The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. This two-year master program consists in both lessons and fieldtrips, while half of the second year is devoted to a personal research project conducted by students in an international research team.
OUR MASTER PROGRAM
The Master program has a two-year span, with most of the courses taught in english. Our teaching philosophy is based on the idea that biodiversity conservation must be grounded in a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology and evolution with recent technical advances in the fields of biometry, molecular ecology and management tools. The teaching content is rooted in our established strengths in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, quantitative ecology and research design. The master program is enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision-making policies.
The specific teaching objectives aim at developing and improving students’ skills to:
Half of the second year is devoted to conducting a personal research project and writing a thesis of 12,000 words. Research projects are conducted within an international team previously selected by the students, and led with the support of an expert supervisor.
TEACHING & FIELDTRIPS
Teaching consists of lectures, seminars by international researchers, class tutorials and practical training in the laboratory and in the field, providing in-depth exploration of key issues. Our teaching philosophy is to stimulate balanced and evidence-based discussions and debates between academic staff and students. Such interactions provide efficient training to identify and explore theory, methods and practice in an academic environment.
Field courses allow students to apply the methods and ideas developed in the classroom to practical use in the field. Each year, you will attend at least one week-long fieldtrip, and several one-day field sessions. The "Camargue field course" provides the opportunity to work on a model species for wildlife management in the Camargue Natural Regional Park (CNRP): the greater flamingo. Fieldwork will be grounded on extensive research on wildlife populations in the context of the various activities taking place in the CNRP. Other field courses address the quantitative analysis of animal behaviour, the monitoring of wildlife, and ex-situ conservation. The “Parc Polaire fieldtrip”, in the Jura mountains, allows students to experience the role of and, stakes faced by, a park dedicated to the conservation of European wild species such as the European bison and deer species.
The aim of our master program is to train future scientific leaders in animal behaviour and conservation biology, as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity, conservation and wildlife management.
Therefore, our program aims at providing both a diversified and specialized expertise in the general fields of animal behaviour and wildlife management. It also combines behavioural ecology and conservation biology as major disciplines with some other relevant topics – ethics and deontology, epistemology, socioeconomics of conservation, structure and management of environmental organizations, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.
The master's Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.
LIFE IN DIJON, CAPITAL CITY OF BURGUNDY (FRANCE)
The whole of the program takes place at the University of Burgundy-Franche Comté, located in the scenic city of Dijon. The former capital city of the Duchy of Burgundy, Dijon is now a medium-size French city, where you can enjoy a vibrant and active cultural life, as well as quick getaways to the countryside and the world famous neighbouring vineyards of the so-called “Golden coast”.
Life in Dijon is very affordable and accommodation easily accessible. The city is well-equipped with modern tramway and bus lines, making commuting between any place in Dijon and the University easy and convenient.
Showing marks of its medieval past, Dijon has excelled in making any subsequent architectural revolution his own. Dijon possesses a fair number of outstanding museums and remarkable monuments, and is also internationally known as the hometown of the notorious French gastronomy. Dijon has a vibrant cultural life with music and food festivals all over the year. Cultural and leisure attractions are widespread, from classical music concerts to jazz festivals, food fairs, cinemas… Dijon is also host of several top-level professional sports teams (football, basketball, handball, rugby…), while also offering a large diversity of sports facilities for the amateur. From beach-volley fields to suburban hiking and cycling paths, urban parks and the much appreciated Lake Kir, incentives to jump in a pair of trainers will be everywhere.
Up to five fellowship grants (800 € per month, during up to 10 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students, with a particular attention to applications coming from Mediterranean countries and Caribbean island nations and territories.
During the first year, students take examinations associated with the Master in Conservation Biology, specialized in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management. Examinations must be successfully passed (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS credits) in order to proceed to the second year. In the second year, the thesis following your research project accounts for half the marks of the second year.
For further information about how to apply, please directly contact the head of the master program, Professor Frank Cézilly ([email protected]).
Please also visit our dedicated webpage (http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/bewm/fr/), and like our facebook page (“Master BEWM – UBFC Dijon”) to stay up to date with the life of and the latest news about our program!
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:
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.
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.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
All our master’s programmes emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a University of Reading MSc graduate, you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research either in industry or in universities.
Typical roles of graduates from our ecology and wildlife-based MSc programmes include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants. Graduates from our biomedical MSc programme typically go on to pursue PhD studies or work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Humans are dependent on and live in close proximity with their livestock and the interfaces of livestock with wildlife are permeable and complex. This programme addresses a clear need to integrate ecological disciplines with studies of disease in wildlife, livestock and human populations, with concepts of land management, livestock production and wildlife management.
