MSc in Conservation Ecology
Conserving biodiversity is critically important and conservation and biodiversity assessment now have a strong legislative background with targets for the maintenance and enhancement of habitats and species.
This course is designed to develop your professional and field skills, including identification and survey techniques, required for effective conservation. It is also designed to familiarise you with the key ecological concepts underlying evidence-based conservation. You will produce professional reports and assessments and undertake monitoring of species and communities. You will also gain additional skills, essential for conservation practitioners, for example:
- knowledge of wildlife legislation, planning law and environmental policy
- IT competencies, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- an understanding of the ecological requirements of different species and the implications of environmental change
- an ability to statistically interpret field data.
Teaching learning and assessment
Conservation Ecology is a modular master's course in which different subject areas relating to conservation are taught and assessed separately through assignments, presentations and project reports. It is organised on a module-credit basis, with each 20 M-level credit module representing approximately 200 hours of student input. This includes approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally timetabled through three-hour teaching blocks over the two 12-week semesters.
Teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics associated with conservation ecology, and include field visits and exercises, lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, practical exercises, laboratory sessions and project work. A key component of the course is developing field skills, including species identification. Identification techniques are taught in the field and in laboratory sessions, using expertise from the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences and, where appropriate, from the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History.
Where appropriate you will be taught by guest speakers who are conservation practitioners or who work in conservation research organisations. Some parts of the course share modules with master’s provision in Environmental Assessment and Management.
Graduates of this course gain employment primarily with environmental consultancies or agencies, conservation organisations or charities, or continue academic research as a PhD student. Some of our past students have worked or are currently working for environmental consultants, the RSPB, the Environment Agency and Natural England.
In order to successfully complete a postgraduate course, applicants are usually expected to have (or be about to attain) at least a second class honours degree in a related scientific subject from a recognised institution of higher education. If you do not have these academic qualifications, you could still be offered a place on this course if you can show evidence of the potential to succeed based on professional and/or related experiences.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, you must satisfy our English language requirements by providing us with evidence of a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, TOEFL score of 90 (internet-based).
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