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Level 3 Extended Diploma

Countryside Management (Wildlife Conservation)

  • Level(s) of study: Further education
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Two years full-time

About the course

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.

Why choose Brackenhurst

Brackenhurst is set in stunning countryside just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre. We are part of Nottingham Trent University. We offer college courses alongside our degree courses, all taught by our skilled, experienced and supportive staff.

At Brackenhurst, you’ll have access to incredible facilities. These include an animal unit, farm facilities, 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.

We have limited on-site accommodation available for students studying on this course. Please contact us for more details.

Getting here

Brackenhurst is easy to get to. We’re just 14 miles from Nottingham city centre, next to the town of Southwell. Find out more about getting here.

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.

  • Year One

      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.

  • Year Two

    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.

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.

Covid-19 Planning

We will be adopting a range of blended teaching and learning techniques including online and face-to-face (where practical) to ensure that students can meet their learning outcomes in full. We will respond proactively to any national or local policy changes (including lock down) to ensure student safety as our primary concern whilst continuing to focus on offering a comprehensive student academic experience and will work flexibly with our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by Covid 19.

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 could earn up to £18,000
  • countryside / game ranger- you could earn up to £20,000
  • ecological assistant- you could earn up to £22,000
  • nature conservation officer- you could earn up to £24,000
  • zookeeper- you could earn up to £24,000

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.

There is a wealth of wildlife living on the Brackenhurst Campus including hedgehogs, bats, great crested newts and various species of birds. You'll use the campus as an outdoor classroom and gain a wealth of practical skills.

Entry requirements

For 2020 entry you'll need:

  • Four GCSEs including Science at grade 4 / C or above and including maths or English at grade 4 / C or above.
  • If you have a grade 3 / D in maths or English (where the other subject is at least grade 4 / C), you’ll need to complete GCSE retakes as 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.

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, you’ll get your results on Thursday 20 August 2020. Other exam results will also come out 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 read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

It’s easy to get here – we’re just a bus ride away from Nottingham city centre

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418