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Masters Degrees (Wildlife Crime)

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Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this Master’s degree provides a unique training experience for someone seeking to develop a successful career in conservation. Read more
Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this Master’s degree provides a unique training experience for someone seeking to develop a successful career in conservation.

With the rapid decline of biodiversity, wildlife conservation is a crisis discipline. This urgency has led to growing local, national and international demand for specialists with academic and practical conservation skills.

Why Study Wildlife Conservation with us?

We aim to build on and consolidate your existing skills/knowledge, and offer exposure to advanced concepts and practical applications in wildlife conservation. This will be done through exploration of our expertise in field and lab-based research on key species and habitats, in the UK and further afield.

Our staff are engaged in pioneering projects locally, nationally and globally, and have led the development of wildlife crime as an academic subject area. We are also involved in conservation of globally threatened species such as the Trinidad piping guan, Grenada dove and Philippine duck.

You will be engaged in a peer-based learning environment that includes field and lab work, which will provide insights into key research in wildlife conservation. We will also focus on the development of your professional skills and profile for your future career, and encourage links and networking opportunities with practitioners in the field.

What will I learn?

You will study a combination of specialisations considered core to wildlife conservation, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), statistical techniques, population and habitat management, and emerging sub-disciplines including wildlife crime, behaviour and welfare in conservation, and conservation genetics.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is delivered through Moodle; internet discussion boards; and residential school, including lectures, lab sessions, field trips and tutorials.
Modules typically require 200 hours’ study time, including:

21 hours of lectures, seminars, group discussions and laboratory/ field activities
10 hours of tutorial support
169 hours of directed self-study.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via lab/essay assignments; critical assessments/ reviews; research/funding proposals; multiple-choice quizzes/short answer questions; field reports; individual/group oral presentations; and preparation and presentation of posters. There are no examinations.

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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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Animal welfare science and ethics is an expanding topic of international concern, which is why the University of Glasgow offer an Animal Welfare MSc programme. Read more
Animal welfare science and ethics is an expanding topic of international concern, which is why the University of Glasgow offer an Animal Welfare MSc programme. It aims to improve our knowledge and understanding of animals’ needs, which is required to provide a high standard of care to the whole range of animals kept in captivity.

Why this programme

-This Animal Welfare Degree programme is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM); a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining ecology and evolution with more applied problems in animal health
-When studying Animal Welfare you will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in understanding and responding to animal welfare-related issues, legislation related to use of animals, and both theoretical and applied ethics.
-In addition, you will have opportunities to develop skills in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, conservation biology, epidemiology and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity.
-A unique strength of the Animal Welfare MSc at the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.
-The IBAHCM also offers an MSc in Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology. This degree is more focused on ecology and evolutionary biology and provides the opportunity for you to gain key quantitative skills that are not often a focus of welfare-based programmes.
-You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbria (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or research laboratories, whenever possible.
-You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, government agencies, officers of animal welfare, protection, or wildlife crime, veterinary nursing and aquaculture.
-We have many links with animal welfare-related organisations through them coming to us to teach their expertise to our Animal Welfare degree and the class going to visit their organisation to obtain a first-hand view of what working is like at these organisations. -Many of them also provide the students with opportunities to carry out their independent research project within their company. -Students will also be able to capitalise on the strong ties between the veterinarians and ecologists at the IBAHCM. This allows us to directly link fundamental and applied research and offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both theory and praxis.
-We have currently the following partners involved in this programme: Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA); Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie; Blair Drummond Safari Park; Chester Zoo; The Aspinall Foundation (Howletts & Port Lympne); National Museum Scotland.

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in:
-Ethics, legislative policy and welfare science – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.
-Monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
-Quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation.

Core courses
-Key research skills: Scientific communication; Introduction to R; Advanced linear models; Experimental design and power analysis
-Animal ethics
-Animal welfare science
-Legislation related to animal welfare
-Independent research project

Optional courses
-Enrichment of animals in captive environments
-Care of captive animals
-Biology of suffering
-Assessment of physiological state
-Freshwater sampling techniques
-Marine sampling techniques
-Invertebrate identification
-Vertebrate identification
-Molecular analyses for DNA barcoding and biodiversity measurement
-Phyloinformatics
-Conservation genetics and phylodynamics
-Infectious disease ecology and the dynamics of emerging disease
-Single-species population models
-Multi-species models
-Spatial processes
-Introduction to Bayesian statistics

Animal Welfare is a very broad and applied field and the programme aims to provide coverage of all the different aspects of the topic which are often treated separately. Science is an essential skill in order to have a good understanding of welfare but we appreciate that applicants may come from diverse backgrounds and therefore the course includes a rigorous training in science communication, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation. The programme also includes teaching by practitioners and visits to organisations with first-hand experience of applied welfare problems. The programme also attempts to cover the entire spectrum of animal welfare, including zoos, farms, laboratory animals and wildlife.

Career prospects

Students are exposed to potential work places and can make valuable contacts with professionals in the welfare community. Where possible this is a two-way exchange in which communities are offered help with any issues they have and for which assistance may be provided in finding a solution (e.g. through independent research projects, supervised by university staff). This is also an option open to other courses and could benefit the students in the long-term as well as give the university valuable connections with the wider community.

