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Cornwall (Penryn)
Posted: 7 months ago

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£13,500 per year

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(9 Reviews)

What is this workshop? 
Taught by internationally recognised experts active at the science/policy interface, this interdisciplinary programme examines both scientific and policy-oriented aspects of conservation. Teaching covers the breadth of this important field, examining how conservation goals may be achieved under climate change scenarios, in combination with food security requirements, while taking social justice issues into account. The breadth of the degree gives flexibility to pursue those areas most relevant to your professional development and contains a significant research component supported by leading researchers.

The degree is designed to offer you considerable scope to tailor your studies to focus on the topics you wish to pursue. Integral to the whole programme is extensive liaison with conservation practitioners from a wide range of collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations (e.g., Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, Natural England), as well as a broad suite of international organisations (e.g., Kenya Wildlife Service, Solio Ranch, Wildlife Direct. Key individuals from some of these organisations contribute to classes and field visits and a number of our project students will be placed with such organisations.

A special feature of the programme is the Kenya field course, which includes visits to some of East Africa’s most famous conservation areas, as well as in-depth discussions with a wide range of stakeholders about synergies and trade-offs between conservation and development. The trip provides you with opportunities to see first-hand how conservation science operates within particular policy contexts. Travel and subsistence costs for this part of the programme are included in the programme fee.

This Masters is based on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall—an exceptional place in which to study issues related to the environment and sustainability. The duchy is a living laboratory offering a diverse range of marine and terrestrial habitats, a wealth of natural resources, and creative and resilient communities. The Penryn Campus is also home to the University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) – a £30 million centre leading cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into solutions to problems of environmental change and enhancing people’s lives by improving their relationship with the environment.

9 reviews on “MSc Conservation Science and Policy

  1. owenexeter@hotmail.co.uk'
    Owen on
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    I found the course incredibly rewarding and it helped me achieve a career change to conservation science. As someone with a non-science or numerical background I was worried about my ability to succeed but a combination of supportive staff and interesting content has really helped my confidence and helped me achieve my first professional role in the field.

  2. lrhawkins96@outlook.com'
    Lewis Hawkins on
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    Having studied for my undergraduate BSc Zoology degree at the University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental sciences – I was so content and pleased with the department and quality of learning and living that I decided to continue in Penryn with my Masters degree.

    Coming from a purely biological background, with no previous experience of policy or politics, but an interest to learn, the modules were easy to get to grips with for someone such as myself.

    I learnt so much in this final year – all parts of the course being utterly fascinating, inspiring and eye opening.

    The safari trip to Kenya was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Not only do you get fantastic experiences with the East Africa wildlife ( a highlight for me being the Aberdares national park – look it up) – but being on a well structured trip means you get have really intimate discussion and experiences with local peoples, and learn about their lives, problems and opinions.

    The course is really life changing, and will change the way you see things. On top of this, you get to live and learn in one of the most beautiful places in the UK (and world) – Cornwall. I can guarantee you will fall in love with Falmouth and it’s
    Myriad of independent stores and restaurants, as well as the vast coastline of beaches and coves that there is to explore.

    If you would like to know anything else from a students point of view, contact me on Instagram – @lewisrhawkins

  3. rea213@exeter.ac.uk'
    Roger Auster on
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    Having studied Zoology in my undergraduate, my motivation for taking this Masters was to develop my understanding of the human dimension of conservation beyond my biological background, something which I felt would be vital in achieving sustainable environmental projects. My particular interest area is in human-wildlife conflicts/human-human conflicts about wildlife, and I was able to explore these with the course. I believe it was very worthwhile.

    The module choices allowed for both biological conservation modules (marine and terrestrial) alongside Biodiversity & Conservation students, as well as climate change resilience and well-being modules which were shared with the Sustainable Development students. This allowed for a really interdisciplinary understanding of the field. Other highlights included the field trip to Kenya (a spectacular place with amazing wildlife and lovely people) as well as the opportunity to study in Cornwall and get outdoors by (and in) the sea.

