MSc in Conservation Science

Imperial College London

Program Description

MSc in Conservation Science

Imperial College London

MSc in Conservation Science

This unique course will give you the skills required for success in the highly competitive field of international conservation.

It is taught in partnership with three of the most high-profile conservation practitioners in the UK:

  • the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
  • the Institute of Zoology, the research division of the Zoological Society of London
  • the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

You will be immersed in the ongoing conservation work of these organisations, and will be able to choose six-month research project topics linked to their conservation programmes, ensuring that your project contributes to real-world conservation.

The course provides a strong quantitative basis for conservation work, including decision theory, conservation planning, statistical computing and modelling.

By learning to collect, analyse and use both socioeconomic and biological information, you will gain a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the theory and practice of conservation.

By the end of the course you will not only have developed an ability to analyse conservation issues, but you will also know how to put this understanding into action, implementing successful conservation projects.


The taught element of the course is arranged in week-long modules and cover topics such as the current state of the environment, poverty-environment linkages, drivers of biodiversity loss, conservation ethics and key techniques in conservation. You also study a number of real world case studies.

The course has a particular focus on interactive group work. Through this you will develop the skills you need to succeed as a conservation professional:

  • writing proposals
  • managing projects
  • facilitating stakeholder engagement
  • presenting posters
  • giving talks at scientific forums

A 23-week individual research project, conducted under supervision, accounts for 50% of your overall degree mark. Your project, to be written up as a thesis, can be on any topic within the broad area of conservation science as long as it has a clear application to conservation of the natural world. Some projects are purely ecological, and others pure social science. Many have aspects of both. Past project titles include:

  • Livelihoods in an artisanal fishing community and the effect of ecotourism
  • Reconciling protected area management and sustainable development in the Indian Himalayas
  • Resolving human-bear conflict in the Venezuelan Andes
  • Evaluating the use of camera traps to estimate animal abundance

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in any subject. Applicants without the relevant level of qualification but substantial field experience may be considered.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

English language requirements

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 17, 2015
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
1 year
Full time
9,400 GBP
Start date Oct. 2016
United Kingdom London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 9,400 GBP
- Home/EU; £19,200 - Overseas