MSc Conservation Science
Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
Campus: Silwood Park
ECTS: 90 credits
Dr Andrew Knight
This unique course will give you the skills required for success in the highly competitive field of international conservation.
This course is taught in partnership with three of the most high-profile conservation practitioners in the UK:
- the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
- the Institute of Zoology, the research division of the Zoological Society of London
- the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
You will be immersed in the ongoing conservation work of these organisations, and will be able to choose six-month research project topics linked to their conservation programmes, ensuring that your project contributes to real-world conservation.
The course provides a strong quantitative basis for conservation work, including decision theory, conservation planning, statistical computing and modelling.
Through learning to collect, analyse and use both socioeconomic and biological information, you will gain a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the theory and practice of conservation.
By the end of the course you will not only have developed an ability to analyse conservation issues, but you will also know how to put this understanding into action, implementing successful conservation projects.
Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.
The taught element of the course is arranged in week-long modules, and covers topics such as the current state of the environment, poverty-environment linkages, drivers of biodiversity loss, conservation ethics and key techniques in conservation. You also examine a number of real-world case studies.
The course has a particular focus on interactive group work. Through this you will develop the skills you need to succeed as a conservation professional:
- writing proposals
- managing projects
- facilitating stakeholder engagement
- presenting posters
- giving talks at scientific forums
A 23-week individual research project, conducted under supervision, accounts for 50% of your overall degree mark. Your project, to be written up as a thesis, can be on any topic within the broad area of conservation science as long as it has a clear application to conservation of the natural world. Some projects are purely ecological, and others pure social science. Many have aspects of both. Past project titles include:
- Livelihoods in an artisanal fishing community and the effect of ecotourism
- Reconciling protected area management and sustainable development in the Indian Himalayas
- Resolving human-bear conflict in the Venezuelan Andes
- Evaluating the use of camera traps to estimate animal abundance
Tuition fees and funding
The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.
For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.
Tuition fees (Home and EU students)
Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)
Postgraduate Master's loan
If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.
We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.
There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.
Accommodation and living costs
Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.
You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.
A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.
We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).
We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.
Minimum academic requirement
2.1 Honours degree in any subject. Applicants without the relevant level of qualification but substantial field experience may be considered.
The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.
We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.
If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.
English language requirement (all applicants)
All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.
For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.
How to apply
All applicants must apply online.
You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.
Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.
You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.
Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.
For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.