Conservation Biology and Management

BSc (Hons)


Conservation Biology and Management image

The contemporary world is one of rapidly increasing human interference in natural environments and of competition for space and resources. Some species and habitats are disappearing before they can even be studied properly. As a result, understanding the complex inter-relationships between environments and their inhabitants is vital. Conservation Biology and Management image It enables us to undertake environmental conservation and sustainable management for the benefit of future generations.

Stirling is a superb place to study this. The city is home to more environmental and conservation organisations than any other UK city — all of whom we have strong links with and some of whom are based at the University. With this course, you’ll receive excellent practical training and preparation for a range of careers in conservation.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: CD14; D447
  • Qualification: BSc (Hons)
  • Study methods: Campus based, Full-time, Part-time
  • Course Director: Prof. Kirsty Park
  • Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
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Prof. Kirsty Park

University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK

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What makes us different?

Conservation Biology and Management image.

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) within the Faculty of Natural Sciences is a multi-disciplinary department that participates in research and teaching in a broad range of subjects in the biological and environmental sciences. The principle focus of the research is at the interface between the environment and society. Within BES, staff conduct research in areas as diverse as the reconstruction of past landscapes; conservation, environmental impact assessment and environmental management; evolutionary ecology of plants and animals; and cellular biology and immunology.  BES is a friendly, vibrant, and dynamic place in which to learn and research with a great sense of belonging engendered in our students from their very first days at the University.

Conservation Biology and Management image Research-led teaching is the key to deep learning and understanding.  The academic staff in Biological and Environmental Sciences at Stirling are typically world leaders in their respective fields, thus ensuring that research-led teaching is at the core of all of our courses. Many students work closely with academics throughout their time and benefit from actively participating in research programmes. We have strong contacts with external conservation and environmental organisations who also contribute to the undergraduate experience. This approach ensures that our students appreciate the transferable nature of a science degree and see how their learning can be applied to the real world.

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
AABB - one sitting.
AAAB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

BTEC (Level 3):

Essential subjects:
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Year 2 entry may be possible with HND in a Science based subject. For information on accepted courses please consult our Advanced Entry

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Foundation Apprenticeships

considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

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

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

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.

Fees and costs

Fees Bachelor of Science with Honours in Conservation Biology and Management 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

Fees Bachelor of Science in Conservation Science 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Semesters 1 - 4

In Years 1 and 2 you will take core modules in:

  • Biological Sciences: Ecology, Biodiversity, Cell Biology, Physiology, Genes and Evolution
  • Environmental Sciences: People and the Environment or Landscape Evolution; Global Environmental Issues or Building Planet Earth; The Biosphere
  • Practical Skills in the Natural Sciences and Quantitative Techniques

Semesters 5 - 6

In Year 3, you will take advanced modules in:

  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Population & Community Ecology

Conservation Biology and Management image

You will also take between two and four modules from a wide range of options: Soil Quality and Protection, Animal Physiology, Animal Ecology, Plant Ecology and Physiology, Marine Biology, Drainage Basins, Environmental Hazards, Soil, Sediments and Landscape History or the Field Course in Spain (see below).

Students on courses in Conservation Biology and Management undertake a four-week placement during the summer vacation between Years 3 and 4 working with an organisation involved in conservation.‌

Semesters 7 - 8

In your final year you will undertake an independent research project and can choose to go on the field course to France (see below). You will also take four or six modules from a range of options which currently include:

  • Conservation Biology*
  • Conservation Management*
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics
  • Sustainable Development
  • Agriculture in the 21st Century
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Reconstructing Quaternary Environments

* These modules are required

Fieldwork is an essential and enjoyable part of this degree course. Stirling’s campus location is an ideal base from which to make field excursions, whether to study lekking Black Grouse in the Highlands, the growth of trees on the sides of the Ochil Hills, or the distribution of animals on the Forth Estuary. As well as fieldwork in Scotland, the Conservation Biology and Management (Hons) course includes field courses to Spain and/or France. Students attending the week-long field course in Spain stay near Almeria, one of the driest parts of Europe. Through a series of excursions and intensive field projects students are introduced to environmental processes in arid environments. The 10-day field course in ecology and animal biology takes place in the Cévennes in France, a rugged mountain landscape of exceptional natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity. The organisms that live there include over 2,300 flowering plant species, 2,000 invertebrate species and 300 vertebrate species. Notable among these are wild boar, otters, vultures, and grey wolves. The region exemplifies the deep historical connection between humans and the natural world, and is recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. During the field trip students learn various techniques in field sampling, identification, experimental design, data analysis and presentation.

Students must pay a contribution towards costs of travel , accommodation and subsistence for the Scottish field course in 2nd year and the optional field courses in the 3rd and  4th year.

Delivery and assessment

Teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning and guided reading and research. Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination, completed during semester. For many modules the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40 – 50 percent of the final grade but for some modules this is as high as 100 percent.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

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Why Stirling?

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

Students can spend all or part of year 3 abroad. There is a well-established reciprocal exchange programme with the University of Guelph in Canada where you will take subjects equivalent to those at Stirling. In addition, there are exchange opportunities with a range of universities in the USA, Australia and Europe.

Our students

I chose Stirling because of its excellent reputation for environmental sciences and emphasis on both practical and theoretical studies. I have not been disappointed, the skills and knowledge base taught has been outstanding with the added benefit of experience through a work placement. The campus is perfectly situated to learn and be inspired with wild meadows, lochs and proximity to the Ochil hills, whilst lecturers are enthusiastic and approachable, encouraging questions, debate and independent thinking. As a mature student I have found their support to be unwavering and invaluable through my years of study.

Anwen Bill Conservation Biology & Management student (graduated 2012)

Our staff

Kirsty Park is a lecturer in conservation biology. After completing a BSc Biology at Leeds University she went on to study bat ecology for a PhD at Bristol University. Her primary research focus is animal ecology and conservation in managed environments (e.g. urban, agricultural, forestry), and human-wildlife conflicts. Much of this work is done in collaboration with external organisations such as the Forestry Commission, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Bat Conservation Trust.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

We have strong links with conservation bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage and various Conservation Non-Government Organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology, Bumblebee Conservation Trust. There is an active Conservation Volunteers group at the University, enabling you to develop and expand your experience of survey work and other practical skills.

Demand for well-qualified graduates in Conservation is high and our students have gone on to work for a wide range of employers in the UK, including Scottish Natural Heritage, the RSPB and the wildlife trusts as well as environmental consultancies. Other students have gone on to work overseas or to postgraduate research leading to a doctorate.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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