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Masters Degrees (Wild)

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What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Health?. Over the past 30 years, interventions, for reasons of health, welfare and the conservation of free-living wild animals, have been undertaken with increasing frequency. Read more

What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Health?

Over the past 30 years, interventions, for reasons of health, welfare and the conservation of free-living wild animals, have been undertaken with increasing frequency. Specialist veterinary expertise is required in order to diagnose and control diseases in wildlife.

Emerging infectious diseases are also recognised as a serious hazard, both for wild animal species and for the domestic animal and human populations that interact with them. In addition, a large number of wild animal species are kept in captivity – in zoos and in laboratories – which has led to an increased demand for specialist skills and knowledge.

The MSc in Wild Animal Health is a world-class specialist postgraduate veterinary science programme taught jointly by the RVC, University of London and the Zoological Society of London.

Aimed at qualified veterinarians, the MSc in Wild Animal Health will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of the management of wild animals and the epidemiology, treatment and control of wild animal disease.

Programme delivery

The MSc in Wild Animal Health is completed over one year of full-time study.

The course starts in mid-September each year, and can be broken down broadly into three sections, comprising two groups of taught modules and a research project. The first section is completed by mid-January, the second by mid-May, and the MSc research project is undertaken during the summer months, finishing in mid-September. More detailed information can be found in the course outline (see link in the top left of the page). 

We deliver the programme through two terms of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem-based learning, with modular examinations. There are no part-time or distance-learning options available.

To enquire about the exact start date please email .

What will I learn?

During the programme you will acquire:   

  • A critical awareness of current problems in wildlife disease with implications for wildlife conservation and welfare. 
  • A new insight into veterinary interventions for the management of captive and free-living wild animal species.   
  • A systematic understanding of the biological principles underpinning wild animal conservation and management, and the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of wildlife disease.   
  • Basic competence in veterinary techniques and preventative medicine for wild animals.   
  • A conceptual and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of wild animal health.   
  • A comprehensive understanding of scientific skills, including critical review of the scientific literature, and design and analysis of laboratory or field studies.

Upon completion of the MSc in Wild Animal Health, you will have gained the analytical skills, the understanding, the confidence and the language to influence thinking and policy making within a wide range of organisations, such as zoos, national parks, universities, conservation organisations and government departments worldwide.

Useful links

Here are some other useful and interesting veterinary and wildlife-related web sites:

What will I be able to do with my qualification?

The world-class specialist MSc in Wild Animal Health has produced over 190 graduates since its inception in 1994.

Our graduates have gone on to work with both captive and free-living wild animals as clinicians, pathologists, epidemiologists, academics and senior management in zoological collections, national parks, universities and government departments worldwide.

Others continue to work towards a PhD or DVetMed with either the ZSL or RVC, or at other leading research institutes.

For example, Tammy Shadbolt, one of our 2013 graduates, went on to do a PhD on Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease. You can read about her experiences below:

Tammy Shadbolt



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What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Biology?. Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Read more

What is the RVC/ZSL MSc in Wild Animal Biology?

Wild animal health has become increasingly popular among non-veterinarians with a first degree in zoology and biology. Recognising this, the RVC, University of London, together with the Zoological Society of London, has developed a unique course aimed at non-veterinary biological science graduates and leading to the MSc in Wild Animal Biology.

The course will provide you with practical exposure to wild animal species and an understanding of wild animal health, welfare and conservation, as well as providing training in research methods relevant to the study of wildlife.

You will benefit from working and studying alongside veterinary graduates taking the MSc in Wild Animal Health as well as learning from internationally renowned experts in their field.

Programme delivery

The MSc in Wild Animal Biology is completed over one year of full-time study.

The course starts in mid-September each year, and can be broken down broadly into three sections, comprising two groups of taught modules and a research project. The first section is completed by mid-January, the second by mid-May, and the MSc research project is undertaken during the summer months, finishing in mid-September. More detailed information can be found in the course outline (see link in the top left of the page). 

We deliver the programme through two terms of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem-based learning, with modular examinations. There are no part-time or distance-learning options available.

