
This award-winning programme combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans and wildlife in forest and woodland environments. It provides an international and multidisciplinary forum to help understand the issues and promote effective action.

Whether working in the lab, with local conservation groups (including zoos and NGOs), or in the field, you will find yourself in a collaborative and supportive environment, working with international scholars in primate conservation and gaining first-hand experience to enact positive change.

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

Why choose this course?

- A pioneering programme providing scientific, professional training and accreditation to conservation scientists

- Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2008

- Opportunity to work alongside leading academics for example Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Vincent Nijman and Dr Kate Hill

- Excellent learning resources both at Brookes and through Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, and the Museum of Natural History

- Links with conservation organisations and NGOs, both internationally and closer to home, including Fauna and Flora International, TRAFFIC and Conservation International

- Field trips for MSc students to Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands as well as to sanctuaries and zoos in the UK

- A dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world leading research.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, research seminars, training workshops, tutorials, case studies, seminar presentations, site visits, computer-aided learning, independent reading and supervised research.

Each of the six modules is assessed by means of coursework assignments that reflect the individual interests and strengths of each student. Coursework assignments for six taught modules are completed and handed in at the end of the semester, and written feedback is given before the start of the following semester. A seventh module, the final project, must be handed in before the start of the first semester of the next academic year. It will be assessed during this semester with an examinations meeting at the beginning of February, after which students receive their final marks.

An important feature of the course is the contribution by each student towards an outreach project that brings primate conservation issues into a public arena. Examples include a poster, display or presentation at a scientific meeting, university society or school. Students may also choose to write their dissertation specifically for scientific publication.

Round-table discussions form a regular aspect of the course and enable closer examination of conservation issues through a sharing of perspectives by the whole group.

Careers

This unique postgraduate programme trains new generations of anthropologists, conservation biologists, captive care givers and educators concerned with the serious plight of non-human primates who seek practical solutions to their continuing survival. It provides the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable you to contribute to arresting and reversing the current devastating destruction of our tropical forests and the loss of the species that live in them.

You will be joining a supportive global network of former students working across all areas of conservation in organisations from the BBC Natural History Unit through to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and in roles from keeper and education officer in zoos across the UK and North America to paid researcher at institutes of higher education. Some of our students have even gone on to run their own conservation-related NGOs.

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

Our vibrant research culture is driven by a thriving and collaborative community of academic staff and doctoral students. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 70% of our work was judged to be of international quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour, with 5% "world leading".

Our strong performance in the RAE, along with our expanding consultancy activities, have enabled us to attract high quality staff and students and helped to generate funding for research projects.

Conservation Environment and Development, comprising several research clusters.

The Nocturnal Primate Research Group specialises in mapping the diversity of the nocturnal primates of Africa, Asia, Madagascar and Latin America through multidisciplinary teamwork that includes comparative studies of anatomy, physiology, behaviour, ecology and genetics. Field studies are helping to determine the origins and distribution of these neglected species, as well as indicating the conservation status of declining forests and woodlands. The NPRG has developed a widespread network of collaborative links with biologists, game wardens, forestry officers, wildlife societies, museums and zoos/sanctuaries.

The Human Interactions With and Constructions of the Environment Research Group develops and trains an interdisciplinary team of researchers to investigate priorities within conservation research - using an interdisciplinary framework in anthropology, primatology, rural development studies, and conservation biology.

The Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group (OWTRG) aims to quantify all aspects of the trade in wild animals through multidisciplinary teamwork including anthropology, social sciences, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, environmental economics, and legislation. Their strong focus is on wildlife trade in tropical countries –as this is where most of the world's biodiversity resides and where the impacts of the wildlife trade are arguably the greatest. Recognizing that the wildlife trade is a truly global enterprise they also focus on the role of consumer countries.

The Europe Japan Research Centre (EJRC) organises and disseminates the research of all Brookes staff working on Japan as well as a large number of affiliated Research Fellows.

