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Masters Degrees (Zoo Conservation)

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This MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology is run in close collaboration with the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and is designed to produce graduates who want to develop careers in the research, management and re-introduction of captive populations. Read more
This MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology is run in close collaboration with the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and is designed to produce graduates who want to develop careers in the research, management and re-introduction of captive populations.

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this. A wide variety of option units in conservation and animal behaviour are available, including a field course in Tanzania. The programme is completed with a research project relevant to zoo conservation.

This course starts in September 2016 and January 2017. Please note that January starters sit their examinations in January the following year, making the course duration 12 months.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Placement options

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this.

About the Course

The theory unit is studied at Chester Zoo. There is also a three month work placement which can take place at any zoo in the UK or overseas and we will help you organise this. A wide variety of option units in conservation and animal behaviour are available, including a field course in Tanzania. The programme is completed with a research project relevant to zoo conservation.

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available online via our online learning platform, Moodle.

Formal teaching begins in September and finishes with the field courses in mid-May or mid-July. Student research projects are usually completed by the end of September.

Assessment details

You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

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Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Read more
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Study factors affecting animal behaviour, conservation, welfare and their interactions, as well as international zoo management and collaboration. Our partnership with Paignton Zoo gives you regular access to their connections, research and expertise – so you’re primed to make a difference.

Key features

-Delivered in conjunction with the staff at Paignton Zoo and its parent body, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which also owns Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts.
-Develop your scientific knowledge, professional and technical skills as a conservation biologist. Learn how to manage animal collections for the purpose of education, conservation and wildlife research.
-Study aspects of animal behaviour and ecology, as well as how welfare, housing, nutrition and health all have a part to play in species management.
-Learn to troubleshoot problems at the level of a social group within a particular zoological collection, right up to the level of a species globally. Explore how breeding programmes for endangered species are international in scope.
-Benefit from the knowledge and guidance of Plymouth University’s expert staff with specialisms including the behaviour of captive animals, animal nutrition, the welfare of captive birds and the application of population genetics to captive and natural fish populations.
-Find out how the science of zoos is used to inform government policy. Two of our teaching team are the only academic representatives on the government’s Zoos Expert Committee.
-Get behind-the-scenes insight with a day of study each week with our partners at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Deepen your understanding of the business and conservation work of zoos, and how networks and collaborations work between them.
-Access the latest research and information from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, including information on their co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species.
-Be inspired by opportunities to visit a range of zoos in the region – including Dartmoor, Bristol and Newquay – and to travel abroad for research projects. A recent student travelled to Louisiana Zoo for her research project on golden tamarin monkeys.
-Graduates work in zoos as educators, researchers, managers and keepers. Many go on to PhD study or work in further education. Other employers include the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria; the Natural History Unit (BBC); national and international conservation organisations.

Course details

As a full-time student, you’ll study seven modules taking in everything from genetics to environmental enrichment, preventative health to budgeting. We update modules to reflect current thinking and you can specialise within them. If you’re interested in working with tigers, for example, this can be reflected across your work. You’ll be assessed through coursework with practical tasks focused on your future career. Core modules include introduction to zoo organisation, animal conservation, applied animal behaviour and management, animal metabolism and nutrition, animal health and welfare and business management. You’ll then do a final three-month research project of your choice. Previous investigations have included everything from female mate choice in white faced saki monkeys to how peripheral and/or invasive activity affects the behaviour and enclosure use of captive sand tiger sharks.

Core modules
-BIO505 Research Project
-ANIM5006 Contemporary Zoo Management
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-ANIM5005 Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-ANIM5007 Small Population Conservation
-ANIM5008 Conservation Ecology and Society
-ANIM5009 Zoo Animal Health, Nutrition and Management

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

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Become a specialist wildlife conservation practitioner with practical skills, experience and knowledge innovation to protect the world’s most vulnerable species. Read more
Become a specialist wildlife conservation practitioner with practical skills, experience and knowledge innovation to protect the world’s most vulnerable species. Learn from our conservation partners and work with major conservation organisations to prepare for a rewarding career.

