MSc Wildlife Biology & Conservation

Postgraduate, Full-time

Wildlife Biology & Conservation MSc



Our course is the first course in Scotland to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

Overview

The greatest challenge facing conservation biologists today is the preservation of the world’s biodiversity in the face of considerable human demands on space and resources.

By combining the disciplines of wildlife biology and conservation biology, experienced staff will help you develop and apply both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to address this challenge.

This is the first and only degree in Scotland to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Our graduates have gone on to work for government agencies and independent wildlife organisations nationally and internationally.


Feral cat in the wild

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time / Distance learning)

Duration:

12-18 Months

Course details

This course has been designed in conjunction with employers and professional bodies. The main focus is on the development of practical employability skills. In recognition of the strong practical and employability focus, this the first and only degree in Scotland to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), meaning you'll graduate with an accredited MSc.

In addition to studying relevant theory, you’ll have the opportunity to develop:

  • advanced analytical skills for population investigation and management
  • practical skills used in identifying, quantifying and assessing biodiversity
  • transferable skills including communication, IT (GIS, R, Mark), problem solving, research and team working

Field course

You’ll need to be available to participate in a three-week intensive field course based in Scotland to help embed practical skills in sampling, identification (plants, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, small mammals, birds) and data analysis.

In addition, guided visits to several sites and talks from managers will highlight how conservation and management are informed by the aims and objectives of the site owners. This usually takes place in early May.

Our staff have years of experience working worldwide in wildlife conservation and consultancy and are keen to help you develop your potential. In addition, external speakers from a range of government agencies, charities and consultancies share their experiences and give insights into career options.

Lead academics and short bio 

The core academic team boast a wide range of skills and research interests. Staff include: 

  • Patrick White  (population dynamics, habitat utilisation, GIS, birds) 
  • Jason Gilchrist (behavioural ecology and biodiversity) 
  • Rob Briers (conservation planning, GIS and aquatic ecology)
  • Jay Mackinnon (botany, environmental education, social research)
  • Gavin Ballantyne (pollination ecology) 
  • Paul Ward (population and habitat modelling).  
  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a full-time course.

    The academic year is split into three trimesters with the taught modules running in either trimester 1 or 2 only. 

    You can choose to start in either September (trimester 1) or January (trimester 2). However, the development of theory and practice are best facilitated with a September start.

    You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions, field trips and independent study, supported with information on the virtual learning environment.

    As your interests develop through the taught course you'll be able to design a final research project to suit your individual goals.

  • note and pen Assessments

    There are no traditional centrally timetabled exams.

    Instead you will work on a variety of relevant professional tasks, both written and oral. Assessments include guided tour, a zoning document, a site management critique and several data driven reports. Taxonomic identification and statistical analysis are key skills. 

    In addition, you will lead a guided tour and present a research proposal pitch.

  • library Facilities

    We are based at the Sighthill Campus where we enjoy excellent well equipped laboratory and IT facilities. In addition, the good transport network around the city allows us to visit and study a range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats within easy reach of the campus.

RECOGNISED BY

Disclaimer

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above, including aspects of ecology/biology.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £6,525 £6,720
Overseas and EU £16,875 £17,370

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Careers

Returning graduates, who share their experience of the work environment each year, have emphasised the importance of the skills gained from the course in their subsequent success.

Jobs include:

  • Ecologist
  • Wildlife ranger
  • Education officer
  • Conservation project officer
  • Wildlife Technician
  • Species licensing officer

Our network of alumni have developed  careers with organisations such as:

Students amongst green vegetation learning at Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden