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Masters Degrees (Ecosystem)

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Studying how ecosystems benefit humanity and how we use and manage them, this programme assesses the trade-offs involved in our use of the environment. Read more

Programme description

Studying how ecosystems benefit humanity and how we use and manage them, this programme assesses the trade-offs involved in our use of the environment.

This is a rapidly developing area, involving both natural and social sciences, and an increasingly common approach to environmental policy-making and management in government agencies and businesses.

On this programme you will study the complex relationships between ecosystem functions and how humanity uses and values ecosystems.

This programme has typically included a field trip which takes place in the spring, giving you insights into methods and approaches that will be useful for your dissertation work. The field trip has historically taken place in the Cairngorms in the Scottish highlands.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed with a focus on building up skills that are in particularly short supply in the environmental sector. The full-time programme is divided into two semesters of taught courses, followed by a field trip at Easter before the dissertation period over the summer. We are happy to accommodate different working patterns for part-time students, including a half day a week schedule for three-year part time study.

Compulsory courses typically include*:
•Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Analysing the Environment
•Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
•Analysing the Environment Study Tour
•Research Project in Ecosystem Services
•Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Culture, Ethics & Environment
•Environmental Geochemistry
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Integrated Resource Management
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Principles of Geographical Information Science
•Encountering Cities
•Fundamentals for Remote Sensing
•Soil Protection and Management
•Values and the Environment
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Forests and Environment
•Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Political Ecology
•Soil Science Concepts and Application
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Water Resource Management
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Energy & Society
•Novel Strategies for Carbon Storage in Soil
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Research Design

Field trip

A spring field trip will develop students’ practical experience and skills. Historically this field trip has taken place in the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands.

Career opportunities

UK research councils cite the skills gained on this MSc as those ‘most wanted’ in the environmental sector. As demand for sound evidence of ecosystem services increases, so does demand for graduates who can translate complex science into policy and business opportunities.

We have strong links with businesses and key industry players who want to make use of these skills. Committed to helping you meet prospective employers and network with those active in the field, we organise careers events, and encourage dissertations conducted in partnership with external organisations.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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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

Course overview

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.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/biodiversity-conservation-ecosystem-management-msc/#modules

How to Apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/biodiversity-conservation-ecosystem-management-msc/#howtoapply

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Marine environments are treated as integrated systems, exploring the interconnections between the physical environment, biodiversity and the impact of human activity and resource use. Read more
Marine environments are treated as integrated systems, exploring the interconnections between the physical environment, biodiversity and the impact of human activity and resource use. This holistic approach achieves a superior understanding of ecosystem goods-and-services and how to protect and manage marine systems.

The programme is jointly organised and delivered by two internationally renowned organisations: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) at the University of St Andrews and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) on the west coast of Scotland near Oban.

The programme provides intensive expert tuition in the ecology and management of marine systems with a strong practical and research basis. Laboratory and practical fieldwork takes place at field stations in the UK, and includes the use of the SAMS research vessel MV Calanus. Students learn to use models and protocols to assess ecosystem health and the socioeconomic status of marine systems.

The first semester taught component of the programme is delivered at SOI in St Andrews, with the second semester delivered at SAMS in Oban on the west coast of Scotland (with options of a polar field course in Antarctica or a tropical scientific diving course in Indonesia).

Research Project (dissertation)

From May to August, students focus solely on their research project leading to the submission of a dissertation. Assessment for this part of the course contributes one third of the total mark for the MSc. The topic and plan for the project will be developed by the student in collaboration with one or more academic supervisors at SAMS or at St Andrews.

Additional Entry Requirements

Proof of satisfactory English Language competence for applicants whose first language is not English (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Proficiency Exam). Students must be able to communicate their ideas effectively in writing, in discussions and presentations. Please see the University of St Andrews list of minimum language requirements for postgraduate study http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/elt/entry/ . Note that additional requirements may apply depending on the test taken, e.g. IELTS of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each paper.

