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MSc in Conservation and Rural Development

Course Description

The MSc in Conservation and Rural Development explores the issues underlying the conservation-rural development debate and offers practical and methodological tools for working at the interface between conservation and rural development.

The relationship between conservation and rural development can best be described as an uneasy alliance: on the one hand there is substantial common ground between them in terms of preventing environmental degradation, but on the other, they are often in direct conflict. This pathway explores the issues underlying the conservation/rural development debate and offers practical and methodological tools for working at the interface between the two.

The programme is relevant to the work of national management and scientific authorities, international and national NGOs, consultancy firms and contractors, international agencies and donors.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/271/conservation-and-rural-development

Why study with us?

- 1 year taught Master's programme

- Teaching which provides substantive natural and social sciences training in both conservation and rural development

- Formal lectures and seminars supported by residential courses and day trips including to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, previous fieldtrips have also taken place in Scotland and Malta (these change annually)

- Mix of formal academic training and practical field conservation experience

- Research-led pathway taught by academics rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF2014) who are members of DICE

- Benefit from DICE's extensive links with international conservation organisations

About The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

Conservation programmes offered by the School of Anthropology and Conservation are delivered by members of DICE.

DICE is Britain’s leading research centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation, and sets itself apart from more traditionally-minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:

- Break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation

- Conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors

- Disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders

- Build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training

- Strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people

Our staff have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

Course structure

The MSc consists of six months of coursework and five months of research. The optional modules allow you the flexibility to devise a pathway that suits your specific interests, with an appropriate balance between natural and social sciences.


Please note that not all modules necessarily run every year. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

DI880 - Conservation and Community Development (15 credits)
DI1001 - Interdisciplinary Foundations for Conservation (15 credits)
DI876 - Research Methods for Social Science (15 credits)
DI884 - Research Methods for Natural Sciences (15 credits)
DI877 - Population and Evolutionary Biology (15 credits)
SE857 - Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour (20 credits)
DI836 - Integrated Species Conservation and Management (15 credits)
DI841 - Managing Protected Areas (15 credits)
DI849 - Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (15 credits)
DI871 - International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability (15 credits)
DI875 - Principles and Practice of Ecotourism (15 credits)
DI881 - Advanced Topics in Conservation Ecology and Management (15 credits)
DI883 - Special Topics in Conservation (15 credits)
DI885 - Ecotourism and Rural Development Field Course (15 credits)
DI888 - Economics of Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI889 - Leadership Skills for Conservation Managers (15 credits)
DI892 - Current Issues in Primate Conservation (15 credits)
DI893 - Business Principles for Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
DI998 - Dissertation - Conservation (60 credits)


Assessment is carried out primarily through coursework with written examinations for some modules. The research dissertation is written up in the format of a paper for publication.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- produce postgraduates equipped to play leading roles in the field of international conservation and biodiversity management

- develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and practice

- provide you with opportunities to gain a interdisciplinary perspective on conservation issues through collaborative exchange between DICE and the wider University

- develop your competence in applying theoretical and methodological skills to the implementation of conservation practice and biodiversity management

- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to policy formulation and data analysis and interpretation

- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change

- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills necessary for professional development

- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills

- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.


The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

Our alumni progress into a wide range of organisations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MSc in Conservation and Rural Development page on the University of Kent website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Scholarships for Taught Masters Students - CLOSED - No. of awards TBC

The University has a long tradition of welcoming international students from around the world and is pleased to be able to offer a number of scholarships for entry at taught master's level.

Value of Scholarship(s)



•Applicants for postgraduate taught study at the University of Kent may ask to be considered for one of the University's International Scholarships.
•In order to be eligible for consideration for a scholarship, all of the conditions 1 to 3 below must have been satisfied:
1 an application must have been made for a degree course at the University of Kent (any location of study is permissible)
2 the applicant must have received an unconditional offer of a place on such a degree course.
3 the University must have received confirmation of the applicant's acceptance of the offer.

Application Procedure

For details on making an application please visit the website.

Further Information



Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship - Deadline 31/05/16 - 3 Awards

The scholarship aims to assist academically outstanding students from mainland China and Hong Kong to study at the University of Kent.The scholarships will be awarded to student admitted to study at the University of Kent. The value of the scholarship will cover full payment of the annual tuition fees plus part payment of accommodation and living expenses.Applicants should be either passport-holders of the People’s Republic of China or permanent residents of Hong Kong not currently registered on an undergraduate course at the University of Kent. Applicants should have received an offer of a place at the University of Kent for 2015 entry three postgraduate students for 1 year of study on taught postgraduate degree courses.Criteria: Candidates for the scholarships should normally fulfil the following requirements:
have been assessed as overseas for fee purposes
have made an application for a postgraduate (taught) degree course at the University of Kent (any location of study is permissible)
have received an unconditional offer of a place on such a degree course.
the University must have received confirmation of the applicant's firm acceptance of the offer by the deadline date.
Students who choose Kent as their insurance place will not be eligible for the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)

full payment of the annual tuition fees and contribute towards payment of accommodation and living


The scholarship is available to full-time postgraduate students enrolling either on a postgraduate taught programme or a postgraduate research programme (3 years maximum). See scheme details for eligibility criteria.

Application Procedure

For details of how to apply please visit the website.

Further Information



Santander Scholarships - CLOSED - No. of awards TBC

Santander is offering scholarships of £5,000 each to support students from Iberian and Latin American countries studying for a full-time taught or research Master’s degree at the University of Kent. The Scholarships:
•are for the forthcoming academic year only (2014-15), the start date cannot be deferred;
•are for one year only (12 months full-time);
•may be used at any of the University of Kent’s locations – Canterbury, Medway, Brussels, Paris, or Athens.CriteriaThe awards are not available to students that already have, or are already studying for, a Master’s degree. Candidates must:
• be a national of one of the 11 countries of the Iberian and Latin American Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela;
• have graduated or be studying at one of partner universities within the Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil , Chile, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, Uruguay;
• be resident in one of the countries within the Santander Scheme.
• have been offered a place to study a full-time Master’s degree at Kent;
• have achieved a First or a 2:1 or equivalent at undergraduate level.
• In addition to excellent academic achievement, demonstrate excellence in an area of their life; this may include: ◦extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music, managing events or societies;
◦significant achievement gained either in their working life or through volunteering and service to others.

Value of Scholarship(s)



See scheme details for eligibility critera.

Application Procedure

For application details please visit the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A good second class honours degree, or better, in a relevant subject; a good honours degree in other subjects together with relevant practical experience. In exceptional circumstances, DICE admits applicants without a first degree if their professional career and experience shows academic achievement of a high enough standard. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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