To enquire about the exact start date please email .

What will I learn?

During the programme you will acquire:   

  • A critical awareness of current problems in wildlife disease with implications for wildlife conservation and welfare·      
  • A new insight into veterinary interventions for the management of captive and free-living wild animals·      
  • A systematic understanding of the biological principles underpinning wild animal conservation and management, and the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of wildlife disease·      
  • Basic competence in veterinary techniques and preventative medicine for wild animals·      
  • A conceptual and practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of wild animal health·      
  • A comprehensive understanding of scientific skills, including critical review of the scientific literature, and design and analysis of laboratory or field studies.

Upon completion of the MSc in Wild Animal Biology, you will have gained the analytical skills, understanding, confidence and the language to progress your career within a wide range of organisations, such as zoos, national parks, universities, conservation organisations and government departments worldwide.

Useful links

Here are some other useful and interesting veterinary and wildlife-related web sites:

What will I be able to do with my qualification?

Graduates of the MSc in Wild Animal Biology have gone on to pursue successful careers in wildlife management (with government agencies in both developing and developed countries), wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife-related research (at universities and zoological collections) and zoo management.

Some Wild Animal Biology MSc graduates continue to study towards a PhD with either the ZSL or RVC, or with other leading scientific research institutes.

For example, Eloise Stephenson, 2014 MSc Wild Animal Biology graduate, is currently employed as a Research Technician for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency. See her full testimonial below:

Eloise Stephenson

Graham Duggan, another one of our graduates from 2014, is now working as a researcher for a 5-part natural history documentary series about Canadian wildlife. You can read about his experience below: 

Graham Duggan 

See the ZSL website for detailed career profiles of some other recent graduates.



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Essex is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the British Isles, a landscape shaped by human history. Our MA Wild Writing allows you to explore this landscape and the wilder landscapes of Britain, as well as those across the world, through a combination of science and literature modules. Read more
Essex is one of the oldest inhabited areas of the British Isles, a landscape shaped by human history. Our MA Wild Writing allows you to explore this landscape and the wilder landscapes of Britain, as well as those across the world, through a combination of science and literature modules. Our field trips take you outside the classroom, often in sun, sometimes in snow or rain. You gain an understanding of key environmental challenges while building your own ways of approaching writing about the wild: creative, critical, and scientific.

One of only five universities in the UK to offer a taught postgraduate course on literature and the environment, we are unique in our combination of modules on contemporary nature writing, ecocriticism, and psychogeographic literature.

Our full-year focus on writing about landscape, place, and the environment allows you the choice of focusing on developing your scholarly abilities through exploring ecocriticism, or on developing your creative writing practice about the natural world – or you can aim to advance both.

Your core modules cover topics including:
-The emergent creative non-fiction genre exemplified by figures such as Robert Macfarlane, Kathleen Jamie, and Helen Macdonald
19th – 21st century environmental poetry and prose
-Contemporary ecocriticism and environmental literature
-Psychogeography

An unusual collaboration between the departments of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies and Biological Sciences, we also offer you the opportunity to gain a greater scientific depth of knowledge about the natural world as you develop as a writer. You might want to explore the impacts and management of pollution or the ecology of fisheries.

You will explore the literature of landscape and the environment both within the seminar room and beyond, exploring the wild spaces of Essex and East Anglia through field trips that take you to wonderfully wild worlds in the company of leading experts. We visit inspiring areas including Mersea Island, Orford Ness, Tilbury, and the Norfolk Fens.

Our expert staff

Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is ranked Top 200 in the QS World University Rankings (2016), with three-quarters of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Teachers on the course include the internationally renowned ecocriticism scholar Dr Susan Oliver, who is a specialist in Romantic and 19th-century studies; the poet and nature writer Dr Chris McCully; and, environmental scholar and writer Professor Jules Pretty.

The MA Wild Writing is led by the writer Dr James Canton, who recently spoke on Radio 4’s ‘Open Country’ about the landscapes of Essex, and specialises in nature and travel writing.

