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Conservation and Ecosystem Management MSc

Make a difference to our beautiful, but threatened planet by studying our Conservation and Ecosystem Management MSc. It will develop your academic understanding, and your practical skills, relating to conservation, biodiversity and ecosystem management.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year:

Start date(s):

  • September 2024


You'll study biodiversity and conservation in the context of a range of UK ecosystems including woodland, grassland and moor in this master's in Conservation and Ecosystem Management.

You'll develop practical skills in habitat assessment and species identification. You'll also:

  • expand your academic understanding
  • contribute to relevant research
  • meet local practitioners

This master's in conservation is suitable for graduates with a background in ecology, biology and environmental science. It would also suit those with an interest in wildlife who are seeking a career change towards conservation, habitat management or ecological consultancy.

You'll benefit from our strong links with public and private sector organisations including:

  • Northumberland National Park
  • Natural England
  • local Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • local Wildlife Trusts
  • Forestry Commission
  • National Trust
  • local ecological consultancies 

You'll be taught by lecturers who are experienced in industry and research. They are passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience with students. Fields of interest include:

  • moorland dynamics and restoration
  • grassland community conservation and ecology
  • soil quality and interactions with plants
  • sustainable farming systems and agro-ecology
  • soil-carbon dynamics
  • rewilding
  • urban agriculture and greening
  • human influences on the distribution of plants and lichens


Important information

We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.

What you'll learn

You'll develop understanding, practical ability and critical awareness around the following:

  • temperate zone ecosystems and wildlife species, for example forest and woodland, moorland, calaminarian, whin, coastal and other grassland, and other habitats
  • contemporary conservation issues, for example rewilding, conflict in the countryside, biodiversity threats
  • habitat assessment appropriate for ecological consultancy work
  • surveying and mapping using technology such as GIS
  • plant and animal species identification skills
  • practical management planning for selected ecosystems
  • communication including presentations, short videos, report writing and teamwork

We offer help in academic and professional skills such as:

  • ecology for non-ecologists
  • critical thinking for scientists
  • information literacy
  • data manipulation, analysis and presentation

Our approach to data analysis is suitable for different ability levels. We use R software assuming basic knowledge. We build on this quickly so you can analyse and present dissertation data professionally, and undertake similar research in your future employment.


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.

How you'll learn

Your development

You'll develop a range of valuable skills and knowledge such as:

  • academic research and critical thinking skills as you complete a major conservation or biodiversity research project
  • an understanding of the sector and its issues as we visit sites and welcome speakers from relevant and important organisations
  • analytical and critical thinking skills as we debate the obvious questions like, ‘why do we conserve?’ along with deeper and more specific questions
  • data manipulation, analysis and presentation skills

Your future

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have found employment with organisations including:

  • Wildlife Trusts - project officer
  • Natural England - wildlife advisor
  • Ecological Consultancy - ecologist
  • Environment Agency - biodiversity officer

Careers support

We'll help you enhance your CV so that you are in a strong position in the job market, or so that you can embark upon a PhD. We work with our Careers Service to provide a careers event to improve your job application prospects. We work with external organisations to ensure you are thinking about career opportunities as early as possible

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support our research and teaching, including:

  • Cockle Park Farm: a 262ha mixed farm that includes the renowned Palace Leas hay meadow experimental plots
  • Nafferton Farm: a 300ha farm with long-running organic versus conventional trial plots

Newcastle is close to some very special natural and man-made habitats. These habitats all have biodiversity interest and many with challenging conservation issues. It is a prime location for study. We are located close to the hills and plains of Northumberland, County Durham and the Lake District. Highlights include:

  • remote moorlands and bogs
  • ancient woodlands
  • Kielder Forest
  • diverse and threatened grasslands
  • rocky and marshy coast

There are also great rail links to Edinburgh and London.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

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Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

Using the application portal

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Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

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Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

Helen Adamson
Degree Program Director Conservation and Ecosystem Management
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6915


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

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