• University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
University of Warwick Featured Masters Courses
University of Northampton Featured Masters Courses
University of Kent Featured Masters Courses
University of Leicester Featured Masters Courses
Newcastle University Featured Masters Courses

MSc Conservation Science and Policy

Course Description

Taught by internationally recognised experts active at the science/policy interface, this interdisciplinary programme examines both scientific and policy-oriented aspects of conservation. Teaching covers the breadth of this field, examining how conservation goals may be achieved under climate change scenarios, in combination with food security requirements, and taking account of social justice. The breadth of the degree gives flexibility to pursue those areas most relevant to your professional development and contains a significant research component supported by leading researchers.

The degree is designed to offer you considerable scope to tailor your studies to focus on the topics you wish to pursue. Integral to the whole programme is extensive liaison with conservation practitioners from a wide range of collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations such as Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society and Natural England; and a broad suite of organisations in Africa including Kenya Wildlife Service, Solio Ranch and Wildlife Direct. Key individuals from some of these organisations contribute to classes and field visits and a number of our project students will be placed with such organisations.

A special feature of the programme is the Kenya field trip, which includes visits to some of East Africa’s most famous conservation areas, as well as in-depth discussions with a wide range of stakeholders about synergies and trade-offs between conservation and development. The trip provides you with opportunities to see firsthand how conservation science operates within particular policy contexts.

Perfect environment to study conservation science and policy

This Masters is based at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall in new buildings with state-of-the-art facilities, in a region facing key challenges in balancing conservation with other goals. Cornwall is an exceptional place in which to study issues related to the environment and sustainability. The county is a perfect living laboratory which offers a diverse range of marine and terrestrial habitats, a wealth of natural resources and creative and resilient communities.

The Penryn Campus is home to the University's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI http://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/) – a £30 million centre leading cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into solutions to problems of environmental change and enhancing people’s lives by improving their relationship with the environment. As a student on the MSc Conservation Science and Policy you will benefit from the ESI’s interdisciplinary approach to conservation science and policy and will have the unique opportunity to work on real world scenarios and problem solving in this area. You will be able to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to engage with local, national and international experts through ESI events, guest lectures and research projects.


The census research projects will see you spending a considerable amount of time in the field collecting data at several key research sites in West Cornwall and interacting with local NGOs (Cornwall Wildlife Trust, South West Lakes Trust).

This programme includes a two week field course in Kenya and will include visits to some of Africa’s largest and most important game reserves, as well as an introduction to some of the day-to-day problems faced by conservation biologists in developing nations. You will study the behaviour of animals in a natural ecological setting with a focus on large mammals, birds and insects. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

Find out more about our field course modules at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/fieldwork/. You can also keep up to date and share the experiences of our students in the field on our Field Course Fortnight website at http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/fieldcourses/.

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.

Programme structure

This Programme is modular and consists of four compulsory modules and 2-3 optional modules.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Dissertation; Understanding Environmental Change; Environmental Sustainability in Practice; Key Skills

Optional modules

Examples of the optional modules can include; Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation; ; Marine Biodiversity and Conservation; Preparing for Ecological Consultancy; Statistical Modelling; Governing Sustainability and African Conservation Science and Policy Field Course

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Visit the MSc Conservation Science and Policy page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

Student Profiles

Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. For 2016 entry, the total value of scholarships for taught postgraduate programmes exceeds £500,000. This is in addition to over 100 PhD studentships we make available each year.Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in Biology or a relevant science subject is required. Please see our website for full details

Course Fees

See our website for more information (click on "Finance") View Website

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Exeter
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X