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Global Ecology and Conservation

Cardiff University
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

Global Ecology and Conservation

With a changing climate, an increasing human population, and growing rates of extinction and habitat loss, the world is facing unprecedented challenges. To meet these challenges and preserve our wildlife and ecosystems, we need innovative and adaptable scientists who can develop conservation strategies with real impact.

Our MSc in Global Ecology and Conservation aims to train the ecologists and conservationists of the future. Covering the complete span from ecological theory and pioneering research, through to practical site assessments and conservation interventions, we will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to tackle major global challenges and make a ‘real world’ difference.

Admission requirements

Typically, you will need to have either:

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as biology, botany, ecology, environmental sciences, andzoology, or an equivalent international degree
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
  • or relevant professional experience inconservation or environmental management.

English language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

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Program content

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Core modules for year one

  • Field Skills for Ecology and Conservation
  • Assessing Biodiversity and Ecosystems
  • Principles and Practice of Conservation Biology
  • Data Science
  • Research Project

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.


  • Tuition fees for UK: £10,200 per year.
  • Tuition fees for International Students: £23,450 per year

For more information about tuition fee, please visit the university website.


What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the program you will be able to:

  • Discuss key principles underlying ecology and conservation, especially as they relate to environmental and global change.
  • Distinguish different facets of biodiversity (e.g. functional, taxonomic) at scales ranging from genes to ecosystems, and explain how to quantify them and their changes through space and/or time
  • Describe different field survey techniques, with accompanying safe working practices and relevant legislation
  • Assess current and emerging threats to biodiversity, alongside relevant policy and legislation
  • Review traditional and innovative conservation strategies, such as re-introduction, re-wilding and creating conservation corridors

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the program you will be able to

  • Devise management strategies, underpinned by ecological principles and evidence, to conserve species and/or manage nature conservation sites
  • Select suitable methods for analysing data and visualising the results
  • Diagnose the drivers of biodiversity/ecosystem change from data.
  • Critically evaluate: i) ecological survey methods and data collected using those methods, ii) environmental impact assessments; iii) the results of data analyses; and iv) published research from the scientific literature

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the program you will be able to:

  • Design field surveys and research projects to address specific aims or hypotheses
  • Collect data for different taxa and environments, using established and cutting-edge methods relevant to both research and applied contexts (e.g. ecological consultancy)
  • Select, and justify the choice of, suitable approaches for measuring different aspects of biodiversity when presented with ecological and conservation scenarios or research questions
  • Critically evaluate different statistical methods and select appropriate ones when presented with scenarios and associated data sets.
  • Use industry-standard software (R and geographic information systems (GIS)) to design and construct digital maps, and analyse data
  • Synthesise, critique and communicate research outputs (e.g. scientific papers, data analyses) to scientific peers in written and oral formats

Career paths

Our MSc offers excellent training for future ecologists and conservationists. Its blend of theory and practical research skills, conservation management and legislation, and identifying emerging threats, will furnish you with the scientific knowledge, hands-on experience and adaptability that are highly valued by employers in today’s global job market.

In particular, we expect many of our graduates to enjoy successful careers in research, ecological consultancy, and conservation policy and practice. With its focus on practical training in both subject-specific and generic research skills, our MSc provides the ideal platform for further study and a career in academia. Students who choose the optional Science Communication module will learn how to translate science for a variety of audiences, opening up other exciting avenues, such as journalism, broadcasting and public engagement.

Alongside sound scientific training, this course will enable you to develop transferable skills that are in high demand beyond ecology and conservation. In particular, skills such as data management, analysis and literacy; making complex research accessible to a wide audience; appraising alternative management proposals and policies; and devising evidence-based solutions to problems, are vital in a range of roles across the public, private and third sectors.

We provide a supportive environment in which research can flourish and we are committed to helping you prepare for your post-university career. Throughout the course, you will have a wide range of opportunities to establish contacts with potential employers, whether that’s through a work experience placement, collaborations developed during the research project, or guest lectures by leading external experts.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is among the top 25 universities in the UK and is ranked 166th in the world. Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK....

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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