Taught course

Zoo Conservation Biology

Manchester Metropolitan University · School of Science and the Environment

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Entry requirements

You'll need a good UK honours degree - at least a 2:2 - or in the international equivalent in a relevant allied subject normally would be expected. 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


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 policy makers, they are key players in conservation.

Study our masters in Zoo Conservation Biology and you can play your part too, as you develop expertise in managing and maintaining captive populations, while exploring its 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. Other units on the programme include three-month work placement at a UK aquarium, and a field course to Poland, Ecuador or East Africa. With a wide range of option units, you'll also have the chance to specialise in species recovery and behavioural biology.

It all then feeds back into your masters research project, where you'll combine fieldwork with research and data analysis, and communicate your findings in a comprehensive dissertation.

It's a degree that takes a strong numerical and research-orientated approach, backed up with essential practical field 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

Option units

  • Topics in Conservation and Sustainability
  • Behavioural Biology
  • Species Recovery
  • Avian Biology and Conservation
  • Earth Observation and GIS

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 www.mmu.ac.uk/international

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 http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees/

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