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Newquay, UK
Posted: 3 weeks ago

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£11 per course

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LOCATION & START DATE: Newquay University Centre Cornwall College – 16 September 2024
DURATION: One year full time or two years part time
LEARNING AREA: Wildlife Conservation & Zoology
ATTENDANCE: Full-time

The first MSc programme to be designed specifically around the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, equipping students with the essential skills in conservation project design and management, conservation funding and communications: skills which have been identified by employers in the sector as essential, but lacking from most graduates within traditional zoology or wildlife conservation degrees.

Officially partnered with Conservation Careers, giving students direct access to three of their most popular core online training resources: Conservation Project Management and Design, Communications for Conservation Projects, and Funding for Conservation Projects. Students complete these hugely popular online courses as part of this MSc programme which are integrated into full 20-credit level 7 modules. Uniquely, this also allows students to complete these modules to gain level 7 credits towards a PGDip or PGCert, thus, providing an exciting opportunity for professionals wishing to complete CPD.

Students have full access to Conservation Career Kick-Starter course and largest online conservation job board through Conservation Careers. Working with expert instructors, students produce a professional development plan and access professional training that meets their bespoke career development needs.

A UK-based residential field course gives students the opportunity to experience field work first-hand and evaluate existing conservation projects. Alternatively, students may elect to enrol on the optional international field course module, which provides students the opportunity to gain more international conservation experience (subject to additional costs).

Face-to-face teaching will take place at the Newquay University Centre campus, situated within easy access of stunning terrestrial, coastal and marine field study sites and will make use of both long-term and newly developing partnerships and contacts with the conservation community.

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The future prosperity, health and welfare of human populations is fully dependent on the continued health and functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide. This has long been recognised by conservationists, but it is, perhaps, only more recently that this delicate interdependence has become mainstream thinking. International agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) set ambitious and binding targets for governments to achieve. Meeting these targets is only possible through a multidisciplinary approach, emphasising the need for climate change, sustainability and conservation to be woven into the fabric of everything that we do moving forward. As a result, demand for graduates with an understanding of conservation issues is a rapidly growing area.

However, effective conservation requires more than just an understanding of the issues, it requires effective project management skills to ensure that limited funds are invested wisely and that outcomes are maximised. Therefore, increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with skills not always fully developed through traditional zoology, ecology and conservation degrees. These skills can be developed organically, through work experience, but getting a job without the required experience demanded by the role is difficult and often seen as a ‘catch 22’ and barrier to entering the workforce at the desired level after graduation. Similarly, those already working withing the conservation sector may not feel that they have fully developed the project management skills they need to be fully effective in their role or to progress within their chosen career path.

The MSc Conservation Project Management has been designed in recognition that employers are looking for highly skilled graduates with not only a strong understanding of environmental and conservation theory, but the ability to lead and manage projects in an effective way using industry standard approaches. The programme is underpinned by the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (commonly referred to as the Conservation Standards), which is an internationally agreed set of principles of best practice for managing conservation projects with a reflective and adaptive approach.

The programme has been designed in collaboration with Conservation Careers the number one careers advice centre for conservationists. In recognition that successful conservation projects need funding and public support, knowledge of fundraising, conservation marketing, communication and human behaviour change are also core elements of the programme.

Specific aims of the programme include:

  • Develop an understanding of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation as best practice for designing and managing conservation projects.
  • Develop an awareness of the main funding mechanisms for conservation
  • Gain experience of effective communications for conservation projects utilising a range of strategies to engage with stakeholders and target audiences.
  • Promote self-motivated and targeted professional development. Learners will identify and access bespoke training aimed at maximising their effectiveness and employability within their chosen area of the conservation sector.
  • Encourage professional networking opportunities for learners and collaboration with conservation organisations through external training, assignments, field trips and completion of an independent conservation project.
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis skills which can be applied to all aspects of professional conservation practice.
  • Foster an ethos of reflective practice, with learners understanding its importance for the management of projects as well as their own continuous professional development.

Want to learn more? Check out this podcast episode with Dr Stephen Green, Course Leader MSc Conservation Project Management: