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Wildlife Conservation


School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Wildlife

Start Dates(s): September


MSc (one year full-time or three years part-time)




Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

International - £13,860

In Brief:

  • Obtain the skills, training and qualifications you need to become a wildlife conservation scientist
  • Opportunity to travel overseas
  • Solve contemporary problems in wildlife conservation and master analytical tools
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Presently, the world faces its first human induced massed extinction event due to the misuse and non-sustainable use of the planet's resources. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that more than 20 percent of all vertebrate species are at immediate risk of extinction due to human activities. In addition, this year’s WWF Living Planet Report presents concerning evidence that the world’s wildlife populations have declined on average by 58% since 1970, and are likely to decline even further by the end of the decade. This Global Biodiversity Crisis is being tackled at different levels by conservation professionals and scientists.

This MSc course focuses on training wildlife conservation scientists on how to solve and mitigate the problems that wildlife is facing across the globe. The aim of this course is to provide you with the skills you will need as a wildlife conservation scientist, and to enable you to help solve or mitigate real world problems using appropriate quantitative approaches.

Course Details

You will receive a broad training in wildlife conservation to help enable you to deal with the complexity of problems faced by wildlife.This MSc course, includes six 15 credit modules to allow you to gain a broader and more appropriate curriculum and includes field course monitoring to give practical hands-on experience.

The modules for this course aim to provide you with the  skills a modern wildlife conservation biologist needs to execute their role effectively in a wide-range of institutions from NGOs, Federal Agencies to Universities.You’ll be taught by highly qualified, research-active staff within the well-respected School of Environment and Life Science.  Example modules include:

This module aims to enable you to design, plan and execute a programme of research through active enquiry and to undertake appropriate analysis of research results. You will have the opportunity to use research skills acquired in the appliedcontext of ‘real world’ project work in a variety of professional settings, and to develop the skills necessary for successful delivery of project outcomes.
In this module, you will understand the importance of conservation planning to take into account different habitat types and socioeconomic drivers, and work towards finding solutions to conservation problems. This module is also designed to introduce computer tools used in the prioritisation of species and areas for conservation.
In this module, you will learn the essential skills needed to produce and interpret maps, an important tool in conservation planning and monitoring.
This module is designed to present the technological and methodological advances in wildlife conservation by top researchers in the field (guest lectures). In this module you will also learn how to write popular science articles - a fundamental tool for conservation outreach.
This module will introduce you to current global conservation challenges in regards to wildlife conservation, and you will learn when to apply the latest tools for planning and evaluating different strategies to resolve or mitigate such challenges.
This module will teach you about the importance of invasive species and wildlife diseases in relation to wildlife conservation, and you will consider the use of the latest technologies to resolve or mitigate problems caused by such species.
In this module you will learn about the current methods and techniques used across the world to measure and evaluate biodiversity in the field. This is a field based module and a trip to either a tropical country or a wilderness reserve in the UK (to be chosen by the student) is compulsory.
Your research project should contribute to the body of knowledge in your area. You will devise and conduct an independent research project and through self-motivated critical thinking, you will develop as a reflective practitioner.

Entry Requirements

Appropriate undergraduate degree (e.g., biological sciences, anthropology, veterinary science) with a minimum classification of 2:2 (lower second class).

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

This Master's programme is suitable for undergraduates in the areas of Biological Sciences, Anthropology and Veterinary Science around the UK and internationally. However, candidates with suitable alternative professional experience may also be considered. Furthermore, this course may be appropriate for some professional conservation scientists who wish to enhance their job prospects or promotion prospects by obtaining a postgraduate taught course qualification.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£13,860

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.
  • International field courses - for the optional trip to a tropical country (previous trips have included Costa Rica) as part of the Field Monitoring of Biodiversity there is a fee of about £500 and students need to pay for their own flights and visa

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including the following:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Discussion/debates
  • Guest speaker presentations
  • Student presentations
  • Computer based practicals


You will be assessed in a variety of ways including theoretical essays, practical assignments, oral presentations and a dissertation.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

This programme structure was developed by Professor Robert Young (Chair in Wildlife Conservation, ELS) in consultation with Dr Jean Boubli (Reader in Animal Ecology, ELS) who both have more than 20 years’ experience in the area of wildlife conservation.  Both, while active researchers, have close contact with the world’s major Wildlife NGOs (e.g., WCS, Conservation International) and Federal Wildlife Agencies (e.g., Institute Chico Mendes and IBAMA in Brazil).  

Dr Jean Boubli has spent more than 5 years of his career in high management positions within international NGOs in the area of Conservation Biology (e.g. Wildlife Conservation Society), whilst Prof Robert Young is involved with both in-situ (e.g.., Federal and State Institutions) and ex-situ conservation organisations (e.g., Zoos around the world). Thus, the course is designed with knowledge of what skills the wildlife conservation biology sector requires across the globe.


Career Prospects

According to the Society for Conservation Biology (2015), jobs in Conservation Biology are growing at a rate of 3% per year. Wildlife conservation biologists are employed around the world in a wide-range of institutions from NGOs and Federal Agencies to universities.

This course reflects the growing importance of solving the global biodiversity extinction crisis and specifically halting the extinction of animal species. This is recognised globally by governments in a number of significant international treaties, meetings and agreements including the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

There is global recognition for the need to employ more conservation scientists to solve and mitigate the problems caused by human activities that are detrimental to the survival of wildlife.

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