Specialist facilities

-Start to get some publications to your name by writing for our student nature writing blog Wildeasters
-Access our archives – the University of Essex is home to the notebooks, diaries, maps, letters, and binoculars of J. A. Baker, author of the critically acclaimed The Peregrine (1967)
-Learn from leading writers and literature specialists at weekly research seminars
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading literature specialists at the Essex Book Festival – the festival director is based in our department, and loads of events take place on campus
-Get involved onstage or behind the scenes at our on-campus Lakeside Theatre
-Learn a language for free alongside your course

Your future

A number of our graduates from the MA Wild Writing have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers; others are practicing artists, scholars or environmentalists. One now works on climate change in Washington, another is a “wild practitioner” who work on the relation between nature and mental health and another now works for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police around Chesapeake Bay!

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages. Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK, which means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

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Wild birds have been postulated as sentinels, reservoirs, and potential spreaders of antibiotic resistance. They are known to forage at various pollution sources such as waste water treatment plants, landfill sites and at hospitals and domestic waste sites. Read more

Wild birds have been postulated as sentinels, reservoirs, and potential spreaders of antibiotic resistance. They are known to forage at various pollution sources such as waste water treatment plants, landfill sites and at hospitals and domestic waste sites. In addition, wild birds have the potential to spread antibiotic resistance over long distances through migration. This project will investigate the prevalence of antibiotic resistant E.coli in different species of wild birds near various pollution sites. E.coli resistance levels will be quantified and strain and resistance characteristics will be determined using phenotypic and molecular techniques.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Biology/Microbiology with a good fundamental knowledge of techniques used to study microorganisms.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

• Experience of fundamental microbiology practical skills

• Competent in data analysis, MS Office

• Knowledge of molecular biology

• Good written and oral communication skills

• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project

• Good time management

Desirable attributes:

Good statistical skills, bioinformatics



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

Overview

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

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

Course Modules include:

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


Learning & Teaching Methods

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

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

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

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

Examples of potential areas for dissertation projects: 

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


Careers

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

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

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

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

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



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Population genetics studies the genetic variation that exists in wild populations, and the forces, such as selection, mutation and genetic drift, that shape this variation. Read more
Population genetics studies the genetic variation that exists in wild populations, and the forces, such as selection, mutation and genetic drift, that shape this variation. Particular interests in the School involve the molecular genetic variation of humans, and variation in wild populations of molluscs, foraminiferans and Drosophila. Projects may include studies on molecular evolution and phylogenetics using computer analysis of DNA and protein sequences; the genetic changes that are associated with speciation; evolution of transposable elements; and the population genetics of genome structure.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES
After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/masters-scholarships.aspx

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The overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to provide knowledge and an understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on the international issues arising from animal use in all its forms. Read more

The overall objective of this online distance learning programme is to provide knowledge and an understanding of animal welfare science, with a focus on the international issues arising from animal use in all its forms.

The programme is delivered by researchers and teachers from both the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) and the Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) with a series of guest lecturers from around the world.

The programme offers courses in a variety of areas, including:

  • history, culture and concepts of animal welfare
  • animal behaviour
  • animal welfare assessment
  • animal ethics
  • recommendations and policy
  • legislation, regulation and enforcement
  • science communication
  • applied animal welfare - production, companion and captive wild animals

Learn more about why you should study with us:

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy:

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

A blend of online learning methods are utilised, such as discussion forums, podcasts and live tutorials. The programme is modular, allowing us to offer a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied.

Students may choose to study to certificate, diploma or masters level.

Students can take up to 6 years to complete the full MSc programme and there is also the option to graduate with either an International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Year 1: certificate

You will take two compulsory courses - International Animal Welfare Science and Animal Ethics, Policy and Law - plus an optional course.

