The objective of our MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills programme is to prime you for employment as a fully skilled field ecologist working as an ecological consultant or conservation ecologist.
To achieve this, the School of Biological Sciences has teamed up with ecological consultants at RSK Group Ltd since 2011, and more recently with Aspect Ecology, to deliver a course that provides the skills and knowledge demanded by these industries. There is hands-on and field-based training and, in addition to the taught component, you will have the opportunity to embark on a six-month work placement with a leading ecological consultancy. A bursary for this period is provided by the employer.
More than half of all credits on this programme are overseen by consultants when you choose to take a placement, making this course unique in the UK, and the current course employment rate in the ecology and ecological consultancy sectors is 100% (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016/17).
IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent)
Entry requirements: Normally a good undergraduate honours degree (2:1 or above), or equivalent from a university outside the UK, in a related subject such as biological sciences, geographical sciences, agricultural sciences or environmental sciences, but each application will be considered individually.
What will you study?
Vegetation Survey and Assessment
Invertebrate Survey and Identification
Vertebrate Survey and Assessment
Project Placement or Wildlife Management Project
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £9,500 per year
New international students: £20,600 per year
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Financial support for your studies
You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK and other EU countries may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.
The fees given are for entry in the academic year starting in September 2021, and will be confirmed in your offer letter.You can find more information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
What career can you have?
All our master’s programmes emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a University of Reading MSc graduate, you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. 100% of our graduates are in work or study 15 months after the end of their course; of those in full-time employment, 92% were in graduate-level roles(Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18; Postgraduate (Taught) responders from Biological Sciences). Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research, either in industry or in universities.
Typical roles of graduates from our ecology and wildlife-based MSc programmes include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants. Graduates from our biomedical MSc programme typically go on to pursue PhD studies or work in the pharmaceutical industry.