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Master in Conservation Biology with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management (BEWM)

    Master degrees Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Biological Sciences

    Veterinary Sciences

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    2 years

  • Course Type

    MA, MSc

  • Course Fees

    Around 400€ are asked to register at the University of Burgundy at the beginning of the academic year.

  • Last Updated

    10 January 2019

Course content

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.


The Master program has a two-year span, with most of the courses taught in English (90% in the first year, 100% in the second year). 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:

  • engage with concepts and theory in behavioural ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level.
  • assess the ability of organisms to react, cope with and adjust to environmental change occurring over different spatial and time scales.
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on animal behaviour and wildlife management
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and fieldwork so as to identify and develop innovative research questions and design.

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 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.


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. 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 of the marks of the second year.


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.


To apply, first address an e-mail to professor Frank Cézilly (), sending a CV and describing the classes you followed in your previous/current degree. All correspondance should be written in English. Please, make sure you fit the entry requirements before sending an e-mail.

For further information, please visit our dedicated updated webpage (, and like our Facebook page (“”) to stay up to date with the life of and the latest news about our program!

Visit the Master in Conservation Biology with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management (BEWM) page on the Université Bourgogne Franche Comté website for more details!




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