Taught course

Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring

Manchester Metropolitan University · School of Science and the Environment

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree of 2:2 honours (or equivalent) in a relevant allied subject normally would be expected in subjects such as ecology, biology, zoology, botany, animal behaviour or environmental science. Exceptions may be possible for applicants who can demonstrate highly relevant work experience in industry over several years. Each application is considered on its own merit.

Months of entry


Course content


The course is designed to give you the ability to use and collect biological records and subject them to critical analysis.

Our biological recording courses are developed in association with the Field Studies Council and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. This gives both our teaching and graduate prospects the authority and reputation to appeal across a wide spectrum of organisations.

The course gives students the skills and knowledge they need to effectively collect and analyse biological records. The course is ideal for anyone working in ecological consultancy wishing to improve their survey skills, or those interested or involved in biological recording.

The wide range of option field-based practical units allow you to select units which focus on the species identification or survey skills you require and allow either taxonomic specialisation or the broadening of field skills. The core units include theoretical aspects of biological recording, including monitoring of ecosystems, site assessment, and analysis of data. Your MSc dissertation will allow you to focus on an area of interest within the field and is supported by a range of staff from across the Division of Biology. Due to the necessity of field seasons for practical units, the course can only be studied part-time over two or three years.

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

UK students
Please check the website for the latest fees

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 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