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Masters Degrees (Habitat Restoration)

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The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate… Read more
The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management. It can be studied full time over three years, or part time over a maximum of six years.

The Programme aims to prepare students:

- For doctoral level study.
- To engage in a career in in ecological or environmental management in a research, consultancy or wider sector context.
- To meet the global need for highly trained individuals who can make informed decisions on future research directions.
- To think for themselves in the development of a critical approach to the analysis of data and interpretation of published research.

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

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

Summary of modules taken in Part 1:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This taught Masters degree is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in conservation management or ecological consultancy, professions which increasingly require postgraduate qualification for establishment and progression. Read more
This taught Masters degree is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in conservation management or ecological consultancy, professions which increasingly require postgraduate qualification for establishment and progression. The course puts a high emphasis on practical field experience for managing habitats, monitoring species and developing biological identification skills for plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. These activities are allied to a clear theoretical framework underpinning ecology and conservation practice. We welcome applications from recent graduates, experienced consultants, conservation workers or those seeking a career change.

What will I study?

This Conservation Management course combines the expertise of the field biologist with practical experience of managing habitats. A firm emphasis is placed on fieldwork, biological identification skills and experience of a broad range of management issues.

You will develop laboratory skills including microscopy for bryophyte and invertebrate identification and soil analysis techniques. Identification skills gained will range from plants to invertebrates, mammals, amphibians and birds.

You will learn to write in a concise scientific style, construct arguments, consider ethical issues of ecological work, analyse and interpret data and synthesise scientific literature. These skills are highly desirable in ecological consultancy and conservation research.

Ethics is also an important feature of conservation management, for instance in the collection of voucher specimens. Consideration of ethical issues is given in each module, where appropriate, alongside legal issues.

How will I study?

Fieldwork is an integral part of many modules and is used to provide a multitude of experiences across species, habitats and conservation issues. A variety of local sites are used including dunes, meadows and forests. The programme includes a residential field course. Field trip costs are included within course fees.

In small classes, lecture-style sessions and practical work are designed to develop subject-specific skills, clarify concepts, raise questions and collect data. Follow-up seminars may consider analysis, data presentation, qualitative observations, elucidation of trends, and integration with theoretical ideas.

How will I be assessed?

The course has a variety of assessment methods which are designed to develop the full range of skills and expertise relevant to the subject. These include a research thesis, scientific reports, voucher specimen collections, vegetation portfolios, field-based management plans and examinations.

Who will be teaching me?

The course is taught by a small friendly team who have considerable teaching and research experience in the area. All staff are research active which means that they keep up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and pass this knowledge onto their students. Staff expertise includes forest and grassland conservation, habitat restoration, sustainable management of ecosystems, remote sensing in ecology and conservation genetics.

What are my career prospects?

This MSc will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in conservation or ecological consultancy. To date, graduates of the course have been employed by a range of non-governmental organisations (for example, Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and National Trust), governmental organisations (Natural England) and consultancies (including Atkins UK, Jacob’s Ecology, and Avian Ecology). Graduates have also progressed into conservation research, working for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and at various universities.

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Conserve our environment for future generations – work with industry and governments to reduce human impacts and provide solutions to environmental problems. Read more
Conserve our environment for future generations – work with industry and governments to reduce human impacts and provide solutions to environmental problems. MSc Environmental Consultancy will help launch your career, giving you the skills and knowledge required for a job in the environment sector. Maximise your career prospects by learning the latest techniques used in the management and assessment of environmental impact, and develop your practical skills with an eight week industry placement.

Key features

-Embark on an eight week work placement in the environmental sector which will give you an invaluable insight into the environmental business sector and, in many cases, has led to permanent positions being offered by employers. See the organisations we partner with to provide student placements.
-Work towards achieving chartered environmentalist status through your masters. The award has also received considerable support and recognition from employers and professional bodies such as the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
-Benefit from our expertise in areas including species and habitat restoration, evaluation of contaminated water and terrestrial environments, environmental law, geographical information systems, waste management and marine surveys.
-Take the opportunity to carry out your own environmental impact assessment, from data acquisition to production of a full environmental statement.
-Investigate through field work how environmental issues and constraints have been managed in the South West and further afield.
-Use the University’s high specification analytical equipment for environmental monitoring and the research vessel, Falcon Spirit, for marine sampling.
-Undertake a research-based project – you’ll be encouraged to develop a solution to a problem-based research question, working where possible in association with industry and your academic advisor.
-All modules are assessed 100 per cent by coursework, designed to reflect the outputs of the industry, readying you for what you are likely to be asked to do in your job.

Course details

Learn from our environmental management expertise in areas including ecological impact assessment, protected species and habitat survey, pollution prevention, evaluation of contaminated environments, water resource management, geographical information systems, waste minimisation and marine ecological survey. The programme consists of a 12 week and 7 week period of taught modules with an 8 week environmental sector work placement and 18 week dissertation period. Modules are assessed 100 per cent by coursework and designed to mirror professional practice. You’ll be provided with subject-specific knowledge and training in research methods. You’ll carry out an environmental impact assessment, from data acquisition to public inquiry, and develop your field survey skills over the equivalent of two weeks. Practising consultants give you an insight into opportunities within the environmental sector and you’ll hear how environmental management can help protect the environment and save money.

Core modules
-ENVS5004 Work Placement Project
-GEES515 Professional Practice in the Environmental Sector
-GEES517 Environmental Assessment
-GEES519 Environmental Knowledge: From Field to Stakeholder
-GEES520 MSc Dissertation

Optional modules
-MAR515 Management of Coastal Environments
-GEES505 Sustainable Management of Freshwater Ecosystems
-MATH500 Big Data and Social Network Visualization
-ENVS5003 Ecological Survey Evaluation and Mitigation
-ENVS5002 Investigation and Assessment of Contaminated Environments
-GEES506 Climate Change: Science and Policy
-CHM5002 Analytical Chemistry Principles
-MATH501 Modelling and Analytics for Data Science

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This blended-learning course applies an evidence-based approach to developing pragmatic solutions for environmental problems with particular emphasis on integrating biodiversity within land-use planning. Read more

Course Outline

This blended-learning course applies an evidence-based approach to developing pragmatic solutions for environmental problems with particular emphasis on integrating biodiversity within land-use planning. Students will learn how to deal effectively with the potential environmental impacts of development manner and in compliance with environmental legislation. The modular course is devoted to formal scientific and policy coursework delivered in a flexible learning format, comprising a mixture of face-to-face contact once every five weeks in addition to private study combined with e-tutorial on-line support. Key areas covered include Appropriate Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Core Modules

YEAR 1:
Ecosystem Science (5 ECTS)
Introduction to Flora & Fauna (5 ECTS)
Ecological Survey Techniques (5 ECTS)
Biodiversity Legislation & Policy (5 ECTS)
Habitat Identification & Assessment (5 ECTS)
Habitat Creation, Management & Restoration (5 ECTS)

YEAR 2:
Environmental Impact Assessment (5 ECTS)
Strategic Environmental Assessment (5 ECTS)
Appropriate Assessment (5 ECTS)
Climate Change & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)
Water Framework Directive & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)
Invasive Species & Biodiversity (5 ECTS)

Research Project (30 ECTS)

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The Master of Environmental Science with a specialisation in Environmental Management, will provide you with the necessary skills in the procedures and methods required in environmental management practices. Read more
The Master of Environmental Science with a specialisation in Environmental Management, will provide you with the necessary skills in the procedures and methods required in environmental management practices.

The Master of Environmental Science will provide you with the background and skills to deal with issues such as land degradation and rehabilitation, air and water pollution, climate change and carbon trading, water resource management, coastal management, flora and fauna conservation, competition for land use, habitat destruction and deforestation, and energy and mineral depletion.

UWA is a leader in environmental science research and training and is supported by staff and activities from Geography, Environment and Soil Sciences, the Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Science, the Kings Park and Botanic Gardens Biodiversity Conservation Centre, the Ecosystem Restoration Laboratory, the Aquatic Dynamics Laboratory and the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy.

Career opportunities

Environmental Science graduates may find employment in a range of areas including commonwealth and state departments and agencies responsible for the environment, water, conservation, climate change policy, agriculture and food, and primary industries. Other employers are private sector firms working in the resources sector and non-government organisations such as Landcare.

Other employment opportunities/roles include:
• Environmental Officer roles
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Environmental Regulatory bodies
• Environmental Science Consultancy for government
• Private consultancy
• Environmental Restoration
• Land Rehabilitation
• Marine and Coastal Management
• Complex decision making in Environmental Management
• Mining
• Research

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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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The MSc in Environmental Management meets the needs of a future environmental professional. It provides the key vocational skills and training to allow you to respond and find solutions for problems, to exploit opportunities and meet challenges in environmental management. Read more
The MSc in Environmental Management meets the needs of a future environmental professional. It provides the key vocational skills and training to allow you to respond and find solutions for problems, to exploit opportunities and meet challenges in environmental management. We provide core environmental management modules, as well as opportunities for more specialist training in particular disciplines. Topics include recent advances on environmental issues, research skills and approaches, environmental auditing, project management, environmental law and environmental impact assessment (EIA). Much of the delivery of the course is based on ‘learning by doing’ through engaging with real life problems and challenges.
Modules are delivered by academics and professional practitioners at the forefront of activity in the field. Students from the UK and abroad who have completed the course have then gone on to careers as consultants, regulators, conservation managers and researchers.

Why study Environmental Management at Aberystwyth University?

• This MSc programme was established at IBERS in 2005 and is regarded as one of the best vocational MSc courses in the country. It holds a significant international profile and attracts students from all over the world.
• The programme is concentrated into one year and involves a core of key management skills with the opportunity to specialise.
• The MSc combines vocational and professional training in environmental management but also introduces new technological advances and developments.
• We provide a programme at the cutting edge of the subject. You will interact with professionals in the field and develop a network of contacts that will help you to establish your future career.
• We have a long and distinguished history of environmental teaching and world class research at IBERS. This course and structure was also designed with employers from industry, environmental agencies and governmental and non-governmental organisations.
• Students benefit from interaction with these external bodies and develop skills that environmental employers target when recruiting. We benefit for fieldwork opportunities from our wonderful location.
• Aberystwyth is a coastal town which lies between the Cambrian and Snowdonia mountain ranges in Wales, offering habitats ranging from coastal to upland.
• The course is taught by internationally recognised researchers, consultants and professionals operating across a wide range of environmental topics such as climate change, EIA, environmental auditing, environmental pollution, habitat conservation and restoration, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, and molecular ecology.
This is a skills-based course taught over one calendar year comprising both core and pathway-specific modules. By joining our Masters scheme you will become a member of a dynamic team, working together towards a sustainable future.

Examples of dissertation topics undertaken by past students:

* Restoring mine spoils using Bioenergy crops
* Improving the processing and quality of municipal compost
* Assessing carbon losses and gains by Arctic ecosystems
* Using earthworms to restore habitats

PAST STUDENTS COMMENTS ON THE MSc AND LOCATION:

"This was a very professional course"
"It is a very adaptable course and for me has secured interviews for good positions"
"“I think doing the MSc was a fantastic way to gain a good grounding in a range of environmental matters."
"I was given the chance to work with great people and on great projects"
"Aberystwyth itself is a great town. It’s full of friendly people, things to do and an absolutely amazing coastline."

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