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Our MSc in Ecology and Conservation aims to enable students to gain knowledge and skills to meet their career aspirations, whether in research or as practising ecologists. Our programme will enable you to develop a strong grounding in the theoretical principles of ecology, gain understanding of the applications of ecology in conservation and learn the practical skills required to carry out ecological research and to apply ecological techniques in conservation and other contexts.

The MSc begins with a residential field trip on the stunning north coast of Scotland, practising ecological field methods and undertaking small projects; this provides not only a great learning experience but also a great opportunity to get to know your classmates.

Core courses in plant ecology and animal population ecology provide you with key theoretical grounding, many applied case studies and both field and modelling techniques. We are renowned for our numerical teaching and our core course in statistics (using "R") provides you with an essential skill set, whilst a course in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provides you with a key employability skill.

You also have a wide range of choice within the MSc programme and you can select, for example, more statistical training, marine ecology, molecular ecology or an interdisciplinary course on ecology, conservation and society. You can also choose to learn applied skills in courses on management planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The final element of the MSc is an individual three month research project. You can develop your own project title, with guidance from an appropriate member of staff, or select one from our very extensive project list. Many students do their project in association with an external organisation (eg Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB). The freedom of choice, potential for networking and huge opportunity for skills development offered by the project is a key feature of your MSc, enabling you to tailor it to your own interests and aspirations.

The MSc is assessed entirely by coursework, with no exams. Course assignments are very varied and designed to enable you to develop both your subject knowledge and transferrable skills. You will write in a wide range of styles, from literature review to opinion piece to management plan. You will present posters, give presentations and contribute to and chair discussions, as well as practice data collection, various types of data analysis, modelling and report writing. Finally you will write a scientific paper reporting your own research project.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Plant Ecology
  • Population Ecology

Optional Courses

  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Introduction to Ecological Field Research in Northern Scotland
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Applied Forest Ecology

Semester 2

Compulsory

  • Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Optional

  • Marine Mammology
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Marine Conservation Management

Semester 3

  • Project in Ecology and Conservation

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Visit UsAberdeen, Online In Your Country

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Ecology has been taught at Aberdeen for over 50 years and Plant Ecology and Soil Science is No 1 in the UK (REF 2014)
  • You go on field research trips at Bettyhill in Sutherland and you are able to join research groups and further your learning
  • You will be taught be known ecologists who are active in research, management and nature conservation
  • Aberdeen is ideally situated to take full advantage of coastal, inland, rural and wild landscapes and environments
  • You gain essential portfolio skills to enhance your CV from project work and links to relevant external networks

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees

Scholarships

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Fees

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Entry Requirements and Study Support

Living in Aberdeen

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Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs

Other Programmes


Visit the Ecology and Conservation MSc page on the Aberdeen University website for more details!

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