Year 2: diploma

You can choose up to 60 credits of optional courses, which include:

  • Production Animal Welfare
  • Cat and Dog Welfare
  • Captive and Free-ranging Wild Animal Welfare
  • Animals in Research, Testing and Education
  • Clinical Animal Behaviour
  • Equine Behaviour and Welfare
  • Equitation Science
  • Anthrozoology (new for 2017)

Year 3: masters

You complete a dissertation of between 10,000-15,000 words which can be a research project or an extended systematic review of the literature in a topic of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics or Law.

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Career opportunities

Graduates can use their qualification to enhance their career prospects in academia, research, governmental and non-governmental organisations and consultancies.



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The Master of Wildlife Management (MWLM) degree is a three-semester 180-point postgraduate degree designed to train students with the skills necessary for employment in some aspect of wildlife or ecological management or research. Read more

The Master of Wildlife Management (MWLM) degree is a three-semester 180-point postgraduate degree designed to train students with the skills necessary for employment in some aspect of wildlife or ecological management or research.

Other important goals of the course are to develop in students:

  • an understanding of the ecological basis of conservation, harvest management and pest control.
  • skills in handling, marking, observing and surveying wild animals.
  • an appreciation of the practical realities of wildlife management from the administrative and legal points of view.
  • a knowledge of the biology, ecology and behaviour of wild animals in New Zealand.
  • skills in communicating about the management of, and scientific research of, ecological communities. Verbal presentations, debating, dealing with the media, popular science writing and scientific report writing are all emphasised and taught.

Information for new applicants

A candidate would normally have completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in a related subject area before undertaking the MWLM, but the degree is also open to those with other qualifications.

Structure of the Programme

The programme of study shall consist of papers worth a total of 180 points, normally comprising WILM 401, WILM 402, and WILM 501, plus papers worth at least 100 points from WILM and ZOOL papers, and other 400-level papers. Every programme of study must include WILM 404, (or equivalent) if ZOOL 316, has not been passed previously, and must include WILM 406, if 300-level course work in Conservation Biology has not been taken previously.

A candidate may be exempted from some of the required papers as prescribed in regulation 2(a) on the basis of previous study. A candidate who has completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management shall be exempted from those papers in the programme for the degree that have previously been passed for the diploma.



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Learn about primate behaviour, welfare and conservation on this masters course delivered by Liverpool John Moores University. You will be taught by world-leading experts and have access to excellent facilities in the UK and research sites overseas. Read more

Learn about primate behaviour, welfare and conservation on this masters course delivered by Liverpool John Moores University. You will be taught by world-leading experts and have access to excellent facilities in the UK and research sites overseas.

  • Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
  • Delivered by world experts in the field of primate behaviour, welfare and conservation
  • Overseas field trip to Tanzania included in the fees – this is a fantastic opportunity to observe primates in the wild. You will practice and develop advanced skills in behavioural observation, non-invasive sampling of health and welfare indicators and conservation monitoring*
  • State-of-the-art teaching and laboratory facilities (including genetics, drone technology and GIS facilities)
  • Opportunity to design and complete a primate field study abroad using the latest software packages, such as ArcGIS, R, Distance

* The air fare, site accommodation and site costs are paid by Liverpool John Moores University. You will be required to meet other potential costs, such as field clothing, visas and immunisations if required.

What you will study on this degree

  • ​Primate Behaviour and Conservation
  • Research Methods
  • Survey, Mapping and Field Skills*
  • Dissertation
  • Drone Technology (option)
  • Contemporary Methods in Primatology (option)
  • Field Methods in Primate Behavioural Ecology (option)

* Includes an overseas field trip to Tanzania, which is included in your course fees. This is a fantastic opportunity to observe primates in the wild. You will practice and develop advanced skills in behavioural observation, non-invasive sampling of health and welfare indicators and conservation monitoring. The field trip air fare, site accommodation and site costs are paid by Liverpool John Moores University. You will be required to meet other potential costs, such as field clothing, visas and immunisations if required.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.



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

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

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

What happens on the course?