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This online learning programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to conservation management. Read more

Programme description

This online learning programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to conservation management.

It draws together expertise from within the University of Edinburgh's Global Health Academy and partner global associates, to deliver first class teaching and research in the field of Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health.

You will assess all aspects of ecosystems, aiming to conserve and maintain their sustainability in both the developing and developed world.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Academies.

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.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered using innovative online learning. It involves a mixed teaching approach that includes independent study and reflection, as well as online discussion and group project work.

Year 1: certificate
You study the following areas:

Evolution and Biodiversity
Ecosystem Health and Sustainability
Ecosystems and Governance
Conservation Ethics

Year 2: diploma
You choose six elective courses from the following:

Climate Change, Policy and Practice
Communication and Public Engagement of Conservation
Conservation Genetics
Environmental Law
Ex-situ Wildlife Management
Extreme and Fragile Ecosystems
An introduction to transboundary diseases
Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
Invasive Non-Native Species
Land Use and Food Security
Managing Ecosystems for Human Health and Wellbeing
The Marine Environment
The Modern Zoo
The Use of Artificial Reproduction Technologies in Threatened Species
Water and Sanitation
Wildlife Crime and Forensic Investigation
Wildlife, animal Health and environment
Wildlife Tourism
Zoonotic Disease

Elective courses are subject to minimum student numbers and timetabling restrictions.

Year 3: masters
You complete your own choice of dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you find work in environmental, intergovernmental, national and international agencies, as well as lobby groups, NGOs and other research groups.

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The increasing demand for those with an understanding of the environment provides fantastic opportunities for those with knowledge of ecosystem services and management. Read more
The increasing demand for those with an understanding of the environment provides fantastic opportunities for those with knowledge of ecosystem services and management. Get ahead of the competition by improving your qualifications on our Masters programme. You'll gain all the knowledge you need on assessing and understanding ecosystems and how to value the services they provide, ensuring that a healthy and resilient environment is present now and in the future. We offer a range of modules to help you model within business planning across sectors for economic development and environmental protection, so take your expertise to the next level by completing our course!

Course outline

This Masters is designed to provide students with knowledge on how to assess ecosystems, how to value the services they provide and how this information informs and supports the sustainable use of natural resources decision-making process.

Students will share four taught core modules that will cover the fundamentals of the subject area plus a dissertation module. For the remaining taught modules students can choose two options from three remaining modules associated with this course.

Graduate destinations

During the course you'll have chance to take optional modules relevant to specific sectors. This will allow you to focus your skills towards a new career in conservation, forestry, catchment management, economics and environmental modelling. The skills and knowledge you learn are perfect for working in water management, environmental agencies and NGOs.

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Many challenges facing society depend on the interaction between ecological systems, the environment and human wellbeing. Yet our current understanding of these complex systems is mostly insufficient for science-based intervention. Read more

Course Overview

Many challenges facing society depend on the interaction between ecological systems, the environment and human wellbeing. Yet our current understanding of these complex systems is mostly insufficient for science-based intervention. Imperial College’s Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment Initiative is based at its Silwood Park campus; an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ecology research, and aims to fill this gap with a unique and innovative Masters in Research course.

This MRes gives students the opportunity to work on active projects alongside leading academics from many different disciplines, allowing them to create real-world impact during the course of their research.

The course will provide students with a cutting-edge interdisciplinary programme, providing high-level research training in the latest developments in the conservation of ecosystems and the environment, covering the physical, life, and social sciences, as well as an understanding of how to ensure that research has real-world impact. This will best prepare students for a career in Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment research and possible PhD studies.

Research Project

Students complete 9 months of project-based research training. The projects are designed to give practical experience of desk-based or field research and provide the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills that build upon those taught earlier in the course.

This MRes comprises projects which can be based in the lab of any Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment member (with guidance and support from any participating department in College or in the University of an International Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment member), and are designed to provide students with experience of contributing to essential research which will provide real-world impact on an active project. Fully desk-based projects are also available.

