How can the Field Studies Council help your conservation career?

Mel Cousins from the Field Studies Council talks to Conservation Careers about the Field Studies Council, and how they can help you along your chosen career path.


What is the Field Studies Council?

We’re an environmental education charity, offering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to discover and learn about the natural world first-hand. This encompasses everyone from students and environmental professionals to retired adults and families.

We do projects in the UK and overseas, and reach out to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend our courses. We were established in 1943 and have recently celebrated our 70th Anniversary.

What types of courses do you run at the FSC for people interested in conservation?

We run courses through our network of field centres across the UK. These range from one day up to one week residential, and everything in-between. They cover the whole range of natural history topics from plants, insects and animals, alongside their conservation and habitats.

In addition to these courses, we run two successful Biological Recording courses in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University entitled (i) Certificate in Biological Recording and Species Identification, and (ii) MSc Biological Recording.

The MSc in Biological Recording is a part-time course where people can study modules at one of our field centres. It gives people the ability to collect and use biological records in order to improve their employability within the conservation job market.

How do people’s careers benefit from your courses?

FSC is committed to career development and professional training in the environment and is one of the UK’s leading providers of taxonomy training courses.  All our courses are led by professionals in their field (Ed.: excuse the pun!); they are really experienced tutors which people can learn and benefit from.

Our courses are ideal for people with a professional and vocational interest in the environment, or those looking to start their career.  The range of courses are of interest to lots of job roles including planners or biodiversity officers, as well as professionals, students and naturalists who are keen to develop their skills in environmental surveying, identification, monitoring and assessment.

Where are your field centres located?

We have 19 field centres located across the UK, including two in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and four in Wales. They’ve all been chosen because they have access to unique wildlife, rich habitats or  a beautiful National Park.  Many FSC Centres are in fascinating historic buildings, which have been adapted and extended so that they have the full range of accommodation and services that visitors need.


What are your Young Darwin Scholarships?

The Young Darwin Scholarship is an FSC initiative to encourage and support young people who have a real interest in the natural world – to develop the next generation of ‘Darwins’.

15 Scholarships are awarded each year to young people aged 16 and 17 who have demonstrated their interest and potential.

Young Darwin Scholars attend an introductory residential course and then are offered support and other opportunities to develop knowledge and skills and build a network of Young Darwin Scholars over a number of years.


Do you welcome people from overseas onto the courses?

Yes we do. We get people from all over the world attending our courses, and we’re very happy to receive them.

How much do courses cost to attend?

They range from £30 for a day course up to around £500-600 for a full week course. These costs include everything from accommodation, food, tuition and activities.

How can people follow FSC and find out more?

The FSC website is the best place to find out about courses and book onto one. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter  or sign up to our regular email newsletter.

Click the image below to view a short video about the opportunities offered by FSC.

FSC video


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Careers Advice, Interviews, Mid Career, Educator