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Postgraduate taught

Applied Ecology MSc

What is Applied Ecology?

On this course you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need for a career in practical ecology and conservation – we have a highly practical emphasis with hands-on exercises in field and laboratory being embedded throughout the course

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 techniques for monitoring a wide range of fauna including birds, mammals, and invertebrates. In the lab you’ll study taxonomy through microscopy and perform analysis of environmental parameters such as oxygen levels and nutrient status to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions. We also offer modules that allow you to set applied ecology in broader contexts – this includes practical training in Geographical Information Systems, understanding environmental policy and legislation, and learning how to harness the power of citizen science within ecological contexts.

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 exclusively through coursework, with an emphasis on field and laboratory research and consultancy reports – often involving live project briefs from external partners. Your assignments will improve understanding of ecological monitoring, management and conservation and, in many cases, will have direct and immediate practical relevance.

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.

    • 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

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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 Course code Total Fee (UK) Total Fee (international)
Sep 2022 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £7,150 £15,000
Sep 2023 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham TBC TBC
Sep 2024 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.

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.

Endless possibilities with a master’s degree

Increase your pay potential, specialise in the subject you love, or pursue your passion and switch careers.

UoG students can benefit from an alumni discount. Receive 20% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees as a 2022 graduate.

Discover your next step.

"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

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