Applied Wildlife Conservation MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


January 2017, September 2016

Course duration: January start, 15 months. September start, 12 months (full-time); January start, 33 months. September start, 28 months (part-time).


Develop the practical skills you need for a career in wildlife conservation. Learn through a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning, on a course that’s been developed in partnership with environmental organisations to ensure you’re skilled and employable in this rewarding area.

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Full description


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Careers areas include conservation biology, environmental consultancy or in conservation education. You may find work in a non-governmental organisation (NGO), charity, zoo, private company, a government body or in a related field such as ecotourism. You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Animal and Environmental Sciences PhD.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • GIS Tools for Biodiversity Mapping and Conservation
    You'll look at how and why species distributions change over time and applies skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map and analyse such changes.
  • Invasive Species and Other Drivers of Distribution Change
    This module examines how and why species distributions change over time. Skills learned in the associated Geographical Information Systems (GIS) module may be used to map and analyse such changes. The management of biological resources and habitats are considered. The module draws on various case studies and guest lectures on themes such as: urban birds; modelling of elephants in Tanzania; Marine Protected Areas; Key Biodiversity Areas; phenology; and the National Biodiversity Network Gateway. The main subject areas are: (i) Biotic and abiotic limits to species distributions at differing spatial and temporal scales. (ii) The challenges of climate change and habitat fragmentation. (iii) The role of biological recording / citizen science in studying species distribution changes; use of and access to biological records. (iv) Invasive alien species. This is a major theme of the module. Areas considered include: (a) mechanisms of spread and invasion routes of invasive species; (b) impacts on biodiversity and people; (c) risk assessment. Invasive native species are also considered.
  • Communication Skills for Conservation
    Explore how to communicate scientific information to different audiences (scientific or non-scientific) verbally and in writing, but also through web pages and social networks. Delivered by distance learning, this module will give you an innovative experience in terms of the learning experience and assessment.
  • Landscapes, Ecological Networks and Ecosystem Services
    This module considers the principals and practicalities behind landscape-scale conservation, as well as the important concepts of ecological networks and ecosystem services. One important dimension will be in ecological restoration, with comparisons made between prescriptive approaches, and process-driven approaches.
  • Current Topics in Wildlife Conservation
    This is an advanced undergraduate module in conservation which aims to provide an awareness of the multi-disciplinary nature of conservation, and the socio-political dimensions of conservation problems and solutions
  • Research Methods
    Gain the support and foundations in the research skills for your Master’s level dissertation. You’ll investigate generic research activities, including project management and dissertation preparation. Your topics could include the consideration of suitable content, planning, and the use of project management software.
  • Masters Research Project
    In this module you'll undertake a significant research project in the field of applied wildlife conservation. You'll present the results of your research in a thesis prepared to the highest scientific and professional standards. Your research will normally be based on preparatory work undertaken in the Research Methods module.

Optional modules

  • Behavioural Ecology and Conservation
    Consider how behavioural decisions affect the survival of species in an increasingly human-altered landscape, and how understanding behaviour can be critical to conservation initiatives.
  • Study Tour: Understanding Biodiversity and Sustainability
    Explore the issues central to wildlife conservation on a residential field trip to Borneo. You’ll integrate an understanding of the natural world and ecological processes, with current conservation problems, including their socio-political and ethical dimensions in a practical context. Please note, this module includes a compulsory field trip. The estimated cost of this is £1,200.
  • Better Business
    Focus on the growing business case for sustainability and examine the role of leadership, purpose, innovation and culture to create an organisation which 'does business better'. You'll chart progress and examine good practice towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible business practice and the emergence of social enterprises and values-led businesses and its articulation through concepts such as cradle-to-cradle, biomimicry and circular economy. We'll examine The Eden Project itself, to help you understand its characteristics, culture and ethos and you will assess the transferability of some of key principles to other organisations - for example, the power of vision, collaboration and effective engagement techniques.
  • Governance and Behavioural Change
    You'll consider how and what can be done to deliver the changes required. You'll explore the drivers for behaviour change and assess some of the top-down (eg legislation, incentives and deregulation) and bottom-up approaches to governance using global (eg Avaaz), national (eg Cuba and Costa Rica) and local (eg Transition Towns, indigenous action, etc.) case studies as well as evaluate what it takes for an individual to become a successful change agent.


Your work will be assessed in a range of ways to reflect the scope and aims of our course. These include assignments, field-work, case studies, group work and presentations.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


Additional module costs

Please check individual modules for additional field trip costs

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support
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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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The full-time version of this course is not open to international students holding a Tier 4 visa, but is open to international students holding some other visa types. For further information please contact our International Admissions team.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 and January 2017 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online