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Conservation MSc

The Conservation MSc at UCL is widely recognised as the leading programme for aspiring nature conservation professionals. This highly successful degree programme saw its first students graduate in 1960, and nearly 80% of its graduates have gone on to secure posts related to conservation.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2018/19)

UK/EU:
£11,760 (FT) £6,070 (PT)
Overseas:
£22,620 (FT) £11,310 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 16 October 2017
Close: 27 July 2018

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applications with relevant professional experience in conservation or environmental management will also be considered.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and engages with environmental, social and policy dimensions. It has a vocational orientation, with residential field classes providing first-hand experience of practical conservation challenges. At the same time, the programme provides the scientific rigour needed for evidence-based analysis and understanding of the natural environment, which also forms a sound foundation for a career in academia.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits) full-time nine months, part-time two years is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate - four core modules (60 credits) full-time 12 weeks, part-time two years is offered.

Core modules

  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation
  • Rural Matrix
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Conservation and Environmental Management

Optional modules (indicative list):

  • Wetlands
  • Lakes
  • Marine Conservation
  • Coastal Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature, Culture, Politics
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature Conservation
  • Aquatic Macrophytes
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, computer practicals and field studies, including two residential field-classes to Norfolk and Snowdonia, as well as an optional field-class to an overseas destination. Assessment is through coursework, essays and the dissertation, which includes a presentation of dissertation results.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork includes a residential field study to a coastal site in Norfolk and a residential field study in Snowdonia, as well as the option to join a two-week field-class to an overseas destination.

Fieldwork costs may be incurred but these are dependent on module selection; please contact the department for further information on individual modules.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Conservation MSc

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The MSc provides an excellent preparation for employment with the full range of public sector and voluntary conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, and for a career in environmental research and academia.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Ecological Consultant, Applied Ecology
  • Land Management Adviser, Natural England
  • People Engagement Officer, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • DPhil in Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
  • PhD in Coastal Protected Area Conservation, University of Cambridge

Employability

Not least due to the programme's vocational orientation, Conservation MSc graduates have been very successful in securing employment with government organisations (for example DEFRA, Natural England, local councils), conservation NGOs (for example RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, IUCN, WCMC) and environmental consultancies. Equally, the Conservation MSc has provided a very good basis for future academic careers, while some graduates also found employment at zoos and botanical gardens.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Conservation MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The programme is unique not only on account of its long history and extensive alumni network, but also due to its vocational orientation and the active involvement of nature conservation professionals in the delivery of degree material.

Research groups contributing to this MSc include those concerned with environmental change; environmental modelling; and environment, science and society. The programme also benefits from the participation of staff from a variety of external conservation and environmental organisations.

Department: Geography

Student / staff numbers › 45 staff including 15 postdocs › 170 taught students › 70 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

With its vocational focus, the programme is highly suitable for students with a first degree in a relevant discipline (environmental science, geography or biology) who plan to embark on a conservation career and for conservation professionals seeking further training. It also provides an excellent foundation for further research and PhD studies.

Application deadlines

All applicants
27 July 2018

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Conservation
  • why you want to study Conservation at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 4 October 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing

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