Key benefits

The course is delivered on site at Bristol Zoo Gardens and its sister site, the Wild Place Project. These locations give you an opportunity to develop your skills and test innovative strategies and products.

We have excellent links to industry and business in the South West, including Avon and Somerset Wildlife Trusts. Sites of international conservation importance, such as the Avon Gorge and Somerset Levels, are on our doorstep, so there are plenty of fieldwork opportunities.

Course detail

This exciting course is not just theoretical. It's designed to give you hands-on experience of contemporary and advancing techniques for conserving biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. It's delivered in collaboration with the internationally renowned Bristol Zoological Society (BZS), and is unique in the way it prepares you for complete practical conservation.

Alongside developing your abilities and practice in ecosystem and species conservation, communication and effecting behaviour change, the MSc Advanced Wildlife Conservation in Practice course has a strong emphasis on developing your innovation and entrepreneurial skills. There is an ever more pressing need for conservationists to create and work with emerging technologies to ensure we maximise the opportunities for biodiversity conservation.

Modules

• Advanced ecosystem conservation in practice
• Advanced species conservation in practice
• Communication for conservation
• Innovation and Enterprise in Conservation
• Research Project

Format

Teaching is split equally between BZS staff and UWE Bristol staff, with some additional content from other partner organisations, such as RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (Slimbridge). You'll have the opportunity to become immersed in a major conservation organisation, interact with experts engaged in ground-breaking conservation projects across the globe, and meet practising conservationists and ecologists from a wide range of organisations. This gives you the opportunity to develop your professional network and hone your skills towards the job you want.

Each teaching block includes a guest tutor from an outside organisation, while some of the module assignments will require you to network with conservation managers from your local area.

Assessment

Each module assessment is specifically designed to allow you to develop your practical skills and understanding, and increase your employability once you graduate. They will usually take the form of mini-projects and will require you to master advanced techniques in wildlife conservation and evaluate their effectiveness in a range of circumstances. The projects include presentations, portfolios and reports. There are no formal written exams.

Careers / Further study

The course has been developed with a wide range of stakeholders from the ecological consultancy and charity sectors. We use their feedback to ensure the skills you gain are the ones employers are looking for. On completion of the course, you will be excellently placed to seek work in national and international conservation organisations and ecological consultancies, government agencies or even to set up your own NGO.

You may choose to continue your conservation research or go on to doctorate-level studies. The course also gives you the potential to become a chartered member of the Institute of Environmental Management.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –
The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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*Subject to validation by the University of Portsmouth. Read more
*Subject to validation by the University of Portsmouth

What will I learn?

Building on a strong science foundation, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, units are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Management Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and off-site visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects.

How will I be assessed?

Units are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Where can I go from here?

Career pathways include zoo or conservation research, environmental education or zoo management. Alternatively you may choose to study a doctorate or a career in lecturing.

Units Covered

Research Project and Research Methods
The research project enables students to undertake a detailed experimental study in a chosen area to develop analytical research skills with the support of dedicated supervisors. The student profile is developed throughout the programme, utilising a range of advanced academic and research skills with an emphasis on the practical industry applications of research findings. Interpretation and critical evaluation of current research findings will enable the student to further develop links between the zoo industry and the scientific community.

Evidence-based Husbandry

Zoo husbandry has traditionally relied on inference and anecdote but the need for an evidence based approach is now well documented. Practical application of species biology will be considered and developed alongside a range of methods that can be utilised to evaluate current welfare and husbandry standards. Behavioural analysis and enclosure utilisation studies will underpin this approach, along with wider consideration of health and nutrition.

Contemporary issues in Zoo Biology

This unit sets the historical context of zoos and considers their evolution. The roles of the modern zoo are considered in line with the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy with future trends identified and considered. Population management and conservation biology are discussed and applied to modern zoo theory with the use of industry specific software (for example ZIMS) integrated into this delivery.

