You will gain the knowledge and skills you need to work in conservation biology and other environmental or ecological roles through this master's in Ecology and Biodiversity. You’ll study an area of ecological science, from both a UK and international perspective.
Areas covered include:
- global wildlife conservation policy and practice
- environmental impacts
- international sustainable development
This MSc Ecology and Biodiversity has a professional focus, which will help prepare you for the workplace. You'll learn advanced methods to analyse published ecological literature, global conservation policies and assessment methods.
You’ll benefit from our relationships with notable wildlife organisations and be able to take part in projects with institutions, such as:
- the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- other local, national (UK) and international conservation organisations, including government and NGO
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Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
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What you'll learn
This master's in Ecology and Biodiversity will cover how wildlife-related research can influence policies. You'll gain an understanding of:
- species conservation principles and practice
- human-natural systems
- the impacts of non-native species
- human-wildlife conflicts
- geographic information systems and remote sensing
You’ll also be able to develop solutions for global problems, such as:
- managing high-risk invasive species
- human-wildlife conflicts
- global assessment for policy support
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.
Module information 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.
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.
Optional modules availability
Some course have optional modules. Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
How you'll learn
You’ll be taught using a range of methods, including:
- field work
- research project
- small group tutorials
- laboratory practicals
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Case study
- Oral presentation
- Practical lab report
- Written exercise
In Stage 3, you'll undertake a Research Project (60 credits). You'll work with an academic supervisor and, where relevant, an external collaborator. Research projects can be field or experimental-based or focused on data-analysis and modelling.
Your teaching and learning is also supported by Canvas. Canvas is a Virtual Learning Environment. You'll use Canvas to submit your assignments and access your:
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to support from:
- our University Student Services Team
You'll also be assigned an academic member of staff. They will be your personal tutor throughout your time with us. They can help with academic and personal issues.
The Degree Programme Director for the MSc Ecology and Biodiversity MSc is Dr Roy Sanderson. He is an active research ecologist and his research focuses on:
- modelling complex ecological systems, data visualisation, geographic information systems, machine learning
- invertebrate ecology, including insects in agroecosystems and upland environments
- vegetation community ecology; measurement of patterns and change at different spatial scales in response to management
You’ll develop a range of highly desirable knowledge and skills needed to work in conservation biology and other environmental or ecological roles. This includes:
- an understanding of wildlife conservation policy and practice in the UK and internationally
- the ability to undertake complex, cutting-edge environmental data analysis and methods for effective communication of results to non-specialists
- skills to handle large datasets, including spatial data (GIS), remote-sensed data, camera traps, and machine learning
- techniques to review and analyse before published ecological research
- the skills necessary to work at the interface of science and policy
- the knowledge to launch a global career in organisations such as:
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
When you graduate from the course, you will be able to evaluate and solve ecological problems. We will teach you skills in a range of ecologically related areas including:
- qualitative skills including verbal, written and web-based communication of scientific findings to non-specialists
- quantitative methods including the tools needed to manage and undertake advanced ecological data analysis
- effective strategies to plan large-scale and/or long-term ecological projects
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and processing of spatial data
- management of conflicts between nature conservation and human activities
Collaborative research projects
You'll have the opportunity to undertake research projects in collaboration with external institutions in the UK and abroad.
Our graduates have found employment with organisations including:
- Animal Plant Health Agency
- Chester Zoo
- Edinburgh Zoo
- Environment Agency
- Natural England
- The National Trust
- Scottish Natural Heritage
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.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2020 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support our research and teaching, including:
- fully equipped laboratories
- Cockle Park farm with farming of pigs, dairy and beef, as well as a variety of arable cropping and grassland trials
- Dove Marine Laboratory
Find out more about our facilities.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.
If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
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You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Applications for 2022/23
You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021
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From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
- explore our beautiful campus
- find out about our vibrant city
- discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
We also hold various online and virtual events.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
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