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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Population Ecology

We have 29 Masters Degrees in Population Ecology

Masters degrees in Population Ecology administer postgraduate training in the various dynamics of species populations, including trophic interactions (food resources), demographics, spatial processes, and causes of extinction.

Popular specialisms and related subjects include Population Biology, Evolutionary Genetics and branches of Anthropology. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Biology or Environmental Science.

Why study a Masters in Population Ecology?

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This Master's degree in politics considers the increasingly pressing political issues of population and demography. World population is growing fast. Read more
This Master's degree in politics considers the increasingly pressing political issues of population and demography. World population is growing fast: having trebled in approximately a century, the UN projects an increase from today's 7 billion to around 11 billion by the end of the twenty-first century. This unique programme explores where this growth is occurring and considers the environmental, economic, political and global implications for both developing and developed countries. We will consider policy debates and responses to population growth and stabilisation, as well as the effects of ageing populations on economies, welfare systems and defence and security. Under the guidance of expert academics, you will examine how ethnic, religious and national identities intersect with questions of resources and population around the world.

You will be introduced to a spectrum of methodological approaches, including quantitative techniques for analysing and projecting demographic change, discourse analysis of policy documents, and historical case studies of political debates and movements. There will be an opportunity to read some of the classic works on population, such as Adam Smith, Malthus, J. S. Mill and Marx, as well as to study more recent ideas, including demographic transition theory and the environmental concept of the Anthropocene. You will be invited to examine unique case studies using methodologies that include data analysis, critical theory (Marxism, genealogy and critical discourse analysis) and policy analysis.

The core modules explore current demographic and environmental change in the context of politics, economics and international relations and also consider the relationship between immigration, ageing and conflict. You will be equipped with the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study politics at postgraduate level. You will then go on to undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most.

Our Department of Politics is a lively and distinguished centre of interdisciplinary research, with a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching. Some of the world’s most famous libraries are on our doorstep in Bloomsbury, central London, and you can walk down to Whitehall, where Parliament and the UK’s most influential and important think-tanks and centres of political research and analysis are located.

Our departmental building was once a key location for members of the Bloomsbury Group, so you could be studying in rooms that have hosted distinguished visitors, including T. S. Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Maynard Keynes.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This Master's degree is distinctive, combining theoretical and critical perspectives on population and ecology with empirical approaches and real-world case studies.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
Our location in central London puts us at the heart of the UK’s political life and at the centre of academic London. You can walk down to Parliament and Whitehall, while Bloomsbury contains some of the world’s most famous libraries and centres of research.
You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck, the British Library, which is 5 minutes’ walk away, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics, which is walkable from Birkbeck.
Our Department of Politics was ranked 12th in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results and is a world-renowned centre of original, influential research.
The department organises a lively programme of seminars and conferences and is home to affiliated research centres, such as the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life, which run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research.
Our academic staff are international authorities in their respective fields, publishing and delivering stimulating teaching in a wide range of political topics including civil society and the state, public policy, development, gender, international security and terrorism, and social and political theory, among others.
Birkbeck Library has a large politics collection, including the major specialist journals, and provides you with access to an extensive range of online materials.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

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The field of Ecology, Evolution and Development describes how the molecular and genetic regulation of development changes in response to evolutionary forces to generate organismal diversity. Read more
The field of Ecology, Evolution and Development describes how the molecular and genetic regulation of development changes in response to evolutionary forces to generate organismal diversity. Understanding development, and its regulation in ecological and evolutionary contexts is critical for developing emerging molecular medical techniques, understanding biodiversity and tracing evolution.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/ecology-evolution-and-development/

Why choose this course?

- Development of interdisciplinary research skills and experience.

- Opportunity to carry out an in-depth research project to address open questions in this field.

- Hands-on research driven training in field work, advanced wet laboratory techniques and state-of-the-art bioinformatics.

- Intensive one week introductory workshop for students from all backgrounds.

- Enhanced ability of graduates to successfully compete for PhD positions in the UK and internationally.

- Training will provide skills that will increase the employability of graduates in the biotechnology, commercial and health sectors.

- Teaching by world class researchers in this field with recognised excellence and experience in teaching and learning.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods used in the course reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with ecology, evolution and development.

