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Course Details

Conservation Ecology

School of Life Sciences
Contact Provider
Each module takes half day or 1 day sometimes spread over 2 half days contact time, 200 hrs effort
(See Description)
Employees in ecological, environmental or conservation related organisations wishing to develop skills. Science background required.
School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford, OX3 0BP, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


Biological conservation and biodiversity assessment have a strong legislative background with targets for the maintenance and enhancement of habitats and species. Furthermore the legislation sets a framework for biodiversity assessment in relation to development and associated mitigation measures. To adhere to the legislation and to effectively identify the best opportunities and adopt appropriate strategies for biodiversity enhancement, well-trained, knowledgeable and highly informed practitioners are required.

Course description

This course is designed to develop your field skills, such as identification, required when undertaking biodiversity surveys. You will produce professional reports and assessments and undertake monitoring of species and communities. You will also gain additional skills, essential for conservation practitioners, for example knowledge of wildlife legislation, planning law and environmental policy; IT competencies, particularly Geographical Information Systems (GIS); an understanding of the ecological requirements of different species and the implications of environmental change as well as an ability to statistically interpret field data.

Study mode

Whether you're looking to enhance your career prospects or planning to return to work after a career break, we offer a flexible part-time study programme which enables you to study around work or family commitments. Since a third of our students choose to study part-time, you'll benefit from the range of backgrounds and experiences of fellow students. 

Study level

Choose a level of study that suits you - MSc (180 credits), PGDip (120 credits) or PGCert (60 credits) or simply select from our wide range of individual modules - ideal as refresher training or to suit employers looking to provide staff development opportunities in specialist areas.  

Example module

Taxonomy and Identification develops taxonomic skills by requiring students to focus on the processes of identification of species and recognition of key characteristics of selected taxonomic groups. Skills are learned by practical studies in the field and by the use of collections and appropriate taxonomic tools.


We provide a wide variety of support to our part-time students including a dedicated academic advisor, our Upgrade service which provides support with writing assignments and online access to your study programme through your Personal Information Portal (PIP). 

Other study features

The course leader is the editor of the Journal of Insect Conservation and also sits on the board for Children’s Conservation. As part of a common’s initiative, a local common has been given money to spend by Natural England. Life Sciences uses this common to teach students some essential skills in habitat assessment, species identification, and the information the students gather is used by the board. Therefore, our students learn whilst applying theory to actual case studies.

Fees and scholarships

Costs vary annually. For 2011-12 entry fees are as follows. CPD ranges from £250 per undergraduate module to £640 per postgraduate module. This MSc costs £3,010 per annum in part-time mode.  We are pleased to offer scholarships to part-time MSc degree applicants - visit our website for further details.

Research opportunities

Life Sciences also has one of the largest postgraduate research communities at Oxford Brookes offering flexible research opportunities across a range of disciplines; ideal for employees who wish to study part-time and be based in their workplace. Fees for 2011-12 start from approximately £4,000 per annum (including a bench fee of £2,500, which may be waived when undertaking a project in the workplace. For further information, contact conserv[email protected].

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