Course Structure

The course involves 8 weeks of full time teaching of core skills and 9 months of project-based research training.

Taught Elements

* Environmental and biological data sources and GIS
* Statistics and programming
* Understanding and modelling changes in the physical environment
* Understanding and modelling changes in biological systems
* Understanding and modelling changes in social-ecological systems
* Understanding and modelling policy responses to grand challenges
* Communicating your message, including scientific writing and engaging with stakeholders

Additionally, MRes students are able to attend many transferable skills courses that include:

* A one week induction course, including a series of seminars in Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment research
* Attendance at workshops and guest lectures within the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment initiative
* A one-week summer school on ‘Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment’
* Training in complementary skills, personal development and business
* Weekly reading groups
* Preparing a CV

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This is a broad based and flexible course that will enable you to pursue a range of environmental careers, from environmental specialist to a manager with an environmental remit. Read more
This is a broad based and flexible course that will enable you to pursue a range of environmental careers, from environmental specialist to a manager with an environmental remit. Alternatively the course, or modules within it, can provide valuable continuing professional development (CPD) should you be a professional wanting to refresh or expand your skills in environmental management. This can be done by taking the whole course or individual modules as stand-alone CPD items.

This course has been developed following extensive consultation with industry. Unusually, and perhaps uniquely, for an Environmental Management Master’s, you can include Business Management modules in your options; something that is seen as a real benefit by our industry partners. In addition, through choosing particular modules and assessment options, the course can be tailored to suit a range of environmental interests and therefore careers in the environmental and management sectors. For example this course will suit you if you wish to pursue a career in ecological consultancy, pollution control or environmental hazards and liabilities.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

You will study two compulsory 30 credit modules (one in each taught trimester) that will provide a detailed overview of environmental management practices, principles, tools and techniques. These will include topics such as pollution, EMS, biodiversity, environmental monitoring, GIS, environmental decision-making and communication skills.

Modules amounting to a further 30 credits are also selected in each taught trimester, from a choice of environmental management or business management topics. You must take a minimum of 30 credits in environmental management and there are four 15 credit environmental management modules available. These are focused on: ecosystem management; environment and society; applied geomorphology; and wastes, energy and pollution. Business management modules are available in topics such as: contemporary management issues; entrepreneurship; financial management; marketing; and managing people.

Finally, you will complete a 60 credit independent research project that will allow you to demonstrate your environmental understanding in an area relevant to your interests and career; from biodiversity to business. You may also elect to use an existing project related to your employment as your dissertation.

MODULES

TRIMESTER 1
You will study the following modules in Trimester 1:

Principles of Environmental Management (30 credits):
This compulsory module provides an overview of environmental management principles, tools, and legislation: including sustainability, resource management, environmental hazards and ecosystem services.

Plus optional modules totalling 30 credits:

Waste, Energy and Pollution Management (15 credits) optional:
Develop your understanding of the potential negative impacts that arise through human interactions with the environment. Key aspects will include resource use and polluting emissions, especially through our generation of waste and utilisation of energy sources. It will also enable you to appreciate the role of new technologies in alleviating such effects.

Environment and Society: Global Perspectives on Policy and Practice (15 credits) optional:
Gain a deeper, critical understanding of the human dimensions of environmental change. Develop your sense of the multi-layered and contested nature of environmental ‘problems’ and the ‘solutions’ variously proposed. A broad, interdisciplinary and critical awareness is encouraged through consideration of academic and policy literatures from different global and historical contexts.

Business Management Options:
Environmental managers often need a range of management skills, and these modules will allow you to develop some of these important skills. Modules available include: Financial Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Managing People, and Management in Practice. Management in Practice is a 30 credit module providing an excellent overview if you have no formal business training. The other modules are 15 credit modules and will allow the development of specific skills.


TRIMESTER 2
You will study the following modules in Trimester 2:

Professional Practice for Environmental Management (30 credits):
This compulsory module develops key professional skills, including: GIS, environmental risks and decision- making, survey and monitoring, sampling design, data management and analysis, reporting and communication.

