BSc(Hons) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science

Two people looking out to sea using a land telescope.
Entry year
2020/21
Course code
45MN
Application
UCAS
Level
Undergraduate
Tariff points
112
Department
Applied Sciences
Campus
Frenchay
Duration
Three years full-time; four years sandwich degree
Delivery
Full-time and part-time
Programme leader
Dr David Fernandez

Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2020

Page last updated 25 September 2020

Introduction

Study wildlife from a scientific perspective on this specially-developed degree, created in partnership with Bristol Zoo.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Why study wildlife ecology and conservation?

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

We need ecologists who can use their skills and scientific knowledge to help tackle these issues, and explore new and novel approaches to conserving wildlife.

By looking at the nature of global biodiversity, and the effects of habitat loss and climate change, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and tools you need to make a difference in this field.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science 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, you'll delve into the relationship between wildlife and society, and consider the impact of human activities on the living world.

Deepen your knowledge of conservation by carrying out work 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 and where possible, 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.

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

Where can it take me?

You'll be well prepared to go into a wide range of jobs. You could work in national and international wildlife conservation, conservation consultancy, media and wildlife film-making, wildlife and enterprise, or wildlife conservation research.

As a science graduate, your skills will be highly valued, and you could go into a range of non-science graduate positions.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

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

Year one

You will study:

  • Life on Earth
  • The Earth
  • Field Skills (includes residential field trip, where possible)
  • Wildlife and Society.

Year two

You will study:

  • Environmental and Field Techniques (includes residential trip, where possible)
  • Conservation in Practice
  • Wildlife Ecology
  • Ecology and Ecosystem Protection.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four 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.

Final Year

You will study:

  • Research Project or Dissertation Project
  • Contemporary Conservation Science.

Plus four optional modules from:

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

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.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

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 and where possible, fieldwork.

One of your modules will take place at Bristol Zoo (during your first two years), 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. Where possible, you'll go on funded residential trips to Devon and Tenerife, and an optional expedition to Cuba or Madagascar.

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

Receive one-to-one guidance and feedback throughout from our experienced academic and personal tutors.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year: 

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
132%68%0%100%
228%67%5%100%
322%78%0%100%

Assessment

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

You'll be assessed with unseen, open-book and practical exams, essays, practical reports, individual and group projects, oral and visual presentations, case study analysis, taxonomic collections and problem-solving exercises. 

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.

The first year assessments don't contribute to your final degree mark.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
137%46%17%100%
225%65%10%100%
322%65%13%100%

Features

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), this course provides you with the tools to succeed in your future career.

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 four 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 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 two residential trips including a trip to Dartmoor during Year 1, with optional final-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. Due to the covid-19 pandemic we may have to run suitable alternatives to these trips.

You'll investigate a range of natural and semi-natural habitats, and develop the practical skills to study wildlife and conservation science in the field.

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

Although you will not be working directly with wildlife, this course offers a unique partnership with Bristol Zoo Gardens, giving you access to the zoo's facilities and expertise.

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.

There are also many options for postgraduate study and research degrees.You could specialise in an area such as wildlife film-making, science communication or environmental consultancy.

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

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

We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2020. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Literature, Mathematics and Double Science, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as alternatives to GCSEs.
  • English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
  • A-level subjects: Grade C in a Science subject.
  • Relevant subjects: Subjects that meet the Science requirement for this course: Applied Science, Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Maths. Use of Maths, Physics, Psychology, Science in the Environment, Statistics.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: Six units in a Science subject. Please list the units you are studying in your application. For further advice on acceptable units, please email us.
  • Access: 15 Level 3 credits at Merit in a Science subject.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A minimum Grade 5 in a Higher Level Science subject.

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be eligible for BSc(Hons) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science (with Foundation Year).

International applicants

For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages. If you are an international student and do not meet the academic requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

Full Time