The aims of the programme are to
This programme will suit students who need to broaden their knowledge and skills to improve their employability in organisations that have a mandate to provide services to diverse stakeholders in complex systems. Veterinarians in government agencies with wide ranging responsibilities, in conservation organisations and NGOs would find this particularly useful. Similarly, conservation biologists who have little or no familiarity with livestock production or animal health will benefit.
Within conservation science there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions, however scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Within this arena, wildlife forensics is an exciting new field that is attracting increasing global attention in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
The Cert/Dip/MSc in Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics aims to provide a blend of theoretical and practical education in the application of genetic data to wildlife management and conservation law enforcement. The programme will cover all essential aspects, from population genetic theory, through data analysis, to the considerations involved in the interpretation and transfer of scientific findings to management, policy and criminal investigation.
Students will have the choice to specialise in either applied conservation genetics or wildlife forensics, with both options providing transferable scientific skills relating to knowledge acquisition and application, problem solving, science communication and decision making. The overall aim of the programme is to equip current and future wildlife professionals with the knowledge, skills and global networks to address modern challenges in conservation management and law enforcement.
The programme is designed as an institutional collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), a government facility which houses the UK wildlife DNA forensics laboratory. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists in the application of genetic analysis to conservation management and wildlife forensics.
In addition, individual courses will engage a number of external tutors from local and international organisations with specific expertise in the subject matter. Course materials will based on actual examples from wildlife management projects and forensic casework.
Suitable participants include wildlife professionals interested in learning how DNA analysis can be applied to conservation management, from captive breeding programmes to reintroductions and natural population management.
The programme will also be appropriate for those working in wildlife law enforcement or wildlife policy sectors who want to understand how genetic data is now relied upon to inform conservation decision-making, trade regulation and criminal investigations.
As a comprehensive introduction to the fields of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, the programme is will also provide a valuable stepping stone to students seeking to pursue an advanced scientific career in these fields.
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.
Beyond gaining factual knowledge of the immediate subject matter, programme participation is designed to achieve a series of key learning outcomes:
Knowledge and Understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of practical and ethical issues relating to the application of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics.
Practice: applied knowledge, skills and understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate how to plan, apply and interpret the outputs of appropriate research and forensic techniques.
Generic cognitive skills
The student will be able to analyse complex issues and identify solutions, even in the absence of complete or consistent information.
Communication, ICT, Numeracy Skills
The student will be able to communicate relevant scientific concepts and results, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise.
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
The student will be able to manage complex wildlife conservation and law enforcement issues and make or contribute to informed judgements that address current challenges in these fields.
Concern for the global environment is continuing to grow. As a result there is a continuing demand for skilled and experienced professionals in environmental management. This course gives you the technical knowledge and skills to meet these demands. Alongside these technical competencies the course will help you to develop transferable competencies (e.g. communication, critical thinking, use of IT packages) which professional bodies and employers recognise as being essential to environmental professionals.
We have strong links with public and private sector organisations allowing us to make sure that the course meets the needs of employers.
In the first semester you study core environmental topics and material that assist you to settle in to postgraduate study. In the second semester you have the option to study
To ensure your learning is interesting and relevant to the workplace, we use a range of teaching methods including class discussions, case studies based on real life scenarios and field visits. You also have the opportunity to take a module where you do a project for a real organisation to help you develop skills in managing a project, and to develop contacts in the sector where you plan to work.
Most of our teaching staff have previously worked in the sector and have retained strong links with public and private sector organisations allowing us to draw on real world experience in our teaching. Our environment subject area also has a proven track record in research.
We also offer most modules on this course as standalone short courses.
The course is suitable for you whether you are progressing from a related first degree or if you come from a non-environmental background. As part of the support to students from a non-environmental background we offer an optional module that introduces key ecological concepts for those wishing to work in that area but who have no relevant previous experience or study.
This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
International resource management strand
Wildlife and landscape management strand
To complete the masters, you also take • applied research methods • dissertation.
International resource management strand
One from • minerals and waste • consultancy project • cultural landscape management
Wildlife and landscape management strand
One from • applied ecology • minerals and waste • water management • consultancy project
Environmental management strand
Alternatively you can select four modules from those available in semester two.
The environmental consultancy sector is continuing to grow and so this is the main source of employment for most of our graduates. The consultancy sector spans both the ecological and resource management strands of the course.
Other employment opportunities include
Many part-time students are supported by employers and many find that they progress in their workplace after completing the course.
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.
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 [email protected].
During the programme you will acquire:
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.
Here are some other useful and interesting veterinary and wildlife-related web sites:
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:
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:
See the ZSL website for detailed career profiles of some other recent graduates.