Conservation Studies (MSc) 2020 entry
On the MSc in Conservation Studies you will explore the theoretical and practical aspects of conservation. You will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of conservation questions and concepts as well as learn applied skills needed for conservation careers.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc).
- Start date: 7 September 2020
- End date: 30 September 2021
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
One year full-time; part-time study is not currently offered.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- The MSc in Conservation Studies welcomes applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including, but not limited to:
- sustainable development.
As well as a keen interest in conservation, you should have some background in the scientific and mathematical methods that underpin conservation practice – ideally, through previous study in a scientific subject involving quantitative analysis. This might be through:
- A secondary school or high school level qualification (such as a Scottish Higher, A-Level, or International Baccalaureate) in a scientific discipline such as biology, environmental science, geography, or mathematics, or
- Undergraduate-level modules in relevant subjects, or
- Relevant professional experience.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £9,450
Applications should be submitted as early as possible and no later than 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- A CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- A personal statement explaining:
- why you have applied for this course
- how it relates to your personal or professional ambitions
- how your academic and professional background show you have the skills needed to work effectively at postgraduate level.
- Two original signed academic references on headed paper.
- Academic transcripts and degree certificates.
- Evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.
Each semester is organised around compulsory modules exploring conservation theory and practice.
- What is Conservation?: introduces key concepts in conservation as well as questions about what should be conserved, why, and how.
- Case Studies in Conservation: explores applied skills needed in conservation roles including functional analysis of ecosystems, policy development, and the use of digital tools.
All students will normally take an optional module in quantitative methods (semester 1). This module complements the core modules.
Alongside the compulsory modules and the quantitative methods module, you will complete one or two other optional modules in each semester. Optional modules allow you to shape the degree around your own personal and professional interests.
Optional modules are expected to be offered in the following areas:
- environmental history
- GIS and environmental management
- population biology
- qualitative research methods
- sustainable development
- sustainable fisheries.
You can also take the field methods in conservation and eco-tourism module - a week-long residential field skills module hosted in conjunction with AfriCat at the Okonjima Nature Reserve in Namibia. An additional fee is payable for this module which takes place over the spring break.
Optional modules require a minimum number of students to be offered and are subject to change (see the University’s position on curriculum development).
The final module of the MSc is the research project. The project takes the form of a period of supervised research where you will explore a conservation topic in depth. Students are encouraged to undertake their project in collaboration with an organisation involved in conservation work.
You can choose to present your research project as:
- A policy report that emphasises your ability to critically assess conservation policy and make convincing recommendations for policy changes, or
- A multi-media portfolio that emphasises your ability present conservation concepts in exciting and engaging ways, or
- A written dissertation that emphasises your ability to plan and execute academically rigorous research.
If students choose not to complete the project requirement for the MSc, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGCert or PGDip instead of an MSc.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.