How does human behaviour affect our environment? What pressures do we face in managing scarce resources? Can technological innovation offer solutions? On this programme you develop an understanding of the ecological and social crises of the 21st century and gain the skills needed to bring about change.
This course encourages you to engage with environmental issues from a range of perspectives, drawing on subjects as varied as anthropology, politics, economics, philosophy, law, history, literature and the creative arts. You can also develop practical skills (for example, biodiversity monitoring) and can choose to do an independent research project on a subject largely of your choice.
The programme will be of particular interest if you have studied geography, environmental studies or biology.
Our degree programme
During your first year, you gain a solid grounding in the wide range of environmental issues which threaten our world, while also developing field skills essential for work in this discipline. In addition to compulsory modules on topics such as biodiversity and sustainable land use, you can explore areas of particular interest through the optional modules you choose. The possibilities are wide ranging, from investigations of plant life and global conservation strategies to the application of economic principles to business or the study of ‘ways of living’ in social anthropology.
In your second and third years, you take only two compulsory modules, allowing you the flexibility to structure your degree around your personal interests and passions. There is an extensive choice of optional modules, studying issues such as environmental law and politics, the impact on wildlife of human demand for resources, or the implications of the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans – for the Earth as a system.
In your final year, you undertake a research project, choosing your topic with your project supervisor. Students often undertake their field research abroad, with some joining our annual expedition to our research vessel on the Peruvian Amazon.
Year in professional practice
If you want to stand out from other graduates in today’s global job market, spending time in the work place as part of your degree is invaluable. It demonstrates your ability to adapt to new situations, your sensitivity to other cultures (intercultural competence) and your desire to stretch yourself.
A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips in the UK and abroad. Potential local excursions are:
food and farming systems in East Kent
High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Ashford Community Woodland, local nature reserve
forestry management on the North Downs.
Students on the Tropical Ecology and Conservation module spend two weeks at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo. The Centre is located in an area where huge swathes of jungle have been removed and replaced by plantations, so you are working on the front line between managing the needs of the community and the impact on biodiversity.
These opportunities may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:
conservation genetics laboratories
field trials area and field laboratory
a state-of-the-art visual anthropology room
an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
upgraded visual anthropology suite with 16 iMacs
an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
student social spaces
The Conservation Society and Anthropology Society are run by Kent students and are a good way to meet other students on your course in an informal way. Student societies also work with local organisations and charities providing lots of opportunities for volunteering, community work and outings.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. We host two public lectures a year, the Stirling Lecture and the DICE Lecture, which bring current ideas in anthropology and conservation to a wider audience. We are delighted that these events attract leading conservation figures from around the world.
Each term, there are also seminars and workshops discussing current research in anthropology, conservation and human ecology.
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology
This degree programme is taught by academic staff from across the School, including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) research centre. DICE is a leading international research and training centre dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.
DICE was founded in 1989 with a clear mission: to conserve biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It does so by developing capacity and improving conservation management and policy through high-impact research. That is why DICE is in a School that does research and teaching in anthropology alongside conservation.
One component of DICE’s work is to train a new, interdisciplinary generation of conservationists who think innovatively about the challenges that lie ahead. As undergraduates, you are part of a dynamic and growing community of conservationists whose work spans all major regions of the world.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
34 overall or 15 at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of ‘pre-sessional’ courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
Compulsory modules currently include
DI305 – Biodiversity (15 credits)
GEOG3001 – Geographies of Environmental Change (15 credits)
GEOG3003 – Geographical Patterns and Processes (30 credits)
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees* for this programme are:
Home/EU full-time: £9250
International full-time: £16200
Home/EU part-time: £4625
International part-time: £8100
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.*The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for Home/EU undergraduates have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry are £9,250.For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*Your fee statusThe University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.General additional costsFind out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government’s student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages. The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.
Teaching and assessment
In our most recent national Teaching Excellence Framework, teaching at Kent was judged to be Gold rated. Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. In addition to lectures and seminars, we run laboratory-based practicals and field trips. You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation, all with the support of a dedicated project supervisor.
We offer you the opportunity to conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad. The type of approach may differ depending on the student’s preferred discipline. For most, it will mean using advanced methods to explore literature and other documents and, in some cases, there may also be opportunities for field research using the skills taught during the course. Some students use this opportunity to take part in our annual expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.
Most modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and unseen exam. Some modules are assessed only by coursework, which takes a variety of forms, including essays, short answer tests, presentations, advocacy, individual and team projects, and research reports.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
The programme aims to:
provide flexibility and a multidiscipline approach to environmental sustainability
provide teaching informed by research and scholarship in environmental sustainability
meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
support national and regional economic success
build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere, reflecting Kent’s position as the UK European University
produce students capable of contributing positively to global environmental sustainability
produce graduates of value to the region and nationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills, with the capacity to learn
prepare students for employment or further study in the field of environmental sustainability
provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds
provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
the changing meaning of ‘environment’ and ‘sustainability’
the role of international and EC treaties, agreements and laws, and national laws and regulations affecting the environment
the role of market forces and state action in the production of environmental sustainability
the process by which environmental policy is made at all levels and the role of pressure groups
the typical conflicts that occur over environmental issues
the options available to households, companies and local governments when faced with unsatisfactory environments
the role of local governments and national regulatory agencies in shaping local environments
the scope for consumers and citizens to exert pressure to enhance environmental quality
biodiversity and environmental processes
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
problem-solving and the knowledge to seek solutions to environmental problems and individual needs
research skills, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
evaluative and analytical skills to assess the outcomes of policy intervention on individuals, communities and places
sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference.
You gain specific skills in the following:
to identify and use theories and concepts to analyse environmental issues
to seek out and use statistical data relevant to environmental issues
You gain transferable skills in the following:
the ability to study and learn independently using library and internet sources
develop an appetite for learning and be reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach to learning
make presentations to fellow students and staff
communicate ideas and arguments to others in written and spoken form
prepare essays and reference the material quoted according to scholarly conventions
use IT to wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate and access data sources
develop skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
develop interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.
Teaching Excellence Framework
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
In The Guardian University Guide 2020, over 89% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
Over 91% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2020.
Of Anthropology graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, 100% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).
The conservation and environmental sector is an expanding area for employment opportunities. Potential employers include local, regional and national UK government departments, voluntary organisations and the private sector, as well as international conservation and environmental organisations. Many students also go on to pursue postgraduate studies.
Our recent graduates have found work in:
community-based conservation projects
Help finding a job
The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you’ll need to look for a job. This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.
The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:
apply for jobs
write a good CV
perform well in interviews.
As a conservation student, you develop expertise in understanding and managing wildlife and biodiversity in a sustainable way. You’ll gain skills in gathering and collecting information, analysing data, exploring and communicating challenging ideas. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:
communicate your ideas and opinions
work independently and as part of a team.
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.