Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Wildlife and Practical Conservation

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

With placement

Course

Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

Human impact on the natural world has left devastating effects on wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Our BSc (Hons) Wildlife and Practical Conservation focuses on general conservation, the physical environment and landscape, as well as offering opportunities for you to study the ecology and behaviour of animals in the wild.

Accredited, engaging learning

This course, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of wildlife, wildlife ecology and environmental problems threatening species, from both theoretical and practical points of view. You will cover both physical and biological components of the environment as well as studying specialist modules in wildlife and environmental areas.

Hands-on field work

One of the key features of this course is our strong emphasis on field trips – these include day trips as well as national and overseas residential trips with the majority of these trips being free. 

In the 2020 NSS survey, wildlife courses received 100% overall satisfaction [based on University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data].

You will:
  • Gain a broad understanding of wildlife, wildlife ecology and environmental problems
  • Acquire the practical skills used in wildlife conservation and zoos
  • Have the opportunity to go on a variety of field trips including to the tropics
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

Course accreditations
Royal Society of Biology accreditation logo

This is for you if...

1.

You want real-world experience through field trip and placement opportunities (including international)

2.

You have a genuine broad interest in wildlife and conservation

3.

You enjoy working outdoors in all weathers, as well as collecting and analysing data

Course details

All about the course

Students holding a snake

Loss of biodiversity is an increasing concern at national, European and global levels. To work as a professional with wildlife and in conservation, you will need both practical skills and strong theoretical knowledge to meet the challenge of saving our wildlife and wild places.

This course is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of wildlife, biodiversity and conservation of the physical environment, while also offering more specialist knowledge in areas such as monitoring environmental change and habitat conservation and restoration.

  • In year one you will study a range of topics across several modules covering both theory and practice across the biological and environmental sciences.
  • In your second year the course offers specialist modules in wildlife and environmental areas whilst your final year includes a dissertation on a wildlife, conservation or zoo biology topic of your choice. You are able to choose between two 40-credit project options. One allows you the opportunity to conduct an in-depth, data-generating, research project, the other permits you to develop a science communication output alongside your research project. During your second and third years, you will also have the opportunity to tailor your modules to suit your interests.

Through a number of field trips to zoos, animal parks and wetlands, as well as the chance to travel to the Amazon Rainforest as part of your course, you will have the opportunity to apply your skills and gain real-world context for your studies and begin your journey in conservation in an unforgettable way.

Industry Placements

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Year one

Genes to Ecosystems

In the first trimester, this module provides a systems-led approach to understand basic concepts of genetics. In the second trimester, this approach is extended to understand basic concepts of ecosystems. 

Biodiversity

Life arose on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago. Today, Earth hosts an extraordinary diversity of organisms, with recent study estimating that there are between 2 and 20 million eukaryote species alive today (the vast majority of which have still not been identified and described by scientists). However, this is a small fraction of all the species that have ever lived, >99.9% of which are extinct. This module will give you an overview of this remarkable biodiversity, focusing on the major groups, their characteristics, their diversity, and their evolutionary relationships.

Introduction to Zoo Biology

This module provides an integrative approach to understand basic concepts of zoo biology. It is largely lecture-based, and also includes day trips to local zoos.

Field Biology

This module will introduce students to field techniques required for ecological surveys of land and aquatic habitats. Learning will be delivered by lectures, non-residential fieldwork, computer and practical classes. The module will develop students to identification and taxonomy skills, and introduce GIS and its uses within fieldwork.

Global Distribution of Wildlife

This module will give an overview of the world’s major biomes and, using case studies from around the globe, will explore the principal factors that drive the distribution of species and communities and the way wildlife adapts to these factors. Moreover, the module will provide you with a sound understanding of how the application of biogeographic principles can aid conservation planning.

Study Skills

In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and will develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year one and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Year two

Wildlife Study and Research Skills

The aim of this module is to show you how to learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement and to develop your practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during the rest of the course and beyond.

Wildlife Behavioural Ecology

This module focuses on the principles of wildlife ecology and animal behaviour with particular reference to mammal and bird species. It also introduces scientific methods in the study of ecology and behaviour.

Conservation Biology

This module will introduce you to the modern concepts of conservation biology at the level of species and populations, the existing tensions between theory and practice in species conservation planning, and an overview of the interdisciplinary toolbox used by conservation biologists (for example IT packages and DNA fingerprints). You will also be given the chance to design an appropriate conservation programme for a species or population, including the projection of future survival under varying scenarios.