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

  • 7AB012 Conservation Genetics - This module is focused on genetic applications to problems of conservation, reflecting the diversity of concerns relevant to conservation biology and covering the management of captive populations for conservation. Modern genetic techniques used by conservationists are also examined.
  • 7AB009 Advanced Survey and Monitoring Techniques –The desktop survey, design, collection, processing, analysis and output production of environmental data (physical, vegetation and organismal) will be explored in a problem-based setting. This will involve the integrated use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), geospatial imagery, telemetry, image acquisition, sound acquisition, ground-truthing and field survey techniques.
  • 7AB011 Primate Conservation and Behaviour - This module focuses on the evolution of primate societies and asks how environmental and demographic factors influence animals’ decisions about how to organise their social and reproductive strategies. Throughout, the emphasis is on understanding key theoretical concepts and how these may be applied to empirical studies of non-human primates. This module explores also the science of scarcity and diversity of wild primate populations and the successful management of captive populations for conservation.
  • 7AB013 Research Methods for Wildlife Conservation - This module prepares you with the skills needed for wildlife conservation research. You will develop advanced skills in literature searching and critical analysis of published work. You will explore the development of a research question, research design, data handling and statistics. You will prepare a professional portfolio of your research methods covered in the module.
  • 7AB010 Field Course - The module will examine the whole process of research trip planning from funding and logistical planning through to the detail of content for individual session activities. The culmination of this process will be a residential field course in the UK or overseas.
  • 7AB014 Conservation of UK Protected Species – In-depth consideration of the conservation of UK protected species including their ecology, protection legislation, conservation measures, habitat management and habitat creation.
  • 7AB015 The Masters Project module - an opportunity to plan, undertake and deliver an extended, problem-focused, original independent investigation related to the chosen programme of study and is a requirement for the award of a Masters degree.

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

Why Wolverhampton?

The course has evolved from the BSc Animal Behaviour and Wildlife Conservation and explores some of the areas that are more suited to higher-level study. It is expected that students will come from subject areas that have an animal conservation/behaviour background, or else current conservation professionals that are seeking to update their subject and skills knowledge.

The course is designed to provide many opportunities for students specifically:

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

Career path

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



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Plant endophytic bacteria such as. Pseudomonas fluorescens. offer an untapped resource of new antibiotics and other bioactive molecules. Read more

Plant endophytic bacteria such as Pseudomonas fluorescens offer an untapped resource of new antibiotics and other bioactive molecules. We have identified a number of such bacterial strains that have activity against important plant diseases and parasites such as the nematode Meloidogynejavanica (root-knot disease of many plant species) and the pathogenic fungus Pyrenophora teres (Barley leaf spot disease). We have sequenced the genomes of three such strains (Moreira et al 2016) and identified a number of chromosomal regions with novel potential secondary metabolite biosynthesis pathways. The first task of the project is to analyse these in detail using bioinformatics to compare with other pathways and to identify targets for gene inactivation. To demonstrate the potential role these pathways may have in killing M. javanica and P. teres we will use a targeted gene inactivation technique (perfected in our labs) to generate knock-out mutations in the key gene(s) involved in the synthesis of the bioactive products. In parallel, we will undertake an analysis of the metabolites produced by both the wild type strains and these mutants using HPLC, LCMS and GCMS with a view to identification of the pathway encoded bioactive compounds. Wild Type, mutant strains and extracts will be tested for activity against M. javanica and P. teres using bioassays developed in our labs. As time permits plant protection experiments in a plant growth room and greenhouse will also be undertaken. This project will be designed as a PhD programme with an international collaborative dimension.

Further information

These projects are funded under the President’s Research Fellowship Programme of the Institute, with the college fees and research materials and consumables covered. A small student stipend will also be provided. The successful candidates will work in the enviroCORE, which is the Institute’s environmental research centre, in a team of research supervisors and postgraduate students.

Applicants should have a primary honours degree (Level 8) in an appropriate discipline (Biosciences, Microbiology, Genetics, Biology, Bioinformatics, Zoology, Environmental Science etc.). They must also hold a minimum of a Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2.1) undergraduate degree. The successful candidates are expected start in the postgraduate positions no later than September 2018.