Visitor Studies and Interpretation

Education is arguably the most important role of the modern zoo. This unit explores how visitors engage with and learn from the numerous opportunities provided within the zoo, drawing on the principles of interpretation, exhibitry and recreational learning theory. It explores the cultural and social context of the zoo and investigates visitor motivation and expectations. Methods of delivering the zoo message will be considered with evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of provision a key theme.

Course Tutor
Steve Nash MSc, PGCE (PCET), BSc (Hons), Dip Zoo An Man, SFHEA

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Develop the practical skills you need for a career in wildlife conservation. Learn through a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning, on a course that’s been developed in partnership with environmental organisations to ensure you’re skilled and employable in this rewarding area. Read more
Develop the practical skills you need for a career in wildlife conservation. Learn through a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning, on a course that’s been developed in partnership with environmental organisations to ensure you’re skilled and employable in this rewarding area.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applied-wildlife-conservation

Our planet is in urgent need of capable and well-trained wildlife conservationists to find solutions to the problems of biodiversity loss. If you’re passionate about wildlife and planning a career in conservation our exciting Masters course will equip you with the skills you need. You’ll focus on the sustainable management of wildlife and habitats, with an emphasis on developing practical field skills and the ability to analyse and interpret data in the interests of conservation. Our course has been developed with international conservation organisations, so you can be sure you’ll be gaining skills and knowledge valued by employers in the field.

Through your choice of optional modules you'll be able to focus your study on areas such as sustainability, business, wildlife management and behaviour change. Or develop deeper knowledge of skills such as wildlife conservation and biogeography. Field trips give you the chance to apply your skills whilst working on conservation projects in the UK and abroad.

You’ll have the opportunity to visit a research station in Borneo and apply your skills in a tropical forest conservation project. Every year we welcome a wide range of guest lecturers who share their inspiring and innovative experiences of working in wildlife conservation.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applied-wildlife-conservation

Careers

Careers areas include conservation biology, environmental consultancy or in conservation education. You may find work in a non-governmental organisation (NGO), charity, zoo, private company, a government body or in a related field such as ecotourism. You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Animal and Environmental Sciences PhD.

[[Modules & assessment
Core modules:
GIS Tools for Biodiversity Mapping and Conservation
Invasive Species and Other Drivers of Distribution Change
Communication Skills for Conservation
Landscapes, Ecological Networks and Ecosystem Services
Current Topics in Wildlife Conservation
Research Methods
Masters Research Project

Optional modules:
Behavioural Ecology and Conservation
Study Tour: Understanding Biodiversity and Sustainability
Better Business
Governance and Behavioural Change

Assessment

Your work will be assessed in a range of ways to reflect the scope and aims of our course. These include assignments, field-work, case studies, group work and presentations.

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

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The MSc in Animal Behaviour addresses the interaction between environment, experience and physiology in the development and dynamics of behaviour. Read more
The MSc in Animal Behaviour addresses the interaction between environment, experience and physiology in the development and dynamics of behaviour. There is an applied element in terms of how the principles of animal behaviour can be applied to practical problems such as animal welfare and conservation. Students can gain experience of laboratory studies (of invertebrates) and field work. The programme features a strong numerical and research-orientated approach. A range of elective units are available, including Zoo Conservation Biology which takes place at Chester Zoo. There is also a compulsory residential field course in Poland or Tanzania.

The MSc is completed by a research-based project which can be carried out overseas or in the UK. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Features and benefits of the course

-We work with the College of African Wildlife Management and the Kenya Wildlife Service and are able to offer unique fieldwork experiences in Tanzania and Kenya.
-You will have the opportunity to stay for six weeks at one of our research bases in Tanzania or Kenya to collect data for your own research project.
-Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information are available via our online learning platform, Moodle.
-In the last ten years we’ve invested over £50 million in our home, John Dalton building, including high specification teaching and research facilities for biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, plant physiology, animal behaviour and exercise physiology and biomechanics.
-The course is taught by a vibrant community of research-active staff. Tutors are currently involved in research in Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Madeira, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia as well as the UK and every year many of our MSc students work within this project.
-Students are encouraged to carry out their projects in association either with staff interests or those of external organisations such as Chester Zoo, local and national conservation bodies, water authorities, etc.
-The School of Science and the Environment has strong links with with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and close association to a number of organisations across the North West, including Blackpool Zoo, Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park.

Placement options

There are optional three month placements for those taking MSc Zoo Conservation Biology and these can take place at many different zoos in the UK.

About the Course

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Our Masters programmes in behaviour and conservation are run by a large group of research active staff with strong links to a variety of research institutions, national organisations and non-governmental bodies in the UK and overseas.

Each term there is a research colloquium in which invited speakers talk about areas of research directly relevant to our MSc programmes.

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Gain the skills to protect and manage wildlife and habitats to make a difference to their future survival. Train in the technologies and scientific methods used in modern conservation. Read more
Gain the skills to protect and manage wildlife and habitats to make a difference to their future survival. Train in the technologies and scientific methods used in modern conservation.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/animal-behaviour-applications-for-conservation

Our course begins with 12 weeks of intensive technical skills training. We follow this with a Behavioural Ecology and Conservation module, which will teach you how to select and apply these techniques to best effect in many different settings.

You'll cover the skills and methods used in modern conservation, including advanced laboratory techniques, satellite tracking, GIS, stable isotope analysis, DNA analysis and field techniques.

You can also personalise your studies from a wide menu of optional modules which focus on different aspects of conservation. These can include a field trip to a research station in Borneo.

The final stage of your course will be a major research project with guidance and support from tutors who are world-class researchers.

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 28 months part-time (September starts), 15 months full-time or 33 months part-time (January starts).

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/animal-behaviour-applications-for-conservation

Careers

Our graduates build successful careers in many roles including conservation biologist, scientist or curator at a zoo, conservation educator, ecotourism or environmental consultancy. As a conservationist you can choose work with many organisations, from private companies to NGOs and government departments. You're also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Animal and Environmental Sciences PhD.

Modules & assessment

Core modules:
Technology and Techniques in the Study of Animal Behaviour
Behavioural Ecology and Conservation
Research Methods
Research Project

Optional modules:
Practical Applications of DNA Based Technologies
Study Tour: Understanding Biodiversity and Sustainability
GIS Tools for Biodiversity Mapping and Conservation
Introduction to Sustainability and Systems
Communication Skills for Conservation
Governance and Behavioural Change
Better Business
Changing Distribution and Invasive Species
System Pressures

Assessment

We'll assess your progress with a combination of assignments, case studies, group work and presentations, as well as your major project.

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

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This degree focuses on the theory, practice and ethics of biodiversity conservation and wildlife biology, from the level of wild populations to entire ecosystems. Read more

Overview

This degree focuses on the theory, practice and ethics of biodiversity conservation and wildlife biology, from the level of wild populations to entire ecosystems. An emphasis is placed on the unique biodiversity of Australia and its connections with the rest of the globe. The program will suit current practitioners wishing to upgrade their knowledge and skills as well as those seeking employment in this sector.

See the website http://courses.mq.edu.au/international/postgraduate/master/master-of-conservation-biology

Key benefits

- Teaches a wide range of skills in conservation biology, from field techniques to computer modelling
- Offers real-world experience in applying theory and skills to conservation problems within a question-based scientific framework
- Flexible unit offerings that allow for a significant proportion of the program to be completed off-campus
- Gateway units that allow graduates from all academic disciplines to gain the appropriate background for more advanced training

Suitable for

- Government agency staff seeking to update their expertise or seeking a higher degree in conservation studies
- students seeking employment in government agencies or the private sector professionals (eg zoo staff and wildlife careers, vets, environmental consultants, policy and planning specialists, lawyers, economists, accountants)
- non-government organisation staff (eg conservation lobbyists, animal welfare groups and community groups) seeking an improved understanding of conservation issues.
- Biological Sciences graduates, or environment and conservation professionals seeking further education in conservation biology.

