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Course content

  • Designed in consultation with multiple external agencies to ensure relevant training that maximises graduate employability
  • Offers substantial field work opportunities in the UK and overseas
  • Provides opportunities to connect with external agencies and organisations to further enhance your training
  • Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation
  • Offers access to excellent facilities including state-of-the-art research laboratories, greenhouses and controlled environment rooms
  • Comprises modules that target both research and practical conservation skills

This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall by staff at the renowned Centre for Ecology and Conservation. The course boasts a significant research component, with substantial fieldwork opportunities in the UK as well as a field course in Africa. A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from conservationists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organisations. Collaborating organisations include: Cornwall Wildlife TrustButterfly ConservationMarine Conservation SocietyNatural EnglandRoyal Botanic Gardens KewRoyal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Zoological Society of London.

This applied degree provides excellent employability, with our recent alumni moving onto ecological consultancy work, government conservation programmes, NGO conservation projects and fully funded PhD positions in ecology and conservation.

Fieldwork

The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/.

You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

Learning and teaching

The taught component of this programme is delivered in the first five months, during which time you will be encouraged to develop your census research projects. The rest of the academic year is dedicated to these projects.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of three compulsory modules and 2-4 optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Project;
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include;

  • Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation; ;
  • Marine Biodiversity and Conservation;
  • Preparing for Ecological Consultancy;
  • Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology;
  • Ecological Census;
  • African Biodiversity and Conservation Field Course;
  • African Behavioural Ecology Field Course
  • African Conservation Science and Policy Field Course

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


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

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