The Human Origins and Palaeo Environments Research Cluster carries out ground-breaking interdisciplinary research, focussed on evolutionary anthropology and environmental reconstruction and change. The study published in the journal Science reports findings from an eight-year archaeological excavation at a site called Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. Palaeolithic stone tools found at the Jebel Faya were similar to tools produced by early modern humans in east Africa, but very different from those produced to the north, in the Levant and the mountains of Iran. This suggested early modern humans migrated into Arabia directly from Africa and not via the Nile Valley and the Near East as is usually suggested. The new findings will reinvigorate the debate about human origins and how we became a global species.

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This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Cornwall Campus by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. Read more
This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Cornwall Campus by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/cec/) ; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. 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 Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, Natural England, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (links open in new windows).

The course provides excellent employability, with our alumni moving into careers such as: ecological consultancy, government conservation in UK and overseas, NGO conservation in the UK (Bat Conservation Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts) and overseas and fully funded PhD positions in ecology and conservation.

Programme overview

- Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability;
- 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, aviary and controlled environment rooms;
- Modules target both research and practical conservation skills.

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 and 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 and 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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Become a specialist wildlife conservation practitioner with practical skills, experience and knowledge innovation to protect the world’s most vulnerable species. Read more
Become a specialist wildlife conservation practitioner with practical skills, experience and knowledge innovation to protect the world’s most vulnerable species. Learn from our conservation partners and work with major conservation organisations to prepare for a rewarding career.

Key benefits

The course is delivered on site at Bristol Zoo Gardens and its sister site, the Wild Place Project. These locations give you an opportunity to develop your skills and test innovative strategies and products.

We have excellent links to industry and business in the South West, including Avon and Somerset Wildlife Trusts. Sites of international conservation importance, such as the Avon Gorge and Somerset Levels, are on our doorstep, so there are plenty of fieldwork opportunities.

Course detail

This exciting course is not just theoretical. It's designed to give you hands-on experience of contemporary and advancing techniques for conserving biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. It's delivered in collaboration with the internationally renowned Bristol Zoological Society (BZS), and is unique in the way it prepares you for complete practical conservation.

Alongside developing your abilities and practice in ecosystem and species conservation, communication and effecting behaviour change, the MSc Advanced Wildlife Conservation in Practice course has a strong emphasis on developing your innovation and entrepreneurial skills. There is an ever more pressing need for conservationists to create and work with emerging technologies to ensure we maximise the opportunities for biodiversity conservation.

Modules

• Advanced ecosystem conservation in practice
• Advanced species conservation in practice
• Communication for conservation
• Innovation and Enterprise in Conservation
• Research Project

Format

Teaching is split equally between BZS staff and UWE Bristol staff, with some additional content from other partner organisations, such as RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (Slimbridge). You'll have the opportunity to become immersed in a major conservation organisation, interact with experts engaged in ground-breaking conservation projects across the globe, and meet practising conservationists and ecologists from a wide range of organisations. This gives you the opportunity to develop your professional network and hone your skills towards the job you want.

Each teaching block includes a guest tutor from an outside organisation, while some of the module assignments will require you to network with conservation managers from your local area.

Assessment

Each module assessment is specifically designed to allow you to develop your practical skills and understanding, and increase your employability once you graduate. They will usually take the form of mini-projects and will require you to master advanced techniques in wildlife conservation and evaluate their effectiveness in a range of circumstances. The projects include presentations, portfolios and reports. There are no formal written exams.

Careers / Further study

The course has been developed with a wide range of stakeholders from the ecological consultancy and charity sectors. We use their feedback to ensure the skills you gain are the ones employers are looking for. On completion of the course, you will be excellently placed to seek work in national and international conservation organisations and ecological consultancies, government agencies or even to set up your own NGO.

You may choose to continue your conservation research or go on to doctorate-level studies. The course also gives you the potential to become a chartered member of the Institute of Environmental Management.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –
The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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