Biodiversity and Conservation Management

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation Management at Aberystwyth University meets the needs of future environmental professionals and attracts students from around the world. The course is research- and practice-led, and provides a sound overview of the theoretical background of biodiversity and conservation science. This Masters degree is ideal for those wanting to pursue postgraduate studies in the fields of biodiversity, environmental science and conservation. It is also suitable for those already working in these sectors who want to obtain further relevant qualifications or for those working in other fields who wish to pursue this line of work.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2(ii) Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area or equivalent.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants are encouraged to submit an up-to-date CV as part of their application.

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Course Overview

MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Management has been designed to ensure that our graduates have the knowledge, understanding and the skill set needed to tackle ongoing challenges in conservation and the management of the world’s biodiversity.

This course will ensure that you have:

  • knowledge and understanding to critically evaluate the evidence-based solutions and policy proposed for successful conservation management at both the habitat and species level across a range of marine and terrestrial ecosystems
  • opportunities to engage with and work alongside stakeholders and conservation practitioners in real-world situations
  • experience in highly desirable skills such as remote sensing, GIS, taxonomy, habitat and conservation management, environmental impact assessment, as well as the latest molecular techniques.

You will work in and around Aberystwyth, situated between the Cambrian and Snowdonia mountain ranges, which offers a magnificent range of habitats, from coastal to uplands, and provides the ideal environment to study biodiversity and conservation management. You will also be taught by internationally recognised researchers, consultants and industry professionals operating across a wide range of environmental topics.

About this course

Degree type: MSc

Course code: J790

Duration: 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time).

Contact time: Up to 10 hours a week in the first two semesters, then mutually agreed contact time with assigned supervisor. There will be additional Field Visit days during the first two semesters.

Modules September start - 2024

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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


As well as developing many critical subject-specific skills, you will also enhance your scientific communication, teamwork, problem-solving, data handling, study and research skills. You will develop and display professionalism that will allow you to excel in any future workplace.

Career opportunities exist with organisations involved in conservation or general environmental management, such as:

  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Wildlife Trusts
  • The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • RSPB
  • National Trust
  • The Environment Agency
  • Local authority departments
  • NGOs.

Many students have also progressed to PhDs.

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied one year full-time or two years part-time. When studied full-time, the course is divided into three semesters. During the first two semesters, students complete 120 taught credits (usually six 20-credit modules), which are delivered primarily through lectures, practical, workshops, fieldwork, field visits and seminars.

During the final semester (June to September), you will complete your dissertation and will arrange your level of contact with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters, you will study a number of core modules, covering topics such as Fundamentals of Biodiversity, Environmental Management and Conservation Biology, Research Methods in the Biosciences, Ecological Monitoring and Introduction to Environmental Law and EIA. In semester one, you can choose either Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and GIS or Frontiers in the Biosciences.

You will also undertake a research training module which will give you a strong grounding in statistical techniques and analytical approaches to biological investigations, and will enhance your research skills and techniques in preparation for your dissertation undertaken in Semester 3 (June to September).

Throughout the course, a strong emphasis is placed on student-centred study. This culminates in the Masters dissertation, a key part of the course which allows you to pursue specific areas of interest.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via a mix of written assignments: case studies, essays, research projects, seminar presentations and online assignments. Successful submission of the dissertation in the final semester leads to the award of an MSc.