Applied Ecology (Postgraduate Certificate / Postgraduate Diploma / MSc)

Swiss Alps

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Get the knowledge and skills required for all areas of practical ecology and conservation

Students follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis and undertake hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will cover identification skills for a wide range of species, as well as industry-standard survey techniques such as phase 1 habitat surveying, habitat condition assessments, national vegetation classification and bird territory mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy, and analysis of environmental parameters such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status to enable better understanding of species–environment interactions.

There will be opportunities to work on projects with linked organisations, including wildlife trusts, nature reserve managers, charities and public authorities. There is also the option to take a residential field trip; this currently takes place on a wildlife reserve in South Africa. The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team, which includes conservation of species, biotic responses to climate change, bird and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in the wider environment.


  • Applied Conservation
  • Practical Ecological Methods
  • Field Ecology
  • Ecological Interactions
  • Citizen Science and Public Engagement
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Environmental Policy

Study style

This course is block taught on two days per week. There is a range of coursework with an emphasis on field and laboratory research and consultancy reports. It is our expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on the understanding and management of species and habitats. There are no written examinations.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2.2 honours degree or equivalent
  • Mature students with substantial relevant work experience may be considered without a degree qualification
  • We particularly welcome applicants with qualifications or experience in areas such as biology, animal biology, ecology, zoology, geography or environmental sciences
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.


  • Field-based or research roles within ecological, environmental and conservation organisations
  • Ecological Consultancy
  • Careers in ecological communication, policy or education

laboratory settings

Industry links to apply your knowledge

Put your academic theory into practice by working on projects with linked organisations including the Royal Society of Biology, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, The Mammal Society, Natural England, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Birdlife International.

research expertise

Underpinned by applied research expertise

Benefit from the applied research expertise of our teaching team, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology.

on-going projects

Amazing field trips, near and far

To help you build your experience you will be able to take part in field trips to locations such as nature reserves in the Severn Vale, Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and South Wales. There are also opportunities to undertake residential fieldwork at the Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414