Skip to main content

BSc (Hons) Ecology & Wildlife Conservation

Watch our video
  • UCAS Code:
    CD14
  • Institution:
    B50

There’s a growing demand for professionals with skills in the areas of wildlife protection, biodiversity conservation, sustainability and ecosystem management.

This course has been specifically designed to address that demand by providing you with a solid scientific grounding in the science of ecology and how it can be used to conserve species. It also provides great opportunities for gaining practical experience through fieldwork and working with conservation organisations.

As well as teaching you the ecological processes, our expert academics, professional practitioners and guest speakers will guide you through the wider social and legal context in which ecological conservation operates. There is a strong emphasis on practical skills, with many opportunities for fieldwork overseas or in a fantastic variety of local habitats including forests, meadows, heaths and maritime environments. We also welcome your engagement in our many staff research collaborations with conservation organisations. These range from understanding what is needed to protect rare species to broader sustainability issues such as climate change. Overall the course provides you with multiple opportunities to consolidate your learning by being part of a thriving strong network of staff students and professional practitioners working together for wildlife conservation.  

You’ll have the option to select subjects that match your personal passions and ambitions as the course has a wide range of options in the second and third year. This includes the opportunity to participate in an international field trip as part of your course. On one recent field trip, students visited Costa Rica to work on projects with coral reefs, volcanoes and endangered species such as sea turtles. 

To give you even more practical experience you’ll undertake a five-week placement at the end of your first year. There is also a placement at the end of your second year when you can opt to do either another five-week placement or opt instead for a minimum 30-week placement. These placements enable you to gain valuable employment skills, contacts and real-world experience with a wide range of local and international organisations.

Our students in the Life and Environmental Sciences also work in partnership with our staff to co-create featured projects, collaborating with professional practitioners and participating in individual placement opportunities. Take a look at our Co-creating Science webpage to find out about the exciting projects our students get involved in, including moose behaviour in Norway, Madagascan rainforests, chimpanzees in Tanzania to name just a few. You can have a look at what projects our students do for work placements, class projects, final year dissertations and more!

89% of our final year students agree our staff have made the subject interesting – join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an Open Day.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

For September 2021 entry: in order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses.

This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in March 2021 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

All statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Talk to a student on this course

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years with two 5-week placements, or 4 years with one 5-week placement and a minimum 30-week placement

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: 104-120 UCAS tariff points from 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

Effective conservation requires professionals that can integrate and understand ecology along with knowledge of the legislative frameworks in general and conservation biology.

This course integrates a variety of teaching methods including lectures, laboratory based practicals, field exercises, group activities and research project meetings for both theoretical and reflective based learning. You'll also be involved in a field research skills week of practical exercises and group based research within the local environment.

You will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Download the programme specification (pdf 906kb)

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. That’s why so we offer every student the opportunity to undertake a work-based placement as part of their course.

Placements play a vital role in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates, and we have many links to outside agencies and organisations to best support you along your professional development. You could even choose to take your placement overseas, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Through the Student Environment Research Teams (SERTs), you can also gain experience and practical skills, as a volunteer, through a wide range of short projects relevant to your professional practice. The Student's Union has an active Conservation Volunteering initiative.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Your application

For this course will benefit applicants who:

  • Have enthusiasm to learn about a wide range of issues relating to the science and practice of wildlife conservation
  • Are keen on active learning through fieldwork and to apply the skills they gain on their degree course to real working environments in conservation ecology
  • Can demonstrate an academic interest and ability in sciences relevant to ecology by having suitable science qualifications
  • Take a practical interest in wildlife conservation by having participated in volunteer work or by having other relevant experience.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Careers

Our Ecology & Wildlife Conservation degree will prepare you for work in a range of organisations relating to this fascinating field, including conservation biology and general environmental management. The skills you develop throughout your course are highly transferable, allowing you to pursue a career in other sectors if you wish.

By developing your practical skills in the field, as well as gaining a good understanding of conservation in a global context, you will be perfectly placed to find an exciting role in this sector.

85% of our students are working or studying 6 months after graduating.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer – including unlimited Academic Excellence Scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.  You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

What our graduates think

Dan Gracias

The first 6-week placement I did was with the Atlantic Whale Foundation in Tenerife, so it's hands-on practical work, every day out in boats following whales and dolphins.

Hear from our staff

Dr Anita Diaz

This course includes lots of opportunity for field work in the UK and overseas, and the diversity of our local habitats are second to none.

All statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.