Postgraduate MSc

Wildlife Conservation

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

We are living through the United Nations Decade on Diversity 2011-2020.  In 2010, The United Nations recognised that ‘Biodiversity is a common concern of humankind’. Yet, threats to Biodiversity and ecosystems are at a record high and it is now widely recognised that our planet can no longer support the current pressure imposed by our society’s unsustainable ways.

There is global recognition for the need to employ professionals in the field of conservation science to take on our planet’s growing environmental challenges.

This course aims to train the future generation of conservation leaders that will work towards a sustainable future for humans and wildlife, in line with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity 2011-2020 Vision: 'Living in Harmony with Nature'. Highly qualified, research-active staff within the well-respected School of Environment and Life Sciences will teach you. You will learn cutting-edge skills and use tools necessary to tackle complex issues surrounding our planet’s current biodiversity crisis.

You will:
  • Learn current methods and techniques used to measure and evaluate biodiversity in the field
  • Understand the role that invasive species and pathogens play in altering local ecological communities and biodiversity
  • Develop the essential tools to produce and interpret maps used in conservation planning and monitoring

students accepted

This is for you if...


You have a genuine broad interest in wildlife and conservation


You want to learn the skills to support biodiversity


You are looking to develop your theoretical and practical experience

Course details

All about the course

You will receive a broad training in wildlife conservation to help enable you to deal with the complexity of problems faced by wildlife.This MSc course, includes eight 15 credit modules to allow you to gain a broader and more appropriate curriculum and includes field course monitoring to give practical hands-on experience.

The modules for this course aim to provide you with the skills a modern wildlife conservation biologist needs to execute their role effectively in a wide-range of institutions from NGOs, Federal Agencies to universities. You’ll be taught by highly qualified, research-active staff within the well-respected School of Environment and Life Sciences.

Semester one

Postgraduate Scholarship Skills

In this module you will be provided with key skills and knowledge to pursue academic research at the postgraduate and professional level.

GIS and Remote Sensing Applied for Wildlife Conservation

In this module, you will learn the essential tools to produce and interpret maps, an essential tool in conservation planning and monitoring.

Contemporary Topics in Wildlife Conservation

This module is designed to present the cutting edge in wildlife conservation science by the top researchers in the field (guest lectures). In addition, you will be trained to write popular science articles, a key skill for a successful conservationist.

Strategies for Mitigating Global Threats

In this module you will be taught to critically assess various mitigation methods in wildlife conservation, what works and what doesn’t in conservation.

Semester two

Invasions and Infections

In this module you will learn about the role the invasive species and pathogens play in altering local ecological communities and biodiversity.

Research Design and Delivery

This module will enable you to design, plan and execute a programme of research and to apply appropriate analysis of research results, it has a strong focus on acquiring laboratory skills prior to undertaking the final research project module and as such will develop your practical skills beyond that of a standard MSc programme. It will provide opportunities for you to develop essential research skills in the discipline and allow you to undertake project work broadly aligned to the focus of your dissertation.

Conservation Planning for Wildlife

This module is designed to introduce cutting edge computer tools used in the prioritisation of species and areas for conservation.

Field Monitoring of Biodiversity

In this module you will learn about current methods and techniques used to measure and evaluate biodiversity in the field in any country in the world or locally in England.

Semester three


This module is designed to provide a mechanism to allow development of a student’s investigative (experimental) skills with subject specific aims in the area of wildlife conservation with objectives being dependent on the project undertaken.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including lectures, seminars, discussion/debate, guest speaker/student presentations and computer based practicals. 


You will be assessed in a variety of ways including theoretical essays, practical assignments, oral presentations and a dissertation.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.


The University hosts industry standard instrumentation including cell culture facilities, FACS, MALDI-TOF, LC and GC mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Having access to industry standard technology means that upon graduation, our students are fully prepared and equipped to enter the workplace.

We have recently invested in the development of a new, state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.

This programme includes field trips when you will develop your practical skills outside the classroom.

Academic profiles

Prof Jean Boubli

Programme Leader for MSc Wildlife Conservation

My teaching relates to my research in the areas of Tropical Ecology and Conservation; Primate Behaviour and Conservation; Wildlife Ecology and Behaviour and Biogeography.

Find out more about our staff who teach on the course:

Dr Rachael Antwis

Dr Allan McDevitt

Dr Christoph Meyer

Dr Katherine Yates

Prof Robert Young

Dr Richard Armitage

Prof Mark Danson

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

According to the Society for Conservation Biology (2015), jobs in conservation biology are growing at a rate of 3% per year. Wildlife conservation biologists are employed around the world in a wide-range of institutions from NGOs, Federal Agencies to universities.

There are increasing employment opportunities in the area of wildlife conservation with NGOs (national and international), federal institutions, state institutions, private companies, environmental consultancy companies and research institutions including universities.

This course reflects the growing importance of solving the Global Biodiversity Extinction Crisis and specifically the halting of the extinction of animal species. This is recognised globally by governments in a number of significant international treaties, meetings and agreements, for example, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). There is global recognition for the need to employ more conservation biologists to solve and mitigate the problems caused by human activities that are detrimental to the survival of wildlife such as the unsustainable forest use.

A taste of what you could become

A conservation biologist

A wildlife conservationist

A ranger

And more...


What you need to know


This Master's programme is suitable for undergraduates in the areas of Biological Sciences, Anthropology and Veterinary Science around the UK and internationally. However, candidates with suitable alternative professional experience may also be considered. Furthermore, this course may be appropriate for some professional conservation scientists who wish to enhance their job prospects or promotion prospects by obtaining a postgraduate taught course qualification.


International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

You will need an appropriate undergraduate degree (e.g., biological sciences, anthropology, veterinary science) with a minimum classification of 2:2 (lower second class).

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £9,000per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £15,210per year
Part-time 2020/21 £1,500 per 30 credits
Additional costs
  • Field courses - all field trips are funded by the University
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

 Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

To find out more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2020