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Biodiversity Conservation MRes / MSc

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Increasing pressure on land-use across the world has led to a growing demand for postgraduates with environmental surveying qualifications. This course provides you with the knowledge you'll need to work within the environmental and ecological consulting and conservation professions. The MSc course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

If you have any questions about our Biodiversity Conservation course, you can now chat to our experienced lecturers and course leaders through Unibuddy.

  • Brackenhurst Campus is the perfect environment to develop the expertise required for a career in biodiversity conservation. A number of protected species are studied on-site including yellowhammers, great crested newts, badgers and hedgehogs.
  • The course provides an industry standard approach to career progression into the ecological and environmental consultancy sector.
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to UK and international research projects currently running within the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.
  • You'll use the latest Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking equipment and surveying techniques on this course.

Course accreditation

(MSc)

  • CIEEM accreditation

What you’ll study

This course combines research and academic skills with field surveying skills, ready for practical application within the ecological consultancy industry. It's designed to meet a rising need for highly skilled conservationists.

Through practical experience, taught sessions and interaction with experienced field ecologists, you'll gain taxonomic expertise. This will enable you to accurately identify a wide range of species and communities; use the appropriate field skills and techniques to carry out biodiversity surveys across different habitat types; and produce reports and assessments to professional standards. You'll also have an additional and distinctive opportunity to be trained in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) - a vital tool in the surveying and management of the environment.

The skills you learn will be underpinned by a thorough knowledge of why some species and communities are conservation priorities in law or policy. You'll be given the chance to become a critical thinker, capable of evaluating what you do, and adept at reporting your findings to the key audiences.

Conservation Priorities

(20 credit points)

This module aims to integrate the disciplines concerning the conservation of species and habitats, to provide a thorough basis of knowledge. From this, you'll develop a coherent approach to the specialist taxonomic and surveying techniques, and the legal framework behind these. You'll study in detail the fiver major threats to species on the planet (climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive alien species, human wildlife conflict and exploitation).

This module is assessed by exam (100%)

Species Recovery: Theories, Methods and Techniques

(20 credit points)

Study both the theoretical and applied aspects of successfully recovering species under the threat of extinction. You'll develop an understanding of population dynamics, and the various methods used to facilitate species recovery. Methods covered will include those employed in the removal of invasive (plant and animal), habitat preparation, modelling, mitigation, inciting public support, reintroduction and translocation, and the ex-situ of conservation unrelated to captive breeding.

This module is assessed by coursework (70%) and a field skills portfolio (30%)

Environmental Assessment and Consultancy

(20 credit points)

Gain a thorough and detailed knowledge of the identification and taxonomy of plant species, including the methods used to map habitats such as Phase 1 surveys. Examine the role of consultant ecologists and the consultancy process, including project management, client liaison, legislation, mitigation and reporting.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Protected Species Surveying

(20 credit points)

Gain a detailed knowledge of the identification and taxonomy for a range of protected species. You'll also gain the skills and knowledge to carry out and evaluate the different methods used to survey and record species distribution and abundance. Many of the survey techniques demonstrated in this module are applicable internationally.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

(20 credit points)

GIS is an important tool for monitoring biodiversity, and can be used to store, manipulate, analyse and present large amounts of spatial and attribute data - data that can be used to target surveys and monitoring schemes. Data collected during field surveys and from remotely sensed images taken into GIS allow the monitoring of both the location and extent of change. In this module, you'll explore the application of GIS and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology within biodiversity conservation.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Research Methods and Data Analysis

(20 credit points)

Learn advanced skills in the interpretation of quantitative and qualitative research data relevant to whole-organism biology, and develop a critical understanding of the ethical considerations involved in the collection of data. You'll be able to present findings of scientific research in a variety of appropriate ways, as well as critically evaluating, interpreting and relaying knowledge gained from secondary sources, to peers.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Research Project

(MRes 120 credit points, MSc 60 credit points)

Research a chosen topic area related to biodiversity conservation in depth. Design and implement a relevant research project with a strong aspect of originality. Communicate the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

This module is assessed by coursework (100%)

Our Biodiversity Conservation course is offered at two levels - two Masters degrees (MSc and MRes).

MSc

The MSc comprises a taught programme of six modules, and a research project.

MRes

The MRes offers three taught modules, and provides the opportunity to undertake an extended research project.

ModulesMResMSc
Conservation Priorities Included Included
Species Recovery: Theories, Methods and Techniques Optional* Included
Environmental Assessment and Consultancy Optional* Included
Protected Species Surveying Optional* Included
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Optional* Included
Research Methods and Data Analysis Included Included
Research Project Included Included

*Choose one of the optional modules.

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

Wilmie Burton

Biodiversity Conservation

The class size is a lot smaller than in the other universities that I know, so you get more opportunity for discussion and better teaching quality in lectures and seminars.

Brendan Noone

Biodiversity Conservation

I was looking to progress my career into a pathway that I could pursue conservation of British Wildlife and the course had a lot to offer with field trips and research potential.

Amelia Reddish

Biodiversity Conservation

The course teaches both practical and theoretical aspects of conservation, equipping students with vital skills.

Video Gallery

Take a look at our video gallery to get more insight into the course. You can hear from our students and learn more about our special links with Brackenhurst Kenya.
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How you’re taught

This course is delivered with a strong practical approach to learning. You'll be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, field and laboratory work, and online learning.

Independent learning is required, and you'll undertake high-quality research for the Masters awards. You'll research your chosen topic in depth, then design and implement a relevant research project, before communicating the findings to an informed audience in a comprehensive scientific report.

You'll have the opportunity to take part in field trips to Rutland and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. There are also opportunities to complete a research project in the UK or abroad.

Please note that field trip locations may vary and are subject to availability and change.

Staff Profiles

Richard Yarnell

Associate Professor

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Dr Yarnell is an Associate Professor at the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, teaching a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. His research interests lie within the broad…

Sally Little

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Dr Sally Little is the Course Leader for BSc Environmental Science and teaches modules including Marine and Freshwater Ecology and the UK Field Course. Sally's research interests include the impact

Antonio Uzal

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Dr Antonio Uzal is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation and is the Course Leader for the Master's course in Biodiversity Conservation. He teaches modules including Wildlife Field Techniques and GIS.

Marcello Di Bonito

Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Marcello Di Bonito

Careers and employability

This course has been developed with representatives from the ecological consultancy and environmental management sector, and is designed to be vocationally relevant, cultivating expertise and transferable skills to maximise your career potential.

Graduates of the Masters in Science degree have the knowledge and skills required to carry out biodiversity surveying, recording and reporting in the private, public, charity, education or research sectors. Skills development include project management, critical evaluation and communicating to a variety of audiences.

CPD: Professionals working in industry take the part-time day-release study route offered on this course as part of their career development through company sponsorship.

The diverse and expanding range of job roles include:

  • Environmental or ecological consultant
  • Biological surveyor
  • Species officer
  • Reserve warden
  • Education officer
  • Expedition leader
  • PhD researcher.

Research project: UK or abroad
Postgraduate students can undertake a research project in a chosen area of interest. This can be undertaken at Brackenhurst campus or elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

The School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences has many excellent links to partner organisations, conservation projects and academic institutions across the world.

Re:search Re:imagined

To us, research is about more than writing papers and proposing new ideas. By daring to think differently, we’re disrupting the research landscape and finding the answers to the questions that really matter. From conservation management to sustainable farming, we’re inspiring the brightest minds to rise up and find solutions to some of the most significant global challenges facing society.

Find out more

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

Teaching is supported by our Brackenhurst campus - a 200-hectare country estate and working farm. The campus is part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship scheme, which supports effective environmental management of farm land and countryside estates. It offers a good range of wetland and terrestrial habitats, which are invaluable for learning and practising surveying techniques, and the sampling of species. You'll also benefit from active conservation projects on the estate, including bird ringing and small mammal trapping and monitoring, alongside environmental impact assessments on construction work and renewable energy technologies.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

MRes

  • A minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

MSc

  • A minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

What are we looking for?

MRes

  • A minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

MSc

  • A minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent honours biological sciences degree.

We specify these minimum entry requirements, but we will assess you individually on your ability to benefit from the course. We sometimes offer places on the basis of non-standard entry qualifications, and industrial or professional experience.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for September 2023

Mode of study

Home (UK) tuition fee

Full-time

£9,300

Part-time*

£4,650

*please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding page will answer all your questions.

Scholarships

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Alumni Discount

We're happy to be able to offer a 20% alumni discount to most current NTU students and NTU alumni for September 2023 and January 2024 entry. This discount is currently available for those starting an eligible postgraduate taught, postgraduate research or professional course.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on  +44 (0)115 848 2494 or for Scholarship help please contact us on +44 (0)115 848 4460.

Tuition fees for September 2023

Mode of study

International tuition fee

Full-time

£16,800

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please contact us at Ask NTU or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

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Apply online through our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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