Plus optional modules totalling 30 credits:

Ecosystem Management (15 credits) optional:
Modern economic theory (ecological economics) considers ecosystem sustainability as the foundation of all economic sustainability and its crucial role in underpinning business and political decisions. Hence, this module investigates the natural environment in terms of ecosystem functions and resource management, both of which can provide benefits and provide challenges for human beings and the wider environment. It also considers the extent to which we can assign economic value to nature.

Applied Geomorphology (15 credits) optional:
Develop the theoretical and practical skills to equip you to undertake integrated and applied geomorphological projects relevant to the environmental management and consultancy sectors.

Business Management Options:
From a range of management skills and specialisms (see Trimester 1 options)

TRIMESTER 3
In this trimester you complete a 60 credit research project, which will require you to research an applied environmental question. There is considerable flexibility in subject choice and the project focus will reflect your core interests, and may range from the influence of environmental issues on business decision-making, to monitoring biodiversity. This could include industry-based/work placement projects, with our industry partners.

TEACHING METHODS AND RESOURCES

Teaching is a mix of lectures, seminars, small tutor groups, practical/field work sessions and online/desk- based study.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The dependence of economic sustainability and social wellbeing on a sustainable natural environment is now accepted, and through several international agreements, Governments across the world have acknowledged the urgent need to secure environmental sustainability. The need for well- informed Environmental Managers has therefore never been greater. This means managers who not only understand the environment, but also understand its importance to economic and social well being.

This Master’s will provide you with the expertise, practical skills and confidence to pursue specialist careers in environmental management, environmental consultancy or ecology and provide crucial environmental understanding for successful careers in local government, the civil service, engineering, planning or business.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

A range of assessment methods are used, all with a strong emphasis on applying the skills you learn during your course to workplace scenarios. These include writing technical reports, presentations and the use of electronic media, such as developing a specialist wiki. There will be no written examinations.

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The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. Read more

Programme description

The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. It explores these themes, the disputes around it and practical issues from an informed theoretical perspective, with an abiding concern for social justice claims. Conventional academic approaches focus on development or the environment as separate categories, while this programme looks at socioeconomic development as a socio-ecological and politicoecological process. In particular this E&D programme focuses on: a) grounding students in an awareness of
the contested development paradigm; and b) inculcating an awareness of economic, political and cultural links between environmental change and social inclusion. Those issues will be studied at the local and national level, but also taking into account the global scale of environmental and development agendas. In many cases the root causes of inequality and poverty, both in the Global South and in the Global North, are driven by regional or global economics far beyond the borders of a particular country, village or region.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.

Programme structure

This MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses. Students take two compulsory and four option courses, each a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, followed by an individual dissertation.

Compulsory courses typically include:
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Development: Principles and Practices
•Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Governing Mineral Extraction in Africa
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Principles of Geographical Information Science
•Research Design in Human Geography
•Marine Systems and Policies
•EU and National Climate Change Law
•International Political Economy
•South Asia: Roots of Poverty and Development
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Governing Mineral Extraction in Africa
•Introduction To Spatial Analysis
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Project Appraisal
•Soil Protection and Management
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Energy Policy and Politics
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
•Forests and Environment
•Gender and Development
•Global Environment and Society
•Global Environmental Politics
•International Security
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Political Ecology
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Water Resource Management
•Marine Infrastructure and Environmental Change
•Anthropology of Global Health
•Case Studies in Sustainable Development
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law
•Foundations of Science, Technology and Development
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices
•Interrelationships in Food Systems
•The International Politics of Money

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Career opportunities

This programme is suitable for students seeking roles within international and national development agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, environmental consultancies or the private sector, or those going on to PhD research.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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Graduates will be equipped with the analytical and communication skills to contribute to humanity’s efforts to achieve and sustain food security during the 21st century. Read more

Programme description

Graduates will be equipped with the analytical and communication skills to contribute to humanity’s efforts to achieve and sustain food security during the 21st century.

