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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Biological Sciences

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Please see our website for fees information

  • Last Updated

    28 November 2019

Zoos play a crucial role in animal conservation. Whether they’re carrying out important research into animal behaviour, taking part in breeding programmes, educating the public or advising policymakers, they are key players in international conservation.

Study our masters in Zoo Conservation Biology and you can play your part too, as you develop expertise in managing and maintaining captive populations, while exploring its link with species conservation on a worldwide scale.

The main core unit is Zoo Conservation, which we deliver with the help of our partners at Chester Zoo – giving you access to the zoo’s collections and facilities. Other units on the programme include a three-month work placement at a UK zoo or aquarium, and a field course to Poland, Ecuador or East Africa. With a wide range of option units, you’ll also have the chance to specialise in subjects like species recovery and behavioural biology.

It all then feeds back into your master’s research project, where you’ll combine fieldwork with research and data analysis, and communicate your findings in a comprehensive dissertation.

Features and benefits

  • Learn on-location at Chester Zoo. The course is delivered in association with the North of England Zoological Society at Chester Zoo, giving you key access to the zoo’s collections and facilities. The theory unit is taught by experts from specialist facilities at the zoo, and as part of this course a three month work placement will be carried out at any zoo in the UK or overseas. 
  • We've invested heavily over the last decade in our home, the John Dalton building, including high specification teaching and research facilities for biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, plant physiology, animal behaviour and exercise physiology and biomechanics.
  • Our research makes an impact. In the UK, our research has a policy focus, contributing to the establishment of ecosystem air pollution critical loads for biodiversity and the application of scientific knowledge to habitat conservation and restoration. Our expertise in conservation biology is aligned to the University's Ecology and Environment Research Centre.
  • Incredible international opportunities. Gain valuable practical experience in ecological and data collection techniques in Poland, Ecuador or East Africa, where you could visit some of the most famous wildlife sites in the world, including the Ngorongoro Crater or the Serengeti National Park.
  • Gain practical experience on a work placement. Spend three months at a zoo or aquarium in the UK, with the possibility to carry out your research project there.
  • Flexible learning. Make time for research, lab work and independent studies, thanks to a flexible programme that includes evening lectures, all backed up by our online learning platform, Moodle.

Course Details

Whether you study full or part time, you’ll cover a total of 6 core units – including your work placement/field course and your dissertation project. As such, you’ll start off with core units exploring areas like zoo conservation, statistical research and organismal genetics.

It’s also a programme with the flexibility to delve into the specialist areas of the field that interest you most, including option units like Behavioural Biology, Species Recovery, and Avian Biology and Conservation.

You’ll either do a three-month work placement at a zoo or aquarium in the UK, or a field course in Poland, East Africa or Ecuador. Your final masters-level project could also involve international travel for gathering data and conducting research.

If you opt to do a work placement instead of a field course, you can also choose to do your project at the same institution, doubling your time there to six months.


Visit the Zoo Conservation Biology - MSc page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!

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