- Structure
This course is designed to provide you with both the conceptual framework of this interdisciplinary field and develop practical and academic skills as a platform for the research project. An intensive one week Research Methods module will introduce you to key topics and practical approaches. These are then elaborated on during the three other taught modules in Developmental Biology, Bioinformatics, and Molecular Ecology and Population Genetics, before the students embark on the research project. A variety of teaching and learning methods are employed in this course, all underpinned by research.

- Lectures
By providing the framework, essential background and knowledge base for each module, the lectures encourage you to probe more deeply by reading widely. Analysis, synthesis and application of material introduced in lectures are achieved through practical work in the field and laboratories, and in tutorials and seminars with your tutors and fellow students.

- Practical work
This offers you training and hands-on experience in important aspects of field and laboratory work, and computational biology. We ensure that teaching is up-to-date by integrating research findings in lectures and practical classes, and staff involved with major international developments in the field bring these advances to your teaching. An important component of the course is that you read and present key papers that emphasise the application of interdisciplinary approaches to their tutor and peers during tutorials.

- Guest seminars
During the Research Methods module, guest seminars provide you with the chance to hear about other areas of research in ecology, evolution and development. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of existing information and identifying knowledge gaps and areas of controversy, fostering the development of academic and research literacy, and developing your critical self-awareness.

- Research project
Standards that are expected in research are also widely taught and practised, developing your research literacy. You are provided with the opportunity to undertake substantial research specific activities in the Research Module, and undertake projects in labs with active research in this field.

- Digital literacy
This is enhanced by the use of advanced information retrieval techniques, data handling and the development of professional presentation techniques. Furthermore, you will develop skills in programming which underpin the application of state-of-the-art tools in bioinformatics and biostatistics.

How this course helps you develop

Training provided by this course will give you the research and transferable skills necessary for further research in field, lab and computational biology in both academic and industrial sectors. We anticipate that many of our graduates will go on to study for PhDs in the UK and abroad. In this respect, our programme will increase the opportunities for UK graduates to compete for PhD positions here and be eligible to apply for PhD programmes elsewhere in the EU. We also anticipate that, given their skills sets, our graduates will be highly competitive for employment in research support and sales, biotechnology, heath care, education, administration, and consultancy.

Careers

- PhD
- Employment in others sectors including biotechnology, healthcare and commercial.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 95% of our research in Biological Sciences was rated as internationally recognised, with 58% being world leading or internationally excellent. That makes us the top post’92 University for its Biological Sciences submission.

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Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. Read more
Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will learn identification skills for a wide range of species in several key taxonomic groups. You will also learn industry-standard survey techniques such as Phase One Habitat Surveying, Habitat Condition Assessments, National Vegetation Classification and Bird Territory Mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters, such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status, to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.


There will be numerous opportunities to work on on-going projects with linked organisations including wildlife trusts, zoos and wildlife parks, charities and public authorities. It is an expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on understanding and management of species and their environments.

The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team in applied ecology, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in their environment.

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Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. Read more
Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. nutrient cycling and herbivory, and (d) the ecology of the lichen symbiosis and lichen-dominated ecosystems, and lichen population biology.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

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Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. Read more

Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.

Why this programme

  • This programme encompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
  • It covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.
  • You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the university field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbrae (for marine projects); or Cochno Farm and Research Centre in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or environmental consulting firms whenever possible.
  • The uniqueness of the programme is the opportunity to gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects, which will enhance future career opportunities, including entrance into competitive PhD programmes. For example, there are identification based programmes offered elsewhere, but most others do not combine practical field skills with molecular techniques, advanced informatics for assessing biodiversity based on molecular markers, as well as advanced statistics and modelling. Other courses in epidemiology are rarely ecologically focused; the specialty in IBAHCM is understanding disease ecology, in the context of both animal conservation and implications for human public health.
  • You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunities to actively participate in internationally recognised research. Some examples of recent publications lead by students in the programme:
  • Blackburn, S., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Ogutu, J. O., Matthiopoulos, J. and Frank, L. (2016), Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12632. 
  • Rysava, K., McGill, R. A. R., Matthiopoulos, J., and Hopcraft, J. G. C. (2016) Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 30:1461-1468. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7572.
  • Ferguson, E.A., Hampson, K., Cleaveland, S., Consunji, R., Deray, R., Friar, J., Haydon, D. T., Jimenez, J., Pancipane, M. and Townsend, S.E., 2015. Heterogeneity in the spread and control of infectious disease; consequences for the elimination of canine rabies. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 18232. doi: 10.1038/srep18232.
  • A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in

  • monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
  • quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation
  • ethics and legislative policy – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 50 flexible credits in the second 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.