English language requirements

IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent

All applicants for undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies at Macquarie University are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English.
For more information see English Language Requirements. http://mq.edu.au/study/international/how_to_apply/english_language_requirements/

You may satisfy the English language requirements if you have completed:
- senior secondary studies equivalent to the NSW HSC
- one year of Australian or comparable tertiary study in a country of qualification

Careers

Career Opportunities
Our graduates pursue careers in fields including:
- environmental consulting
- policy and planning
- wildlife and vegetation management
- research in biodoversity and conservation

Employers
- animal welfare groups
- government agencies
- non-government organisations
- private sector
- educational institutions

See the website http://courses.mq.edu.au/international/postgraduate/master/master-of-conservation-biology

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This innovative programme aims to give you the knowledge, skills and practical training needed to work with wildlife, with special emphasis on wildlife health and conservation at the global scale. Read more
This innovative programme aims to give you the knowledge, skills and practical training needed to work with wildlife, with special emphasis on wildlife health and conservation at the global scale.

Cutting-edge topics include animal capture and handling techniques; the assessment, stabilisation and transportation of injured animals; methods for improving the welfare of captive animals; concepts in behavioural ecology; endangered species breeding programmes; the reintroduction of captive populations to the wild; practical conservation strategies; and the management of protected areas. The curriculum also delivers a comprehensive introduction to wildlife disease ecology, surveillance and control.

The MSc is based at the School of Veterinary Sciences near the Mendip Hills in Somerset, providing convenient access to Exmoor National Park and the rich wildlife habitats of south-west England. A large number of lectures, small group workshops and practical sessions take place at Bristol Zoo, allowing you to gain hands-on experience of exotic animal care while working behind the scenes in a modern zoological garden.

A special feature of this MSc is the large number of specialist lectures, workshops and seminars that are delivered by leading researchers, conservationists and wildlife veterinarians from outside the University. These provide a valuable networking opportunity that will benefit your future career.

By the end of the course you will have gained the skills and knowledge to deal with a variety of practical situations that professional wildlife biologists face on a day-to-day basis.

Programme structure

The course is split into two elements. A taught element from September to April provides training in:
-First Aid for Injured Animals
-Wildlife Care and Rehabilitation
-Captive Wildlife Management
-The Re-release of Wildlife into the Field
-Wildlife Conservation
-Wildlife Diseases and Integrated Health
-Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-Research Skills

A research element from May to August provides an opportunity for you to carry out an applied project on a wildlife topic of interest to you. You will undertake a literature review, collect and analyse data, and present your results as a written report suitable for publication. In previous years many of these projects have been carried out at Bristol Zoo or in Australia.

Careers

This course has been carefully designed for those aspiring to a career in wildlife health, conservation and management. Potential employers include national parks, zoological gardens, animal rescue centres, wildlife hospitals, environmental NGOs, conservation charities and government agencies with statutory wildlife responsibilities, both in Britain and overseas.

Previous students have gone on to work for a range of employers, including the Environment Agency, Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Chester Zoo, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Frontier, Ecofieldtrips Singapore and Natural England. Our graduates are now spread across the world, working to achieve wildlife conservation from positions of influence in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

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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.

Course Modules

The MSc programme is delivered over 1 year on a full-time basis during two teaching blocks (semesters one and two) and a period of supervised and independent study (summer). It may also be completed over a two-year period on a part-time basis. The first two semesters (15 weeks each) include 4 taught modules. The dissertation is studied during the subsequent 20 week period in the summer. Each taught module is worth 15 credits whilst the dissertation is 60 credits.

