Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation - DICE1001

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Bob Smith checkmark-circle


This module is designed to provide students from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds with a broad overview of different natural and social science approaches to conservation. It will introduce students to the fundamental concepts that underpin biodiversity management, as well as facilitating the development of professional skills that will enable them to work successfully with individuals/organisations operating across the environmental and conservation sectors. The focus will be on understanding how different disciplinary perspectives can contribute to problem-solving in practice.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 32

Private study hours: 118

Total study hours: 150


MSc Conservation Biology
MSc Conservation and Tourism
MSc Conservation and International Wildlife Trade
MSc Conservation and Rural Development
MSc Conservation Project Management
MSc Conservation and Primate Behaviour

Method of assessment

Three paper review, 1700 words (50%)
Consultancy report, 2000 words (35%)
Oral presentation (15%)

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Adams, W.M. (2004). Against extinction: the story of conservation. Earthscan.
Frankham, R., Ballou, J.D. and Briscoe, D.A. (2004). A primer of conservation genetics. Cambridge University Press.
Gaston, K.J. and Spicer, J.I. (2004). Biodiversity – An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons (2nd Ed.).
Groom, M. J., Meffe, G.K. et al. (2006). Principles of conservation biology. Third Edition, Sinauer Associates.
Hill, C.M, Webber, A.D. and Priston, N.E.C. (2017). Understanding Conflicts about Wildlife: A Biosocial Approach. Berghahn Press
Mulder, M.B. and Coppolillo, P. (2005). Conservation: linking ecology, economics and culture. Princeton University Press.
Perman, R., Ma, Y., Common, M. and McGilvray, J. (2011). Natural resource and environmental economics. Addision Wesley (4th Ed.).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the definitions of biodiversity;
2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of population and community ecology and how these relate to biodiversity management at different spatial scales;
3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of genetics and how this relates to biodiversity management;
4. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of practical methods that can be used to measure biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels;
5. demonstrate a critical understanding of how natural science approaches to conservation complement social science approaches to conservation, and the challenges of working across disciplinary boundaries;
6. demonstrate an understanding of some of the major social science approaches to the environment and conservation;
7. demonstrate familiarity with, and ability to critically synthesise, several specific social science issues in conservation policy and practice, and an understanding of the processes by which such debates are negotiated. The specific issues that will be included will vary from year to year depending upon contemporary debates and upon current research activities of the contributing staff.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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