Taught course

Biodiversity and Conservation

University of Sheffield · Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:2 undergraduate honours degree in biological sciences or a related subject.

Months of entry


Course content

Develop fundamental knowledge about major conservation issues and their human and environmental drivers, including urbanisation, tropical logging, marine plastics, and the balance between sustainable food production and biodiversity.

Course description

This MSc course prepares you for a career protecting biodiversity in a range of natural, agricultural and urban ecosystems around the world. Throughout your course, you'll be in the field learning about conservation issues and the constraints posed by budgets, policy and legislation.

Fieldwork will form a large part of your learning. You'll have the choice of undertaking a tropical field course to The Gambia, with its range of ecosystems providing both excellent wildlife watching opportunities as well as illustrating many of the most important global issues in tropical conservation, or exploring North Norfolk, with its internationally important coastal habitats making it one of Europe’s top wildlife watching destinations.

No matter which destination you choose, you'll receive training in the principles of experimental design and data collection in an area of outstanding conversation and biodiversity interest, equipping you with the key skills to plan and manage your own conservation projects.

You'll develop an understanding of how environmental change can impact biodiversity and how the effective management of ecosystems can positively impact both biodiversity and the ecosystem itself.

You’ll conduct an Independent Research Project, spending three months researching an area of biodiversity or conservation that matches your future career aspirations. You could be field-based, lab-based or complete a computational data-driven project, tackling topics such as urbanisation, ecosystem services, tropical deforestation, and marine conservation.

Example research projects include:

  • The Peak District: a study system for biodiversity and management
  • Effects of increased CO2 on ecosystems
  • Traits in space and time: mobilising biodiversity data for conservation, macroecology, and macroevolution
  • Logging in tropical forests: a conservation and ecological study system

Please see our University website for the most up-to-date course information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/courses

Information for international students

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

For more information about entry requirements for international students, please visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/applying/postgraduate-taught

Fees and funding


The cost of all core fieldwork and practical project work is included in your tuition fees, this includes travel and accommodation for any one day field trips and compulsory field courses as well as obligatory safety equipment. Necessary vaccinations and visas required for travel, as well as travel to field sites for research project work, may incur additional costs.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 114 222 2341