Wildlife Conservation with Foundation Year
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
In a nutshell
Learn about the impact of humans on the natural world and the devastating impact on efforts to sustain wildlife habitats and biodiversity. This course will provide you with a strong foundation in biology and environmental issues, enabling you to progress to study our BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation degree.
This foundation year pathway is ideal if you want to study conservation but have a non-scientific background, or you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to our honours degree. We also recommend this pathway if you are returning to education, or if you want to use your studies to change career direction
Our BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation brings together conservation issues, the physical environment and landscape, as well as the study the ecology and behaviour of animals in the wild. We've designed the course to provide you with a broad understanding of wildlife, wildlife ecology and environmental problems threatening species, from both theoretical and practical points of view.
Start your study journey
Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying wildlife conservation, explore our facilities and meet the course team
- Gain a broad, basic knowledge of biological principles and environmental studies to prepare you for more advanced study
- Develop a broad understanding of wildlife, wildlife ecology and environmental problems threatening species, from both theoretical and practical points of view
- Cover both physical and biological components of the environment as well as studying specialist modules in wildlife and environmental areas
This is for you if...
You want an excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
You are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
You didn't meet the entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation
All about the course
The introductory foundation year is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of core biological processes and other aspects of environmental studies.
Following a carefully-designed suite of modules, you will develop communication and study skills, experience field and laboratory work and learn to manage field data.
Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation honours degree.
BSc (Hons) Degree
There has never been a more urgent time to reduce the loss of biodiversity and protect endangered wildlife. We have shaped our BSc Wildlife Conservation course to provide you with a solid understanding of wildlife, biodiversity and conservation issues, and the skills to monitor environmental change and lead habitat conservation and restoration.
For a three years of study - or four, if you choose to include an industry placement, you will advance your wildlife conservation knowledge and skills through a variety of specialist modules including behavioural ecology, conservation biology, practical ecology and conservation, and monitoring environmental change. In your final year you will also complete a research project based on a subject topic of your choice.
Learn more about the modules you will study in the section below.
We put fieldwork at the heart of your learning experience. You'll have plenty of opportunities to get involved in UK-based residential courses going to places such as Blencathra in Cumbria and the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland. You will also have the chance to take specialist modules, where you will travel to tropical locations for fieldwork. In recent years students have been to locations such as Gambia and Brazil.
Small group, research-led teaching is another key course benefit. During your studies you will spend time in our advanced Bodmer laboratories, and you might also have opportunities to engage with live research projects.
On this course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.
Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.
Previous wildlife students have completed work placements in a wide range of countries, including South Africa, Madagascar, Spain, Greece, and the USA, working with a diverse range of animals, from donkeys and wolves to seals and turtles.
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.
The Environmental Conservation module provides fundamental introductions to ecology, sustainability, environmental management, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. It also teaches practical approaches to sustainable resource development, conservation techniques and priorities in habitat and wildlife management. Thirdly, it provides essential skills in literature review and report writing that are extremely useful for a career in the environmental sciences.
Develop skills for the application of statistical and mathematical methods and practise using Information Technology for effective the presentation and communication of data and ideas.
This module will provide students with a structured and supportive environment in which to develop their academic practice and professionalism. This will be achieved through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminars that will equip students with the skills required for successful study in Higher Education.
Science for Health
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.
The Earth Processes module provides a fundamental introduction to the study of earth and environmental processes. It takes a systems approach to look at the atmosphere (its structure and composition), hydrosphere (as a global water cycle), biosphere (the living part of the environment) and geosphere (rocks and soils), where the focus is on both the resources and hazards they can offer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Choose one option from
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.
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 one option 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.
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.
And one module from
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.
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.
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.
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?
The co-creation of knowledge is an overarching learning and teaching strategy at Salford. We encourage you to see yourself as a producer of knowledge and a collaborator in your learning experience.
Learning methods are designed to train you to assess real-life situations and provide measures that would lead to improved professional practice.Typical methods include:
- Lectures which will introduce you to core wildlife conservation topics
- Seminars and tutorials where you can discuss topics in more detail with your tutors and other students in smaller groups
- Laboratory practicals delivered in our Bodmer Laboratories where you can test and apply your knowledge and build proficiency using scientific equipment
- Field trips, including residential field courses and day visits to sites of conservation interest, that bring classroom theory to life
Assessment strategies are designed to develop your skills for future employability and assessment success. We regularly provide you with feedback via written communication, online notes, and group activities.
Typical assessment combines coursework and examination, and this will vary depending on your level of study. We also use other formal, informal and continuous assessment methods that could include:
- Research projects
- Laboratory reports
- Literature reviews
- Field notebooks
- Data analysis
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, consultants and leaders.
Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.
As a wildlife conservation student, you will be based in our advanced, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. This specialist, purpose built facility ensures that you benefit from the latest technologies to keep teaching and learning apace with cutting-edge innovation and discovery.
Industry collaboration and research
When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.
Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of bioscience issues and challenges.
Discover how you are part of something bigger.
What about after uni?
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 teamwork 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.
You might find you want to learn more about biosciences. Building on our scientific expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a generous fees discount.
- Biomedical Science (MSc)
- Biotechnology (MSc)
- Drug Design and Discovery (MSc)
- Wildlife Conservation (MSc)
Wildlife Conservation graduates can also choose to follow a research programme with our Biomedical Research Centre or our Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre to further their knowledge in topics such as microbiology, parasitology and conservation. Some of our graduates have completed PhD research studying orangutans in Borneo, large animals in Tanzania.
Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.
What you Need to Know
This course is not suitable for international students.
If you are an international student, and interested in a foundation year study pathway, please consider our International Foundation Year course.
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 also 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
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications.
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
64 UCAS points
64 UCAS points
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
64 UCAS points from QAA approved access course
64 UCAS points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate
64 UCAS points from Higher Level
Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|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.|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|Part-time||2023/24||Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.|
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 the 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.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID C184