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MRes Conservation Biology

Course Description

We live in an era of global change that threatens much of life on Earth. Human population growth, habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, agricultural intensification, overfishing and other environmental changes have already caused the extinction of many species and have been suggested by one analysis to have caused the loss of half the world’s wildlife in the last 40 years. In the face of global change, there has never been a greater need for conservation biologists with a global perspective than in the world today.

This MRes will give you advanced knowledge and research skills in conservation biology. While the course will cover the challenges and general biology of conservation, it will explicitly aim to give you an advanced, global outlook on conservation and the opportunity to learn about some of the positive approaches by which conservation biologists can address the challenges facing nature.

The degree will give you the knowledge and skills to become the conservation biologists that are needed to address the challenges of environmental change that are facing the world today.


The taught modules are assessed via a variety of methods including essays, reports and presentations. The project is assessed with a dissertation.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

The MRes degree is based around an in-depth research project in conservation biology, which has the aim of producing a scientific publication. This is complemented by a range of relevant taught module options, including field courses. You study 180 credits of modules across the year.

Autumn term: you take Research Foundations (30 credits). You also choose from Project Proposal (15 credits) • Masters Tropical Rainforest Field Course (15 credits) • Conservation Skills (15 credits) • Science of Climate Change (30 credits) • News Research and Writing (15 credits).

Autumn and spring terms: you take Basic and Advanced Conservation Biology (30 credits).

Spring term: you choose from Rewilding and Ecosystem Services (15 credits) • Masters Mediterranean Ecology & Behaviour Field Course (15 credits) • Current Topics in Life Sciences (15 credits) • Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation (30 credits).

Spring and summer terms: Masters Research Project (90 credits).

Career Paths

Our MRes graduates will have developed the skills and understanding to carry out scientific research in their chosen area of study, allowing them to move on to a PhD, and develop a career in academic research or conservation.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni - http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/careersandalumni

Visit the MRes Conservation Biology page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or upper second class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject such as biology, ecology, zoology or conservation.

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Recipient: University of Sussex
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