MSc Ecological Management and Conservation Biology
Queen's University of Belfast - Medical Faculty
Belfast, United Kingdom
Full time, Part time
GBP 8,360 / per year
Earliest start date
In MSc Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, We are in the middle of a biodiversity crisis; the sixth mass extinction event on Earth driven by man. Wildlife populations have declined by 68% since 1970 while climate breakdown is pushing the Earth beyond safe ecological limits.
There is unprecedented pressure on the environment from overexploitation, habitat degradation and destruction, climate change, invasive species, pollution, and emerging diseases. However, you can be part of global and local solutions.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July for courses that commence in late September. If any program receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the program application page.
Please note a deposit will be required to guarantee a place on the course. Due to high demand, applications may not be considered if the course has reached its maximum class size and will be placed on a waiting list. Please see the deposit terms and conditions for more details.
Ecological Management And Conservation Biology Highlights
The course blends taught conservation biology with practical field-based ecological management practice with a combination of physical and virtual field trips weekly during Semester 1.
Internationally renowned ecologists in the School of Biological Sciences maintain close links with Government departments and conservation sector organizations responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity. Field trips include input from conservation charities, environmental consultants, zoological gardens, museums, nature reserve managers, and independent research institutes.
Many graduates enter the conservation sector internationally working across the globe at the local level to affect positive change. But you don have to necessarily work in a conservation-orientated career - previous students have gone to places as unusual as art galleries where they have created scientifically inspired artwork as an alternative method for environmental outreach.
World Class Facilities
- The recently built, £38M, School of Biological Sciences has state-of-the-art teaching and laboratory facilities whilst you will have access to field facilities including the Queen's Marine Laboratory (QML) at Portaferry, Strangford Lough: one of only three working marine laboratories in Europe.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- You will be taught by staff with research profiles of international standing, with a wide range of interests in ecological management and conservation biology covering taxa from algae to mammals and environments from marine to terrestrial.
- You'll take part in a class conservation biology group project (an Ecological Impact Assessment) before being given the option to undertake either a professional work placement project (embedded in business and industry) or a research project (embedded in academia).
- Dr. Neil Reid is Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology and Programme Director: We need to enrich the student experience beyond sitting in dry academic lectures to give them the experience of the real world, both physically and virtually, to acquire the practical skills they'll need for a job in conservation.
The MSc may have up to around 50 students. The program has a backbone of taught academic lectures covering the full spectrum of subjects contained within conservation biology including:
- Animal Behaviour
- Conservation genomics
- Climate change
- Emerging diseases
- Environmental Economics
- Environmental impact assessment
- Grassland management
- Invasion biology
- Marine conservation
- Soil biology
- Wildfire ecology
Semester 1 Modules
Ecological Management and Conservation Biology (40 CATS)
Foundations for Research in the Biosciences (20 CATS)
Conservation Biology Group Project (10 CATS)
Semester 2 Modules
Skills in Ecological Management (30 CATS)
Literature Review (20 CATS)
Semester 3 Modules
Option 1: Work Placement Research Project (60 CATS)
Option 2: Academic Research Project (60 CATS)
What Else Will You Do?
Each week there is either a physical or virtual field trip to experience the practicalities of what you have learned in class and to see ecological management applications in the field.
These include captive breeding facilities for endangered species, river corridors along which invasive species are managed, ground-nesting bird conservation programs, national nature reserves including sand dunes, bogs, and species-rich grasslands, commercial industry, Belfast Zoo, and the Mourne Mountains.
Scholarships and Funding
We offer prestigious, competitive scholarships of up to 50% off tuition fees to new international students. You must have an offer to study a full-time course with us in 2023 to apply for a scholarship. Find out more by contacting the university.
The course has a mix of students from Ireland, Great Britain, and international students (previously from, for example, but not limited to China, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, the USA, etc.)
If you undertake a Work Placement Project this MSc will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in conservation or ecological consultancy. If you undertake a Research project this MSc will qualify you for entering further research e.g. a PhD programme.
Employment after the Course
Graduates have been employed by a range of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Government departments, and environmental consultancies with some progressing annually into research at other Universities.
- International students frequently return to their home country to work on local conservation.
- Principal Town and Country Planning Consultant at TC Town Planning
- Psychologist, DOE Marine Division
- Conservation Officer, The Irish Wildlife Trust
- Managing Quantity Surveyor, Faithful, and Gold
- Survey Team Leader and Wildlife Guide at ORCA
- Ecologists at Roughan and O'Donovan
- Ecologist at Neo Environmental Ltd
- MCO Spatial NI at Ordnance Survey
- Outreach Officer Bumblebee Conservation Trust
- HSEQ Coordinator and Advisor Remondis Australia
- Scientific Officer at AFBI
- Scientific Officer at Northern Ireland Environment Agency
- Principal Environmental Consultant at Ayre Environmental Consulting
- Assistant Ecologist WYG
- Consultant Ecologist at AECOM
- Network Development Manager (NE) Sustrans
- Ecologist at Blackstaff Ecology Ltd
- Project Manager for ESGE, Munich
- Lab Analyst at Fibertec Environmental Services, Michigan
- Freelance Seasonal Ecologist/ Bat Surveyor
- Environmental Educator, UNESCO Dublin Bay Biosphere
- Conservation Advisor at RSPB
- Application Specialist, Exploristics Ltd
- Raptor Monitoring Officer at Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group
- Environmental Assistant at Northstone (NI) Limited
- AES Biodiversity Intern at Ulster Wildlife
- Graduate Assistant Ecologist at Ecological Survey and Assessment (ECOSA) Limited
- Ecologist at RPS Group
- Ecologist at Focus Ecology
- Compliance Officer at Norbrook Laboratories Ltd
- Assistant Ecologist Wild Frontier Ecology Ltd
- Graduate Land Consultant at Mouchel
- Regulatory Affairs Associate at Genpact Pharmalink
- Engineering Technician at McCloy Consulting Limited
- Volunteer at Belfast Hills Partnership Trust
- Natural Resources Specialist at Equinox Environmental
- Consultation and Design, Inc. Ashville
Employers who are interested in people like you:
Environmental consultancies including international organizations like AECOM Ltd., global conservation charities like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) or Conservation International, government, for example, the Departments of Environment, Agriculture or Fisheries or local conservation groups such as those into fisheries management, stock assessment, habitat or species restoration.
You will be perfectly placed as a site manager on a nature reserve or an environmental education officer. You could equally end up in industry conducting environmental impact assessments on projects such as alternative energy production like wind farms or marine turbines, or infrastructural developments such as airport runway extensions.
After your MSc, you might want to travel and gain experience in places like Asia, South America, or Africa.
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports, and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognized by a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.