BSc (Hons)

Wildlife Conservation

  • UCAS code(s): D449 / D447
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Sandwich / Full-time
  • Location: Brackenhurst campus
  • Starting: September 2016
  • Course duration: 4 / 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • ***The entry requirements may be different while in clearing***

This course combines the scientific principles of animal function and behaviour with conservation biology. You will acquire sound knowledge of the ecological processes and theories surrounding wildlife conservation while developing the skills to identify, monitor and manage wild animals and their habitats. You will graduate with a range of transferable skills, enabling you to work in the diverse field of wildlife conservation in the UK and overseas.

Why choose this course?

This degree will give you the opportunity to learn through practical experience and develop a strong understanding of essential aspects such as animal biology, wildlife surveying and habitat management principles. You will be able to carry out your own personal piece of wildlife research, all the while gaining skills to enable you to work in the diverse field of wildlife conservation in the UK and abroad.

  • You will be taught at Brackenhurst campus, which is the ideal rural environment for studying wildlife conservation. With easy access to Nottingham city centre you get the best of both worlds.
  • You will take part in a residential overseas field course (currently to Spain) during your second year. This will enable you to study wildlife in a range of habitats. The field course includes studies on:
    • habitat preferences of wild boar
    • optimal foraging in greater flamingos
    • the relationship between song complexity and territory size in birds.
  • There is the opportunity to go on a further optional field course to Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, South Africa in your final year.
  • You can choose to take part in our International Exchange programme and study abroad for part of your course.
  • 100% of students are satisfied with this course (National Student Survey 2015).
  • You'll learn from our expert staff who have recently had pieces of work featured on ITV's Nature Nuts and in The Conversation .
  • Research undertaken in your final year is often used by conservation organisations.
  • You'll be in great company - David Attenborough was awarded an honorary degree from NTU in 2010.
* 100% of students are satisfied with this course. (National Student Survey 2016)

What you'll study

  • Year One

    • Anatomy and Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species.

    • Behaviour

    Study patterns of behaviour and the reasons why animals behave as they do, both in the wild and in captivity. Topics covered include learning, sexual behaviour, communication, aggression, social structure, resource acquisition, and behaviour in captive and natural environments.

    • Biodiversity Conservation

    Explore the biological diversity on Earth, focusing on the abundance and distribution of species. Investigate theories addressing evolution, the causes of mass extinctions, and the conservation of species.

    • Ecology: Terrestrial and Water

    Study the interaction of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) factors in relation to the distribution of populations and communities within ecosystems.

    • Wildlife Surveying

    Learn a range of common survey techniques typically utilised by ecological or environmental consultants and wildlife conservationists through on and off-site surveying sessions.

    • Skills for Scientists

    Develop your skills in scientific writing and communication along with practical laboratory skills. Learn appropriate techniques and specialisms such as geographical information systems (GIS).

  • Year Two

    • Applied Habitat  Management

    Study a wide range of natural, semi-natural and man-made habitat types and associated species. Look at integrated management techniques for multi-use habitats via site-based evaluations.

    • Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology

    Explore the way in which animals behave in relation to their environment. Study areas such as the selfish gene, optimal foraging, game theory and sexual selection.

    • Environmental Monitoring and GIS

    Understand the methods and processes involved in monitoring environmental quality and damage. Study the mapping and analytical techniques used in GIS and remote sensing.

    • Experimental Design and Analysis

    Cultivate an understanding of research methodology, hypothesis testing, statistical analysis and data presentation.

    • Wildlife Population Biology

    Develop an understanding of wildlife population dynamics and the transmission and control of diseases. Explore the principles of inheritance and how these may be applied within population biology and the management of selective breeding programmes.

    • Wildlife Law and Policy

    Gain an introduction to the broad range of legal and policy issues that affect those engaged in wildlife conservation and protecting the environment.

  • Year Three

    • Placement year for students on the sandwich course
  • Final year

    • Dissertation

    Undertake independent research, under supervision. Focus on your own area of interest within wildlife conservation. Previous studies include the behaviour of translocated ospreys, the impact of countryside stewardship on farmland birds, and the influence of visitors on captive orangutans.

    • Advanced Ecology

    Explore the communities and ecosystems of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. Look at the impacts that humans and environmental change have upon them.

    • Wildlife Management

    Understand the ecology and dynamics of animal populations. Evaluate practices such as harvesting, population control and species reintroduction.

    Example optional modules (chose two of the following):

    • African Ecosystems (module and study trip runs in September prior to Final Year and has additional fee)
    • Global Agriculture and Food Security
    • Environmental Politics, Issues and Ethics
    • Environmental Assessment and Management
    • Adaptive Physiology
    • Wildlife Conflicts and Resolution.

Course specification

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

How you’re taught

You will be assessed using a variety of methods including the following.

Coursework 50%

  • Coursework exercise – 17%
  • Portfolio – 33%

Exams - 50%

Careers and employability

Your future career

Upon graduation, you will have the skills needed to become a:

  • Conservationist
  • Ecologist
  • Ecological Consultant
  • Environmental Officer
  • Field Biologist
  • Project Ecologist
  • Ranger
  • Species Officer
  • Warden
  • Wildlife Journalist
  • Wildlife Researcher
  • Zoo Keeper

Our graduates work for companies such as:

  • Natural England
  • RSPB
  • RSPCA
  • Local and county councils
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Ecological consultancies
  • Various zoos and wildlife parks such as Longleat Safari Park and Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, South Africa.

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 you as a career and at the same time significantly increase employment prospects.

Placements can be undertaken with one or several organisations, either in the UK or abroad. A placement diploma is available for students who have undertaken a substantial placement of at least 36 weeks. A placement certificate in available for students who have undertaken a shorter placement of at least 10 weeks.

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
  • RSPB
  • Sheffield Ecology Unit
  • West Midland Safari Park
  • World Owl Trust
  • WWT Washington Wetland Centre.

International Exchange

This course also offers the opportunity to get involved in our International Exchange programme and study abroad at another university for part of the second year. Students have previously been involved in exchanges with the University of Guelph in Canada and Murdoch University in Australia.

Entry requirements

For 2016 entry you will need one of the following:

  • 280 UCAS tariff points from three A-levels (or two AS-levels and two A-levels) including an A-level grade C or above in a Science subject, excluding General Studies
  • a BTEC Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (including relevant science modules).

You will also need GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

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.

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 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.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good 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 on our Your Application page. 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.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

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.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

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 pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418