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Postgraduate study
Ecology and Conservation (with Advanced Practice)

Ecology and Conservation (with Advanced Practice) MSc

There is a growing need for qualified ecologists and conservationists to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change and the biodiversity crisis. If you want to take up a leadership role in ecology, or a conservation-focused career, this is the course for you.


Course overview

Guided by our teaching team’s research expertise, you focus on the latest thinking, methodology and practices in ecology and conservation. Gain a synthetical overview of the relevant societal, environmental and climate change issues underpinning these fields.

Develop your knowledge of the latest nature-based solutions to address climate change and the biodiversity crisis. You also learn how to use state-of-the-art molecular tools to identify invasive or endangered organisms, and key analytical chemistry techniques for detecting and addressing environmental pollution.

Learn from our research active staff, alongside professional partners in the ecology and conservation sector with topical, relevant and real-world content. You can also attend educational field trips where you collect, analyse and interpret real-life data, identifying solutions to key challenges. You gain experience in nature recovery when studying the Tees estuary harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) population, with associated practitioners. This is just one example of how our collaborative relationships underpin our teaching.

You have the opportunity to select a dissertation project contributing to ongoing research or applied projects developed by our partners. This exposes you to real research and work practices, giving you the skills to develop more impactful projects.

This MSc degree is underpinned by the Earth and Environment research group’s activities and research-active lecturing staff. This ensures that teaching is informed by the latest knowledge and practices. Our research group allows you to get directly involved during your dissertation, opening doors to further opportunities through our professional contacts in consultancies, non-profit organisations and governmental agencies. The group regularly advertises for PhD projects in our field, which may be of interest to you.

Top reasons to study this course include:

  • Connect with the professional world and gain an authentic learning experience.
  • Benefit from research-led teaching.
  • Our unique location is perfect for field-based learning.
  • Use specialist equipment and labs to gain industry-standard practical experience.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Practice in Health and Life Sciences

You undertake a research or development internship to gain additional experience, enhancing your employability and academic learning.

Aquatic and Terrestrial Biodiversity

Biodiversity, the variety of life on earth is a term coined in the 1990s by the Convention on Biological Diversity, reflecting growing concerns about species extinctions. Since then, the field has become multidisciplinary with aspects relating to biology, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, food systems, fisheries, climate science, agriculture and health. But there remains much work to tackle the current biodiversity crisis.

You develop a practical understanding of biodiversity as relevant to practitioners, consultants and managers working in ecology and conservation. You acquire critical skills in biodiversity sciences from conducting biodiversity surveys, identifying organisms, managing biodiversity data, accessing data repositories and assessing the quality of these data, the latter being crucial when interpreting biodiversity analyses.

Climate Change

Climate change is an urgent challenge facing humanity and this module will provide the scientific knowledge and understanding needed to address this challenge. You explore how the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere and biosphere interact to shape earth’s climate, a dynamic system on both temporal and spatial scales. Global climate is changing in a manner that is unprecedented over the past 800,000 years. The evidence that human activity since the onset of the Industrial Era has significantly perturbed the earth’s natural climate state is all too clear from the palaeoclimate and instrumental record. Rising global temperatures, warming oceans, retreating ice sheets, declining Arctic sea ice, sea level rise, weather extremes, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, are all lines of evidence that climate change is occurring.


This module develops topical themes from the wider field of conservation science for you to gain an overview understanding of a range of conservation actions and the latest thinking. There will be a focus on the science and thinking that underpin conservation, using a multidisciplinary approach straddling, bioscience, ecology and geoscience. Key topics include, but will not be restricted to, global change biology, invasion and disease ecology and rewilding conservation strategies.


Ecologists study interactions between organisms and their environments, thereby developing an understanding of nature, the environment and ecosystems. In this module you explore how these interactions underpin the functioning of ecosystems that are vital for biodiversity and the sustainability of human societies. You consider how ecosystems change over time, in the past and in the future, while developing an understanding of the increasing important role of ecology in enriching human wellbeing and prosperity by providing evidence of the inter-connectivity between the natural environment, the built environment and people. You gain in-depth knowledge of how ecological interactions provides evidence for other fields such as conservation, environmental management, agriculture, fisheries for example.

Environmental Management

This is a multidisciplinary activity which aims to ensure maximum human benefit from the natural world whilst minimising degradation to natural habitats and ecosystems. You addresse key issues for the professional environmental manager including:

• identification of appropriate social, financial, environmental and technical outcomes from a human-environmental interaction
• selection, operationalisation, recording and reporting of appropriate measures of environmental conditions and potential impacts from an activity
• consideration of the regulatory environment
• the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Environmental Statement, and the Environmental Audit, ISO14000.

Managing and Mapping GIS Data

Spatially-explicit data is used across industries such as logistics, land planning, crime pattern analysis and behavioural studies. You learn to collect, locate, access, and analyse geodata using geographic information systems (GIS). This includes a range of methodologies such as mapping and statistical analysis to address key questions in your field. You are emersed in analysing geographical patterns in the built and the natural environment and relate your findings to real world situations, which may include: crime patterns, habitat mapping for environmental impact assessments, policy and decision making during land planning.

Mapping and analysing of geo-data can be an extremely complex task that can reflect people’s behaviour, societal change, and environmental quality. By learning to use GIS and analyse data, you will learn to interpret the world in a geographical way and bring this novel understanding into your own professional field. You gain skills critical to your success during your studies and your career.

Research Project

This module will provide an appropriate environment for an in-depth investigation of a subject relevant to the programme chosen and the continued development of cognitive, professional and transferable skills. It aims to unify your understanding and awareness of engineering or science as developed in the programme, with individual and independent research and analysis on a selected topic within the discipline. It also aims to expose you to the management of a significant project and to enable you to apply research methods relevant to your specific field and related discipline.

You investigate problems which involve the consideration of relevant legal, social, ethical, environmental and other professional issues.

You will be expected to develop and practice a professional approach to the presentation, delivery and appraisal of your written and oral presentations.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course employs a diversity of teaching and learning methods including
• lectures with integrated seminars
• laboratory practical sessions
• fieldwork and field visits
• computer laboratory-based sessions
• advanced/ applied practice internship (only for the Advanced Practice route)
• Independent Research Project

Lectures and integrated seminars
Taught sessions, supported by digital media, deliver core theoretical material, provide explanations of the more difficult concepts and an opportunity for interactive learning, for you to explore aspects of the subject in some depth, and formative assessment.

Laboratory practical sessions
You develop practical skills to ensure competency in basic laboratory skills.

Computer laboratory-based sessions
You develop practical and theoretical skills and facilitate the retrieval, analysis, interpretation and presentation of scientific data to a professional standard, the development of data analysis skills, critical reasoning skills, and computer skills relevant to environmental science.

An opportunity to build practical skills whilst applying theoretical understanding to address real-world environmental problems. Providing hands-on experience in sample collection, field observation, data collection and training in the use of environmental field instruments and monitoring equipment fieldwork prepares the student for a range of career pathways in conservation and ecology.

Independent research project
This project integrates the technical, research and employability skills gained during previous modules. It’s your opportunity to plan and organise an independent research project that addresses a key question and/or fills a knowledge gap in the field of environmental management. The project will improve your communication skills, test your perseverance, and develop your creativity, problem-solving capability, and intellectual independence.

How you are assessed

Assessments test subject knowledge, application of this knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition. A variety of assessment tools have been used to ensure a diverse assessment strategy, including:

- practical examinations
- oral presentations
- poster presentations
- technical reports
- reports
- dissertation


Entry requirements

At least a UK 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject related to science, engineering or technology. If your first degree is not in one of these subject areas please check with our admissions team if it is acceptable.

Students with a degree awarded outside the UK must also meet the University's minimum English language requirements.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

There is a growing need for qualified ecologists and conservationists to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change and the biodiversity crisis. You can expect to work in businesses, local and national governments, and NGOs.

Work placement

- The Advanced Practice route is an opportunity for you to experience a vocational internship normally in one of the following ways:
- a research or development internship developed by Teesside University staff
- employer-led internship developed by the employer partner)
- virtual internship working on projects for an external organisation through a third-party provider
- a vocational internship with an external organisation (you will be located at the external organisation).

The extended internship (across one semester) does also allow a longer period for the student to develop educationally and also to experience the wider benefits of study here in the UK. This will be assessed via a reflective practice assignment but will be pass/fail and will not count towards classification, but will appear on transcripts and be in the named award.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,325 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£10,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

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  • Student and graduate profiles

    Chinazo Mbaonu

    Chinazo MbaonuMSc Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice)

    Chinazo’s future career goal has always been to become an environmental consultant, so he studied MSc Environmental Management (with Advanced Practice) to help make that happen.

    Meet Chinazo

    Ulfat Jahan Farha

    Ulfat Jahan FarhaMSc Environmental Management

    Ulfat was an international student who studied MSc Environmental Management. This course combined her background in environmental sciences with her interest in interdisciplinary fields.

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    Jesusoorefunmi Olaoye

    Jesusoorefunmi OlaoyeMSc Environmental Management

    The services are amazing, especially in career advice, student support and volunteering opportunities.

    Meet Jesusoorefunmi


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