Term 1: Core courses (assessment in %)

  • Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design). Coursework – 60%; scientific report – 40%
  • Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity. Coursework – 60%; assignment – 40%

Term 2: Core courses

  • Programming in R. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%

Term 2: Optional courses

  • Biodiversity Informatics. Coursework – 25%; assignment – 75%
  • GIS for Ecologists. Set exercise – 60%; critical review – 40%
  • Infectious Disease Ecology & the Dynamics of Emerging Disease. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Introduction to Bayesian Statistics. Coursework – 50% assignment – 50%
  • Invertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Molecular Analyses for Biodiversity and Conservation. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Molecular Epidemiology & Phylodynamics. Coursework – 40%; assignment – 60%
  • Multi-species Models. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Single-species Population Models. Coursework – 30%; assignment – 70%
  • Vertebrate Identification. Coursework – 20%; class test – 40%; assignment – 40%
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation*. Press statement – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology*. Coursework – 30%; set exercise – 15%; poster – 55%
  • Protected Area Management*. Coursework – 50%; assignment – 50%
  • Animal Ethics. Oral presentation – 50%; reflective essay – 50%
  • Biology of Suffering. Essay – 100%
  • Care of Captive Animals. Report – 100%
  • Enrichment of Animals in Captive Environments. Essay – 100%
  • Legislation & Societal Issues. Position paper – 50%; press release – 50%
  • Welfare Assessment. Critical essay – 100%

Term 3: Core MSc Component

  • Research project. Research proposal – 25%; project report – 60%; supervisor’s assessment –15%

Career prospects

You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, environmental consultancies, government agencies, ecotourism and conservation biology, and veterinary or public health epidemiology.



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Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Read more
Are you passionate about animal welfare and keen to shape the management of the zoos of the future? Students from over 20 nationalities have chosen our unique programme, the first of its kind in the world. Study factors affecting animal behaviour, conservation, welfare and their interactions, as well as international zoo management and collaboration. Our partnership with Paignton Zoo gives you regular access to their connections, research and expertise – so you’re primed to make a difference.

Key features

-Delivered in conjunction with the staff at Paignton Zoo and its parent body, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which also owns Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts.
-Develop your scientific knowledge, professional and technical skills as a conservation biologist. Learn how to manage animal collections for the purpose of education, conservation and wildlife research.
-Study aspects of animal behaviour and ecology, as well as how welfare, housing, nutrition and health all have a part to play in species management.
-Learn to troubleshoot problems at the level of a social group within a particular zoological collection, right up to the level of a species globally. Explore how breeding programmes for endangered species are international in scope.
-Benefit from the knowledge and guidance of Plymouth University’s expert staff with specialisms including the behaviour of captive animals, animal nutrition, the welfare of captive birds and the application of population genetics to captive and natural fish populations.
-Find out how the science of zoos is used to inform government policy. Two of our teaching team are the only academic representatives on the government’s Zoos Expert Committee.
-Get behind-the-scenes insight with a day of study each week with our partners at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Deepen your understanding of the business and conservation work of zoos, and how networks and collaborations work between them.
-Access the latest research and information from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, including information on their co-ordinated breeding programmes for endangered species.
-Be inspired by opportunities to visit a range of zoos in the region – including Dartmoor, Bristol and Newquay – and to travel abroad for research projects. A recent student travelled to Louisiana Zoo for her research project on golden tamarin monkeys.
-Graduates work in zoos as educators, researchers, managers and keepers. Many go on to PhD study or work in further education. Other employers include the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria; the Natural History Unit (BBC); national and international conservation organisations.

