This programme 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.
Please note: due to the increased volume of applications we have received this year for both the MRes and MSc, we unfortunately will stop offering places after Friday 31st March 2017.
If you wish to be considered you must apply by the closing date. Any applications that we receive after the 31st March will be placed on a waiting list.
The programme offers a wide range of options, allowing for personalised courses of study that lay the groundwork for further academic research or professional development in the field.
You’ll study core skills modules that provide practical training and exercises in a diverse range of transferable skills applicable to ecological research. These include a residential weekend at Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre in the Yorkshire Dales, fieldwork first aid and risk assessment, public understanding of science, ethical issues in ecology, preparing a grant application, participatory ecotourism, biodiversity sampling in Yorkshire and freshwater invertebrate surveys.
The research component is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. On the MRes you undertake two independent research projects. Projects They cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. Each project will vary according to the needs of the research question addressed, with varying emphasis on computer/analytical, laboratory and field-based work. A significant number of students are based overseas for their project.
If you study part-time, the programme will last for two years and you’ll study half of the total number of modules each year.
MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?
MRes students have fewer taught modules, but carry out two major research projects rather than one. Most students taking the MRes are planning to probably go on to do a PhD or have an MSc degree already. Many of our MSc graduates also subsequently do PhDs, but initially prefer 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.
The programmes are made up of modules that add up to 180 credits, with a mix of compulsory and optional modules. Teaching methods include project work, field courses, lectures, practicals, tutorials and workshops.
We provide the very best learning resources and academic support and our teaching draws on the University’s world-class research base and highly-qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience 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 scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
MRes students carry out two projects. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Project areas can be your choice, although they must have scientific merit. Projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and the number increases every year. This year alone we have projects in Belize, the Seychelles, Austria, Portugal and China.
There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills via modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, via overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and through research project work.
Leeds is one of the best locations geographically for students wishing to study Biodiversity and Conservation. It is 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 whole host of project and fieldwork opportunities.
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.