BSc (Hons)

Wildlife Conservation

Red Squirrel
  • UCAS code(s): D447 / D449
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Brackenhurst Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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 to Spain during your second year. This will enable you to study wildlife in a range of habitats. The field course includes studies on:
    • estimating the presence of brown bears
    • sampling the population of wolves via howl recordings
    • using invertebrate sampling to determine water quality
  • You will also take part in a residential field course in your final year. There is the opportunity to study wildlife in the UK, South Africa (Mankwe Wildlife Reserve) or Mauritius. The field courses currently include studies on:
    • coastal management
    • the effect of savannah burning on large mammal diversity
    • the impact of turbidity on reef fish assemblages.
  • You can choose to take part in our International Exchange programme and study abroad for part of your course.
  • 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.
Video Icon
Hannah Bond
Hannah tells us about her life as a student studying BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University.

What you'll study

You'll study essential aspects of anatomy and physiology, behaviour, evolution, wildlife surveying and habitat management. Explore current areas of global concern, including the effects of habitat loss on wildlife species, alongside approaches to their conservation.

  • Year One

    Applied Anatomy and Physiology

    Gain a broad understanding of animal structure and function across a range of species. This includes cell physiology, molecular genetics, transport systems, and reproduction.

    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.

    Conservation Organisations and Wildlife Issues

    Investigate the role that various organisations play in the conservation of wildlife across the globe. Debate topical wildlife issues such as the relationship between badgers and TB. National and global dimensions of wildlife law and policy are tackled covering issues of securing biodiversity and sustainability.

    Ecological Census Techniques

    Study the purpose of, and undertake, ecological surveys, using industry-recognised techniques. Learn species identification for a range of taxonomic groups such as birds, plants and invertebrates.

    Principles of Ecology

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

  • 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.

    Experimental Design and Analysis

    Cultivate an understanding of research methodology, hypothesis testing, statistical analysis and data presentation. You'll also learn to plan and conduct scientific studies, and to analyse the data collected.

    Wildlife Field Techniques and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    Develop an understanding of the processes involved in assessing the status of wildlife using a range of field techniques, data acquisition and processing, particularly through GIS. This module includes a week-long field course to Spain.

    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. You'll learn about the national and global dimensions of wildlife law and policy, including issues of securing biodiversity and sustainability.

    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.

  • Year Three

      This is a placement year for students on the four-year course.
  • Final year

    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.

    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.

    Wildlife Management

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

    You'll also choose two optional modules, one of which must be a field course:

    Africa Field Course

    Investigate the function and conservation of African ecosystems by way of a 10-day residential field trip. You'll undertake surveys and assessments and explore their implications.

    UK Field Course

    Investigate the function and conservation of UK ecosystems by way of a 10-day residential field trip. You'll undertake surveys and assessments and explore their implications.

    Adaptive Physiology

    This module considers how animals cope with challenging environments, such as high altitudes and deep seas.

    Wildlife Conflicts and Resolution

    Critically analyse topical issues relating to wildlife conservation and develop your understanding of the importance of ethical theories and scientific methods in forming views.

Course specification

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

How you’re taught

You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (50%), written (50%) and practical (0%).
  • Year 2 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
  • Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%) and placements (0%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%) and placements (0%).

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.

You'll have the opportunity to go on field trips to observe wildlife in the field such as the grey seal colony at Donna Nook Nature Reserve, bitterns at Attenborough Nature Reserve, a week-long field course to Spain and a 10-day trip to study wildlife in a novel environment with a choice of locations including the UK, South Africa or Mauritius.

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
  • species officer
  • warden
  • wildlife journalist
  • wildlife researcher
  • Safari Tour Guide

Our graduates work for companies such as:

  • Natural England
  • The Wildlife Trusts
  • RSPB
  • ecological consultancies
  • 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 Year Two and Year 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 6 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 Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

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.

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

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC, including a Science subject at grade C and excluding General Studies; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM, including relevant Science modules; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade C equivalent in a Science subject; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

For this course we accept the following Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Environmental Studies, Ecology, Psychology and Zoology.

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

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

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.

The UCAS Tariff

We've created a UCAS Tariff calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

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 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. 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 contact 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 the instructions for applying. 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.

Apply now

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.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What do the course fees cover?

Mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

You will be charged a maximum of £60 for any compulsory residential trips in the UK which will cover travel, accommodation and entrance fees where applicable.  There will be a maximum charge of £300 for overseas residential fieldwork that is compulsory to your course. Non-residential day excursions are included in the tuition fee and other non-compulsory opportunities, in the UK and abroad, may also be offered, and these will be charged at additional cost to students. A valid passport and any associated visas will also be required for field trips outside of the UK.

All students will also be expected to provide their own walking boots (with ankle support), wellingtons and waterproof trousers and coat.

Students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

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.

International fees and scholarships

For information on international and EU fees and advice on how to pay, please visit our international fees page.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University. For details and an application form please visit our international scholarships information.

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