Course details

As a full-time student, you’ll study seven modules taking in everything from genetics to environmental enrichment, preventative health to budgeting. We update modules to reflect current thinking and you can specialise within them. If you’re interested in working with tigers, for example, this can be reflected across your work. You’ll be assessed through coursework with practical tasks focused on your future career. Core modules include introduction to zoo organisation, animal conservation, applied animal behaviour and management, animal metabolism and nutrition, animal health and welfare and business management. You’ll then do a final three-month research project of your choice. Previous investigations have included everything from female mate choice in white faced saki monkeys to how peripheral and/or invasive activity affects the behaviour and enclosure use of captive sand tiger sharks.

Core modules
-BIO505 Research Project
-ANIM5006 Contemporary Zoo Management
-BIO5131 Postgraduate Research Skills & Methods
-ANIM5005 Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare
-ANIM5007 Small Population Conservation
-ANIM5008 Conservation Ecology and Society
-ANIM5009 Zoo Animal Health, Nutrition and Management

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Designed in conjunction with employers, this practical course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to help manage and conserve biodiversity. Read more
Designed in conjunction with employers, this practical course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to help manage and conserve biodiversity.

The greatest challenge facing conservation biologists today is the preservation of the world’s biodiversity in the face of considerable human demands on space and resources.

By combining the disciplines of wildlife biology and conservation biology, experienced staff will help you develop and apply both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to address this challenge.

Our graduates have gone on to work for government agencies and independent wildlife organisations nationally and internationally.

This can be a part-time course, starting in September or January, however, the development of theory and practice are best facilitated with a September start.

This can be a distance learning course, offering you the flexibility to learn at your own pace and place, possibly alongside work in the conservation industry.

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MSc-Wildlife-Biology-and-Conservation-Postgraduate-FullTime

What you'll learn

This course has been designed in conjunction with employers and professional bodies. The main focus is on the development of practical employability skills.

In addition to studying relevant theory, you’ll have the opportunity to develop:
• advanced analytical skills for population investigation and management
• practical skills used in identifying, quantifying and assessing biodiversity
• transferable skills including communication, IT (GIS, R, Mark, Estimate S), problem solving, research and team working

You’ll need to be available to participate in a three-week intensive field course based in Scotland to help embed practical skills in sampling, identification (plants, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, small mammals, birds) and data analysis.

In addition, guided visits to several sites and talks from managers will highlight how conservation and management are informed by the aims and objectives of the site owners. This usually takes place in early May.

Our staff have years of experience working worldwide in wildlife conservation and consultancy and are keen to help you develop your potential. In addition, external speakers from a range of government agencies, charities and consultancies share their experiences and give insights into career options.

This is a one year full-time course split into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either September or January. However, the development of theory and practice are best facilitated with a September start.

You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, field trips and independent study, supported with information on the virtual learning environment.

As your interests develop through the taught course you'll be able to design a final research project to suit your individual goals.

Modules

• Principles of wildlife management
• Scientific methods
• Humans and wildlife
• Biodiversity and conservation
• Management of aquatic protected areas
• Field and laboratory skills
• Modelling wildlife populations or case studies in applied ecology

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Careers

Returning graduates, who share their experience of the work environment each year, have emphasised the importance of the skills gained from the course in their subsequent success.

You could develop a career with government agencies such as Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural England, non-governmental agencies and charities such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Wildlife Trusts or private consultancies.

How to apply

http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/how-to-apply

SAAS Funding

Nothing should get in the way of furthering your education. Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) awards funding for postgraduate courses, and could provide the help you need to continue your studies. Find out more: http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/saas-funded-courses

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Overview. Ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over the past 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. Read more

Overview

Ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over the past 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. At the same time the world population is projected to rise to nine billion by 2050 and such an increase may inevitably lead to an increased degradation of the natural environment and the ecosystem services which it provides.

The overarching global concerns of climate change, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, food security and poverty alleviation need to be encompassed in management strategies which require a multi-disciplinary approach. This course seeks to provide training for those working in or seeking to work in the landscape and environmental management sector: The cross discipline nature of the course with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and human well-being reflects current national and international thinking.

The clear directive is to prepare the next generation of postgraduate students with the appropriate knowledge and skills to operate effectively in a multidisciplinary working environment. This new course will embrace the principles and values presented in both global and national policy and guidelines and takes on board the concept of “think globally, act locally”.


