This degree aims to produce flexible graduates with a range of transferable skills who can work in the diverse field of wildlife conservation in the UK and overseas. The course combines the scientific principles of animal function and behaviour with conservation biology. You will acquire the transferable skills to:
- manage wild animals and their habitats.
Why choose this course?
- Conservation organisations often use research undertaken by students in the final year.
- You will be taught at Brackenhurst campus, which is the ideal environment for studying environmental sciences. We have 200 hectares of farmland, woodland and wetland estate with a diverse range of habitats and wildlife species.
- You will take part in a residential field course in the UK or overseas during Year Two. This will enable you to study wildlife in a range of habitats. Our previous students have surveyed:
- small mammals
- wild boar
- optimal foraging studies on greater flamingos.
- Our brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus library opened in 2013.
- You will have the opportunity to undertake a placement year in industry.
- You can spend half a year on international exchange with a partner university in Australia, Canada or Hungary during your second year of study
- NTU has a number of biodiversity conservation projects to get involved in from bee hives to bird-ringing, including and a family of peregrine falcons who nest on the top of our Newton and Arkwright building in the city centre.
Want to know more?
UCAS code: D447 BSc/WildC (FT) D449 (Sandwich)
Please see the Applying
Course length: Three years full-time, four years with placement
Study location: Brackenhurst campus
Fees and funding:Please see our applying and fees section.
How many places are available?
There are approximately 30 places available on this course.
When does the course start?
Please see the academic calendar for term dates.
Where will I study?
Brackenhurst Estate is the ideal location to study wildlife. With a strong emphasis on project-based learning, you can be involved in research into:
- international animal populations.
What will I study?
Anatomy and Physiology
This module will give you a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a wide range of species, which will serve as a helpful foundation for many second and third year modules.
This module looks at patterns of animal behaviour in both the wild and captivity. Topics covered include:
- sexual behaviour
- social structure
- natural acquisition and behaviour in captive environments.
This module is an exploration of the biological diversity on earth focusing on the abundance and distribution of species. You will investigate the theories pertaining to:
- causes of extinction
- the conservation of species.
Ecology: Terrestrial and Water
You will study the interaction of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors in relation to the distribution of populations and communities within ecosystems.
Personal Development Skills
You will develop the transferable skills necessary to:
- write reports
- manage meetings
- work in a team
- manage your career development.
This module involves on and off-site surveying sessions. You will learn a range of common survey techniques typically used by ecological / environmental consultants.
Wildlife Health, Genetics and Breeding
You will learn about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of pathogenic diseases. This module will also introduce you to the:
- field of reproductive physiology
- principles of inheritance
- application of these principles in breeding programmes.
Applied Habitat Management
This module is delivered as a series of site-based habitat and species evaluations on and off-campus. These include:
- surveys and assessments
- data analysis
- discussion workshops
- seminars and lectures.
Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology
This module explores the way in which animals behave in relation to their environment and covers topics such as:
- the selfish gene
- optimal foraging
- game theory
- sexual selection.
Environmental Monitoring and GIS
This module provides an understanding of the methods and processes involved in monitoring of air and water quality and ecotoxicology. You will use the mapping and spatial analytical techniques applied in geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing.
Experimental Design and Analysis
This module will prepare you for your final-year research dissertation. You will develop an understanding of:
- research methodology
- hypothesis testing
- statistical analysis
- data presentation.
Wildlife Law and Policy
This module will introduce you to the broad range of legal and policy issues that affect those engaged in protecting the environment and wildlife conservation.
This module investigates the:
- physiological challenges presented by different environments
- nature of the adaptations that enable animals to overcome them.
You will explore the communities and ecosystems of:
- marine environments and the impacts of humans on them.
You will develop expertise in an area of personal interest. You will achieve this through carrying out independent research, under supervision, in an area of environmental conservation and countryside management. Previous studies include the:
- behaviour of translocated ospreys
- impact of countryside stewardship on farmland birds
- influence of visitors on captive orangutans.
You will learn about the population ecology of free-ranging vertebrates. This will give you the information you need to evaluate practicals such as harvesting and control.
