MSc in Primate Conservation

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program Description

MSc in Primate Conservation

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

This award-winning programme combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans and wildlife in forest and woodland environments.

The MSc in Primate Conservation provides an international and multidisciplinary forum to help understand the issues and promote effective action. Whether working in the lab, with local conservation groups (including zoos and NGOs), or in the field, you will find yourself in a collaborative and supportive environment, working with international scholars in primate conservation and gaining first-hand experience to enact positive change.

  • A pioneering programme providing scientific, professional training and accreditation to conservation scientists
  • Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2008
  • Opportunity to work alongside leading academics for example Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Vincent Nijman and Dr Kate Hill
  • Excellent learning resources both at Brookes and through Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, and the Museum of Natural History
  • Links with conservation organisations and NGOs, both internationally and closer to home, including Fauna and Flora International, TRAFFIC and Conservation International
  • Field trips for MSc students to Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands as well as to sanctuaries and zoos in the UK
  • A dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world leading research.

The destruction of forests often brings irreversible loss of soil, fresh water and renewable reserves of food and fuel, as well as the loss of innumerable species of animals and plants. Changes to the local climate and global effects of forest clearance are becoming increasingly apparent. Dealing with current issues, including the clearing of forest for growing oil palm and other crops and the mining of coltan (used to charge mobile phones), the rampant pet trade, and the bushmeat crisis, may seem beyond our control. What can be done to alter these trends?

Teaching learning and assessment

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, research seminars, training workshops, tutorials, case studies, seminar presentations, site visits, computer-aided learning, independent reading and supervised research.

Each of the six modules is assessed by means of coursework assignments that reflect the individual interests and strengths of each student. Coursework assignments for six taught modules are completed and handed in at the end of the semester, and written feedback is given before the start of the following semester. A seventh module, the final project, must be handed in before the start of the first semester of the next academic year. It will be assessed during this semester with an examinations meeting at the beginning of February, after which students receive their final marks.

There is a range of assessment styles, including written coursework (essays, article reviews, scientific report writing), oral presentations, quizzes and the practical assignment or project. They are designed to test a range of competences, in both traditional and innovative ways.

An important feature of the course is the contribution by each student towards an outreach project that brings primate conservation issues into a public arena. Examples include a poster, display or presentation at a scientific meeting, university society or school. Students may also choose to write their dissertation specifically for scientific publication.

In addition to the assessed coursework, students will be assigned regular tasks on topics critical to each module. The tasks ensure that all members of the class have done relevant reading and prepared work that will feed into class discussions

Round-table discussions form a regular aspect of the course and enable closer examination of conservation issues through a sharing of perspectives by the whole group.

Career prospects

This unique postgraduate programme trains new generations of anthropologists, conservation biologists, captive care givers and educators concerned with the serious plight of non-human primates who seek practical solutions to their continuing survival. It provides the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable you to contribute to arresting and reversing the current devastating destruction of our tropical forests and the loss of the species that live in them.

You will be joining a supportive global network of former students working across all areas of conservation in organisations from the BBC Natural History Unit through to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and in roles from keeper and education officer in zoos across the UK and North America to paid researcher at institutes of higher education. Some of our students have even gone on to run their own conservation-related NGOs.

Entry requirements

You will normally be required to have, or be expecting, an honours degree in anthropology, biology, ecology, psychology or an acceptable related discipline.

If you are not a graduate, or if you have graduated in an unrelated discipline, you will be considered for entry to the course if you can demonstrate in your application and at an interview that you are able to work at an advanced level in the discipline. You may also be asked to write a short essay and/or present evidence of original work in support of your application.

We will consider appropriate credits obtained elsewhere. Accreditation of prior learning (e.g. a conversion course or an advanced research training course) will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the course manager. Accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) will similarly be considered. However, it must be advised that, because the taught aspect is a key component of the course, credit for prior learning will only be given in exceptional cases.

Transfer between part-time and full-time modes, transfer from the diploma to the MSc, or deferral of study may be possible in certain circumstances at the discretion of the examination committee. The programme lead is willing to discuss with international students how the programme can be adapted to their needs, especially through tutorials, study visits and distributed learning.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 25, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
12 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
6,270 GBP
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Oxford, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 12 - 24 months
Price 6,270 GBP
(Non-EU full time: 13,100 GBP)