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Integrated Landscape Ecology (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

Course Description

As a response to these new market requirements Cranfield University believes an integrated landscape ecology approach is the way forward to understand the effects of landscape structure and dynamics on the conservation of biodiversity, provision of ecosystem services and sustainability of rural livelihoods. The use of new technological capabilities such as geospatial technologies and spatial models provide a strong quantitative and spatial background that combined with an integrated view of the environment will provide students with the opportunity to think across disciplines and offer integrated solutions to current environmental problems. The integrated view of the environment includes an understanding of ecological conservation and natural resource management issues in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

As a result of the National Ecosystem Assessment in the UK, there is new demand for land management professionals with quantitative and integrative landscape capabilities, who will be required to cover topics from ecosystem services, biodiversity and agriculture. Worldwide, 90% of ecosystems are managed by humans and now international attention is focusing on landscape level strategies to address the integration between biodiversity and natural capital for the provision of ecosystem services.

Course overview

The MSc course will be taught in three sections: taught modules (40%), a group project (20%), and an individual research project (40%). The taught modules are typically delivered in one-week blocks between October and February. The teaching methods include debates, practical sessions, field visits, lectures, seminars, and presentations. The Group Project is a group-based activity typically undertaken between February and April. The project is designed to integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation. For the individual research project, each student is allocated a supervisor. Guidance sessions are provided as to what is required from the thesis and oral presentation.

Group project

The group project provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. The themes of the group project will focus on a quantitative and integrative approach to think across disciplines and provide integrated solutions to current environmental problems.

Individual Project

Students select the individual project in consultation with the Course Tutor. The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in the environmental sector.


This comprises of eight modules, a group project and an individual project.

Core -

Aerial Photography and Digital Photogrammetry
GIS Fundamentals
Land Resource Planning
Image Processing and Analysis
Aquatic Ecosystems in the Landscape
Landscape Ecology
Environmental Resource Survey
Ecological Restoration


Taught modules MSc 40%, PgDip 66.6%. Group project (dissertation for part-time students) MSc 20%, PgDip 33.3%. Individual project MSc 40%.


Funding opportunities exist, including industrial sponsorship, School bursaries and a number of general external schemes. For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. We recommend you discuss this with your company in the first instance.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to a wide-range of exciting career possibilities in the UK and overseas with government and international organisations working in the areas of conservation of biodiversity, provision of ecosystem services, natural resource management and sustainability of rural livelihoods. This course also provides an ideal grounding for research positions and PhD programmes.

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/integrated-landscape-ecology.html

Visit the Integrated Landscape Ecology (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mohammad Hashim Ghilzai

Why did you choose the course?
This course provides theoretical understanding and equips with practical skills. It enables students to demonstrate critical ability. The course I selected was a beautiful combination of theory and practice based on sustainable land management. World wide there is increased concern for environment, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, I found that this course is designed to cover all these important aspects. In addition to training in sustainable land management, this course also provides a framework for personal development.

What skills did you acquire from postgraduate study?
It enhanced my understanding of natural resources and their management. This course enabled me to demonstrate critical ability. With this study I am in a better position to plan and execute natural resource management projects. It has improved my communication skills and now can communicate with confidence. Remote sensing and GIS skills are life time assets that I acquired from this course.

What was your individual project about?
It was about Land use change and ecosystem services, a case study of Bedfordshire

Would you recommend your course and why?
Definitely, I have already recommended it and would continue to do so as this is world class course which gives a practical insight into the affairs of Land Management and natural resource management

Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?
Yes, go for and take postgraduate study as it is a milestone in academic qualification. Once taken then work hard in each module and activity. Always take field tours seriously as this is wonderful opportunity to put theory to practice.

Is there any advice you can offer for students coming from Pakistan coming to the UK to study?
Yes, my personal experience of studying at Cranfield is wonderful. I would motivate and encourage students for choosing UK for education as this great country is second to none in world class education and definitely suggest Cranfield University to any student going to UK for studies.

How has your Cranfield degree helped you to get where you are today?
In the provincial departmental hierarchy I’m number three from the top in the department having thousands of employees, three directorates general, one Cooperative Bank, One Agriculture College (Degree awarding). Due to My Cranfield qualification the provincial Government considered me for my current position.

(Student Profile)

Alex Massie

Why did you choose your postgraduate course?
I had volunteered overseas before, but wanted to obtain a job in the field. In development and disaster relief it is now necessary to have an appropriate Masters qualification before you can be considered for the job and so I decided to take the course.

Describe your experience of postgraduate study at Cranfield
People who you are learning from are experienced and knowledgeable about the subject particularly with regards to the course director. The modules themselves were well designed and evidently based upon years of honing the content. I enjoyed the flexibility afforded by many of the learning tasks, and the week of practical work was excellent, though all too brief. The facilities at our disposal for study were generally excellent.

What skills are you acquiring from the study?
Whilst I had a significant understanding of the engineering elements in advance of the course, the social aspects and implications were something I had not addressed fully. Through the course I have learnt about the issues regarding communities and development, problems to look out for and methods of addressing this in the field.

What was your individual thesis project about?
My thesis was about the hygiene beliefs and practices of the Batwa tribe of central Africa, specifically in south west Uganda. I funded it entirely myself, though the major costs are air travel as living in country is usually very cheap. I was partnered with an NGO that I contacted at my own instigation as I proposed my own project. Proposing my own project gave me the flexibility to do what I wished, though it meant that I had to do all the groundwork myself.

Would you recommend the course? Why?
Yes, the experience of the lecturers and course director in particular. The extensive overseas experience of those running the course is vital for the vibrancy, success and relevance of the course and I was lucky to be able to learn from such people. I would urge anyone considering a similar course anywhere to look at the overseas experience of those running the course as well as the reputation among NGOs.

What do you most like about Cranfield?
Besides the course, the thing that attracted me to Cranfield was that it is a postgraduate only institution which means that mature students are the norm, not the exception. This means socialising is perhaps easier than in a university dominated by undergraduates.


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.
Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent; in a science or engineering subject. Candidates with other qualifications will be considered according to experience.

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