- Course: MSc Biodiversity and Conservation
Why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I chose to study at Leeds so that I could obtain the knowledge and skills required to enter my chosen profession, whilst enjoying the benefits of studying and living in a great part of the country.
What did you enjoy about the course?
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to learn from a range of experienced external industry professionals brought in to assist with professional modules. Having lectures, field excursions and lab sessions led by; highly respected industry experts (botanists and entomologists), staff from the industry regulators (Natural England etc.), and conservation site managers provided an opportunity to gain ‘real life’ industry experience directly applicable to future employment.
In addition, the high percentage of practical based study and assessment within modules is essential in the field of biodiversity and conservation and was a main reason for selecting Leeds over other universities.
What have been the highlights of the course?
Interesting and informative site visits with Natural England officers and other industry professionals, and the abundance of practical based lab learning and assessment as within Plant ID, Insect ID and Habitat Restoration modules (increasingly rare within further education).
What have you been doing since finishing your studies?
I was fortunate to secure a position within a local ecological consultancy towards the end of my time at Leeds, and started work whilst completing my dissertation. Since starting within the business as an ecologist, I have built upon the technical and transferable skills that I obtained from my undergraduate and postgraduate studies and am now in the position of Senior Ecologist. I have directly applied aspects of the learning that I received during my studies at Leeds, and feel that the course has been of benefit to my professional development.
What company are you working for?
I work in the position of Senior Ecologist for an ecological consultancy called PBA Applied Ecology, based in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales. My main responsibilities include planning and undertaking ecological surveys and report writing, project management, meetings with clients and regulators, and managing a small team of ecologists.
What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?
Having lectures, field excursions and lab sessions led by; highly respected industry experts (botanists and entomologists), staff from the industry regulators (Natural England etc.), and conservation site managers provided an opportunity to gain ‘real life’ industry experience directly applicable to future employment.
Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course at Leeds?
Increasingly few UK universities provide ecology/biodiversity/conservation focused postgraduate courses with a real practical teaching and assessment aspect. The MSc Biodiversity and Conservation course offered by the University of Leeds maintains this increasingly rare feature and was the main reason for my choice of course. In addition, the university is based around an attractive campus in the exciting city of Leeds. Ease of access to the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District was a big selling point.