Taught course

Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring

Manchester Metropolitan University · Department of Natural Sciences

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Entry requirements

You'll need a good UK honours degree - at least a 2:2 - or the international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as ecology, biology, zoology, botany, animal behaviour or environmental science. We might also consider your application if you have several years' professional or voluntary experience in a related field.

Months of entry


Course content


Biological recording is vital for biodiversity conservation. In this period of rapid climate change, the ability to collect, manage and interpret information about our natural world has never been more important. This highly practical masters will give you the skils you need to make a valuable and rewarding contribution in this specialist area.

Developed in association with the Field Studies Council (FSC) and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, this course is largely field-based, as you'd expect with a focus on biological recording and identification skills. You'll study part-time over a minimum of two (but usually three) years, taking your core theory units at the FSC headquarters in Preston Montfiord, near Shrewsbury. You'll add to these with six field-based option units, delivered as weekend courses at FSC centres around the UK.

It's a highly vocational course that offers an ideal way to sharpen up the field skills you'll need to take your career in the direction you want. With advanced knowledge of the 'why', 'where' and 'how' of collecting and maintaining biological records of the areas that interest you most, you'll leave us equipped with the expertise to pursue a rewarding future in a specialist field.

Year 1

Core Units

  • Biological Recording and Surveying
  • Research Methods and Design

Year 2

Core Units

  • Monitoring Habitat and Species Responses to Environmental Change
  • Research Analysis

Year 3

Core untis

  • Project Dissertation in Biological Recording

Students may select six units from the list of 30 during Years 1 and 2.

All assessment is continuous there are some essays, presentations, practical assignments such as collection and preparation of voucher specimens, construction of identification keys, site evaluations, identification tests, production of posters and mock journal papers, all of which test your knowledge and critical understanding of biological recording theory and practice.

Career prospects
Our students have an excellent record of promotion and recruitment to jobs in ecology and biological recording, especially those with an emphasis on high-quality field skills and record interpretation.

Careers support is available from the moment you join us, throughout your time here, and for up to three years after the completion of your course. We have a range of services available through the School of Science and the Environment and the University Careers Service including dedicated careers and employability advisors.

Information for international students

For more information to support your studies in the UK, including course details, how to apply, and living in the UK visit www.mmu.ac.uk/international

Fees and funding

For further information on potential sources of funding for postgraduate students, visit http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees/

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)161 247 6969