Meeting career aspirations
Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. The programme runs through a full year, starting with a field course and culminating in a major research project. You will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of everything from field survey to chairing discussions, from statistics and modelling to report writing and from identifying important ecological questions to researching them and writing a scientific paper. Previous graduates have gone on to the top of their chosen profession in research, consultancy, conservation, policy, education and advocacy.
You will get to know your peers at the outset on a week-long field research skills course held at our field centre in the stunning surroundings of Bettyhill on the north coast of Sutherland https://www.abdn.ac.uk/sbs/outreach/bettyhill-field-station.php
. This is followed by core training in plant community ecology, animal population ecology, GIS and experimental design and analysis (which includes use of R). Thereafter, you select from our broad palette of courses. Students wishing to gain research training may take advantage of our renowned suite of advanced statistical and modelling courses which focus on techniques used in ecology and conservation. Those interested in applied ecology may choose to study catchment management, marine spatial management and conservation management planning, among others. A key course for those aiming to work in consultancy is Environmental Impact Assessment. The opportunity to place your ecological study in a broader, interdisciplinary context is provided through very popular courses on ecology, conservation and society and readings in ecology and conservation. In the final semester you will complete a research project which enables you to develop expertise and contacts in a topic of your own choosing. Preparation may begin as early in the year as you like, as you discuss ideas with staff and with external organisations.
Why choose Aberdeen for Ecology and Conservation?
• Aberdeen provides you with a unique learning environment with unrivalled access to coastal, mountain and freshwater habitats for both fieldwork and recreation.
• The University has a long tradition and excellent reputation for teaching and research in Ecology and is home to one of the largest and most vibrant groups of academics in this subject area in Britain. Masters ecology has been taught here for over 50 years and our generations of graduates are to be found in leadership in ecological professions around the world.
• You will be taught by ecologists who are internationally renowned researchers and experts in their field, and who are actively involved in the application of ecological research to environmental management and nature conservation. Our plant and soil ecology group is ranked number 1 in the UK for overall research excellence (REF 2014).
• We have excellent links with organisations such as Scottish Natural Heritage http://www.snh.gov.uk/
, RSPB http://www.rspb.org.uk/
, and the James Hutton Institute http://www.hutton.ac.uk/
and their staff contribute to our courses.
• The programme is flexible so that you can choose the extent to which you wish to focus on gaining research skills or applied ecology skills, or to combine both.
• The programme is skills-based, meaning that as well as learning theory you will be continually applying that knowledge to real world tasks and situations.
• Your project will become a key feature of your CV and is often a first step to further research or a job. In helping you develop your project we enable you to link in to our vast network of colleagues and organisations within the academic, non-governmental, government and industrial sectors.
A second (2:2) class Honours degree or equivalent in a biological science, geography, environmental science, maths, physics or computer science. We look at applications on a case by case basis and in recent years we have also accepted individuals with a range of backgrounds including first degrees in English, Philosophy and Social Sciences who were clearly motivated by the programme and had some work experience in a relevant field, for example ecological consultancy, conservation, etc. Applicants whose first language is not english should note that english language proficiency is also required, more details on this can be found at View Website