Due to high levels of interest in 2018/19 applications for this programme will close on Sunday 17th June. Applications received beyond this date will be considered on an individual basis and applicants may be placed on a waiting list should further places become available.
The MSc in Conservation and Rural Development explores the issues underlying the conservation-rural development debate and offers practical and methodological tools for working at the interface between conservation and rural development.
The relationship between conservation and rural development can best be described as an uneasy alliance: on the one hand, there is substantial common ground between them in terms of preventing environmental degradation, but on the other, they are often in direct conflict. This pathway explores the issues underlying the conservation/rural development debate and offers practical and methodological tools for working at the interface between the two.
The programme is relevant to the work of national management and scientific authorities, international and national NGOs, consultancy firms and contractors, international agencies and donors.
Why study with us?
- One-year taught Master's programme
- Teaching which provides substantive natural and social sciences training in both conservation and rural development
- Formal lectures and seminars supported by residential courses and day trips including to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, previous field trips have also taken place in Scotland and Malta (these change annually)
- A mix of formal academic training and practical field conservation experience
- Research-led pathway taught by academics rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF2014) who are members of DICE
- Benefit from DICE's extensive links with international conservation organizations
About the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)
Conservation programmes offered by the School of Anthropology and Conservation are delivered by members of DICE.
DICE is Britain’s leading research center dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation and sets itself apart from more traditionally-minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:
- Break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation
- Conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors
- Disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders
- Build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training
- Strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people
Our staff have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Anthropology and Conservation was ranked 10th for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research impact and research power.
An impressive 94% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
The MSc consists of six months of coursework and five months of research. The optional modules allow you the flexibility to devise a pathway that suits your specific interests, with an appropriate balance between natural and social sciences.
Please note that not all modules necessarily run every year. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.
Modules may include & Credits
- DI1001 - Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation 15
- DI876 - Research Methods for Social Science 15
- DI880 - Conservation and Community Development 15
- DI884 - Research Skills for Natural Sciences 15
- - Dissertation - Conservation 60
Teaching and Assessment
Assessment is carried out primarily through coursework with written examinations for some modules. The research dissertation is written up in the format of a paper for publication.
This programme aims to:
- produce postgraduates equipped to play leading roles in the field of international conservation and biodiversity management
- develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and practice
- provide you with opportunities to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on conservation issues through collaborative exchange between DICE and the wider University
- develop your competence in applying theoretical and methodological skills to the implementation of conservation practice and biodiversity management
- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to policy formulation and data analysis and interpretation
- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change
- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills necessary for professional development
- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills
- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- fundamental ecological concepts and how they apply to conservation biology and biodiversity management
- conservation at the species, population, community and ecosystem levels
- fundamental social science perspectives on conservation, and the principles of interdisciplinarity
- principles and significance of resource economics
- biodiversity law, policy, and legislative frameworks
- principles and practice involved with sustainable resource use
- principles and practice involved with managing protected areas for conservation
- principles of conservation research design, implementation, and analysis, including problem-led interdisciplinary approaches
- principles and practice in conservation, business, and rural development.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the ability to marshal ideas and examples into well-organized written and oral presentations
- critical analysis of case studies
- reflective evaluation of theoretical and methodological frameworks
- design, implementation, analysis, and write-up of a substantial research project (your Master’s dissertation)
- linking theory to practice in conservation science and social science.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- field biology skills
- social science methodologies
- experimental design and statistics
- methodologies for analyzing and appraising conservation case studies
- population assessment and assessment of threat status
- methodologies for estimating sustainable wildlife management
- methodologies for protected areas management and planning.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- IT: Word, Excel, statistical and modeling programmes, email, bibliographic and web searches
- presentation skills
- writing reports and funding proposals
- time management
- using a library
- working in groups
- the skills to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
- independent learning skills required for continuing professional development.
The School has a lively postgraduate community drawn together not only by shared resources such as postgraduate rooms, computer facilities (with a dedicated IT officer) and laboratories but also by student-led events, societies, staff/postgraduate seminars, weekly research student seminars and a number of special lectures.
The School houses well-equipped research laboratories for genetics, ecology, visual anthropology, virtual paleoanthropology, Animal Postcranial Evolution, biological anthropology, anthropological computing, botany, osteology, and ethnobiology. In addition to various long-term study sites around the world, we maintain an ecology field trials area and a field laboratory on the University campus.
The DICE postgraduate student body is global. Since 1991, there have been over 500 taught MSc graduates from 75 countries, most of whom now have successful full-time conservation careers. The Ph.D. research degree programme has produced over 90 graduates from 27 different countries. Several graduates have gone on to win prestigious international prizes for their outstanding conservation achievements.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.
Our alumni progress into a wide range of organizations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
A good second class honors degree, or better, in a relevant subject; a good honors degree in other subjects together with relevant practical experience.
In exceptional circumstances, DICE admits applicants without a first degree if their professional career and experience shows academic achievement of a high enough standard.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publishes regularly and widely in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and books. Articles have recently been published in prestigious periodicals including Nature; Science; Biological Conservation; Conservation Biology; Conservation Letters; Journal of Applied Ecology; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Ecological Economics and Human Ecology.
Recent or current projects cover topics such as:
- Ecology of flagship Amazonian species – red Uakari monkeys and giant river otters
- Monitoring population trends in tigers and their prey in Kirinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra
- Chameleon trade and conservation in Madagascar
- Global biodiversity hotspots and extinction risk
- Conservation genetics of the critically endangered Seychelles paradise flycatcher
- Traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights, and protected area management
- Collaborative wildlife management and changing social contexts in Amazonian Peru
- The economic value of mammals in Britain
- Estimating extinction dates of plants, birds, and mammals
- Habitat loss and fragmentation at different scales across Europe
- Mapping the Falklands: facilitating systematic conservation planning and implementation
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
Conservation and Rural Development - MSc at Canterbury:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.
Program taught in: