MSc Conservation Management

MSc Conservation Management Course

CIEEM Accredited Degree LogoAn understanding of Biodiversity and its management is increasingly important. This is reflected in the various employment opportunities with consultancies, local councils, national agencies and voluntary bodies. However what is increasingly becoming an all graduate profession is rarely taught to any depth on undergraduate courses.

The Conservation Management course is characterised by its synthesis of the expertise of the field biologist with practical experience of managing habitats allied to a clear theoretical framework. An emphasis is placed on fieldwork, biological identification skills and experience of a broad range of management issues.

The course is suitable for recent graduates, more experienced conservation workers or those seeking a career change. The programme is also ideal for teachers wishing develop skills and knowledge in the environmental and ecological subject areas.

What do our students say?

“Without the MSc qualification I wouldn’t have gained my current employment. My main focus is to make the New Forest resilient to ever increasing social and environmental pressures, and I feel that Edge Hill has given me the skills to do this.”

Ken Johnstone, Terrestrial Biodiversity Advisor, Natural England

I had been working for over 20 years when I decided to return to study to aid my career development. I’ve found this course provides a strong set of skills that are required in the conservation management sector. This has definitely helped me professionally and I use the skills and knowledge I acquire at university on a daily basis.”

Mark Champion. Projects Manager, Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Gaining valuable practical experience of managing habitats

The Conservation Management enables you to apply knowledge and skills developed on the course to a professional real-world setting. Through a 20-day placement over three to five months you will become immersed in the activities of the organisation. This may include field surveying, report writing, managing volunteers or communicating with the public. Tutors will support you in selecting a placement that suits you and enhances your CV, whether your aim is to develop new skills and knowledge or consolidate and enhance existing expertise. Recent placements organisations have included Atkins and Avian Ecology, the National Trust, Natural England, local councils and Lancashire Wildlife Trust. During your placement, in addition to gaining invaluable work experience you will learn how to critically assess conservation or management activities and reflect on your own development.

Read this Blog (PDF version) by recent graduate Natalie Hunt for an insight into the Conservation Placement module.

MSc research publications

During the course students undertake a 60 credit research project. Supervised by a tutor, together our students work with local stakeholders to study a variety of questions that can provide evidence base for conservation practice. We pride ourselves on the high quality of this research, some examples of which have been published in peer reviewed journals:

Student Natalie Hunt in collaboration with others: Grazing and scrub clearance promote open dune habitat regeneration in pine plantation canopy gaps in Merseyside, UK (

Student Carol Edmonson in collaboration with others: The rapid response of foraging bumblebees Bombus spp. to hay meadow restoration in the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, UK

Student Noah Hall in collaboration with others: Restoration of Upland hay meadows over an 11 year chronosequence: an evaluation of the success of green hay transfer, UK.