Course modules include:

  • Managing for Sustainable Environments
  • Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Services
  • Environmental Policy and Leadership Skills
  • Adaptive Land Use and Human Well-being

Careers

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to go into positions such as a Land Management and Planning Officer, Biosphere Development Officer, Community Projects Officer, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Design and Planning, Land Use Policy Officer, Green Infrastructure/Open Spaces Strategy Manager, Sustainability Education Officer or Land Management Consultant



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The MSc in Bird Conservation aims to provide students with detailed background on the evolution, taxonomy, ecology and behaviour of birds and then apply this knowledge to a wide range of practical conservation issues. Read more
The MSc in Bird Conservation aims to provide students with detailed background on the evolution, taxonomy, ecology and behaviour of birds and then apply this knowledge to a wide range of practical conservation issues.

You will develop your understanding of how evolution has shaped many aspects of bird biology in response to the demands of flight. You will evaluate avian life history strategies, biogeography and population biology and how this information is used to design appropriate conservation measures. You will consider applied avian conservation management in relation to climate change, land-use practices, renewable energy development and other anthropogenic impacts.

There is a compulsory residential field-trip to either Poland or Tanzania which will provide you with practical experience of the essential techniques in the field of bird conservation.

The MSc is completed by a project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Features and benefits of the course

-Overseas fieldwork plus opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira
-Research-based project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation
-Teaching is delivered flexibly for students who have to work in order to fund their course.

Placement options

The MSc is completed by a research-based project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

About the Course

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

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The Organisms and Environment research division focuses on the biology of whole organisms and their roles and interactions in changing ecosystems, in infection and health and at the genetic level. Read more
The Organisms and Environment research division focuses on the biology of whole organisms and their roles and interactions in changing ecosystems, in infection and health and at the genetic level. Our aim is to understand the ecological, health and genetic consequences of environmental change on biological diversity. Our approach is to focus on processes and prediction, combining ecological, experimental and molecular approaches, in contrasting groups of organisms. All the major groups are studied, including animals, plants, bacteria, archaea, protozoa, filamentous fungi and yeast.

Research areas are broadly divided into three areas:

Genomes, Diversity and Adaptation
Individuals, Ecosystems and GlobalChange
Microbes, Infection and Communities
PhD projects tend to be multidisciplinary in nature, and range from field ecology to experimental microbiology to population genomics. The group has a field centre in Sabah, Malaysia and O&E faculty are also responsible for maintaining the School’s Molecular Biology and Analytical support facilities. In this large and lively research division, many projects are run in collaboration with Universities and Research Institutes elsewhere in the UK and abroad, as well as with other departments (such as Earth and Ocean Sciences, Social Sciences, City and Regional Planning) within the University.

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Designed to deepen your understanding of the diversity of plants and their conservation. Taught by staff from academia and industry. Read more
  • Designed to deepen your understanding of the diversity of plants and their conservation
  • Taught by staff from academia and industry
  • Emphasises hands-on experience with plants, so theoretical understanding is matched by practical skills including plant identification
  • Excellent record of graduates going on to higher (research) degrees or employment in the sector

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Diversity and identification of plants
  • Vegetation survey and assessment
  • Global biodiversity and conservation
  • Critical discussion
  • Molecular systematics

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

All our master’s programmes emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a University of Reading MSc graduate, you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research either in industry or in universities. 

Typical roles of graduates from our ecology and wildlife-based MSc programmes include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants. Graduates from our biomedical MSc programme typically go on to pursue PhD studies or work in the pharmaceutical industry.



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Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation. Designed to prepare you for a future research career with excellent graduate employment opportunities, in the first year of operation, 78 per cent of our students had secured a PhD position before finishing the programme. Read more
  • Delivered by leading international researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation
  • Designed to prepare you for a future research career with excellent graduate employment opportunities, in the first year of operation, 78 per cent of our students had secured a PhD position before finishing the programme
  • Provides extensive training in current research techniques
  • Develops knowledge and critical awareness of current problems and new insights in evolutionary and behavioural ecology
  • Offers access to excellent facilities including state-of-the-art molecular and genetics labs with a full range of microscopy equipment, greenhouses, and controlled environment rooms

This Masters degree is taught by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC), whose evolutionary and behaviour research groups are amongst the most dynamic in the UK. You will be integrated into these groups and conduct cutting-edge research projects that can make genuine contributions to the field of evolutionary and behavioural ecology and prepare you for a career in research.

The Centre is the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. Research is almost exclusively organismal, with particular emphasis on social mammals, birds, turtles and insects. We also specialise in modelling animal behaviour and species interactions and see this as essential and complementary to our whole approach. The other area of emphasis which underpins much of our work is quantitative and molecular genetics, which is fundamental to the evolutionary process and to conservation biology and policy issues.

Fieldwork

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya, during which you will go on safari in areas of incredible biodiversity, allowing you to study the behaviour of a variety of wild animals. You will have an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of pioneering evolutionary biologists, visiting their field sites, observing their study species, and discussing their ground breaking research. These experiences will allow you to develop your own research questions and undertake a short project while in the field. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules.

You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website.

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.

Teaching and learning methods

All material is designed for Masters level and will involve fieldwork, seminars and group discussion. Within modules there is considerable scope for you to direct your learning towards fields of particular interest, especially through your choice of research project. Students are located in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation laboratories, where close working relationships are fostered. Every student has the personal and academic support of the programme director, as well as their academic tutor, module leaders and project supervisors. Because of the layout of our research laboratory, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students interact closely with postgraduates to provide more personal support during the research phase of the programme.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Project;
  • Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology;
  • Approaches in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology;
  • African Behavioural Ecology Field Course;
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Key Skills


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This Graduate Diploma in Ecology consists of a range of Honours level units covering topics in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Conservation Biology. Read more
This Graduate Diploma in Ecology consists of a range of Honours level units covering topics in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Conservation Biology. The course gives you the chance to build on your undergraduate study and develop a deeper understanding of Ecology as well as an excellent range of transferrable skills.

The Diploma is great preparation for further study or a variety of exciting careers – whatever your path, you’ll have the chance to customise the course with optional modules in topics like Aquatic Ecology, GIS Skills, and Environmental Politics and Policy Making. You’ll also be trained in field work, team work, data mining and analysis, critical writing, and communication.

We have very strong academic expertise in Ecology, based around UEA’s Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (CEEC) – one of the largest groups of its kind in Europe with strong links to major institutions like the RSPB and CEFAS.

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Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity. Read more

Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity.

You’ll learn about the beginnings and appearance of organisms and their genes, as well as their relationship within the environment. You’ll carry out theoretical and experimental studies of evolutionary biology within the laboratory, studying genes, genomes and phylogeny. The course also includes field work and applications to real problems, biodiversity and conservation science.

Led by some of the world’s top academics, teaching methods are varied, and include hands-on laboratory work, lectures, seminars, tutorials and field work. You will be able to select from a diverse range of topics and projects to build your course.

Your studies will help you develop the skills you need to move into a wide range of careers in the sciences or to take on further research. Our graduates have an excellent employment record with companies and academic institutions across the globe. Graduates have moved into roles with employers including Sanger Institute at Cambridge, The Pirbright Institute and Atlas Genetics.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-2018/taught-postgraduate-master-s-courses/msc-evolutionary-and-population-biology/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading

- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

What will I learn?

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

For further information please visit our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/postgraduate/)

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd

Janssen-Cilag

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Ministry of Defence

State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing

Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University

AbCam

Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital

BBSRC

Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/



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This programme currently has a 100% employment rate in the ecology and ecological consultancy sectors. The only UK programme to have over half of its modules overseen by consultants. Read more
  • This programme currently has a 100% employment rate in the ecology and ecological consultancy sectors
  • The only UK programme to have over half of its modules overseen by consultants
  • Designed in partnership with RSK Group consultancy to provide the skills and knowledge demanded by consultants
  • Focuses on hands-on and field-based training
  • Offers the opportunity for a six-month placement (with bursary) with an ecological consultant

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Vegetation survey and assessment
  • Invertebrate survey and assessment
  • Vertebrate survey and assessment
  • Professional skills
  • Field trips

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

All our master’s programmes emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a University of Reading MSc graduate, you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research either in industry or in universities.

Typical roles of graduates from our ecology and wildlife-based MSc programmes include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants. Graduates from our biomedical MSc programme typically go on to pursue PhD studies or work in the pharmaceutical industry.



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