Programme

Semester One (September to January)
Animal Physiology / Comparative Animal Nutrition / Wildlife Resources / Research Methods
60 Credits

Semester Two (January to May)
Animal Ethics and Welfare / Animal Protection and Habitat Conservation / Behaviour / Current Issues in Animal Science
60 Credits

Summer (May to September)
MSc Dissertation
60 Credits

The full MSc degree course consists of 120 compulsory taught credits plus 60 core credits from the dissertation. The Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) can be awarded with 120 taught credits. Whilst a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) can be awarded on the successful completion of any 60 taught credits. Credits obtained from the dissertation can also be used when considering whether a postgraduate diploma can be awarded. Before progressing onto the Masters dissertation from the Diploma, students would need to complete the Research Methods module or its equivalent as a prerequisite.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally hold a good BSc Honours degree (2.2 or above) from a recognised university in a related science subject such as animal science, agriculture, biological sciences, zoology, veterinary or bioveterinary science or other appropriate life-science degree. Applicants with a BSc (Hons) 3rd class pass, with extensive industrial experience may also be considered for the Masters programme. Applications from non-UK students are particularly welcome. All applications received will be reviewed and decisions for admission to the programme will be made on individual merit. Applicants may be interviewed if there is some doubt over the extent of academic qualification or linguistic skills.

Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate a level of competence that enables them to study at a postgraduate level. A test score of 6.5 is required in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) tests.

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.

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 or 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.

Fees and Financial Support

Part-time student fees for each semester will be charged on a pro-rata basis. There are limited bursaries for part-payment of fees (for UK students only) from the Alice Noakes Memorial Trust. Applications for these bursaries can only be made via the course manager on admission to the course.

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The MSc Conservation Biology programme aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of the science which underpins conservation. Read more
The MSc Conservation Biology programme aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of the science which underpins conservation. Students can gain experience of essential techniques and fieldwork. The programme has a strong numerical and research-orientated approach. You can also gain experience in the increasingly important field of conservation genetics.

The course has an international outlook and provides opportunities for students to gain conservation experience overseas. There is a compulsory residential field course which can be in either Poland or Tanzania. Our facilities have recently been updated and you will engage with a large community of research active staff. There are exciting opportunities to complete your MSc research project abroad, for example you may join a project investigating the problems of conserving large mammals outside protected areas in Kenya. We also have links to research projects in many other countries.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Features and benefits of the course

-Optional two week field course in Northern Tanzania with visits to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Many of our MSc students collect data for their research projects abroad.
-You will have access to recently refurbished laboratories, project facilities and resource rooms with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
-The course is taught by a vibrant community of research active staff. Tutors are currently involved in research in Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Indonesia as well as the UK and every year many of our MSc students work within this project.
-Flexible course delivery. Most lectures, even for full-time students, take place in the evenings and some units are available in blocks, by self-study or by distance learning. The online virtual learning environment (using Moodle) gives you access to lectures, other course materials and assessment information.

Placement options

There are optional three month placements for those taking MSc Zoo Conservation Biology and these can take place at many different zoos in the UK.

About the Course

The course has an international outlook and provides opportunities for students to gain conservation experience overseas. There is a residential field course which can be in either Poland or Tanzania.

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Assessment details

You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination. Formal teaching begins in September and finishes with the field courses in mid-May or mid-July. Student research projects are usually completed by the end of September.

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Programme description. 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
  • Connecting Environment and Society
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Ecosystem Resilience and Extreme Events
  • Environmental Law
  • Ex-situ Wildlife Management
  • An introduction to transboundary diseases
  • Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
  • Invasive Non-Native Species
  • Land Use and Food Security
  • Managing and Leading Conservation Projects
  • Reflections on Professional Development
  • 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
  • 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.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

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.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

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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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
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.

Under the microscope

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.

The course

The MSc in Wild Animal Health consists of thee levels:

Certificate in Wild Animal Health - you are introduced to the course objectives, the mission of the partner organizations running the Course and the services you can receive at the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. You will also study four core modules:

- Conservation biology
- The impact of disease on populations
- Health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Interventions


Diploma in Wild Animal Health - building on the knowledge and skills learned in the Certificate in Wild Animal Health, you will study four further modules:

- Detection, surveillance and emerging diseases
- Ecosystem health
- Evaluation of the health and welfare of captive wild animals
- Practical module


MSc in Wild Animal Health - a graduate of the Master of Science in Wild Animal Health must demonstrate (in addition to the achievements of the PG Certificate and Diploma):

