Countryside Conservation

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BSc Countryside Conservation Code D447 Register for an Open Day Register for an Open Day

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Key Facts

Code D447
  • Typical A-level offer

    BCC with C in relevant science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Studies, Maths, Physics). Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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Are you passionate about wildlife and want to work in wildlife and habitat conservation? Then this is the course for you. Tailored to meet the needs of the conservation industry it will give you the skills and knowledge you need to get the job you dream about.

Here is why you should consider this course: 

  • Aberystwyth University is an industry leader in education and training for countryside careers; 
  • The Institute organises regular visits to stunning conservation, wildlife and recreation sites.

Student Satisfaction and Employability Results

Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 92% student satisfaction (NSS 2018)

98% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 3% more than Biological Science graduates nationally, (HESA 2018*)


The Complete University Guide - Agriculture & Forestry Top 10Why study Countryside Conservation at Aberystwyth?

  • You will be taught and mentored by passionate teaching staff who are experts in their fields.
  • We are proud of our  track record of getting students into rewarding conservation careers. Last year, 97% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months (DLHE, 2017). More information can found here.
  • Learn and live in an exceptional environment where you will be surrounded by a great diversity of beautiful environments, including marine, moorland, mountain, waterways, grassland and coast.
  • The Dyfi National Nature reserve on your doorstep.
  • Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire and the Brecon Beacons National Parks in driving distance.
  • Ynys Hir RSPB reserve just up the road (as seen in Springwatch).
  • The Cambrian mountains as a backdrop.
  • Cardigan Bay with its bottle-nosed dolphins.

Want to study in Welsh?

Some of our modules are taught in Welsh as well as English. If you study through the medium of Welsh you may be eligible for a generous bursary.

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Ecology * BR13510 10
Evolution and the Diversity of Life BR14310 10
Introduction to Biology BR11610 10
Land Use BR11810 10
Making the British Countryside BR11920 20
People and the Countryside BR15620 20
Study and Communication Skills * BR12410 10
Studying the Dynamic Countryside BR12610 10
The Biosphere BR13210 10
The Development and Management of British Habitats * BR10810 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
An Introduction to Landscape Ecology and Geographic Information Systems * BR25520 20
Arctic Ecology Field Course * BR23620 20
Countryside Management in Practice BR27020 20
Ecological Surveying * BR21420 20
Research Methods * BR25620 20
Wildlife Management BR27220 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Food, Farming and the Environment * BR21920 20
Vertebrate Organisms BR26820 20
Visitor Management BR24020 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation * BR32330 30
Global Biodiversity Conservation BR33420 20
The Agri-Environment BR30420 20
Wildlife Conservation BR34520 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Countryside Management in Practice (Study Week) BR31910 10
Terrestrial Ecology Field Course BR33110 10
Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Conservation (Trec) Field Course BR30120 20
Biodiversity of Birds BR31320 20
Environmental Law * BR34610 10
Communicating Research * BR31710 10

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


What are Countryside Conservation Graduates doing now?

Past students have gained work as:

  • Conservation officers;
  • Biodiversity officers;
  • Conservation site managers;
  • Rangers for organisations i.e. National Trust, National Parks, county wildlife trusts, or the RSPB;
  • Environmental consultancy.

How will this degree equip me for the future?

Employability is embedded in our teaching. Our students leave Aberystwyth University with the skills which include:

• research and data analysis skills;
• enhanced  information technology skills;
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills;
• the ability to work independently;
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines;
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form;
• self-motivation and self-reliance;
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In the first year you may have the chance to discover:

  • How the landscape has been created (geology, geomorphology and historic development);
  • Who owns land and how it is managed;
  • The roles, responsibilities and actions of the main governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in the management of a multi functional countryside;
  • The diversity of life that exists on earth;
  • The ecological processes that govern life on earth;
  • The variety of habitats that make up the British countryside.

In the second year you may explore:

  • How to manage wildlife and habitats in the UK;
  • The use of Geographical Information Systems;
  • Landscape and spatial ecology;
  • Methods of surveying and monitoring wildlife;
  • The impact of agriculture on the environment;
  • Research methods.

In the third year you may study:

  • The ecological concepts that need to be applied to the conservation of endangered flora and fauna in terrestrial and aquatic habitats;
  • The conservation of global biodiversity;
  • The impacts of intensive, extensive and organic agricultural systems on the environment;
  • Environmental law, protection and consultancy;
  • Man-made threats to  natural ecosystems;
  • Avian biodiversity;
  • Interpretation and environmental education;
  • You will also have the opportunity to take part in a residential field course, putting your theoretical knowledge to practical; application. Present destinations include the coast of Ireland, Sweden, Borneo and Wales.   In addition, you will also undertake an independent item of research in area of study that you are interested in.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a balanced programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work which will be supplemented by visits to a variety of countryside sites managed by differing countryside agencies.

You will be assessed through vocational skills based assignments,  essays, survey reports, portfolios, oral presentations and exams.

More Information:

  • You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.
  • You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. 

Student Views

The Countryside Conservation degree scheme is great for anyone wanting a career in the great outdoors. The variety of modules from agriculture and forestry to sustainable energy and wildlife management encourage you to think of the countryside as a mosaic of landscapes. Fortunately, this mosaic of landscapes is right on the doorstep of Aberystwyth University, and the frequent field trips the course has to offer place you in many different habitats, from wetlands, forest, heathland, organic farms and the fantastic Ynys-las sand dunes. If you have a passion for wildlife and the outdoors I would highly recommend this scheme! Tomos Iwan Jones

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth, and the course gave me a wealth of knowledge and skills, which along with voluntary experience got me to where I am today. The quality of the course tutors is what really made it for me though – they really brought the subject alive.
Helen - Area warden for Snowdon working for the Snowdonia National Park Authority

I am extremely proud of what I achieved at Aberystwyth. The course was intense and required a lot of hard work but if you are willing to apply yourself fully then it will provide you with an essential grounding in conservation that you can take further after completion
Sophie - Volunteer Conservation Officer (VCO), The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire (BCN)

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BCC with C in relevant science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Studies, Maths, Physics). Candidates taking a science A level with an associated practical skills assessment will also be required to pass the practical component.

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics and a Science subject

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM with specified subjects

International Baccalaureate:
28 with 5 points in a relevant science subject at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
Pass overall with 70% in a science subject

The University operates an inclusive admissions policy and our offers can vary. Please refer to our country-specific pages for details of the international qualifications we accept. For further information, contact

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