This MSc degree in environmental management, specialising in countryside and protected area management, will enable you to acquire and develop a broad understanding of the knowledge and skills needed for managing protected areas of the environment, including natural, cultural and recreational sites. It will provide you with the key skills and management tools necessary for resolving conflicting pressures and demands in protected areas.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
Offers opportunities for career progression for anyone working, or planning to work, in the management of local, national or international protected areas. Flexible study pattern, with a mixture of core teaching based on occasional weekends in London and a spring residential school. A wide range of professional training modules available, with a broad interdisciplinary focus.
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), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
- Why did you choose Birkbeck? As a student living in Bristol, Birkbeck suited me because of the teaching schedule. I wanted a part-time taught course that did not interfere too much with work. The weekends of lectures were perfect. The ease of travel to London and the good reputation of the university helped sway my decision.
- What did you enjoy about the course? There are many aspects to this course that I enjoyed. Most of the lecturers and speakers on the course were not university staff but guests invited in because they are working in the field and are experts on their topics. The passion and enthusiasm that you get from the speakers is inspiring and the knowledge you receive is up-to-date and second to none.
One of the other aspects I enjoyed was going on the residential schools and field trips. Not only were these fun experiences but also I believe they complement the lectures and helped crystallise my learnt knowledge by showing the practical applications.
The other great thing about the course is that it attracts students of all ages and backgrounds and this was really useful as everybody had different skills and knowledge that they would happily impart to others.
- Is there anything on the course that inspired you? There are some moments on the course that I can say I will never forget. One occurred whilst on the residential school at Flatford Mill, Suffolk where we had the immense privilege of going for a walk in Bradfield Woods with the late Oliver Rackham. Anyone who has studied the English countryside will be familiar with the enormously entertaining and informative ‘History of the Countryside’ in which Rackham details his studies, amongst other sites, of Bradfield Woods.
I remember the feeling of awe as we strolled through the beautiful woodland trying to absorb as much as we could of this great man’s genius. Oliver Rackham was certainly not the only inspirational speaker on this course; another inspirational moment was learning practical management planning in Snowdonia with Mike Alexander, the man who wrote the book on management planning.
Mark Budd has a rewarding career, protecting 5000 acres of green space in SE London, but it wasn’t an area he had any formal qualifications in - until he gained a MSc in Environmental Management from Birkbeck. 'I chose Birkbeck because I felt I needed a new challenge, and my previous education in the social sciences didn’t prepare me for work in the environmental sector. I felt that a University of London qualification might bring some added kudos and the syllabus of the course was exactly what I was after.'
In addition to his full-time job, Mark is also a father of two, so it was essential that Birkbeck offered a flexible learning experience. 'Undertaking a part-time course while working full-time and being a parent is a daunting challenge. I would say that you need a tolerant and supportive partner and a lot of motivation, which fortunately I had! Flexible teaching was a very important component of the course - I was able to take an extra year to complete the specialist modules and dissertation, and this enabled me to combine the degree with my other commitments.'
Mark had not been in formal education since 1987, so the support of staff and other students was crucial in the early stages of the course. 'I was able to get some valuable support from other students on the course who share similar work and ideas to my own. As I work largely by myself this has been very validating. After a gap of 20 years without formal academic study, greater self-confidence is one of the main gains I have taken from the course. I can now talk in environmental circles without feeling de-skilled or inadequate when certain terminology is being used!'
Looking ahead, Mark is optimistic his MSc has given him the tools he needs to succeed in his career. 'I’m looking forward to continuing in a job that I find immensely rewarding and at times challenging and, when the time is right, taking up some honorary board appointments for environmental projects where I feel I can make a difference.'
School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Bursary
Applications are invited for one 'Postgraduate Taught' Bursary worth £6,000, to be awarded to a candidate with an outstanding academic record who shows high potential for strong performance on one of the School's 'Postgraduate Taught' programmes.This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the departments listed below; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This £6,000 award is in the form of a bursary (i.e., there is no 'fee waiver' but the bursary may be used towards payment of fees). If awarded to a part-time student, the bursary will be paid for two years of PGT study.Please note that in order to apply for funding you must also complete an application for a place at Birkbeck on an MA/MSc programme within the School of SSHP or the MPhil. Stud. in the Department of Philosophy, either before or at the same time as applying for funding.Prospective studentsCandidates will be expected to fulfil similar academic criteria to those demanded by external funding bodies. They will normally possess at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent.
Value of Scholarship(s)
This competition is open to new Home/EU and International students who are applying for either a full-time or part-time MA/MSc place in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy; the competition is also open to students who are applying to the Department of Philosophy and the degree of M.Phil. Stud. Philosophy.This competition is open to new students only.
Before you apply, you should contact the relevant department for advice.
Once you have identified a relevant programme, you will need to:
Apply online for the relevant MA/MSc or MPhil. Stud. (Dept. of Philosophy) degree in the normal way
Download the SSHP Postgraduate Taught Bursary Application Form Word icon
The SSHP Studentship application form should be returned to Jane Halstead, Assistant School Manager, via the following email address:
Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time)
We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.
Value of Scholarship(s)
To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16 Domiciled in the UK/EU Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13) Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time
If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:
Submit an application for your intended course Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme
Good degree or equivalent in any area, or equivalent qualification with professional experience. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa Part-time overseas students: £ 7975 pa
Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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