This flexible course will offer you a wide variety of options, allowing you to personalise your study in preparation for further academic research or professional development in the field.
Our mixture of academic and practical subjects will equip you with the diverse set of skills needed for ecological careers and further research. This 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. A number of students treat the MSc as a conversion course, after having taken degrees in non-biological subjects.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biodiversity and Conservation MSc Part Time in the course catalogue
Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I
Biodiversity and Conservation Skills II
Biodiversity and Conservation MSc and MRes Summer Project
Learning and teaching
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. Thanks to these links, potential employers including Natural England, the National Trust, conservation bodies and commercial ecological consultancies, both local and national, contribute directly to teaching on a number of our modules. This provides key practical training and invaluable networking opportunities such as the five-day residential trip to the Yorkshire Dales with the National Trust.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including: formal lectures, interactive workshops, field trips, 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.
Throughout your time at Leeds, you will 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.
As an MSc student, you’ll carry out one research project designed to equip you with key practical and analytical skills. 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, which in the last few years have included Spain, Cyprus, Belize, Malawi, Thailand, Japan and Kyrgyzstan.
There are many opportunities to develop valuable practical skills through modules such as Conservation Skills, Insect Identification, Plant Identification, and 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.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
We use a variety of assessment methods: practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.