This programme is not suitable for applicants pursuing a career in food science or food safety/hygiene or related areas. Please read the programme description and ensure you understand the nature of the programme before you apply. Applicants who do not show a clear understanding of the programme will not be accepted.

Food security has become a critically important issue for societies around the globe. Interactions between demographics, changes in diet, trade liberalisation, an increased focus on conservation, technological innovations including GM crops, the impact of climate change and new responses to climate change resource limitations (particularly in terms of energy, water and nutrients) all affect food security.

With such a rapid growth in this area, there is an increasing demand for qualified experts to contribute to policy creation and legislation in food production and the supply chain.

This unique MSc offers students the scope and multidisciplinary approach to address all of these issues, as well as an understanding of the technical, agronomic, environmental, economic and socio-political factors that influence food security.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Programme structure

This MSc programme consists of six taught courses over two semesters, and an individual dissertation project of about 12,000 words.

Compulsory courses typically include*:
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Interrelationships in Food Systems
•Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Integrated Resource Management
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Soil Protection and Management
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Interrelationships in Food Systems
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Case Studies in Sustainable Development
•Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Soil Science Concepts and Application

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Field trip

Provisionally in Italy, the field trip provides an opportunity to apply some of the principles of food security to real world scenarios.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

•Provide a broad understanding of agronomic, environmental, economic and socio-political factors that influence food security
•Apply scientific information and methods in the analysis of complex problems
•Formulate a research problem and independently carry out the research needed to produce an appropriate solution in a range of scientific or policy contexts
•Enhance their skills in specialist topics related to food security

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme typically go on to work in government and non-governmental agencies as well as international bodies and businesses where they can utilise the invaluable, and highly prized, skills they have acquired on the programme, such as food security assessment.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. Read more

Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Biology or related area

2. Proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
-A TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90(internet based)
- A IELTS score of >6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and in the field of communication, business and management or education. Biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students very quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.
What biologists do:
- Researchers at universities or in companies
- Supervisors of clinical trials
- Consultants
- Lecturers
- Policy coordinators
- Teachers

Where biologists work:
- Research/education
- Health care
- Business services
- Industry
- Government
- Trade

Our approach to this field

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

Our research in this field

- Rich programme
This M.Sc. programme not only puts the interactions between organisms into context, it also integrates all levels of organisation from the molecule and the cell up to ecosystems and the landscape. This combination of experience results in a rich and coherent MSc. programme of Master's courses and exciting internships with state-of-the-art research. It prepares you for a career in science, both fundamental and applied, but also provides the necessary knowledge for innovative evidence-based applications in nature and water management.

- Personal tutor
Our top scientist are looking forward to take you with them on a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Radboud University offers you a multitude of research fields to choose from in close collaboration with the
- academic hospital UMCN St. Radboud;
- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;
- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences;
- Donders Institute.

This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

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With the global human population set to rise to over nine billion by 2050, and our trees facing new plant threats, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems. Read more

Programme description

With the global human population set to rise to over nine billion by 2050, and our trees facing new plant threats, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from 'field to fork'. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.

This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.
.

Programme structure

The full time 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. The curriculum consists of two core and four elective taught courses, followed by a period of individual dissertation project work. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.

Core courses typically include*:
•Forensic Plant Health: lectures, lab classes and field visits providing a foundation in plant health investigation
•Plant Health in a Global Context: lectures and visits providing a global context for exploring plant health issues
•Dissertation
•Students with little background in plant health biology will take the elective course on the Fundamentals of Plant Health

Option courses allow students to tailor the degree programme according to their interests. Option courses may include*:
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Case Studies in Sustainable Development
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Integrated Resource Management
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Interrelationships in Food Systems
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Soil Protection and Management
•Soil Science Concepts and Application
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Understanding Environment and Development

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:
•Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management
•Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health
•An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions
•The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems
•Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security
•Improved analytical skills and critical thinking

Career opportunities

Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.

Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.

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Ecological Economics focuses on how to make sustainability and environmental management work in practice by applying economic principles. Read more

Programme description

Ecological Economics focuses on how to make sustainability and environmental management work in practice by applying economic principles.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Graduates with postgraduate training in this area are in greater demand than ever before in business, industry and government.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

You will learn through lectures, group work, informal group discussion and individual study, as well as the spring study tour. After two semesters of taught courses, you will begin work on your individual dissertations. You will be able to choose from a wide selection of option courses to suit individual interests and career goals.

Compulsory courses typically will be*:
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Project Appraisal
•Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Culture, Ethics & Environment
•Encountering Cities
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Integrated Resource Management
•International Development in a Changing World
•Introduction To Spatial Analysis
•Principles of GIS
•Society and Development
•Soil Protection and Management
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Water Resource Management
•Political Ecology
•Case Studies in Sustainable Development
•Management of Sustainable Development
•Ecosystem Values and Management
•Forests and Environment
•Further Spatial Analysis
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Interrelationships in Food Systems
•Introduction to Environmental Modelling
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Understanding the City

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Field trip

To experience and understand conflict between ecosystem conservation and human development needs at ground level, we typically offer a unique 7-10-day study tour, usually overseas and in the developing world (previous destinations have included South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania).

Career opportunities

Being able to identify ecological economic problems, and apply economic principles and methods to solve these problems is increasingly valued by employers.

Our graduates are working in a variety of sectors, including environmental consultancies; international and governmental agencies; NGOs; financial institutions; multinationals; environmental education and research.

Additionally around a quarter of our masters students go on to doctoral research programmes.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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In this one-year MSc programme, you have the opportunity to learn about how trees, people and agriculture can be combined in sustainably managed farms, forests and landscapes. Read more
In this one-year MSc programme, you have the opportunity to learn about how trees, people and agriculture can be combined in sustainably managed farms, forests and landscapes. There is a long tradition of agroforestry practice in many parts of the world, but recently it has become a major focus in international development and is now at the forefront of innovation in natural resource management. Bangor is a world leader in agroforestry with a fantastic reputation for its research activities and our graduates are either already employed when they start the course and/or have a strong track record in finding employment within the sector. Students and academic staff are active collaborators with international organisations such as the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, Costa Rica (CATIE) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). You can expect to develop the skills required for a research and professional career from the comprehensive programme we offer.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide an integrated education in natural resource management, combining ecological and social dimensions of agricultural and forest sciences, focussed on application to real world systems where trees interact with agriculture. The programme is designed to develop both subject-specific knowledge and cognitive and key skills. The course has a world focus and the University has strong links with agroforestry organisations which means that many of our students have undertaken fieldwork in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as in Wales/UK. Besides fantastic overseas opportunities, we also have a university farm (Henfaes Research Centre) located a short distance outside of Bangor where many students carry out experiments for their final projects.

This course is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and gives partial fulfilment of Professional Membership Entry.

We work in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre.


Course Structure
The programme has two parts. Part Part 1: runs from September to May and consists of five taught modules and a study tour. The taught part of the course is based on lectures, seminars, practical sessions and directed study, allowing an opportunity to examine a broad range of topics in detail and develop personal skills and expertise. A range of different assessment methods are used including reports, presentations, practical write-ups and online and written exams. Part 1 must be completed successfully before proceeding to Part 2, the dissertation phase.

Part 2: June to September is set aside for production of a dissertation on a topic selected by the student in consultation with their academic supervisor. Dissertations can be in almost any aspect of agroforestry that interests you; they can have a temperate or tropical focus, and can include field work either locally in Wales, elsewhere in the UK, or overseas.

Part 1 Subjects:

Agroforestry Systems and Practice: This module explores agroforestry systems and practices worldwide and introduces the concepts behind them. Through a series of case studies, the module explores ecological and biophysical interactions in agroforestry systems, and considers the range of social, economic and ecosystem benefits they deliver, including ways in which we are trying to reduce the environmental impact of food production and overcome constraints to food security.

