The course has two pathways: one is focused on conservation within the UK/EU and the other focuses on conservation at the international level. Our lecturers conduct first-class research in conservation ecology.

We have strong links with many conservation organisations and research institutions, such as the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Fauna and Flora International, TRAFFIC and Conservation International, providing excellent project opportunities and enhancing career prospects.

Focusing on the practical application of theory means graduates can adapt quickly to the demands of the conservation professions. We develop your field skills, including identification techniques, required when undertaking biodiversity surveys.

Research-informed teaching keeps our students up to date with the latest thinking. Equipping you with current conservation legislation and practice is essential in the context of rapidly-changing demands on land use.

We develop your transferable skills, particularly communication, organisation and research planning, which will assist you when carrying out your project and prepare you for a career in conservation ecology.

This MSc is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and you will be able to connect with CIEEM during the course, keeping abreast of current practice and be able to apply for graduate membership on completion.

Professional accreditation

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) accreditation indicates that a key professional body recognises that we offer our students the opportunity to develop the key skills needed for employment in conservation ecology. Additionally, our students have access to vital information about current developments in ecology and consultancy and can benefit from all that CIEEM offers. Conservation Ecology is a modular master’s course designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of theoretical and practical skills required for proficiency in conservation ecology.

Different subject areas relating to conservation are taught and assessed separately through assignments, presentations and project reports. It is organised on a module-credit basis, with each 20 M-level credit module representing approximately 200 hours of student input. This includes approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally timetabled through three-hour teaching blocks over the two 12-week semesters.

As the course is also offered on a part-time basis, we encourage applications from professionals in conservation organisations and environmental consultancies who wish to upgrade their qualifications.

Teaching focuses on current issues in conservation associated with environmental change, species identification and survey techniques, key theoretical underpinning of conservation ecology, national and international wildlife legislation, GIS, human-wildlife conflicts, biodiversity assessment and environmental impact assessment. By completing this course you will gain an ability to statistically interpret field data, organise your work and communicate to a variety of audiences. You will also be taught research methods and career development to help you transfer your skills to the work environment.

Early in Semester 1 you will plan your research project. You will work with your tutor to design a project that best suits your interests and needs. We encourage project work to be carried out with external research organisations and conservation practitioners, many of whom have strong links with Oxford Brookes University. Our own subject experts also offer projects.

You will achieve an MSc degree on successful completion of all the course modules including the research project. A Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded for completion of course modules without the research project, and a Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded for completion of 60 level 7 credits. To complete an MSc you need to obtain 180 level 7 credits and for a PGDip 120 level 7 credits. For a PGCert you need to obtain 60 level 7 credits.