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Course content

Biodiversity loss remains one of the key environmental concerns of our time, and conservation work requires experts who understand the science underpinning practical activities. The MSc Biodiversity and Conservation will develop your understanding, providing excellent preparation for careers in ecological consultancy or conservation management.

Introducing your degree

Our course will provide you with excellent preparation for a career as an environmental scientist in conservation, whether working for local authorities, NGOs or international consultancies. Environmental scientists are vital for the conservation and enhancement of our biodiversity. The accurate monitoring of species diversity, change, population abundance and distribution are key in the protection and enhancement of our ecosystems.


In your first semester, you will develop the fundamental skills required for a career in ecology. You will learn about Environmental Impact Assessment, deepen your understanding of freshwater ecosystems and their management, whilst developing skills in spatial ecology and conservation. In the second semester, you will learn to action global change by analysing ecosystems and their impact on populations and communities.

Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Environmental Pollution to Deep Sea Ecology to Environmental Law and Management. You will have the chance to apply geographical information systems, modelling and spatial analysis and acquire the interdisciplinary skills required for effective research project management. We provide students with the knowledge and ability to accurately monitor species diversity, change, population and distribution, in order to protect and enhance our ecosystems, individual species and habitats.

The final part of the year will centre on individual research. You will complete an advanced research project and be encouraged to work with industry to apply your newly deveoped knowledge.

View the specification document for this course


Compulsory modules include: Environmental Impact Assessment; Freshwater Ecosystems; Global Change Biology; MSc Research Project; Advanced Quantitative Methods

Optional modules include: Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis; Environmental Pollution; Deep Sea Ecology; Environmental Law and Management; Geographical Information Systems for Environmental Consultants; Bioenergy; Applied Ecology; River Basin Management and Restoration.

Visit the Biodiversity and Conservation - MSc page on the University of Southampton website for more details!





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