You will be given the opportunity to select modules from the following list:
- African Ecosystems (module and study trip runs in September prior to Third Year and has additional fee)
- Global Agriculture
- Environmental Impact Assessment and Management
- Environmental Politics, Issues and Ethics.
You will have 13 hours of scheduled contact time per week, of which approximately one hour will be practical work.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed using a variety of methods including the following.
- Coursework exercise – 17%
- Portfolio – 33%
Exams - 50%
What do the course fees cover?
The annual fee for your undergraduate degree course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition.
- You will be given a pre-paid printing allowance of £20 (which currently equates to up to 400 sides of A4 black and white printing) for use in NTU Print Shops.
- We will supply you with laboratory equipment, coats and safety equipment, where required.
- You will not have to pay a tuition fee for you Year Abroad / Sandwich year when it is part of your course.
- Your tuition fees cover any additional administration fees for International Exchange.
What is not included in the fee?
You will need to budget for the following:
- general printing of coursework in addition to the printing allowance
- books and texts
- accommodation and travel costs
- travel and accommodation costs involved in year abroad, sandwich year or any placements you take
- graduation social events
- additional field trip or field work costs where not borne by the School.
Are you an international student?
Find out more about the entry requirements, fees and accommodation.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
You will be studying in the ideal environment for Wildlife Conservation. Brackenhurst campus is a 200-hectare estate with:
- a diverse range of habitats and wildlife species.
- Conservation students are involved in tracking, mapping and recording a wide variety of species at Brackenhurst.
- These have included hedghogs, badgers and Roe deer.
- Many of the techniques learnt at Brackenhurst with native species have been transfered to global research projects on wolves, hyaenas and vultures.
- Brown Hare can often be seen in the fields on the estate, especially in the field margins.
- Hares have been in decline in recent years due to habitat loss and ever changing farming methods.
- In spring time hares have been observed "boxing" on the estate. This was commonly thought to be two males fighting but recently it has been observed that most boxing takes place between a male and female.
- Farmland birds have suffered dramatic declines over the past 40 years due to loss of habitat and agricultural intensification, one example being Skylarks, which were once a common sight on farms.
- Here on the estate numbers are increasing due to the provision of quality nesting sites in summer crops and the use of field margins.
- Another farmland bird that has been in decline is the Yellowhammer; however, numbers here at Brackenhurst are also on the increase.
- From 2008 farmland birds have been rung on the estate and the data has been used in research. Bird ringing is the delicate process of catching a bird and attaching an identifying ring.
- In the winter of 2008-2009, The South Nottinghamshire Ringing Group, along with staff and students, rang 5% of the national population here on the estate.
- Grey Partridge are another farmland bird species that has suffered dramatic declines, however through conservation methods and wildlife friendly farming, numbers at Brackenhurst are increasing.
Great Crested Newts
- The Brackenhurst Estate hosts one of Nottinghamshire's highest populations of Great Crested Newt.
- Estimates range between 2000-3000 in various ponds and hybernacula's around the main hall and gardens.
- Great Crested Newts will navigate from one pond to another, often using the 12 miles of hedgerows to do so as they provide a food source, shelter and protection from predators.
Pond and bird hide
- Sheepwalks Pond was created in the winter of 1995 by excavating an area adjacent to Halloughton Dumble that suffered seasonal water logging due to the high water table, and natural spring, which is located to the north of the pond.
- Puddle clay, as used by canal builders, was used in the construction of this wildlife haven.
- The bird hide provides students with a platform to observe wildlife on the pond.
- Notable species include Kingfisher, Reed Warbler and Bunting, Little Grebe, Shoveller, Bittern and many other species of Wildfowl.
Birds of prey
- In addition to Kestrels, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl and Sparrow Hawk we have also recorded Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Hobby and Little Owl.
- These birds commonly prey on small mammals and birds, but will also eat carrion.
Our brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus library opened in 2013. The library building uses energy-efficient and low-carbon initiatives such as photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, intelligent lighting control, heat-reclaim ventilation during winter, renewable cladding materials, locally sourced materials and water-leak detection systems.
Our biodiversity analysis of the library site highlighted the need to check for protected species such as bats and great crested newts. We've created new ponds, fence-ringed areas and bespoke habitats as part of our mitigation strategy.
