Applied Ecology (PGCert/Diploma/MSc)

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About The Course

This course has a highly practical emphasis involving hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will cover identification skills for a wide range of species, as well as industry-standard survey techniques such as phase 1 habitat surveying, habitat condition assessments, national vegetation classification and bird territory mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status to enable better understanding of species–environment interactions.

There will be opportunities to work on projects with linked organisations, including wildlife trusts, nature reserve managers, charities and public authorities. There is also the option to take a residential field trip; this currently takes place on a wildlife reserve in South Africa. The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team, which includes optimising conservation of species, bird and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in the wider environment.

There is considerable optionality in the course, both in choice of modules and in assessment topics within modules, to allow students to tailor course content to their own interests and career aspirations.


  • Applied Conservation
  • Practical Ecological Methods
  • Field Ecology
  • Ecological Interactions
  • Citizen Science and Public Engagement
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Environmental Pollution and Remediation
  • Environmental Governance and Decision Making