MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management
The world’s environments have long been threatened by human impact. As pressures on the natural environment intensify, there is a growing need for professionals skilled in conservation and environmental management. Accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) the Environment and Resources Professional Group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management brings together the physical, chemical, biological, socioeconomic, administrative and legislative aspects of land planning, providing the skills you need for an exciting and rewarding career as an environmental conservation manager.
The MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management combines a broad understanding of the science and management of conservation, putting emphasis on integrating specialist knowledge and practical skills with IT and communication. You will develop a wide range of skills, including biodiversity, survey techniques, environmental management and monitoring systems, geographical information systems and an understanding of relevant ecological principles, legislation and regulatory frameworks. What’s more, our extensive and exciting fieldwork programme will train you in a wide range of environmental survey and assessment techniques.
- Tropical Ecology- 20 credits (Optional)
This module encompasses dive training; a 16-day excursion (variable destinations, e.g. Borneo, Honduras, Philippines); one-week tropical forest surveys, one-week coral reef diving – organism identification and surveying.
- Environmental Management and Legislation - 10 credits
We look at how legislation protects the environment, planning laws and policies, environmental economics and cost-benefit analysis.
- Wildlife Surveying - 10 credits
You will conduct pond and river water quality surveys (BMWP and PSYM methods) and river habitat surveys (RHS). You will learn freshwater invertebrate identification skills and plant identification.
- Tools for Sustainable Development - 20 credits (Optional)
This 100% coursework module includes a four-day workshop. We look at energy use/resources and climate change. We also investigate sustainable alternatives to current lifestyles, consumerism, fossil fuel use and the implications for conservation policy and practices, plus how to obtain funding for community and sustainability projects.
- Restoration Ecology - 20 credits
In this module we study ecology and biodiversity; re-wilding: beaver, lynx, wolf reintroduction; restoration approaches for various habitats and tropical forest management.
- Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation - 20 credits
You will study protected areas and their management; the impact of climate change on terrestrial habitats; agricultural systems and impact on conservation; the
ecology of rivers, lakes and marine habitats; the human impacts on freshwater habitats and identifying freshwater life.
- European Field Expedition - 20 credits
You will study vegetation surveys (forest structure surveys, thermal zone assessment, various transect techniques, habitat mapping); land use and management issues; bird survey methods (bird identification skills).
- Work Based Learning Project - 20 credits (Optional)
The optional Work Based Learning module enables our students to gain 60 hours work experience under the supervision of an employer. You will also be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise you on a suitable employer based on your area of interest. Recent organisations who have hosted our students include Capita Symonds, Natural Resources Wales, Wales Heritage Coastal Path and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
- MSc Project - 60 credits
This project is often done in co-operation with conservation organisations such as National Parks; English Nature / Countryside Council for Wales; National Botanic Garden; Environment Agency and Wildlife Trusts. Examples of recent projects include coral reef conservation in the Bahamas; feeding habits of Groupers off Honduras; deforestation in SE Asia; invasive species in Cardiff Bay; biodiversity increase with organic farming; butterfly reintroduction and habitats; recognition of Japanese Knotweed by remote sensing.
- Tropical Environmental Monitoring - 20 credits (Optional)
This module is all about conservation and wildlife / safari management. We look at field monitoring techniques and identification skills, and animal tracking on both foot and by vehicle.
- Applied Geospatial Analysis - 20 credits
This offers a practical introduction to Geographical Information Systems and their use in environmental management. We will look at remote sensing techniques; animal population modelling; pollution modelling and the use of statistical software for parametric and non-parametric analysis, correlation, regression and ANOVA analysis.
Full-time students will spend over the academic year, between 12 to 16 hours per week in lectures, practical sessions and fieldwork. The variation in hours will depend on the options chosen.
Part-time students attend the equivalent of one day per week, generally completing the MSc in two years. However, based on individual circumstances, for part time students, the MSc Project may extended into your third year of study. This would need to be agreed as part of a discussion with the course leader.
We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, problem solving tutorials, video presentations and practicals. You will also undertake fieldwork excursions within the UK and overseas (additional costs apply). The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice.
You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning by completing guided reading and various interactive computer packages. Please note some field trips will vary from a day to more than a week in duration while optional fieldwork can last for around two weeks.
You will be assessed through a range of methods depending on your module choice, these include: examinations, coursework such as writing reports of field excursions. You will also analyse case studies, undertake presentations, participate in workshops and analyse data.
The MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the Environment and Resources Professional Group. This enables graduates to progress to Chartership status following completion of the RICS assessment of Professional Competency. University of South Wales is also the only University in Wales to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
There are a number of optional overseas field trips. The Tropical Environmental Monitoring module has a field trip to Botswana while the Tropical Ecology module field trip is also overseas; this year, we went to Mexico, but we have also been to Cuba, Indonesia, Borneo and Palau. There are also a range of local field trips which will enhance your environmental conservation skills.
The Field work programme consists of:
- October – vegetation and river surveys – four days (local)
- November – restoration site visits, coastal surveys – five days (local)
- European Field excursion – eight days (residential)
- March/April – Tropical excursions (optional) – 16 days
- May – plant identification – two days (local)
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in an environmentally-related subject which could include Environmental Studies, Biology, Geography, Geology, Zoology or Wildlife Studies. Other applicants will be considered on an individual basis.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: £10250
Full-time International: £16000
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Students undertaking courses that contain elements of outdoor fieldwork must wear appropriate outdoor clothing, which includes suitable wet weather gear, rugged boots/shoes and hat/gloves. The location and weather will determine the nature of clothing/footwear worn, and therefore the cost, and students will be informed of these requirements at the start of their studies. Please note that inappropriate clothing/footwear may prevent students from participating in an activity. The School of Applied Sciences subsidises the cost of compulsory fieldwork in the UK and overseas. Although kept to a minimum, some overseas compulsory fieldwork may have additional costs applied. Optional fieldwork modules are typically at the cost to the student. Generally, students will be expected to pay for their food unless specifically included within the field course. Students will need to supply suitable field notebooks in order to take observations/notes during field courses. Please note that some fieldwork may require visas and vaccinations, which are at the cost to the student and will vary depending on individual circumstances.
|£1500 - £1600
Tropical Environmental Monitoring fieldwork presently conducted in S. Africa and generally covers approximately a 2 week period. The costs include; ‘internal’ transport – generally between Johannesburg and the training camp – accommodation at the training camp plus accommodation the night before and after the camp (Johannesburg) – all food and soft drinks at the camp.
|£2000 - £2800
Up to two and a half weeks Tropical Ecology and Conservation fieldwork in a tropical location including marine and terrestrial study sites. Recent study centres have included Mexico, Honduras and Borneo. Additional £350 for scuba diving qualification if not already held.
Students who successfully secure a placement in industry to complete their project would be expected to pay their own travel costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.
|Field Trip *
European Field Expedition to a European location to study wildlife and forestry ecology, various terrestrial habitat surveys, studies of land use and conservation management. Cost includes international transport, internal transport, guides, accommodation and most meals.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
Graduates from our MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management course have progressed to careers in the Environment Agency, utility companies, local, national and international conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, and regional and national government. Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.