Masters degrees in Environmental Biology provide advanced study of relationships between organisms and their terrestrial, freshwater or marine environments, in addition to the interactions that result from natural and anthropogenic (human) processes.
Popular specialisms and related subjects include branches of Marine Biology, Conservation Biology and broader Environmental Science. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Biology or Environmental Science.
Topics range from issues such as climate change and exploitation of natural resources, to the general monitoring of populations, including wildlife or zoological conservation. Many courses focus solely on animal molecular and evolutionary ecology, with some specialising in areas such as agriculture (particularly livestock-wildlife relationships).
Practical training in lab testing and experiment design is a key component of these degrees, alongside activities such as identification, bioimaging, and 3D modelling. Surveillance practise - including GIS (Geographical Information Systems) – is incorporated through fieldwork. These transferrable skills may be relevant in a number of careers.
These may include: policy making within government; consultancy for SMEs or charitable organisations; positions within research institutes such as universities and agencies.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course focuses on the relationships between living organisms and the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments, coupled with the interactions that result from natural and anthropogenic processes.
On the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course you will benefit from advanced training in the interpretation of local and global environmental issues, field and theoretical aspects of biology and ecology, and in analytical techniques. You will also develop the skills necessary to work confidently in vocational areas such as conservation, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, monitoring and education, and foster an objective, scientific and realistic approach to environmental biological issues that you may have to face in a professional capacity.
Graduates from the Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management course go on to work for government agencies such as CCW, Environment Agency, English Nature, Scottish Heritage, Fisheries Research Services, CEFAS. Other organisations include zoos, wildlife parks and reserves, national parks, environmental departments, research and development of SMEs as well as large companies. Graduates also go on to do postgraduate research.
Modules on the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management MSc include:
Core Science Skills and Research Methods
Conservation of Aquatic Resources
Term papers in Environmental Biology
Environmental Assessment and Management
Remote sensing of the changing environment
Geographical Information Systems
Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme.
As a student on the MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
“I’ve spent four years as a student at Swansea University, three years as an undergraduate studying Marine Biology and a year as a postgraduate undertaking the MSc in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management. Whether studying or partying I can honestly say I had a fantastic time the whole way through! It was through my undergraduate study that I realised how amazingly diverse the marine ecosystem is, but also how vulnerable it can be and the level of exploitation it endures. This prompted me to undertake the MSc, which furthered my knowledge in many aspects of conservation and environmental issues around the world on sea and land. With my experience and expertise gained from studying at Swansea I have secured a job working with WWF Cymru in Cardiff as Marine Policy Officer where I am helping work towards a sustainable future for the Welsh marine environment.”
BSc Marine Biology
MSc Environmental Biology: Conservation & Resource Management
Marine Policy Officer, WWF Cymru, Cardiff
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
All academic staff in Biosciences are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture.
Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.
The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer. Read more about the background of the programme.
Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:
Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:
Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.
Plants, animals, and microbes all play a key role in the sustainability of life on Earth. The Master's programme in Environmental Biology offers you the opportunity to explore different organisational levels of life – from genes, cells, and organisms to populations and entire ecosystems.
In this programme, you will study the fundamental life processes of plants and microbes. The interdisciplinary course content also offers you the chance to examine animal behaviour from an ecological and evolutionary perspective.
Within the Environmental Biology Master, you can select a specialised track from the following:
Alternatively, you can develop an individualised curriculum suited to your unique interests. We offer you considerable flexibility in choosing specific subfields or topics within Environmental Biology. See the study programme and courses page.
Climate change, pollution and invasions by non-native species are pressing issues globally, within Europe and in the Humber region.
This MSc provides an in-depth understanding of the causes and impacts of environmental change, and equips you with the necessary skills and analytical tools to monitor and manage such changes.
You consider the scientific, political and legal consequences of environmental change and management and develop your understanding of the processes involved, integrating information at molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels.
Here at Hull, we have an active team of environmental research focused staff, both biologists and geographers, and an established track record in environmental services. We are a member of the GU8 consortium, a group of port city universities from across the world, providing us with international collaborative links that are unrivalled in the UK. We also enjoy strong, well-established industry links.
Fieldwork is incorporated throughout the programme. The city of Hull’s location on the Humber Estuary, with a large ports complex and growing renewables energy industry, within a thriving agricultural setting, provides students with an abundance of opportunities to move from bench to environment. Aquaria provision is considerable, with an established partnership with The Deep, Hull's internationally famous public aquarium.
The programme is taught by a team of environmental research focused staff with a range of expertise unique to the University.
A critical overview of environmental change and related management policies and scientific challenges will be provided. You gain an understanding of the main aspects of monitoring environmental change, from practical, laboratory-based techniques to those used in the field by industry and regulatory authorities.
You will solve complex, real-world problems and construct and test hypotheses related to environmental issues, applying advanced theories, concepts and principles, and learning how to apply them to manage the environment.
Your skills in teamwork, communication and time management will be honed as you make use of the principles of scientific inquiry in the context of evidence-based practice, and effectively communicate complex and conceptually challenging information.
A range of industry-standard instrumentation will be used and you will critically evaluate research on current and new diagnostic methodologies. Practical modules cover the wide range of current techniques used in environmental monitoring.
* All modules are subject to availability.
This MSc leads to a host of employment opportunities right across the environmental arena, and graduates will be highly sought by employers. The programme is also an ideal pathway for those intending to progress to PhD programmes within Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Your employability on graduation is very important to us and we place a strong emphasis on providing you with the skills and attributes required by the environmental sector.
We provide specialist progression routes that target the increasing number of employment opportunities within the industry, so you will be ideally placed to secure employment with national or international consultancies and NGOs; private and public service research and management; or conduct further higher-level research across the UK and overseas universities and research centres.
A significant number of employment opportunities exist right here in the Humber region.
The Master of Research (MRes) programme in Ecology and Environmental Biology provides research training for students wishing to enter a PhD programme or seeking a career in ecological science.
This programme consists of a taught component, and a laboratory or field based research project. The taught component consists of core research skills and specialist options in analytical and sampling techniques. The main part of the degree is devoted to experience of research techniques. You will carry out an extended research project chosen to reflect your interests and the skills you wish to acquire.
A total of 180 credits are required, with 30 flexible credits in the first term. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.
Key Research Skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design). Coursework – 60%; scientific report – 40%
The programme will provide an excellent training for those who wish to apply for a PhD programme or enter ecological consultancy or conservation sectors. It also serves as an excellent introduction to research in the UK for overseas students.
You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation.
You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.
You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.
Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.
This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.
You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre
Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.
The Master of Science by Research degree in Marine Biology is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the area of Marine Biology, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.
The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), based at East Sands, St Andrews. The SOI is home to the world famous Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), and hosts a wide-range of researchers with interests ranging from the deep oceans to the coasts, and from the people who use and interact with the sea, to the biological and physical processes that make the oceans function.
There are four research themes running through the SOI: Global Change and Planetary Evolution; Ecology, Fisheries and Resource management; Developmental and Evolutionary Genomics; the Sea Mammal Research Unit. As such, the SOI brings together behavioural and population ecologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, conservationists, mathematicians and environmental scientists to contribute towards understanding and managing the future of our oceans and the organisms, big and small, that live within them. Further details about the SOI can be found here: http://soi.st-andrews.ac.uk/.
Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the SOI directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-soi-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.
The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.
Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.
In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.
The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.
For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm