Skip to content

Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation) Level 3 Extended Diploma

  • Level(s) of Study: Further education
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Two years
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This course will develop your knowledge of wildlife conservation and the environment. You’ll also study different wildlife habitats and take part in classroom activities to learn about how to protect and save rare wildlife.

Download a course brochure

Course leader Rebecca Dicks is available on Unibuddy to answer any questions you may have about our Countryside Management course.

  • Brackenhurst is set in stunning countryside just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre, next to the town of Southwell.
  • At Brackenhurst, you’ll have access to incredible facilities. These include an Animal Unit, Equestrian Centre, laboratories, library and gardens and fields that are overflowing with plants and wildlife.
  • Studying with us means that you’ll be a part of an amazing learning environment. You get all the perks of being part of a big university, but you will still enjoy the comforts of a friendly college.
  • Our courses have great progression routes to further study. You can even study one of NTU’s degrees right here at Brackenhurst, and may be eligible to receive an offer one grade lower than the standard entry tariff.

What you’ll study

This course is for anyone passionate about the environment and keen to learn how to protect and save rare species. You'll gain an understanding of wildlife conservation and develop practical hands-on experience of managing wildlife and habitats, outdoors and as part of a team.

Professional Working Responsibilities

Learners will study professional responsible working practices with a focus on ensuring health and safety, wellbeing, resource management and waste management in the environmental, wildlife and conservation sectors.

Plant and Soil Science

Understanding how plants grow and what they need to be successful is essential for their management in a range of sectors and for a broad range of purposes, including growing crops for people or livestock, growing decorative plants and providing environments for leisure or habitat conservation. This module focuses on the structural and functional features of plants and soils. This will in turn inform and influence management practices in the environmental, wildlife and conservation sectors.

Work Experience

Learners research work opportunities in the land-based sectors and the skills needed to attain them, developing communication and employability skills through study and work experience.

Countryside Estate Skills Activities

A largely practical module, learners will select and apply the practical skills required to undertake tasks relating to environmental management and the maintenance of physical infrastructure and habitats. These skills play an important role within the wildlife conservation sector.

Managing Environmental Habitats

In this module learners will investigate the different types of UK habitats, species and the threats these face such as urban sprawl, pollution and non-native species. In addition learners will gain the practical knowledge to carry out industry standard surveying methods.

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

To compliment managing environmental habitats module, this module focuses investigating the ecology of species and the methods and skills needed to carry out wildlife habitat improvements and wildlife conservation such as wildlife rehabilitation, relocation and reintroduction.

Coastal Habitat Management

Learners will investigate the science, geography and geology of UK coastal habitats, the threats these habitats face and their importance to many coastal species. The learners will also explore possible solutions to enable future management planning.

Contemporary Issues

In this module learners critically explore up to date and relevant key issues relating to the environment and wildlife conservation. Learners will study topics such as environmental law, policies, environmental ethics, emerging technologies and working practices as well as current conservation news.

Woodland Management

A balanced module of theory and practical learners develop the skills needed to manage different woodland environments, from initial structure and condition surveys to undertaking practical tasks to manage biodiversity. Learner will study several key indicator species, such as the silver-washed fritillary butterfly, dormouse and pied flycatcher that depend on properly managed woodlands for their survival.

Countryside Recreation

Countryside management is becoming increasingly complex, as countryside organisations take account of the growing population with leisure time to spend using countryside amenities. Learners produce management plans for countryside recreational activities, accounting for the needs of countryside organisations and the natural environment.

Managing Countryside Visitor Activities

There are many different areas in the UK that can be explored by members of the public. A growing interest in these areas has led to an increased use of the countryside for recreation purposes as well as tourism. With the increased awareness of the need for conservation activities, visitors to the countryside can also include people who work as volunteers helping to manage the environment. In this module learners will develop skills and knowledge in the management of countryside activities for visitors with a range of interests.

Freshwater and Wetland Management

Both freshwater and wetland habitats are made up of a complex combination of features.  Flora, fauna, water type, water pH, soil type and location all interact to produce widely different environments. Learners will explore these habitats and their associated wildlife, as well as develop skills in surveying and in the practical management of freshwater and wetland habitats in order to increase biodiversity.


A blend of practical and theory, Learners develop skills in the safe operation of machines used in the environmental, wildlife and conservation sectors, including carrying out pre-start checks, basic maintenance and repair, and operation.

Ecological Concepts

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is one of the most important concepts in the natural sciences; it is the range and distribution of species as well as their differences, both genetically and functionally, in the environment. Learners will develop skills in promoting and protecting biological diversity, practical data modelling and ecological report writing.

Physical and Biological Processes

Learners will develop an understanding of the relationship between the physical and biological Earth systems, their importance to humans and the means to secure them for the future. Topics studied in this module cover an understanding of how Earth systems provide energy for life – from the interactions and interrelationships of atmospheric, oceanographic, geological and biochemical processes – is important for a wide range of roles, from practical countryside worker to academic researcher.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Our current students and recent graduates tell you all about their time at NTU and what they've gone on to do next.

Student Profiles

Harriet Diggle

Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation)

The course gives you excellent practical skills and can open up opportunities for what comes next.

Josh Veysey

Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation)

I found it really easy to move from South Africa to the UK and felt right at home as soon as I started. The help provided by admin staff made the move really smooth and hassle-free.

Indy Kiemel Greene

Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation)

I went to an open day before applying, I met my lecturers and the campus looked amazing, so it was a very easy choice to come here.