To apply for a President’s Research Fellowship Scholarship, please email with the title(s) of the project being applied for, a CV and a statement (c.500 words) as to why this project is of interest to you. If applying for more than one research project, please list them in your order of preference.

Closing Date: Monday 5th June 2018



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The course offers an opportunity to carry out a substantial research project in primatology, and is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue a PhD in this field. Read more
  • The course offers an opportunity to carry out a substantial research project in primatology, and is an ideal qualification for those wishing to pursue a PhD in this field.
  • Many MRes students publish their dissertation research in international scientific journals.
  • We have well established networks with field sites such as Gashaka Primate Project (Nigeria), Berenty Reserve (Madagascar) and Trentham Monkey Forest (UK).
  • We are the most research-intensive modern university in the UK (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Summary

Embark on an incredible journey with a course that focuses on studying the biology, behaviour and conservation of primates. You will gain the skills required to carry out theoretical and field research in primatology, to advance your career or further study.

Primatology is a discipline that has its roots in anatomy, biology, anthropology and psychology. This course covers a comprehensive range of topics within primatology and combines theoretical investigation with fieldwork and laboratory sessions. It also offers intensive training in research methods and statistics.

Recent examples of topics covered include social behaviour, cognition, endocrinology, ranging and habitat use, social networks, human-wildlife conflict, morphology and brain size evolution.

The University of Roehampton has established networks with leading institutions and field sites including the Zoological Society of London , German Primate Centre, Gashaka Primate Project (Nigeria), Trentham Monkey Forest (UK), and Berenty Reserve (Madagascar).

You will be taught by leading experts in the field who carry out their own world-leading research.

Content

You will begin the year by studying an in-depth a range of topics in primatology, as well as learning the theory and practice of primatological research. After your first semester, the emphasis will be on independent study, where you will be undertaking a substantial piece of original research. You will develop your intellectual, practical and analytical skills to devise a viable project proposal. You will carry out your project and produce both a dissertation and a paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Many of our graduates have subsequently published their work in international journals such as Biology Letters, American Journal of Primatology, International Journal of Primatology, Animal Behaviour and Biological Conservation.

Students’ field work lasts for three months, usually from March to May. You will have the support of your supervisor in arranging data collection for your research project. In the laboratory, students have used geographic information systems to explore ranging behaviour, analysed parasites from wild primates and performed non-invasive hormone analysis.

Modules

Compulsory modules

 Compulsory and Required modules

Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules

Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Career options

Careers in conservation projects, research institutions, animal welfare groups or agencies, zoos, parks, environmental and animal charities; in roles such as researcher, conservation biologist and ecologist.



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

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

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

Why choose this course?

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

- Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

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

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

Careers

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

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

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

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

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

Conservation Environment and Development, comprising several research clusters.

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

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

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

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

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

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Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. Read more

Our MSc Animal Behaviour is unusual in that it is offered within a Psychology department. This benefits you by providing a strong background in a broad cross-section of research methods used by researchers studying human and animal behaviour, a strong training in statistical methods and a multidisciplinary study environment. You will learn how to formulate and test relevant research questions and critically evaluate the research carried out by others in the field.

The programme will give you insights into the varied means of performing animal behaviour research in a wide array of locations with wild and (semi-)captive animals – in field, laboratory, zoo or other human managed settings. As part of the taught component you will be exposed to lectures and seminar discussions, research talks and discussions with speakers; boost and consolidate your knowledge and skills in statistical data analysis; participate in a one-week residential field course (during the Easter break); and engage in research skill training sessions. During the course you will continuously develop your abilities in critical analysis of the literature and of scientific evidence, project development, communication and scientific writing.

You will be part of the lively, internationally-recognised Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB) and will have the opportunity to work alongside our experienced researchers on a research apprenticeship which is a central component of the course. The apprenticeship is a research project that enables you to develop your research skills further and write up the research in the form of a journal article for potential publication. Apprenticeships can also be undertaken under the supervision of researchers at various institutions with whom we have developed long-term relationships.

