Normally a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent, but relevant experience may be taken into consideration.
MSc Biodiversity and Conservation;MRes in Biodiversity and Conservation.
Months of entry
This course is designed to prepare you for a career in conservation, or for further research at PhD level. If you’re already an established conservation professional, our modules provide additional skills to support you to progress in your employment.
Distinct from similar courses offered in the UK, the course concentrates on the biological principles underlying biodiversity, its assessment and management. You’ll learn to identify plants and animals, explore the institutional framework underlying biodiversity and conservation and gain key analytical and practical skills for a range of academic and professional careers. You’ll also gain valuable experience in biodiversity and conservation-related research.
The University of Leeds has twice been recognised by the European Union as a "centre of excellence" for biodiversity and conservation training. We believe biodiversity can only be managed and conserved when it can be measured and interpreted properly.
This degree offers you a wide range of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.
We’ll equip you with a diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. The course combines theory-based modules on the principles of ecology and conservation with a wide range of practical skills-based modules. These include survey, management and identification skills, where the emphasis is on spending time in the field, and analytical skills such as statistics and GIS.
The independent research project is one of the most important and potentially fulfilling parts of the degree. Projects cover a wide range of topics and usually include around six to eight weeks of practical work. A number of our students have been based overseas for their project.
If you study part time, the course will last for two years and you’ll study around half of the total number of modules each year.
MSc or MRes – what’s the difference?
MRes students have fewer taught modules, and carry out two major research projects rather than one. The MSc is the broader course, suitable for both conservation careers and PhD study, while most students taking the MRes are planning to go on to do a PhD. The MSc allows students to widen their skills base through the additional taught elements that are available. An increasing number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.
Learning and teaching
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and biodiversity and conservation modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a professional who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project. As an MRes student, you'll carry out two. The range of project topics is large and diverse, covering applied, empirical and theoretical subjects. Projects can be carried out in the UK or overseas: projects have been carried out in over twenty countries so far, and this year alone we have projects in Belize, Thailand, Greece, Bermuda and Morocco.
There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Practical Conservation with the National Trust, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and by overseas field courses within Europe and Africa (see field courses) and research project work. You can also build your analytical skills, with modules in GIS and statistics.
Leeds is one of the best locations geographically to study Biodiversity and Conservation. You’ll be within easy reach of three areas of great natural beauty and dramatic scenery; Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District – providing you with a wide range of project and fieldwork opportunities.
Information for international students
The Faculty has many years experience welcoming international students. Students must have IELTS 6.5 overall with not less than 6 in any component or an Internet-based TOEFL score of 92, with no less than 21 in listening and reading, 22 in writing, and 23 in speaking.
Fees and funding
Information on fees, funding and finance can be found on our website: Tuition fee deposits for postgraduate Masters applicants
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Faculty of Biological Sciences Postgraduate Admissions
- +44 (0)113 343 1418
- +44 (0)113 343 4107