- A comprehensive understanding of research and inquiry including (i) critical appraisal of the literature, (ii) scientific writing and (iii) scientific presentation
- The ability to design and analyse hypothesis-driven laboratory and/or field studies

Research planning - in this module we will develop the extensive skills required to design and conduct practical research projects, critically appraise and review the literature, deliver effective scientific presentations, and write scientific papers suitable for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Project - you will be required to undertake an individual research project, between mid-June and the end of August, and to submit a typewritten report not exceeding 10,000 words in the form of a literature review and a scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The project will encompass a practical study on an approved aspect of wild animal health. The project may be undertaken at any place approved by the Institute/College with the guidance of a course supervisor.

Assessment - you will be assessed by four written papers, course work (assignments and casebook), an individual research project report and an oral examination for all candidates, irrespective of their performance in other parts of the course.

Project reports are submitted at the end of August and oral examinations are held in mid-September.

How will I learn?

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

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Degree. Master of Science (two years) with a major in Biology. Teaching language. English. The Applied Ethology and Animal Biology master’s programme deals with animal behaviour and biology from an application perspective, including problems associated with keeping animals in captivity. Read more
Degree: Master of Science (two years) with a major in Biology
Teaching language: English

The Applied Ethology and Animal Biology master’s programme deals with animal behaviour and biology from an application perspective, including problems associated with keeping animals in captivity. Students gain a good working knowledge of the programme’s central issues, such as the biology of stress as related to animal welfare, the effects of domestication on behaviour, the physiology of behaviour and conservation biology.

The programme is taught in collaboration with Kolmården Zoo, one of the largest and most renowned zoos in Sweden. A number of teaching sessions are held at the zoo where students acquire first-hand knowledge from experienced zoologists.

The programme provides students with a solid understanding of the theory and methods of applied ethology and broadens their understanding of animal biology through courses such as Behavioural neurobiology, Adaptation: molecules to organisms, Zoobiology, Primate ethology and In situ conservation biology. In addition to classroom lectures and seminars students are given the opportunity to participate in hands-on projects involving studies of animals in captive environments.

The key part of the programme is the one-year degree project where students apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge in practice.

The two years are linked by a continuous seminar course in Current Concepts in Life Sciences, which introduces students to the current, rapidly evolving research in molecular genetic mechanisms underlying complex biological processes. This course involves research articles and research lectures by prominent guest speakers.

After completing the programme, students will be well-acquainted with theories of animal behaviour and biology and have a close understanding of the concepts of animal welfare and conservation, as well as be trained to plan, implement and present a scientific investigation in the subject framework of the programme.

Completed studies qualify students for postgraduate education at doctoral level. Non-academic options include work at government and international animal or environmental agencies, as animal welfare inspectors, wildlife conservationists or advisors to zoos and private companies.

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We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering. Read more
We start with a semester of formal lectures (2 x 5 week blocks) and assocaiated assignments covering: Behavioural development; Motivation and sensory systems; Evolution and behaviour; Pain, stress and welfare; Navigation; Cognition; Endocrines and pheromones; Communication and Welfare of farm, companion and zoo animals; Behaviour and conservation; Fear and sterotypies and Practical measures for enhancing welfare. We also have visits to Belfast Zoological Gardens, Castle Espie Wildfowl Centre and Farms. In semester two we cover practical topics that include defining and recording behaviour, experimental design and analyses, presentation of results in various formats and getting to grips with primary literature. That is a period in which students also focus on preparing for the project and they give a seminar onhow they intend to approach the research project. The latter is a 5-month, fully-supervised Research Project that can involve field work abroad, field work on UK farms, exerimental work in the labortaory or field. It can involve welfare or fundamental animal behaviour. We have a team of ten that currently offer diverse projects for this course and nine of these are involved in the delivery of lectures (check our web site). Project supervisors will also supervise a literature review in the broad area of the project. Knowledge gained form the course can be applied to fundamental scientific research and to practical areas such as conservation, animal husbandry and zoo environments. Formal teaching is on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, one year full time two years part time.

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