On successful completion of the MSc you will have the skills to pursue a PhD, work as a researcher or pursue a career working in zoos, research centres, nature reserves, wildlife and other animal-related offices, education, scientific media or the expanding field of eco tourism.

Research Apprenticeship

A distinctive feature of all our taught Masters programmes is the Research Apprenticeship. About half of the MSc is spent on the apprenticeship, during which you will develop your research skills by working alongside experienced researchers or practitioners and write up your research in the form of a dissertation.

Many students undertake their apprenticeship with researchers in the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, both in the laboratories and outdoors around the campus, Devon and abroad. Every year the menu of choices varies depending on the interests of the researchers, the students and practicalities. In some cases students have worked with external research partners, in the UK or abroad. For example, previous students have carried out a wide range of research projects involving the following:

Topics: Social behaviour, animal welfare and enrichment, zoo research, animal cognition, navigation, sensory ecology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, ecotoxicology.

Animals: Fish (guppies, sticklebacks, killifish), mammals (primates, squirrels, whales, donkeys, dogs, meerkats, coyotes), birds (pigeons, chickens, pheasants, magpies, flamingoes, woodland and sea birds), invertebrates (crabs, honeybees, bumblebees, desert ants, wood ants).

Locations: Streatham campus (Exeter), Knysna Elephant Park (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Forest (Uganda), Torquay Zoo & Aquarium, National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Dartmoor (Devon), Phana (Thailand), Trinidad, Newquay & Paignton Zoos, Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Kerala (India), Algarve (Portugal), Veracruz (Mexico), Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico).

External research partners: African Elephant Research Unit (South Africa), Bristol Zoo, Budongo Conservation Field Station (Uganda), Living Coasts (Torquay, Devon), National Wildlife Research Center (Utah, USA), Natural England, Phana Macaque Sanctuary (Thailand), University of West Indies, Whitley Wildlife Trust, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Read the full module specification for the Research Apprenticeship.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Advanced Statistics;
  • Behavioural Science Research Skills;
  • Advances and Methods in Animal Behaviour;
  • Research Apprenticeship;
  • Current Research Issues in Animal Behaviour;


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The Earth's resources are under strain from a growing population. Now, more than ever, we need to monitor, manage and maintain our environment. Read more

The Earth's resources are under strain from a growing population. Now, more than ever, we need to monitor, manage and maintain our environment. This vocationally relevant Masters provides you with an in-depth critical understanding of today’s major environmental challenges.

You can keep your learning broad or you can specialise in one of four areas: Water, Energy, Food Security or Pollution. There are specific core modules for each specialist area:

  • Water: Lake Ecology plus a choice of 5 others
  • Energy: Low-Carbon Energy Use; Environmental Aspects of Renewable Energy plus a choice of 4 others
  • Food Security: Food Security, Agriculture and Climate Change; Crop Protection; Sustainable Soil Management plus a choice of 3 others
  • Pollution: Chemical Risk Assessment; Contaminated Land and Remediation; Behaviour of Pollutants in the Environment plus a choice of 3 others

Several modules include field trips to the beautiful and topographically varied countryside around Lancaster, and beyond.

All options include a dissertation project, which will enhance your practical and analytical skills and give you the chance to apply your learning to a real-world challenge. Our many research projects and partners across the globe provide exciting possibilities when you are choosing your dissertation subject. Alternatively you can do a six month research placement with a private sector company, government body or voluntary sector organisation instead of a traditional dissertation. Examples of previous dissertations include:

  • Using acoustic surveys to assess rainforest mammal communities
  • Plant productivity and nutrient use efficiency under diffuse solar radiation
  • The geopolitics of deep-sea mining
  • Urban deprivation and flood exposure in the Brazilian Amazon
  • Go Wild – How much carbon could we gain by re-wilding the uplands?
  • More crop per drop: does “little and often” improve crop water use efficiency

This very popular course will equip you to pursue a broad range of careers including environmental monitoring, resource management and consultancy.

Course Structure

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

Core

Optional

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

Assessment

Coursework, presentations, examinations and dissertation



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