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Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this course offers you an exciting opportunity to train in the discipline of wildlife forensics, in which the University of Chester is a pioneer. Read more
Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this course offers you an exciting opportunity to train in the discipline of wildlife forensics, in which the University of Chester is a pioneer. Wildlife conservation is increasingly urgent in today’s world. With this comes a growing demand for people with specialist academic and practical skills to apply to this problem - something that this course looks to address.

Why Study Applied Wildlife Forensics with us?

We offer this novel area of wildlife conservation in a short course to update or further develop your existing skills. This will be done through the sharing of our expertise in field and lab-based research.

Our staff are passionately involved in pioneering projects, and have helped to lead the development of Wildlife Forensics as an academic subject area, having held the first international conference in October 2010. You will have the opportunity to work closely with staff in this exciting area.

What will I learn?

You will study Wildlife Crime, supported by Conservation Genetics – two disciplines in which the Department has been a pioneer. You will also have the key opportunity to deepen your analytical techniques through the Biodiversity Informatics offering.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is delivered through Moodle, internet discussion boards, and residential school. Residential school includes lectures, lab sessions, field trips and tutorials. Your learning will include tutor-led, self-directed and peer-based learning.

Sessions are typically delivered over a 10-week period; however, some modules are delivered through week-long workshop/lab sessions or field trips.

Modules typically require 200 hours of study time, including:
- 21 hours of lectures, seminars, group discussions and laboratory/ field activities
- 10 hours of tutorial support
- 169 hours of directed self-study.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via continuous assessment ­ – e.g. lab/essay assignments; critical assessments/reviews; reports; in-class individual/group oral presentations; portfolios and preparation and presentation of posters. There are no examinations.

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This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. Read more
This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. You will gain knowledge and scientific skills that are directly applicable to the field of forensic science, with prospects of employment in forensic science laboratories as well as in other analytical science laboratories.

The course involves a unique combination of forensic chemistry and forensic biology, covering subjects such as trace evidence, toxicology and DNA analysis. Once you have covered the underlying principles of both areas, you can then specialise in your chosen field for your MSc research project.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which enhances its credibility and currency among potential employers.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/forensic-science-dtpfrs6/

Learn From The Best

Our teaching team are active researchers who routinely incorporate their expertise and enthusiasm into their teaching. Many of the staff have worked in forensic science laboratories and have been involved in high profile cases such as the Stephen Lawrence, Joanna Yeates, Suffolk strangler and Jigsaw murder cases. Their areas of research include toxicology, the analysis of fibres and their transfer and persistence and the analysis of ancient DNA.

Academic staff include former forensic biologists, forensic toxicologists, and forensic fibre experts. They continue to maintain close links with the industry including the police and practising forensic scientists. Many of them are well-established within professional forensic science societies and organisations, which directly inform policy and practices within the field.

Teaching And Assessment

Our teaching will give you a solid grounding in all the technical areas that are key to forensic science, while simultaneously developing the higher level of independent thinking and advanced interpretation that is expected at Masters level. To support your learning journey, many of the staff have an ‘open door’ policy which makes it easy to ask questions; it’s also possible to book appointments with them so that you can work through queries about lab work, concepts and theories, and any other aspects of the subject.

We use different types of assessments: some will contribute to your final grade while others will be used to provide you with guidance on your progress and reinforce your learning. You can expect both your tutors and your peers to provide useful comments and feedback throughout the course.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)
AP0723 - Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0724 - Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0725 - Criminalistics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0726 - Forensic Genetics (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will have access to a dedicated crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes. Students can also access Return to Scene (R2S) software which provides a 360 degree interactive scan of a crime scene allowing you to perform further analysis in detail after you have left the scene. Northumbria University has also invested heavily in an impressive suite of analytical equipment allowing you to gain first-hand experience of the techniques used in operational laboratories.

We use a range of technologies to enhance your learning, with tools including web-based self-guided exercises, online tests with feedback, and electronic discussion boards. These tools support and extend the material that is delivered during lectures.

You will have 24/7 term-time access to Northumbria’s library, which was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

Research-Rich Learning

We host the Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science and our research directly impacts on what and how you learn. Northumbria is helping to push the frontiers of knowledge in areas such as:
-Forensic fibre comparisons using statistical and chemometric approaches
-DNA profiling in contexts such as injuries to children and poaching of wildlife
-Human genetic and phenotypic variation
-Analytical toxicology

As part of the course, you will undertake a Masters project that will require you to evaluate relevant literature as well as to develop your ideas within the context of existing research. The project will involve information retrieval, critical appraisal, presentation of aims and strategy, development of advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, the discussion and interpretation of results, and the composition of a written dissertation. Each project will be aligned to an active area of research that is specific to an academic member of staff.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. This reflects the relevance and rigour of the curriculum, and provides assurance of workplace-ready knowledge and application.

The focus on practical laboratory work, combined with the mix of group work, independent learning and professional practice, will help ensure that you develop skills that are transferable to a range of careers and disciplines.

Throughout your time at Northumbria we will prompt you to reflect on your self-development through the Higher Education Achievement Report process. We will also encourage you to take advantage of the services of our Careers and Employment Service such as CV advice and interview preparation.

Your Future

Forensic science has gained a high profile through TV dramas and, in the years ahead the sector is likely to be further transformed by technological advances in a number of fields. With an MSc Forensic Science you will be well-placed to take up a fascinating and rewarding role in forensic science laboratories.

What’s more, by developing the attributes of a Masters student, including the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and work effectively with others and on your own, you will enhance your employability in all sectors of the analytical science industry. You will also be well equipped to pursue further studies at PhD level.

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