Taught course

Conservation Studies (MSc)

Institution
University of St Andrews · Graduate School
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

The Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies welcomes applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including, but not limited to:

  • anthropology
  • biology
  • computer science
  • history
  • mathematics
  • sustainable development.

You should have a keen interest in conservation and the scientific methods that underpin conservation policy, and be able to demonstrate this through one of the following:

  • an A-Level, AS-Level, Scottish Higher, International Baccalaureate or equivalent qualification in a science or environmental discipline such as geography or biology
  • undergraduate modules in ecology, biology or environmental sciences
  • relevant professional experience.

You must also be prepared for the demands of working across disciplinary boundaries – for example, those from a mathematical background should demonstrate good literacy and an awareness of the social context of conservation issues. Those from a humanities background should demonstrate numeracy and logical thinking.

An AS-Level, Scottish Higher, International Baccalaureate or equivalent qualification in a subject such as physics, maths, or engineering will be advantageous if you are intending to take a more quantitative route through the programme.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Course information

The MSc Conservation Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to conservation theory and practice. It brings together students and academic staff from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, but with a shared passion for conservation.

Highlights

  • Explore conflicts between different human agencies, engage with conservation policy and governance at different scales (local, national, and international), and consider the relationship between the public, science, and policy.
  • Research ecological case studies and examples from a range of habitats in aquatic and terrestrial systems and gain a scientific understanding of data collection and analysis.
  • An interdisciplinary approach means you can explore a range of methodological approaches to conservation – ecological, economic, historical, etc.
  • Your summer research project can (subject to availability) be undertaken in collaboration with an external organisation involved in conservation practice.

Our growing understanding of ecosystems, ecosystem services, and biodiversity suggests that conservation of the environment is crucial to humankind's survival. However, there are significant challenges to effective conservation.

Firstly, there is a need for further advances in scientific understanding and data collection. The MSc Conservation Studies provides advanced training in data collection and analysis and the design of ecological studies with the opportunity for you to develop fieldwork, mathematical computing, and experimental skills.

Secondly, there is the need to inform and engage the public, managers, and decision makers. On the MSc Conservation Studies, you will explore conflicts between different human agencies, engage with conservation policy and governance at different scales (local, national, and international), and consider the relationship between the public, science, and policy.

The degree is distinguished by its interdisciplinary character and you will be encouraged to use ideas from different disciplines to illuminate current debates in conservation with a view to mediating what can appear to be irreconcilable differences. The core modules comprise seminars led by subject experts drawn from across the University and speakers from conservation-related organisations who provide a professional perspective.

Teaching format

The MSc degree is a one year full-time programme. Students complete one core module in Semester 1 (September to December) and a second core module in Semester 2 (January to June). Students take one or two optional modules in each semester. The period from June to August is used to complete the summer research project.

The MSc degree involves both independent and group study, and teaching methods include seminars, workshops, and practical exercises. Most modules are assessed through coursework, including written assignments, social media assignments, and presentations.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,000
International students
EU: £9,000 Overseas: £21,990

Qualification and course duration

MSc

full time
12 months

Course contact details

Name
Postgraduate Secretary
Email
gradschool@st-andrews.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1334 46 2032