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Entry requirements

You'll need a UK honours degree - normally a 2:1 - 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 experience in a related field.

Months of entry


Course content


Zoos play a crucial role in animal conservation. Whether they’re carrying out important research into animal behaviour, taking part in breeding programmes, educating the public or advising policymakers, they are crucial players in international conservation.

Study our masters in Zoo Conservation Biology and you can play your part too, as you develop expertise in the science which underpins the management and maintenance of captive populations and explore the links with species conservation on a worldwide scale.

The main core unit is Zoo Conservation, which we deliver with the help of our partners at Chester Zoo – giving you access to the zoo’s collections and facilities. Within the course, you can participate in a field course in Poland, Ecuador or East Africa or apply for a three-month work placement at a zoo or aquarium. Other core units, delivered at our Manchester campus, include practical techniques and analysis, statistics and research design and organismal genetics. Amongst a wide range of option units, you’ll also have the chance to specialise in subjects like species recovery and behavioural biology.

This all then feeds back into your master’s research project, where you’ll combine your own data collection with background research and data analysis, and communicate your findings in a comprehensive dissertation.

It’s a masters degree that takes a strong numerical and research-orientated approach backed up with essential practical skills. As such, you’ll leave us with a valuable range of professional tools to help you succeed in this rewarding area.

Core units

  • Zoo Conservation
  • Statistics & Research Design
  • Masters Project in Zoo Conservation
  • Practical Techniques and Analysis
  • Topics in Organismal Genetics
  • Field Course OR Placement

You'll also be able to choose from a range of option units to tailor your learning.

You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Study pattern
Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available online via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

Career prospects

This is a course that can pave the way to a wide range of career paths and professional possibilities, providing a route into animal management within captive populations.

By the time you leave us, you should be equipped to pursue animal management, research, advisory and educational roles with a wide range of organisations, from zoos to environmental consultancies, and government research bodies to NGOs. You might also decide to continue your studies onto PhD level.

Careers support is available from the moment you join us, and for up to three years after you finish your course. Dedicated careers and employability advisors in the Department of Natural Sciences and the Environment and the University Careers Service will help you find the role that’s right for you.

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

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Please check the latest Postgraduate prospectus for information on the tuition fees for each course. For further information on potential sources of funding for postgraduate students, visit

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations10
Written coursework / continuous assessment90

Course contact details

Course Enquiries Team
+44 (0)161 247 6969