Ecological Consultancy MSc

Ecological Consultancy MSc

Full time: 12 months


Our Ecological Consultancy MSc gives you knowledge, specialised technical skills and professional awareness. It will prepare you for a career as an ecological consultant or in other environmental roles. The course has a professional focus, preparing you for the workplace.

We equip you with key skills which will enable you to pursue careers in ecology, including:

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing
  • experimental and survey design
  • wildlife surveying
  • wildlife legislation and natural history
  • Environmental Impact Assessment 

Graduates of this course have an excellent track record of gaining employment in the environmental sector. Within one year of graduation 18 of the 19 students from the 2011-12 cohort were employed, most in the environmental sector and the majority with ecological consultancy companies.

Examples of recent graduate destinations include students now working in ecological jobs for:

We provide a link to cutting-edge research that feeds into ecological consultancy, eg:

  • research projects on black grouse and wind farms. Paper in review with the Journal of Applied Ecology
  • noise and bird behaviour

Quality and Ranking

We rank in the top 150 for Environmental Sciences - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

Our staff

The Degree Programme Director, Professor John Bythell, is an active research ecologist. He has 27 years of experience of ecological consultancy work, particularly in Environmental Impact Assessment and International Development. His research focuses on wildlife diseases, mainly in tropical marine environments such as coral reefs.

Professor Mark Whittingham is a bird ecologist who contributes significantly to the degree programme. He has a wide network of contacts that can help you gain experience in this area. As a senior editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology he is aware of a wide range of ecological science and how this relates to ecological consultancy work.

Dr Phil McGowan provides international expertise for students wishing to pursue international projects and has extensive global contacts in the conservation sphere. He is heavily involved in work with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


The course is taught and based on the Newcastle campus. It is delivered mostly in two week blocks but initially several modules run concurrently over a six week period.

The course consists of:

  • 100 credits of taught work (October to March)
  • 80 credit project (April to August)

Contact and independent study times vary depending on the module. We have a good range of practical elements in computer (eg GIS or statistics) and field classes (eg natural history skills or survey skills).

Student Profile

Many of my modules are very hands-on, involving weekly fieldtrips to nature reserves and the University farm for me to practise my skills, such as bird surveying techniques.

Beth's student profile

Related Degrees

  • Ecology and Wildlife Conservation MSc

    Our Ecology and Wildlife Conservation MSc equips you with the skills necessary to pursue a successful career as ecologists or in an environmentally-related field. The course has a professional focus, preparing you for the workplace.

  • Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management MSc

    You study biodiversity conservation as applied ecology in the context of land use - agriculture, forestry and amenity. Focusing on wildlife conservation in the UK and Europe, you develop practical skills in plant identification and habitat assessment from a wide range of upland and lowland areas.

All related programmes


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2019 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2020-2021 fees

The fees displayed here are per course.



Full time: £10,950


Full time: £10,950


Full time: £23,400

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2020 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:2 BSc or BEng honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject, such as:

  • microbiology
  • agriculture
  • environmental engineering
  • biology
  • biological sciences
  • ecology
  • environmental science
  • zoology
  • marine biology
  • oceanography
  • geography

We will also consider applicants on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.


Academic Secretary
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4848