Silviculture: The purpose of the module is to develop students’ understanding of the silviculture of single trees and trees in complex systems. This module develops an understanding of the principles and practice of silviculture, the place of silviculture in the sustainable cultivation of trees, and the role it plays in delivering ecosystem services from trees, woodlands and forests. We explore the unique characteristics of forest soils and of soil physical, chemical and biological properties, how these influence site productivity and how these are influenced by land management.

Natural Resource Management: The purpose of this module is to give students a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to managing natural resources to provide various ecosystem services, as well as a practical grounding in the ways in which natural resource managers can draw on a variety of knowledge sources to inform themselves and others of the impacts of land management interventions.

Research Planning and Communication: This module seeks to develop students’ understanding of the role of science and the scientific process in formulating and addressing context relevant questions, and communicating scientific output to different audiences. During the course of the module, students will devise, conduct and write up a policy-relevant scientific study.

Natural Resource Development: The purpose of this module is to introduce the international development context to students and to give a practical grounding in project planning. During the module, students will develop a full project proposal in line with funding guidelines for an agroforestry based natural resource development intervention.

Study Tour: We round off the taught part of the course with a study tour which gives students the opportunity to see the practical application of natural resource management principles that are discussed in earlier parts of the programme. During visits to areas which are managed for a range of objectives, you will meet and discuss with different stakeholders and collect information relevant to a specific research topic.

Part 2:

Dissertation: Execution and written presentation of a suitable scientific project which is devised by the student and an individual academic supervisor and validated by the Programme Director. A suitable project entails a worthwhile scientific question, of direct relevance to the degree programme being undertaken, established within the context of current knowledge and concepts that allows the formulation and testing of one or more hypotheses. This normally involves up to 5 months full-time work, typically including: 2-3 months for data collection from the field, laboratory or computer; 1-2 months for data analysis; and 1-2 months for writing-up.

Previous MSc dissertation projects and training courses held in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre can be viewed here.

Professional Accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and qualifies students for associate membership.

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The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. Read more

MSc Biology

The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food.

Programme summary

Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological progress of modern society. They are central to global concerns about how we effect and are affected by our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The MSc Biology allows students to get a broad overview of the latest developments in biology, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss the newest scientific developments in the biological sciences. Within their area of specialisation, students deepen their knowledge and skills in a certain subject. To prepare for a successful international career, we strongly encourage our students to complete part of their programme requirements abroad.

Specialisations

The MSc Biology offers nine specialisations:

Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology
This specialisation focuses mainly on subjects as adaptation, mechanisms involved in these adaptations and behaviour of animals.

Bio-interactions
In this specialisation, you obtain knowledge about interactions between organisms. You learn to understand and interpret interactions on different levels, from molecular to ecosystem level.

Molecular Ecology
In this specialisation, you learn to use molecular techniques to solve ecological questions. You will use, for example, molecular techniques to study the interaction between a virus and a plant.

Conservation and Systems Ecology
This specialisation focuses initially on fundamental processes that play a key role in ecology. You learn to interpret different relations, for example, the relation between chemical (or physical processes) and bioprocesses. Furthermore, you learn to analyse different ecosystems. You can use this knowledge to manage and conserve these ecological systems.

Evolution and Biodiversity
The systematics of biodiversity in an evolutionary perspective is the central focus of this specialisation. Subjects that will be addressed in this specialisation are: evolution, genetics, biosystematic research and taxonomic analysis.

Health and Disease
This specialisation focuses on regulatory mechanisms that have a central role in human and animal health.

Marine Biology
Choosing this specialisation means studying the complexity of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, you learn about the impacts of, for instance, fishery and recreation on this ecosystem or the interaction between different species in this system.

Molecular Development and Gene Regulation
This specialisation focuses on gene regulations and the different developmental mechanisms of organisms.

