Countryside Management

Key Facts

Code D455
  • Typical A-level offer

    BCC with C in relevant science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Studies, Maths, Physics)

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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Do you want to work outdoors and have the countryside as your office? Yes? This sounds like this course is for you. The course will give you a detailed understanding of how the countryside works and how it can be managed to maximise the benefits to wildlife, habitats, farmers and recreational users. Here is why we think Aberystwyth is a great place to study countryside management:

  • Industry leader in education and training for countryside careers
  • Flexibility to change course and choose modules
  • Enthusiastic and experienced staff
  • Regular site visits and study weeks
  • Located in one of Europe’s largest centres for environmental research
  • Stunning coastal location
  • Opportunities foreign exchanges
  • Some modules can be taken in Welsh or English

92% student satisfaction on our Countryside Management degree scheme (NSS 2016)

 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS): 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from IBERS who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views


Why study Countryside Management at Aberystwyth?

  • Passionate teaching staff who are experts in their field.
  • A track record of getting students into rewarding conservation careers.
  • 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.


What are Countryside Management Graduates doing now?

Past students have gained work as;

  • Conservation officers
  • Estate Managements
  • Environmental educator and interpreter
  • 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?

What will I get from my degree?

Employability is embedded in our teaching. Our students leave Aberystwyth University with the skills including;

• research and data analysis skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• a thorough grounding in information technology 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?

Countryside Management studies a broad range of subject matter to allow a holistic approach to managing countryside resources.

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the two year programme.

In the first year you 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 multifunctional countryside
  • Rural tourism and countryside recreation
  • 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
  • How visitors are managed on countryside sites
  • Countryside access and rights of way management
  • Adventure tourism
  • 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:

  • Methods of enhancing the populations of UK wildlife
  • The conservation of global biodiversity
  • Interpretation and environmental education
  • Sustainable tourism
  • The impacts of intensive, extensive and organic agricultural systems on the environment
  • Environmental law, protection and consultancy
  • Man-made threats to natural ecosystems
  • Interpretation and environmental education
  • 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 assignments, essays, practical exercises, 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

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth, the course, the town and the lectures were all fantastic and I enjoyed the modules studied. I believe my university course gave a more rounded view of conservation, agriculture and eco-tourism as a whole, which helped my understanding in this sector and aspects of conservation, agriculture and eco-tourism I otherwise wouldn’t have learnt about – rather than ‘just’ the bird knowledge I was learning in my own time.  I had a genuine interest in conservation and especially bird conservation and I spent most of my free time contributing to bird (such as the BirdAtlas / breeding bird surveys at my ringing site and ringing itself) or moth (through moth trapping) data in my free time. I also volunteered for the RSPB on a reserve.  This, along with a degree, is very important to potential employers – you have to be determined with a genuine passion to get anywhere in the conservation sector.
Sarah – Breeding Bird Survey National Organiser, British Trust for Ornithology

Countryside Management brings together just how the natural environment revolves around us as humans. It's an eye-opening course that puts into perspective how geology, ecology, and land-use has shaped an intrinsically diverse countryside into one of the most naturally diverse nations in the world. Unlike other courses, Countryside Management encompasses every aspect of the environment making you the expert in a wide range of studies. The field trips will allow those eager for adventure to traverse great mountain tops such as Cadair Idris and experience the real countryside.
Daniel Creech

Countryside Management is a thought-provoking course with some amazing field trips and visits as well as an awesome study tour in the first year and the staff are really friendly and helpful.
William Wilf Davies

Like everyone I speak to who has studied at Aberystwyth I cannot rate the course highly enough. The lecturers are fantastic and their experience of working in the field combined with research of their particular subject areas means the content of the course is up-to-date. The course has given me the grounding required to start as a countryside trainee and progress up the career ladder.
Anna - Westgate Parks Development Officer, Kent County Council

The BSc Countryside Management course has proven to be the most useful component of my education career so far. I’d highly recommend the course to anyone who wants a head start in the environmental sector. And there couldn’t be a better place to study than Aberystwyth!Luke - Wildlife Biologist, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Canada

I developed my survey skills for protected species such as great crested newt, reptiles, birds, mammals (pine m.arten, wild cat, red squirrel, bats and badger) and habitat surveys during and following my time at Aberystwyth University.
Neil – Ecology Matters Consultancy 

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and my time at Aberystwyth and feel that it has enabled me to pursue and progress my countryside career. It was the breadth of the subjects covered on the course that enabled me to adapt to work successfully in a variety of different countryside posts all over the country. The course taught me excellent scientific and analytical skills and from this starting point I have complemented them with practical skills built up over several years as a countryside ranger.
Paul - Inverewe Estate Manager, National Trust for Scotland

Typical Entry Requirements

A Levels BCC with C in relevant science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Studies, Maths, Physics)

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

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM with specified subjects

UCAS Tariff:
96 - 112

International Students

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

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

Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary. For further information, please contact

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