BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

3 years full-time

Applied Ecology and ConservationThe world is undergoing the sixth great extinction, and for the first time the cause is a single species - us. At the same time the Earth's population continues to grow, and we struggle to feed the world's poor. This degree course is aimed at those who care enough to want to do something about this: to make a difference, you need knowledge.

A degree in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation provides an academic background in fundamental ecological principles and how these can be applied to problems such as pest management and conservation biology. You will gain insights into the difficulties facing rural communities throughout the world and hands-on experience with a range of biodiversity. Our students have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the UK, Europe and further afield. Current field courses in year 2 include the Tropical Biology Field Course in Madagascar (previously Java and Borneo) and the Biodiversity field course in Spain.

Example Programme Content:

   Compulsory modules Optional modules 
Year 1

Ecology and Environmental Management

Ecology: Species and their Interactions

Exploiters and Exploited (2 Terms)

Genes and Chromosomes

Mammals: Diversity, Behaviour and Conservation

Plant Diversity, Structure and Utilisation

Practical Field Ecology            

The Living Cell

Introduction to Zoology**

Biogeography and Soils*

Countryside and the Environment*

Introduction to Environmental Science*

Soils in the Environment*

Year 2

Evolutionary Biology

Introduction to Entomology

Methods in Ecology and Environmental Management

Tropical Biology Field Course or

Biodiversity Field Course

Animal Behaviour

Birds: Diversity, Behaviour and Conservation

Invertebrate Zoology

Vertebrate Zoology: Structure, Form and Function (2 Terms) 

Science Communication

Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science

Forestry and Woodlands*

Grassland Management and Ecology*

Nature Conservation*

Environmental Science and Management Field Course*

Sustainable Resource Management*

Soil Ecology and Function*

Year 3

Conservation Biology

Research Project 

Wildlife in the Farming Environment

Behavioural Ecology and Life History Theory

Forensic Zoology

Plants, Animals and Climate Change

Urban Ecology

Conservation and Biodiversity: Global and Local Scales

Insect Ecology and Its Application


Seminars in Biology

Research Topics in Ecology

Systems Biology

Principles and Practice in Biological Control*

Resilience for Sustainable Development*

Rural Policy and Countryside Planning*

Practical Wildlife Reserve Management**

Environmental Modelling*

Water Resources*

* These modules are in another school and are only available if timetabling allows

** Places restricted

Students who wish to pursue a career in industry, research or a related field may be able to apply for a years placement between parts 2 and 3, depending on academic achievement in Part 1. The ERASMUS  programme also offers students the opportunity to undertake project work for one term in their final year at one of a number of European Universities.

Transferrable Skills:

Our students are trained in various skills, including those used in reasoning, argument and communication. You will design and execute experiments both in the field and in the laboratory (including working in a team), access information, interpret data using statistics and computing, write essays, scientific papers and reports and give presentations. You will also develop your skills relating to career management in year 2.

Career Prospects:

Honours graduates are eligible for graduate membership of the Institute for Biology, which could lead to Chartered Biologist Status, and for graduate membership of the institute for Ecological and Environmental Management.  

Our graduates are suitably qualified to enter a range of careers in fields related to ecology and conservation, such as wildlife conservation, agriculture, consultancy, industry and education. Many work for government and other public bodies, for local non-governmental organisations and charities and for private companies. They can also use their skills and problem solving abilities to enter a wide range of commercial and business occupations.

Many of our graduates also continue their studies to Masters or PhD level and may then choose to pursue a research career in either universities or research institutes. Our degree course in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation is complemented by our highly regarded MSc courses in 1) Wildlife Management and Conservation, and 2) Species Identification and Survey Skills, which each year recruit students from across the globe.

 Wing mirror view of field trip  Redkite photograph taken on campus by Dr Mark Fellowes

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