MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)

Seeking a career in conservation science? Our innovative Masters course provides the scientific knowledge and transferable skills for a career in conservation.

Environmental Management (Conservation)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date January 2022, September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Overview

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation) is a specialised pathway within our core MSc Environmental Management degree.

We’ve offered our innovative Environmental Management course with a specialisation in Conservation since 2013. With this Masters degree, you’ll gain the scientific knowledge and learn the approaches for conservation science and practice.

You’ll get the opportunity to specialise in particular areas with the selection of relevant modules and in your research project. Areas of potential specialisation include:

  • ecosystem services
  • environmental economics
  • conservation conflicts
  • habitat and biodiversity management
  • application of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing

You’ll also benefit from employability skills training, a residential field skills course and the chance to carry out an environmental management related dissertation project which may include working collaboratively with a business.

This course is relevant to both recent and mature graduates who are seeking a career in environmental management and conservation science, either in governmental or non-governmental organisations. Graduates from this course are knowledgeable in the broad field of conservation science. They have skills in collecting and analysing relevant data for sustainable decision-making, as well as transferable skills relevant to future employment at national and international level.

 

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

Our course will give you:

  • an understanding of the scientific principles that underpin environmental management
  • an understanding of the ecological, economic, social, political and legal frameworks for conservation
  • a sound training in the relevant practical, investigative, research and all-encompassing skills that are the most sought after by employers

Work placements

You may have the opportunity to carry out a work-based dissertation within a relevant business or organisation.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

Some of our key facilities include:

  • 11 specialist laboratories supporting a wide range of research interests from ecology to analytical chemistry to thin section and micromorphology
  • Stirling Controlled Environment Facility: a world-class facility for conducting experimental research investigating the impacts of climate and climate change

Research overview

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 80% of our research impact in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences and 100% of our research impact in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our research and impact positions us as leaders in the area of Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation. We are organised into six research groups:

  • Earth and Planetary Observation
  • Ecosystem Change
  • Environmental Biogeochemistry
  • Evolving Organisms
  • Healthy Environments, Sustainable Societies
  • Quaternary Science and Paleo-environments

We specialise in studies of human interactions with the environment, and conservation science and sustainability is one of our core strengths. We have leading researchers working on various aspects of evidence-based conservation, including:

  • habitat management and restoration
  • population genetics of endangered species
  • tropical community ecology and impacts of invasive species

Our areas of research include:

  • conservation conflict
  • forest management (pine marten)
  • urban ecology (bats),
  • the reintroduction of species (beavers)

We also work on a diverse range of study systems such as African and South American forests, bushmeat and local livelihoods across Africa.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. If you have a 2:1 or a first class honours degree in another discipline and significant relevant work and life experience we still encourage you to apply.

Other routes of entry

If you don’t currently meet the academic requirements for this course, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need for direct entry.

Explore INTO Stirling programmes to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available for this course and others at the University of Stirling.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass with a minimum of 152/200 overall and 25 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 20 December 2021

If you are from India, Bangladesh, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

You’ll take three modules in each semester followed by a dissertation. Each module is worth 20 SCQF credits at level 11 and the dissertation is worth 60 credits.

If you meet the requirements of the taught course you’ll qualify for the Diploma and may proceed to the MSc. This involves completion of a three-month Research Project, often in collaboration with an outside agency. Students frequently choose a topic complementary to their option selection, allowing them to develop a high level of competence in aspects of environmental management relevant to their future employment.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details

Teaching

Research-led teaching is at the core of your learning as our staff conduct world-leading research conservation and environmental science.

Our teaching makes use of both our campus-based teaching facilities and online learning environment. Teaching methods will include a mixture of conventional lectures, online materials, workshop sessions, field excursions, student-led debates and oral presentations.

Fieldwork

You’ll take a residential field module and immediately begin to learn practical identification, surveying, measuring and sampling skills.

Assessment

Modules will be assessed by coursework which is based on various types of written work and/or individual or group oral presentation. MSc research projects are submitted in early September or December depending upon when you start the course. Coursework is designed to have real world relevance.

Classroom hours

Contact hours in all modules will be 27 to 30 hours with three modules taken per semester for full-time students or 1 or 2 modules taken per semester for part-time students.

The residential Cairngorms National Park field course takes place in early October over six days.

Course director

Professor Nils Bunnefeld

+44 (0) 1786 467804

nils.bunnefeld@stir.ac.uk

Professor Nils Bunnefeld is a leading researcher in conservation science.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2021/22 2022/23
Students from the UK£9,350£9,850
Students from the Republic of Ireland£9,350£9,850
Overseas (non-EU) students£20,845£21,345
European Union students£20,845£21,345

Students from the UK

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

These scholarships are for candidates from developing Commonwealth countries, looking to study selected postgraduate Masters courses. Find out if you could be eligible for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Graduates from the course have been quick to gain employment in the conservation and environmental sectors, with organisations including:

  • Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • NatureScot
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful
  • Historic Scotland
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Employability skills

Early on in this course you’ll take a residential field module and immediately begin to learn practical identification, surveying, measuring and sampling skills. 

Having learned how to collect data, you’ll be taught how to analyse, report and present data through the modules, Analysis of Environmental Data (using R), GIS and Remote Sensing. You’ll gain the transferable skills often required within environmental agencies/consultancies, including the ability to translate theory into practice, to work in a team and independently, to plan and coordinate research, and to engage with a variety of different users.

Companies we work with

The University of Stirling is a hub for environmental bodies in Scotland. Several environmental consultancies and NGOs have offices in or around the University, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We work closely with these organisations in conducting research which provides the evidence upon which their conservation strategies are based.

We also have very good links with international organisations such as Wildlife Conservation Society, with governmental organisations such as Gabon National Park Agency and NatureScot. Some staff from these organisations are our Honorary professors.

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

Which course would you like to apply for?

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)

Search for another course