Students on field trip

MSci

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
45MF
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
48
Department:
Applied Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Five years full-time; six years sandwich
Delivery:
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Katy Ling
Key fact:
Make a difference to wildlife conservation on this specially designed integrated master’s, run in partnership with Bristol Zoo.

Page last updated 5 October 2017

Introduction

Why study wildlife ecology and conservation?

Conserving biodiversity and avoiding the mass extinction of species are huge global challenges.

Understanding global biodiversity, and the effects of habitat loss and climate change, is crucial in helping us find new and better ways to conserve wildlife both in the UK and around the world.

The skills, scientific knowledge and research experience you'll gain will put you in an unrivalled position for securing work in this field.

Why UWE Bristol?

MSci Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science is a five-year (six with placement year) course that explores wildlife conservation issues at local, national and global levels. Created in partnership with Bristol Zoo Gardens, it gives you unique access to the zoo's facilities and expertise.

Mixing theory with practice, along with opportunities to conduct your own original research, you'll delve into the relationship between wildlife and society, and the impact of human activities on the living world.

Hone your professional skills in natural habitats close to Bristol, including the Severn Estuary, the Cotswolds woodlands and grasslands, the Somerset Levels and Avon Gorge.

Tap into our many links with local conservation organisations, and go on placements, volunteering, field-based work and residential trips in the UK and overseas.

Choose our sandwich course option to spend your third year on a work placement in this country, Europe or further afield, applying your knowledge to topical conservation issues.

Carry out your own extended research project, working within a UWE-based research team, industry, government or an NGO. Gain master's-level research-skills, including project management, science communication and outreach skills. 

Get first-hand experience of practical tools for wildlife conservation such as eDNA, measuring environmental radiation, using UAVs (drones), and other advanced survey techniques.

Explore the steps that can be taken to alleviate biodiversity decline, and get the strong foundation you need for a career in ecological research or conservation.

Where can it take me?

This course is for people who are passionate about wildlife conservation and want to make a difference through sound science and research.

You could work in national and international wildlife conservation, conservation consultancy, media and wildlife film-making, wildlife and enterprise, or conservation education. 

You'll also be well prepared for a career in research or a PhD. 

Longer term, you could work as a lecturer, industry, NGO, government or senior consultancy scientist, science communicator or conservation specialist advisor.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (foundation year)

You will study:

  • Biology in Practice
  • Chemistry in Practice
  • Skills for Science
  • People and Science.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into year one.

Year one

You will study:

  • Life on Earth
  • The Earth
  • Wildlife and Society
  • Field Skills.

Year two

You will study:

  • Conservation in Practice
  • Environmental and Field Techniques
  • Ecology and Ecosystem Protection
  • Wildlife Ecology.

You'll need to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of your second year to go into the third year. Students that don't achieve this will transfer to the third year of the BSc(Hons) qualification.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you're studying on the six year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Year three

You will study:

  • Research Experimental Project or Research Dissertation Project
  • Contemporary Conservation Science

Plus four optional modules from:

  • Primate Ecology and Conservation
  • Forests and Agricultural Systems
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Tropical Expedition
  • Wildlife, Film and Media
  • Professional Practice in Applied Sciences.

Final year

You will study:

  • Research With Impact
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Research in Practice.

*Compulsory if you do a placement.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course offers a wide-ranging curriculum taught through lectures, seminars and tutorials, complemented by laboratory investigations, case studies, workshops, work-based experiences, fieldwork and your own research.

A significant part of the teaching takes place at Bristol Zoo, where you'll learn about live conservation projects. The zoo offers an exceptional learning facility for investigating wildlife conservation, including ex-situ conservation, animal behaviour and conservation communication strategies.

Hone and develop your skills with organisations tackling a broad variety of conservation issues, from the local to the global.

Learn about research methods, field surveys, data analysis and interpretation, essential to the scientific study of wildlife.

Use our advanced film-making equipment and expertise to produce your own conservation film.

Put the theory into practice through regular field work. You'll go on paid-for residential trips to Devon and Tenerife, and there's an optional expedition to Cuba or Madagascar.

Watch Richard, Chris and Emiko's stories of their trip to Cuba.

Receive one-to-one guidance and feedback throughout from our experienced academic and personal tutors. You'll also receive individual mentoring in advanced technical and research skills, and career support and guidance from your research project tutor.   

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
024%76%0%100%
132%68%0%100%
226%67%5%100%
322%78%0%100%
412%88%0%100%

Assessment

We use different assessments to support different learning styles, and the range of concepts, knowledge and skills we want you to develop. 

You'll be assessed with essays, practical reports and field logs, poster and oral presentations, online tests, consultancy reports and management plans, investigative reports and case studies, skills and reflective portfolios, practical and traditional exams and vivas.

We also use blogs, online portfolios and web page design, to help you develop sought-after e-communication skills.

The placement year is assessed on a reflective portfolio, work supervisor's report and oral presentation.

At master's level, we'll look at your skills portfolio, scientific writing for different audiences (including non-specialist), literature reviews, a fieldwork/practical investigative report, an oral presentation at a conference, and your research paper.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
040%60%0%100%
140%60%0%100%
245%55%0%100%
32%65%13%100%
40%87%13%100%

Features

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).

Placements

Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

You'll have opportunities to do placements, internships and volunteering.

If you choose the six year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Students have worked with organisations including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bristol Natural History Consortium, National Trust, ARKive and Kew Gardens.

You could also get overseas experience. Students have worked on the Damara terns in Namibia, and with elephants in Africa, kiwis in New Zealand and gorillas in the Cameroon.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Fieldwork

Spend a significant part of your time working in the field and getting to know the spectacular landscapes around Bristol.

There are residential visits to Dartmoor and Tenerife, with optional third year trips to Cornwall, and the chance to go on expedition to Cuba, or to the threatened forests of Madagascar, where you'll study human-wildlife interactions.

Your research project may also include fieldwork, as you explore key conservation issues at home or abroad.

Find out about a field trip in Cornwall from our students studying Marine Ecosystems and read about a recent field trip to a tropical island near Cuba to study the ecosystem.

Study facilities

The course is part-delivered at Bristol Zoo, so you'll be surrounded by wildlife and wildlife experts, working in the zoo's new Education Centre, and at their second site Wild Place.

With access to well-equipped science laboratories, a glasshouse and a dedicated field centre at the University, you'll be supported and mentored by a team of specialists at the forefront of their profession.

You'll get to use extensive equipment for fieldwork and field-based laboratory work at our field centres.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

By the end of the course, you'll be well set up for working with national and international conservation organisations, or ecological consultants such as Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust and other non-government organisations (NGOs).

Practical experience in plant and animal survey work, competency at mapping (GIS) and knowledge of monitoring protected species such as great crested newts, reptiles, bats, badgers or water voles are especially valuable in finding rewarding jobs.

If you're interested in conservation education, there are opportunities with the Field Studies Council and other educational organisations.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Full Time Course with Placement

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 48
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Double Science or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Science AS or A2. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • Specific subjects: Science at GCSE, A or AS-level
  • Relevant subjects: Maths
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include 6 units in a science subject.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include level 3 credits in Science.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A pass in a higher level science subject.

Entry requirements

This course is designed to accept a wide range of people with different educational backgrounds. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis.

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our MSci Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science course.

You will be required to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of your second year in order to progress to the third year of the course. Students that do not achieve this will transfer to the third year of BSc(Hons) qualification.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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