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MSc Biodiversity Conservation

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

On this course you’ll learn about the latest developments in conservation science and practice, hone your ability to communicate effectively and develop your skills in identifying flora and fauna.

When you graduate, you’ll have developed an in-depth knowledge of the science and practice of biodiversity conservation – equipping you with the skills required for a career in this area. 

Situated on the Dorset coast, at BU we are within easy reach of outstanding environments of global importance for conservation, including the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Wessex Downs, Dorset Heaths, Poole Harbour and New Forest. The area is a hotspot for biodiversity and provides outstanding opportunities for field-based learning.

The teaching staff are specialists in biodiversity conservation. They research conservation issues both nationally and internationally in a wide range of ecosystems including grassland, heathland, forest, freshwater, coastal, and marine. Their specialisms include plant, animal and community ecology, animal behaviour, environmental statistics, modelling, remote sensing and environmental policy.

The degree is also now accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, the professional body representing ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and overseas.

You will also complete a conservation-based work placement, normally undertaken in the early summer.

“I really enjoyed the fieldwork aspect of the course, and was able to conduct my placement in Brazil to take part in marine wildlife monitoring. It gave me the chance to broaden my knowledge in marine biodiversity.”
Katie Thompson, MSc Biodiversity Conservation graduate

Key information

Next start date:

September 2019, September 2020


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time


Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

Required subjects:

Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Earth & Geographical Sciences, Conservation Biology, Ecology & Wildlife Conservation

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject, or equivalent

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course 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.


Your application

Applicants for the Biodiversity Conservation course may come from a range of backgrounds including new graduates, experienced practitioners or people seeking to change career direction.

For all of these backgrounds the aptitude and enthusiasm to develop advanced skills across the relevant disciplines are the key requirement.

Entry requirements


This course prepares you for a career in the commercial and statutory environmental sectors. Its strong emphasis on core skills in environmental practice gives students the edge when seeking employment. On completing the course not only will you have subject expertise but you will know how to apply that knowledge to make a difference in biodiversity conservation. By offering one of the leading courses in biodiversity conservation, our aspiration is that it will provide you with a route to a successful and rewarding career.

Costs and fees

You can find full information about the deposits required and how to pay your fees in our postgraduate fees and funding section, including details of the Postgraduate Loan (subject to fee status).

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. 

Find out more about living expenses for postgraduate students

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. You can find out more about some of the staff that are currently teaching on the course and their research activities below. You can read more about the specialist interests of our Life & Environmental Sciences staff on our department pages. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

What our students say

Jamie Robins

My highlight was being able to look into a subject area in a huge amount of depth, particularly my research project into restoration of chalk grassland compensation areas after the M3's construction.

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.

What our graduates think

Natalia Tejedor

I really enjoyed the course, particularly the fieldwork carried out, where actual conservation issues were tackled in the different local habitats.