Students on field trip

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
LocationSilwood Park
ECTS: 90 credits
This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

This unique course will give you the skills required for success in the highly competitive field of international conservation.

About the course


This course is taught in partnership with three of the most high-profile conservation practitioners in the UK:

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

Find out more about this course on Imperial College Conservation Science research group's website.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in any subject. Applicants without the relevant level of qualification but substantial field experience may be considered.

International qualifications

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 for then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirements

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.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


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.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

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.

ATAS Certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Further information

Find out more about the MSc in Conservation Science, including more detailed course content.