Peregrine falcons - live streaming
The Newton building at Nottingham Trent University has, for the last decade, been home to a breeding pair of peregrine falcons, who nest on an outside ledge near the top. Watch live footage or archive video of them nesting, laying eggs and rearing their chicks.
Green Flag status
Brackenhurst campus has been awarded the Green Flag status, a national award recognising green spaces throughout the country. We received the award along with other notable green spaces such as Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park and St James’s Park.
Your future career
Upon graduation, you will have the skills needed to become a:
- Conservation Trainee
- District Officer
- Environmental Health Officer
- Environmental Officer
- Field Biologist
- Project Coordinator
- Project Ecologist
- Wildlife Journalist
- Zoo Keeper.
Our graduates work for companies such as:
- Anglian Water
- Baker Sheppard Gillespie Ecological
- Cornwall Wildlife Trust
- Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
- Erewash Borough Council
- FPCR Architects
- Paingnton Zoo and Environmental Park
- Somerset Wildlife Trust
- White Young Green Group
- Wolverhampton Council.
What our graduates say
"I entered higher education from a vocational route via the BTEC National Diploma in Animal Management. I found out about this course on the Nottingham Trent University website and UCAS.
"The course at Brackenhurst has been very satisfying. It has encouraged me to be independent in all aspects of life. I felt it was very important to attend an Open Day as it gave me the opportunity to find out about the friendly atmosphere, stunning location and supportive teaching staff.
"The academic staff are extremely approachable. They give guidance and are very supportive. The staff who teach on the course are active researchers and this has led me to become extremely interested in field work and research.
"I think this course is perfect for someone who is genuinely passionate about wildlife and conservation and wishes to have a career that involves aiding conservation. My career aspirations are to work as a research assistant at the National History Unit and gain experience by doing voluntary work with organisations involved in conservation."
BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation
Some students opt to take an industrial placement between years two and three providing them with the opportunity to spend an additional year working in industry. This is an excellent chance to explore an aspect of wildlife conservation that might interest students as a career and at the same time significantly increase employment prospects.
What are the benefits of a work placement?
Practical work experience has many benefits for you. It can help you in your day-to-day studies and is often paid. It can enhance your commercial awareness and your ability to link theory and practice which will be an invaluable skill in your future career. Although a work placement is highly recommended, obtaining one is based on an individual’s efforts and is not guaranteed.
Recent student placements have included:
- A Rocha Kenya (ARK), Kenya
- Bison Kabini Resort, India
- Cheetah Outreach Paardevlei, South Africa
- Herpetologic Ltd
- Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust
- The Living Rainforest
- Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Canada
- Sheffield Ecology Unit
- West Midland Safari Park
- World Owl Trust
- WWT Washington Wetland Centre.
You will need:
- 260 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels or a combination of two A-levels and two AS-levels
- to include A-level Biology at grade C or above or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant Science subject at Distinction / Merit / Merit or equivalent qualification
- GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above.
International students please see the full list of alternative qualifications.
UCAS code: D447 BSc/WildCC
How to apply
You can follow our step-by-step instructions when applying through UCAS.
Also ensure that you check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder, when you have applied. We may need to contact you during this time. Good luck with your application.
Writing a personal statement
Take a look at our guide to writing an effective personal statement. Use it when you start writing your UCAS application.
If you want to speak to us about this course, open days or how to apply, please get in touch using the following details.
Telephone: +44 (0)1636 817099 (course and open days)
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200 (how to apply)
Please note the following information for applicants
Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200
or Ask us a question
"I entered Higher Education from a vocational route via the BTEC National Diploma in Animal Management. I found out about this course on the NTU website and via UCAS.
"The course at Brackenhurst campus has been very satisfying, encouraging me to be independent in all aspects of life. I felt it was very important to attend an Open Day, as it gave me the opportunity to find out about the friendly atmosphere, stunning location and supportive teaching staff.
"The academic staff are extremely approachable, give guidance and are extremely supportive. The staff who teach on the course are active researchers and this has led me to become extremely interested in field work and research.
"I think this course is perfect for someone who is genuinely passionate about wildlife and conservation and wishes to have a career that involves aiding conservation. My aspirations are to work as a research assistant at the National History Unit and gain experience by doing voluntary work with organisations involved in conservation."
Read more student profiles