Plant Adaptation
This specialisation focuses on the adaptations that different plants gained in order to adjust to various conditions. You learn to understand the regulation processes in plants that underlie these adaptations.

Your future career

Many graduates from the MSc Biology study programme enter careers in fundamental and applied research or go on to become PhD students. Some find a position as communication officer, manager or policymaker. Compared with other Dutch universities, many biology graduates from Wageningen University find a position abroad.

Alumna Iris de Winter.
"I work as a PhD student at Wageningen University. In my research, I aim to understand the effect of human disturbance on the parasites prevalence in lemurs. I also look at the potential risks of the transmission of diseases and parasites from lemurs to humans, but also vice versa, from humans (and their livestock and pets) to wild lemur population. I alternate my fieldwork in Madagascar with parasite identification, analyses and writing manuscripts in the Netherlands. With this research, I hope to gain more insight in the factors that increase parasite prevalence in natural systems and hereby to improve the protection of both lemurs and their natural habitat."

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. Read more

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. The programme provides understanding of the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and water bodies.

Programme summary

Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes are major providers of ecosystem goods and services such as food, tourism and coastal protection. In many cases, exploitation levels have bypassed the carrying capacity of these ecosystems, leading to devastating effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. To preserve marine biodiversity and its ecosystem functions, innovative and sustainable solutions are necessary. Therefore, there is a need for young professionals who know how to take an integrative approach to marine ecosystems management.

The MAM programme starts with courses that give a common basis on aquaculture and marine resource management. In these courses, you will learn the principles of marine ecology and the governance of marine systems, the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and the role of science in public policy processes. Within the Aquaculture and Marine Resource master programme, you can choose one of three specialisations: Aquaculture, Marine resources and ecology, Marine Governance. Graduates are skilled in techniques and methods for analysing and solving biological environmental problems in aquatic systems by looking at the organisms and the communities including ecological, management and social aspects.

Specialisations

All students acquire a thorough understanding of processes governing life in any type of water body. In addition, students can choose to put more emphasis on any of the following aspects: ecology, natural resource management, capture fisheries or aquaculture. Depending on the specialisation the topics differ.

Aquaculture
This specialisation deals with the culture of numerous aquatic organisms (such as finfish, shrimp, shellfish, ornamental fish, corrals, sponges and algae) in a wide range of culture environments (from sea enclosures to semiextensive ponds and high-tech recirculation systems). Production methods should be sustainable, guarantee the health and wellbeing of the culture organisms, be economically viable, socially accepted, and result in safe and healthy products. This can only be achieved through knowledge and skills in aquatic production ecology based on knowledge of biological, physical and chemical integrity of water bodies and insight in economic and social driving factors.

Marine Resources and Ecology
This specialisation focuses on the sensitivity of marine communities in relation to human interventions, including climate change, fisheries and habitat destruction. You will learn to address limiting factors in order to be able to contribute to an improved biodiversity, environmental quality and sustainability of marine ecosystems. To do so, it requires insight into the ecological processes that form the basis for marine food chains, the interaction between species and the functioning of the different ecosystems.

Marine Governance
The main focus of this specialisation lies on the sustainable governance and economics of marine and coastal systems. The goals and strategies of commercial enterprises, non-governmental and governmental organisations and international institutions are analysed, and their effects are evaluated in relation to both organisations and ecosystems involved.

Your future career

The interest in sustainable management of the seas and coasts is booming, while there are only few professionals available with an integrated and specialised training in this field. Numerous types of specialists are needed, including technical specialists, researchers, consultants and project leaders in commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Alumna Pascalle Jacobs.
"I had already graduated as a terrestrial ecologist before I started the Master Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management. I started the MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management mainly because I saw a lot of potential in marine research. I did my thesis at IMARES and after my graduation they gave me the opportunity to work there as a PhD on a research project. In my research, I look at if and to what extent big amounts of young mussels attached to ropes or nets (mussel seed collectors) change the environment. These young mussels eat a lot so one of my research questions is if this grazing affects the amount of food available for other animals."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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