    I am now two years into a PhD which looks at beaver reintroduction in England, investigating both opportunities and conflicts that arise with and between people. This was a direct result of having undertaken the MSc Conservation Science & Policy; I’m delighted to have taken the course.

  4. adam.m.pritchard@btinternet.com'
    AdamMPritchard on
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    Like previous reviewer Lewis, I also studied at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus (Studying BSc Conservation Biology and Ecology with a study abroad year) and enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to stay on for a MSc in Conservation Science and Policy to get a leg-up in this highly competitive field.

    I cannot recommend highly enough the quality of teaching I received throughout my MSc. While the flagship Kenyan Field Course was the undoubted highlight, its insight into the intersection of wildlife and people at one of the frontiers of conservation something that simply couldn’t be replicated in the classroom, I found all modules to be extremely rewarding and eye-opening. Throughout my thesis especially, I was extremely impressed with the level of support and attention I received from my supervisor, despite his position as one of the faculty’s most senior and thus busy members.

    Having recently graduated, I feel well-equipped to tackle the world of conservation policy, and I have the University of Exeter and its excellent teaching staff to thank for that.

    For any further information please feel free to contact me: twitter [email protected]; linkedin – adammpritchard

  5. fibirch@hotmail.co.uk'
    Fiona Birch on
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    This MSc course will suit anybody interested in the interface between science and policy. Having studied a BSc degree in Biological Sciences, I was eager to learn more about how my knowledge of biological facts, principles and theories could be applied to the real world, through policy, sustainability and conservation measures. To this end, the course delivered on all levels.

    The module choices were excellent and highly interdisciplinary. They provided a core understanding of sustainability and policy issues within conservation, whilst also allowing the student to choose a few modules to suit their own interests. This gave the opportunity to study biological conservation (marine and terrestrial), climate change resilience and sustainable development modules.

    I would highly recommend this MSc. The teaching is fantastic and the course content is extremely stimulating. Not to mention it is based in a beautiful part of the world.

  6. siennalulasomers@gmail.com'
    Sienna Somers on
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    Like other reviewers, I had decided to enroll into the Masters after completing my BSc Zoology at the Cornwall campus of the University of Exeter. The course had a great mix of practical conservation skills, global policy and sustainable development modules, all taught by excellent lecturers and guest lecturers. The courses modules were interdisciplinary bridging both the social and biological sciences which made the course very unique in its content and delivery.

    One of the highlights of the course was the Kenya Field Course. Within the first few days, we were holding focus groups with Maasai pastoralists trying to understand and create solutions for the human-wildlife conflict in the area. Myself and another student had the unique opportunity to lead the focus groups and subsequently produce a summary and recommendations report that we returned back to the community. The Kenya Field Course was a few weeks of extraordinary highs, climbing Mount Kenya, seeing extraordinary wildlife in a daily basis and beginning to understand the local cultural landscape of Kenya and the challenges the people and wildlife face. In addition, spending several weeks camping in the African wilderness with like-minded individuals will help you form life-long bonds .

    It would be remiss of me not to mention the extraordinary location of Penryn campus, the Cornish landscape and sea will provide you with unforgettable memories and experiences. I can think of no other place I’d rather spend my time.

  7. Jessica.vagg1027@gmail.com'
    Jessica Vagg on
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    After studying my undergraduate degree and having a few years in work, I decided to enrol on the Master of Science in Conservation Science and Policy to help me gain a better understanding of conservation and hopefully give me an edge in the highly competitive field of conservation.

    One of the highlights was the Kenya Field course. A fantastic module and trip that allows you to develop a host of skills and experience in the wild country of Africa. It was an amazing opportunity to experience the beautiful animals and communicate with the local people, witnessing first hand the conservation efforts and successes, as well as an opportunity to discuss human-wildlife conflict with those directly involved with it.

    During the masters we had the opportunity to get involved in lots of extra activities. I was impressed by the amount of both internally and externally run training opportunities. This was very helpful in enhancing my CV, allowing me to develop lots of different skills and in some cases giving me very valuable real world experience.

    When it came around to our masters research projects, there were lots of research ideas and staff were very supportive in allowing us to develop ideas. Even though my supervisior was a very busy and senior member of staff, they always made time for my queries and were a great support during the busy months spent working on my project.

    Since graduating, the masters has aided me in securing a fixed term role and now a permanent role, both for conservation charities. This is thanks to the excellent course and support staff at the University of Exeter and I would highly recommend this masters course!

  8. jessicammwalker25@gmail.com'
    Jess Walker on
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    I came from a biological sciences back and so learnt to incorporate social science aspects through this course- which is a crucial element for real world conservation. The ability to think critically and laterally around an issue is something you just dont do in undergraduate science degrees. The course included the theory behind the policy process but also incorporated practical examples, such as going to Kenya, a trip to the lobster and seal sanctuary etc.

    If you are interested in marine science this is a fabulous place to be due to the setting and the wealth of experience amongst the staff body. I opted to select modules and to do my thesis on marine topics, with a policy angle. One aspect I feel they could improve would be to allow access to more of the conservation skills soft skills training that is in the more general biodiversity course, as this course falls between the biology and geography departments i had to sneak into a few of the bioscience sessions that were of interest to me! For example it would be useful to incorporate aspects such as project design. NB I was an early adopter of this course so this may have changed now – do check if this is important to you.

    I won an academic scholarship for a third of my course fees, so for me it was most definitely value for money; I now work for a major conservation NGO and having helped with recruitment having an MSc is definitely a benefit, or more often than not actually a requirement to get through to interview. I know at least three other Exeter Cornwall alumni in the building I now work in, two of which are in my team.

    Living in Cornwall was awesome and the social life was good. Think sea shanty festivals, pubs and clotted cream icecreams(!). And let me tell you, I miss Gilly Beach!

  9. hassshie@gmail.com'
    Tomoaki Hashimoto on
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    My undergrad was a non-science degree and after working in a company for 9 years, I was seeking career change into conservation/social science related work. There, I found this MSc. At that time, there were only a few masters like this one that combined conservation and social/political issues into one program.

    The MSc provided me wide ranges of knowledge and skills through its various, interdisciplinary modules. I learned from basic plant ID and census skills to social/political/economic aspects around marine conservation, and how to develop your own interdisciplinary research in tackling the “wicked problems” we now face in the modern world. There were many field works and hands-on learning occasions, which were not only enjoyable but provided practical skills and experiences. We were provided with opportunities to interact with professionals who work in the conservation field through guest lectures. The professors and staff were highly professional and were all very helpful in times of need. Although there were tough times completing assignments and writing up papers, the staff made tremendous effort in ensuring us comfort in asking questions and supporting us in getting things done.

    The Kenya field trip was the highlight of the MSc. We spent 2 weeks visiting various sites concerning conservation and policy issues. We met with local authorities, held focus groups with the maasai pastoralists, witnessed what’s happening in local economies, and spent hours observing beautiful Kenyan wildlife. We were thinking, questioning, and discussing while witnessing the problem right in front of our eyes. It was mind blowing. We were rewarded with so much learning and fun.

    Since I was an international student, the university provided me English language support throughout the whole term. Although I was fluent in listening/speaking, writing scientific papers was a new experience for me. I was able to grow my writing skill significantly and be confident with assignments that I submitted.

    The Penryn Campus and the local areas around Penryn and Falmouth were fabulous. The Cornish countryside is full of lush greenery and warm people. When you get fed up with your assignments, you can always go down to the beach. Great variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops never bores you along with various attractions that are held throughout the year. I personally enjoyed volunteering with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, working with the local people in beautiful farms and riverbanks.

    I strongly recommend this MSc especially for those who do not have scientific background but are interested in the field of conservation. The problems we face now are complex and require interdisciplinary methods and actions in tackling them. This MSc provides you not only knowledge and skills but opportunities in interacting with real people and problems, which could help you in your future career.

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