MRes / MSc

Biodiversity Conservation

Students surveying rhino
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

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

Why choose this course?

  • 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 latest Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking equipment and surveying techniques are employed by students on this course.
  • 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 will have access to a 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million campus eco-library.
Video Icon
Wilmie Burton
Wilmie tells us about her life as a student studying MSc Biodiversity Conservation at Nottingham Trent University.

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.

  • Modules

    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 coursework (40%) and an exam (60%)

    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%)
  • Deciding between and MRes and an MSc

    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 PrioritiesIncludedIncluded
    Species Recovery: Theories, Methods and TechniquesOptional*Included
    Environmental Assessment and ConsultancyOptional*Included
    Protected Species SurveyingOptional*Included
    Geographical Information Systems (GIS)Optional*Included
    Research Methods and Data AnalysisIncludedIncluded
    Research ProjectIncludedIncluded

    *Choose one of the optional modules.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)

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.

You'll have chance to take part in a research project on our Brackenhurst Campus, elsewhere in the UK or abroad.

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.

The Programme Leader for Biodiversity Conservation has links with conservation projects abroad at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan and Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa.

95% of NTU postgraduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating. (DHLE 2014/15).

Entry requirements

For 2019 entry you will need:

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.

Other requirements: Work experience in a relevant field

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 email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses
If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements
If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our international team for advice.

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

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.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more. Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

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

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

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

Fees and funding

Course fees for September 2019 are currently tbc. Course fees for September 2018 entry are:

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,800£13,900
Part-time£3,900 (for Year One*) 

*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 25% alumni discount to most current NTU students and recent NTU alumni. 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.

Course fees for September 2019 are currently tbc. Course fees for September 2018 entry are:

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,800£13,900
Part-time£3,900 (for Year One*) 

*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.

For a list of international fees for all courses and study routes in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences please visit our postgraduate fees and funding page.

When and how to pay your fees

For advice and guidance on making secure international payments to the University, please visit our international fees page.

Scholarships and other funding

If you're an international or EU student holding an offer to study with us, you can apply for one of our international scholarships.

Please visit our international scholarships page for details.

You'll also find information about EU tuition fee loans and external scholarships to study in the UK on these pages.

Advice and guidance

If you have any questions about international fees, scholarships and other funding please contact the International Development Office at international@ntu.ac.uk or +44 (0)115 848 8175.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418