Monitoring Environmental Change

Monitoring Environmental Change explores the concepts and provides the practical experience of contemporary techniques for environmental monitoring of human impacts in a range of environments. The module provides necessary skills and techniques to undertake field work in selected environments, generate data and explore its analysis and interpretation.

Choose one option from

Ecology in Action

You will study the fundamental principles of population and community ecology, including the impact that factors such as competition, predation and parasitism may have on population size and community structure. This module also has a residential field course where students put theory into practice and conduct their own ecological studies.

Animal Evolution (Marine and Wildlife)

This module provides an overview of how diversity in the animal kingdom has evolved. It also illustrates the basic principles of evolution as a force to create biodiversity.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Plus one option from

New

Educational Principles and Practice in STEM

The module will provide you with an introduction to teaching and learning at key stage 4 (level 2 GCSE qualifications) through the application of core educational concepts. You will design and deliver an educational activity for a laboratory, workshop or through an online interactive system. The module will provide a taster for students considering teaching as a career.

Ocean Challenges

In this module you will learn about the challenges faced by the marine ecosystems and marine organisms. The module provides the you with the opportunity to engage in actual data collection and data analysis during a residential course (compulsory to the module). You will also look at contemporary environmental issues in marine biology. The module encourages you to adopt an investigative approach to ecological studies.

Primate Behaviour and Conservation

This module aims to provide you with knowledge of the structure and evolution of primate societies. You will look at the Primate Order, its distribution and the conservation priorities for primate species. You will gain an understanding of the ecological and demographic processes that underlie different types of social systems and an insight into the way in which evolutionary ecological, genetic and physiological analyses can facilitate this understanding.

Animal Welfare: Science and Practice

The aim is to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of animal welfare science whereby students get to critically assess the outcomes of different solutions to real-world animal welfare problems.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Year three

Environmental Geographical Information Systems

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors controlling the design and implementation of GIS solutions to map, monitor and model terrestrial environments. You will also examine the major issues and impacts of GIS evolution and diffusion on society.

Practical Ecology and Conservation

This module aims to equip you with the basic knowledge and skills needed for ecological consultancy. It is designed to promote employability and apply academic qualifications to a growing sector that seeks to provide expertise on ecological and environmental issues to industry, governmental agencies and other organisations. You will be given an overview of consultancy and the ecology of survey methods used for protected species and habitats. The main assessment will involve you proposing surveys for a client wanting to build on a specified site, in addition to carrying out surveys in practical sessions.

Choose one option from

Final Year Project and Professional Skills (HANS)

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including both data collection/generation (for example, via lab-based research or fieldwork) and analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Final Year Project with Science Communication and Professional Skills

This dissertation module allows you to develop independent research skills, including data analysis, while conducting research on a topic in an area relevant to your programme of study. You will learn about science communication and the variety of methods in which science can be disseminated and communicated, and then put these methods into practice. You will also develop your professional skills, with a focus on employability. 

Plus two options from
 

Mitigating Climate Change

You will develop a detailed understanding of the scientific principles underlying how changing climate has an effect on the natural world, urban environments and society. Through this knowledge you will be able to appreciate the implications of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems and society, and identify what adaptions can be made to mitigate climate change.

Animal Cognition and Social Complexity

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the cognitive abilities and limitations of nonhuman animals, with a particular focus on nonhuman primates. The course also develops your understanding of the cognitive challenges associated with living in complex social groups.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

This module is based round a 2-week field trip to a tropical biology field station. Students will learn concepts in, and approaches to, tropical ecology and conservation and biodiversity in tropical ecosystems. The module involves an independent research project in the field that will be written up as a scientific report.

Modelling Environmental Systems

This module will give you an introduction in the role and implementation of models to solve environmental problems. Environmental modelling is an important tool across policy and decision making in fields such as conservation, wildlife management, biodiversity and climate change.  The module consists of a combination of lectures and computer practicals where you will get hands on experience of different types of models and how they are used to inform environmental decision making. The module is focused on the use of models rather than on mathematical or technical aspects of model development, and so will benefit anyone interested in the rapidly increasing role of models in environmental policy.

