MSc Conservation Management

  • International Students Can Apply
  • Work Placement Opportunity
  • Fieldwork


UKPASS Code:P035881
Course Length:1 Year Full-Time, 2-4 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2017
Department:Department of Biology
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of biodiversity and its management;
  • Study a cohesive MSc that comprises interesting and relevant modules and prepares graduates with the skills to work in conservation;
  • Experience extensive fieldwork that takes advantage of the various excellent reserves in the area.

An 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. This MSc aims to equip the graduate to work in this area by delivering a cohesive programme comprising interesting and relevant modules which incorporate relevant biodiversity understanding, up-to-date research and extensive practical experience in the field.

Recent graduates are more than welcome to apply alongside experienced conservation workers or those seeking a career change.

Student Profiles

  • Mark Champion

    MSc Conservation Management
    I had been working for over 20 years when I decided to return to study to aid my career development.
Department of Biology

Course in Depth

What will I study?

This 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. The curriculum underpins this distinctiveness and emphasis is placed on fieldwork, biological identification skills and experience of a broad range of management issues.

Statistics is a key tool in the understanding of conservation and the relevant methods, analysis and interpretation are incorporated into appropriate modules throughout the course, the ultimate aim being to engender confidence in the use of a wide range of statistical approaches.

Ethics is also an important feature of conservation management, for instance in the collection of voucher specimens. Consideration of ethical issues is given in each module, where appropriate, alongside legal issues.

How will I study?

Lecture-style sessions and practical classes are designed to develop subject-specific skills, clarify concepts, raise questions and collect data. Follow-up seminars may consider analysis, data presentation, qualitative observations, elucidation of trends and patterns and integration with theoretical ideas.

Fieldwork is an integral part of many modules and is used to provide a multitude of experience across species, habitats and conservation problems.

How will I be assessed?

The course has a variety of assessment methods, aimed to develop the full range of skills and expertise relevant to the subject. These include data analysis, voucher specimen collections, vegetation survey portfolios and management plans. There are no formal examinations.

Who will be teaching me?

The course is taught by a small friendly team who have considerable teaching and research experience in the area. All staff are research active which means that they keep up-to-date with current developments in their areas of interest and pass this knowledge onto their students.

A Great Study Environment

MSc Conservation ManagementOur Biosciences building incorporates impressive, modern laboratories, offering exciting and highly relevant practical experience in some of the best equipped facilities in the country. Resources include confocal, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopes, DNA extraction and analysis equipment, and climate controlled insectaries.

A number of the leading nature reserves in the country are in close proximity. You will be taught within a short travelling distance of impressive field sites such as one of the finest saltmarsh and dune systems in Europe, restored mires of international importance, hay meadows and limestone woodlands. Almost adjacent to the University is a farm sympathetically managed for biodiversity and a mixed woodland.

The Department of Biology also has specialist information technology facilities and is home to an active research culture. An extensive network of relationships has been established with relevant environmental organisations and other universities in the UK and overseas, ensuring a rich, diverse and rewarding student experience.


Expand/Collapse all

MCM4001 Research Project (60 credits)

Research Project provides the opportunity to undertake an original piece of research with an inspiring habitat or fascinating species. You will gain an understanding and experience of the complete research process through completion of this work. It is anticipated that this module will have an applied element, hence the project will examine a real problem associated with an aspect of conservation. Recent projects have included ant behaviour and seed dispersal, conservation management for the Scotch Argus butterfly and the impact of grazing on bryophyte diversity.

MCM4002 Ecology and Biogeography in Conservation (10 credits)

Ecology and Biogeography in Conservation provides an introduction to the key areas of ecology that underpin conservation practice such as succession, disturbance, fragmentation and connectivity. It also introduces the natural habitats in northern Europe, developing an understanding of their distribution, vegetation, relationship to soils and climate and historical development.

MCM4003 Biodiversity Planning and Legislation (10 credits)

Biodiversity Planning and Legislation addresses the non-biological contexts that shape conservation in the UK. The module provides an overview of the statutory agencies and non-statutory organisations for conservation and habitat management in Britain. Current environmental legislation (national and European) and countryside planning policy relating to conservation and public access is considered along with its historical context. Potential employers have regularly reported that most applicants lack this important background to conservation.

