Conservation and Communities - WCON5460

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Mahesh Poudyal checkmark-circle


The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 25
Private study hours: 125
Total study hours: 150


BSc in Wildlife Conservation
Available as a wild module

Method of assessment

Essay/Report (2,000 words) (50%)
Examination, 2 hour (50%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment Instrument:100% coursework

Indicative reading

Russell, D and Harshbarger, C (2003), Groundwork for community-based conservation: strategies for social research. Altamira Press.
Mulder, MB and Coppolillo, P (2005), Conservation: linking ecology, economics and culture. New Jersey: Princetown University Press.

Learning outcomes

Understand the history of western conservation approaches towards local communities
Acquire a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation, including economic, cultural and political factors
Acquire familiarity with different forms of community conservation and key issues and techniques in its implementation
Analyse case studies and come up with practical recommendations for management measures related to the relationship between communities and conservation
Critically approach and analyse of the current conservation-preservation debate


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  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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