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Postgraduate taught

Applied Ecology


What is Applied Ecology MSc, PgCert, PgDip?

On this course you’ll get the knowledge and skills you need for all areas of practical ecology and conservation – with a highly practical emphasis involving on hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings.

In the field you’ll learn identification skills for a wide range of species, as well as industry-standard survey techniques like phase 1 habitat surveying, habitat condition assessments, national vegetation classification and bird territory mapping. In the lab you’ll study taxonomy through microscopy and perform measures of environmental condition such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.

There is considerable optionality in the course, both in choice of modules and in assessment topics within modules, allowing students to tailor course content to their own interests and career aspirations.

Study style

The course is block taught two days a week (currently Thursdays and Fridays). Assessment is by a range of and exclusively through coursework, with an emphasis on field and laboratory research and consultancy reports – often involving live project briefs from external partners. Your assignments, and especially your dissertation, will have a direct impact on the understanding and management of species and habitats.

Get Applied Ecology MSc, PgCert, PgDip course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.2 honours degree or equivalent in any discipline.

    • We particularly welcome applicants with qualifications or experience in areas such as biology, animal biology, ecology, zoology, geography or environmental sciences

    • Applicants without a bachelors degree but with significant relevant industry experience are encouraged to apply

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in writing and in any other band) or equivalent.

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Total Fee (UK) Total Fee (international)
Sep 2021 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £7,000 £14,700
Sep 2022 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham TBC TBC

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to work in:

  • field-based or research roles within ecological, environmental and conservation organisations
  • ecological consultancy
  • careers in ecological communication, policy or education.

Industry links

You’ll put your academic theory into practice by working on projects with organisations we’re connected to – including the Royal Society of Biology, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, The Mammal Society, Natural England, BirdLife International and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

As a CHES-accredited course, you can also apply for free student membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences and for a fast-track route to membership once you graduate – starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.

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.

Giraffe in Kenya nature reserve

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.

Biosciences students on a field trip in the forest

"I invite students to work with me on my research projects"

“My particular passions are ornithology and conservation (anything connected with birds and how to conserve both birds and other species fascinates me). I frequently invite students to work with me on my research projects. I’ve now published 18 papers jointly with students – and I’m always delighted with the level of commitment and skill they demonstrate.”

Dr Anne Goodenough, Professor in Applied Ecology

Anne Goodenough in a laboratory

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