University Wide Language

Courses are available in: Arabic, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Applied Freshwater Biology

This module aims to enable you to gain a knowledge and critical understanding of the biology and ecology of freshwater systems relevant to the water industry and related organisations which regulate and control pollution of the aquatic environment.

It also provides you with the necessary skills and techniques to undertake biological and chemical evaluation of water quality ecology, fish population and condition to apply these in novel situations to generate data for interpretation. In particular, you will be provided with the necessary laboratory skills to test water quality to the standards of the Water Framework Directive UK.

Environmental Decision Making Systems

This module examines the role of decision-making in the management of natural resources and ecosystem services. You will investigate the role of environmental modelling in supporting environmental decision-making and assess the effectiveness of decision-making tools including Environmental Impact Assessment, hazard and risk analysis, and life-cycle analysis.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation

This module is based round a 2-week field trip to a tropical biology field station. Students will learn concepts in, and approaches to, tropical ecology and conservation and biodiversity in tropical ecosystems. The module involves an independent research project in the field that will be written up as a scientific report.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

Learning opportunities are varied and teaching is through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Small group tutorials
  • Residential field courses
  • Day visits to sites of conservation interest

Independent learning is through guided reading, assignments and preparation of the dissertation.

ASSESSMENT

Your assessment is based on a combination of exams and coursework throughout. This is about 60% exams and 40% coursework. Continuous assessment includes:

  • The dissertation
  • Laboratory reports
  • Field notebooks
  • Essays
  • Data response
  • Presentations

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.

facilities

You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a wildlife conservation student, you will have access to our state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose-built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

The course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. These include building specialised wildlife conservation knowledge as well as report writing, data interpretation, and team work and project management skills.

With the global push to be do less harm and alleviate the impact of climate change on wildlife populations across the planet, both public and private sectors are opening up roles for wildlife graduates to apply knowledge and skills that can make a difference for our world.

There are many opportunities to gain employment in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the voluntary sector and government conservation organisations operating at local, national and international levels. Opportunities exist to work as ecologists and environmental consultants, and in environmental education and captive animal environments. Previous students have gained employment in wildlife rescue centres, country parks, animal sanctuaries, zoos, and environmental and ecological consultancies.

FURTHER STUDY

You might find you want to learn more about wildlife conservation through further study. We offer a range of wildlife conservation and environment-focused postgraduate courses where you can build specialist knowledge and take your subject interest even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount. 

Furthermore, graduates have undertaken research for a PhD including studying orangutans in Borneo, large animals in Tanzania and various projects in urban ecology.

MSc Wildlife Conservation

MSc Sustainability

MSc Wildlife Documentary Production 

A taste of what you could become

a wildlife trust reserve manager

a wildlife ranger

an environmental and ecological consultant

a zoo keeper

a zoo scientific and education officer

AND MORE...

Career Links

As a result of our close links to industry, you will have the opportunity to go on several field trips which may include visits to Chester Zoo, South Lakes Wild Animal Park, Knowsley Safari Park, Blackpool Zoo, Twycross Zoo, Dudley Zoo and Martin Mere (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust). In addition, staff from some of these institutions contribute lectures to the course bringing more real world examples to your learning.

Students have undertaken work placements in a wide range of countries including South Africa, Madagascar, Spain, Greece, and the USA, working with a very wide range of animals from donkeys and wolves to seals and turtles. You will arrange your placement with our support.

Requirements

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

APPLICANT PROFILE

You will have a genuine broad interest in wildlife and conservation, enjoy working outdoors in all weathers, as well as collecting and analysing data. We expect you to be interested in biology, geography and the environment. We welcome applications from mature students who may not have academic qualifications in relevant subjects, but have experience in zoos or conservation organisations.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above. Equivalents are accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 UCAS points

A level

104 - 112 UCAS points

BTEC National Diploma

DMM

Diploma in Foundation Studies

104 - 112 UCAS points, Merit/Distinction

Scottish Highers

104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject

International Baccalaureate

30 points

Access to HE

104 - 112 points from QAA-approved access course

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Part-time 2022/23 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the university but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the university but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the university) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. For the trip to tropics (as part of the optional Tropical Ecology and Conservation module) there is a fee of about £600 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 for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
 
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply!

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID C190

Institution S03

Clearing 2021

Start this course in September 2021. Apply through Clearing to secure your place.