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Biodiversity, Wildlife & Ecosystem Health (Online Learning) (MSc/PgCert/PgDip/PgProfDev)

Course Content

Course content

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.


Visit the Biodiversity, Wildlife & Ecosystem Health (Online Learning) (MSc/PgCert/PgDip/PgProfDev) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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