MCM4004 Remote Sensing For Conservation Management (10 credits)

Remote Sensing For Conservation Management introduces a range of (satellite and aerial captured) remotely sensed data and image analysis techniques for the appreciation of spatial patterns and processes of relevance to practitioners of conservation management. Using a blend of lectures and practical classes you will gain a knowledge of theoretical remote sensing principles: the theory of electromagnetic radiation, data formats and the fundamental characteristics of remotely sensed images. The module concentrates on the interpretation of remotely sensed data from a range of satellite sensors using state-of-the-art image processing software. A number of fundamental concepts such as image enhancement, the use of vegetation indices and image classification will be covered by a blend of lectures and practical classes.

MCM4005 GIS and Cartography for Conservation Management (10 credits)

GIS and Cartography for Conservation Management (10 credits) provides an introduction to GIS for ecologists and assumes no prior experience. Fundamental principles and techniques of GIS and its potential applications in ecology and conservation will be covered using a combination of classroom-based and practical sessions that will provide you with a strong basic knowledge of the industry standard ESRI ArcGIS, a platform for designing and managing solutions through the application of geographic knowledge. The module, taught by a mixture of lectures and self-paced computing practicals, will equip you with the technical skills and expertise required to start incorporating the use of GIS into your professional practice.

MCM4006 Conservation Placement (10 credits)

Conservation Placement provides you with a professional setting in which you can apply the knowledge and skills acquired in lectures, workshops and practical classes, whilst simultaneously extending and refining your knowledge and skills over and above the experiences provided through the mechanisms of fieldwork and dissertation work. Recent placements have included organisations such as the National Trust, Natural England, local councils and Wildlife Trusts.

MCM4007 Restoration Ecology (10 credits)

Restoration Ecology incorporates the latest developments in applying ecological theory and management experience into the restoration of damaged habitat, the creation of novel habitat on ex-agricultural land, and conservation management of ex-industrial sites. The module provides you with an important insight into the forefront and development of this discipline.

MCM4008 Vertebrate Monitoring and Management (10 credits)

Vertebrate Monitoring and Management provides you with a species-centred approach to conservation which utilises field-based monitoring techniques for mammals, birds and amphibians. You will critically evaluate strategies for monitoring species and understand how to interpret this data in the light of management plans.

MCM4009 Invertebrate Ecology (10 credits)

Invertebrate Ecology equips you with key field sampling and identification skills for a range of groups (e.g. spiders, beetles, butterflies and moths, aquatic invertebrates). You will be able to recognise key morphological features to distinguish species and learn how to present specimens in the appropriate manner. In addition, you will gain an understanding of invertebrate ecology and the importance of this group to ecosystem function.

MCM4010 Management Planning (10 credits)

Management Planning covers the practice of writing a site management plan. This is an essential skill for all potential reserve managers. It will incorporate class discussions and relevant field visits with assessment being the writing of a plan of a local site of conservation interest.

MCM4011 Management in Practice (10 credits)

Management in Practice is a residential field-based module delivered alongside an associated theoretical component providing you with experience of a range of habitat management practices across a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland and upland heath.

MCM4012 Field Botany (20 credits)

Field Botany introduces you to plant identification through intensive exposure to a variety of species across a number of habitats. The module will enhance your understanding and experience of the standard UK method for identifying plant communities, the National Vegetation Classification (NVC).


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

You would normally have as a minimum, a lower second class honours degree. Alternative qualifications / experience will be considered with consultation.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

There are various employment opportunities with consultancies, local councils, national agencies and voluntary bodies. To date, graduates of the course have found work with organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, National Trust and Atkins UK, or progressed into research.


Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for full-time study on this MSc are £4,860 for UK and EU students and £12,500 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2017/18.

Tuition fees for part-time study on this MSc are £27 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2017/18, i.e. £540 per 20 credit module.

180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree. Please note, the University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2017/18, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2017/18 guide at

Financial support information for international students can be found at


How to Apply

Apply online at

Visit for more information on the application process.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective postgraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of taught Masters degrees, Masters by Research degrees and MBA awards before you apply, you can order a postgraduate prospectus at

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Enquire Online
  • Live Chat
Expand/Collapse all

Course Changes

This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

No material changes have been made to the information for this course since 1st September 2015. Any future amends will be tracked here.