Biodiversity and Global Change MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The MSc Biodiversity and Global Change provides a grounding in the science that is essential for tackling the biodiversity crisis, training the next generation of conservation professionals. It is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology, the Natural History Museum, and a network of collaborators. Together, this partnership brings together some of the leading researchers of global biodiversity changes from across many different disciplines.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a relevant subject such as biology, environmental science, or other science subject that has a strong quantitative element.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations and assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. Seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London) are a mandatory part of the course. Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The research project is assessed by dissertation, and oral presentation.

Who this course is for

This is an ideal degree for highly motivated students interested in the application of biodiversity science to conservation, and seeking a programme that provides a foundation in both fundamental and applied ecology and biodiversity science.

What this course will give you

This programme is a collaboration between three globally renowned organisations with world-leading expertise in applied biodiversity research: UCL's Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, including the Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London.

Collectively, the partners lead international research into global biodiversity declines (including leading the Living Planet Report and contributing to the Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change and Biodiversity/Ecosystem Services), understanding the ecological basis of zoonotic disease, wildlife health, field-based conservation programmes in both terrestrial and marine environments, molecular and autonomous approaches to biodiversity monitoring, harnessing the vast collections at the Natural History Museum, and securing a secure and sustainable supply of food for humans, among a vast array of other research areas.

By having access to the enormous range of world-leading research topics and methodologies, students will get a unique insight into the many ways that biodiversity research is applied to topics of critical importance for achieving a sustainable future.

The foundation of your career

This is a new MSc course. Recent alumni have secured jobs in research institutions, environmental charities/NGOs, and environmental consultancies. Alumni of the associated MRes Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation programme have progressed to careers in academic research, applied conservation, government, consultancies, charities/NGOs, wildlife filmmaking, and many other roles.


This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in environmental policy and management, applied conservation or scientific journalism.


Students are invited to divisional, departmental and other research seminars, where there are opportunities to network with academic colleagues. A number of teaching sessions are taught by staff from our partner organisations, NHM and ZSL. Students will also get access to seminar series at those organisations, and some of the research facilities if their project supervisor is based there. A number of regular social events are scheduled throughout the year, as well as wider social events organized by UCL, ZSL and NHM, to many of which MSc/MRes students will be invited.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, discussion classes, and group work, as well as undertaking personal reading and research for your dissertation under the supervision of at least one expert in the field. 

Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The research project is assessed by dissertation and a poster presentation.

In terms 1 and 2, there are typically around 15 hours per week of taught classes. Term 3 onwards is devoted to the Research Project. When considering contact hours and self-study hours together, each 15 credit module requires 150 learning hours in total and so the 90 credit project is therefore expected to require 900 learning hours.


Term 1 consists of 2 compulsory modules (30 credits total) and 1 optional module (15 credits total).

Term 2 consists of 1 compulsory module (15 credits total) and 2 optional modules (30 credits total).

Term 3 and Summer consists of working on a research project (90 credits total).

The project is non-condonable. The taught modules are condonable.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits comprising compulsory modules of 135 credits and optional modules of 45 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Biodiversity and Global Change.


Students undertake a field trip to Blakeney Point, Norfolk. Taking place towards the beginning of term one, students are introduced to field techniques and experimental design


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Students should have access to a laptop which can run R. We organise and pay for travel, and supply accommodation and food on the field trip. Students are asked to bring warm and waterproof clothing as well as suitable footwear and a sleeping bag.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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

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

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Biodiversity and Global Change at graduate level
  • Why you want to study Biodiversity and Global Change at UCL
  • What particularly attracts you to this programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.