Video Gallery

Take a look at why you should study your college course at Brackenhurst. Charlotte tells us about her life as a student studying Level 3 Extended Diploma Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation). You can also learn more about the equipment you'll use and what you'll study on the course with our facility tour and taster session videos.
Video Icon

How you’re taught

You’ll learn in our fantastic facilities and be taught by tutors who have real-life experience of working within wildlife and conservation. You can expect the course to be split so that approximately 40% is practical work and 60% is theory work. You will be taught through lectures, group discussions and practical demonstrations. You’ll also get to go on trips to different locations, including nature reserves, farms, estates and rehabilitation centres.

The course includes a work placement. This allows you to develop your skills and knowledge in ecology, the environment and wildlife conservation, and looks good to future employers. You'll get to take part in volunteering projects at local conservation organisations, including The Wildlife Trusts, private environmental consultants, and environmental and countryside management organisations.

How you’ll be assessed

You'll be assessed through written assignments, presentations, practical assessments, class tests and external exams.

Staff Profiles

Becca Dicks


School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Becca Dicks is the Programme leader for Level 3 Extended Diploma in Land and Wildlife Management.

Careers and employability

After completing this course there are a number of options and routes that you can take. You could choose to continue your studies and go onto a higher education course or pursue a career in a wildlife conservation and environment-related industry.

If you are successful and achieve the right combination of results, you’ll be able to progress on to the FdSc Wildlife Conservation, BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation or BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation degrees right here at NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus.

Future jobs within the wildlife conservation and environment industry include:

  • Researcher - you can earn up to £24,000
  • Zookeeper - you can earn up to £24,500
  • Countryside / Game Ranger - you can earn up to £28,000
  • Nature Conservation Officer - you can earn up to £25,000
  • Ecological Assistant - you can earn up to £29,000

Placement opportunities

Work placements are a great way to broaden your knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity the take part in work experience in a range of conservation projects and organisations.

We have a wide network of links within the industry which will enable you to get the best placements.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Study a wildlife course at Brackenhurst and you’ll have access to some fantastic facilities.

Our rural campus is made up of grassland, hedgerows, woods and ponds. It also includes a working farm. It is home to a wide range of wildlife species that you will observe, handle and study. You’ll use the campus and its habitats for hands-on, practical lessons during your course.

As well as your subject-specific facilities, you’ll also find:

  • a library, including fully equipped computer rooms
  • modern classrooms and teaching areas
  • laboratories
  • our careers and employability service
  • a dining room and Costa Coffee
  • our student shop
  • a common room.

Wildlife students are involved in tracking, mapping and recording a wide variety of species at Brackenhurst campus.

  • Species include hedgehogs, badgers, bats and farmland bird species.
  • Brown Hare can often be seen in the fields on the estate, especially in the field margins.
  • The estate also hosts one of Nottinghamshire's highest populations of Great Crested Newt.

Sheepwalk's 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. A bird hide provides students with a platform to observe wildlife on the pond. Notable species include Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Bittern and many other species of Wildfowl.In addition to Kestrel, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk we have also recorded Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Hobby and Little Owl.

Entry requirements

For 2023 entry you'll need:

  • Four GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above including:
    • Science
    • Maths or English Language (with the other subject at grade 3 / D or above).
  • We will accept students with grade 3 / D in Maths or English Language where the other subject is at least grade 4 / C. You will need to complete Maths or English Language GCSE retakes as a mandatory part of your study programme.

Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Applications are welcome from mature and international students.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299.

We welcome applications from international students. Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 to discuss how your qualifications match our course requirements.

Fees and funding

If you are aged 16-18 and applying for a Level 2 or 3 course

There are no course fees if you’re aged under 19 on 31 August of the year you start your course.

If you are aged 19+ and applying for a Level 2, Level 3 or Access to Higher Education course

If you’re studying your first full Level 3 or Access to Higher Education qualification you may be eligible for free tuition. You will still need to pay the registration fee applicable for your course.

If you are applying for the Level 2 qualification or have already completed a full Level 3 qualification, tuition and registration fees will apply.

To cover the cost of tuition when applying for a Level 3 and Access to Higher Education qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan from the UK Government. It is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You will not have to pay anything back until your income is over £25,000.

Please visit fees and funding information for more information.

Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on fees and funding.

How to apply

Applying is really easy. Follow our step-by-step guide below.

Fill in an application form

  • Download an application form. Remember to show your passion for your chosen subject in your personal statement.
  • Provide contact details for two referees - usually one teacher from your current School or College and one character reference which could refer to any volunteering, work experience or hobbies you may have (i.e. Sea Scouts, sports clubs etc.). Alternatively, this can be a long standing family friend or neighbour.

Come for an interview

  • If you meet the criteria for the course, we’ll invite you in for an interview. We’ll send you details of what will happen on the day in advance through the post. Don’t panic! Our tutors are really friendly and will help you to do your best.

Get your offer

  • We’ll write to you and let you know how you got on at the interview. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you a place on the course. This offer might be conditional on your upcoming exam results – for example GCSEs.

Accept your offer

  • You need to tell us that you want to accept your offer of a place by returning your confirmation slip to us or calling us on 0115 848 5299.

Get your exam results

  • If you’re taking GCSEs or other exams, you’ll get your results over the summer. Once you’ve got your results you need to let us know what they are. Then we can confirm your place.

Start at Brackenhurst

  • We’ll send out all the information you need to start with us in the post at the end of August. We hold an enrolment day in the first week of September. This allows you to get your student ID and start meeting your new friends and tutors.

Any questions?

Just drop us a line – we’re here to help every step of the way. You can email us or give us a call on 0115 848 5299.

Please email our FE Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 5299 for more information on how to apply.