Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Biodiversity Management (by Research) - MSc, PhD


Our MSc by Research and PhD programmes in Biodiversity Management encourage you to undertake original, high-quality research, which culminates in the submission of a thesis.  We welcome students with the appropriate background for research. 



Because of the diversity and international nature of many field-orientated projects, the amount of time that individual research students spend at DICE varies. However local supervision is usually organised for those students spending considerable time overseas.

Overseas students who wish to spend most of their time in their home country while undertaking research may register as an external student or for a split PhD.

About The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

DICE is Britain’s leading research and postgraduate training centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity, as well as the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people.

We focus on combining natural and social sciences to understand complex conservation issues and design effective interventions to conserve biodiversity. Our staff have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working in collaboration with conservation agencies around the world. This blend of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Anthropology and Conservation was ranked 10th for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research impact and research power.

An impressive 94% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.


DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

Our alumni progress into a wide range of organisations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

My course at DICE equipped me with a combination of project planning and management, technical fieldwork, and scientific writing skills.

Abigail Wills Biodiversity Management MSc by Research

Study support

All research students have a supervisory committee, which is led by a main supervisor who oversees the day-to-day administration and management of the project. The committee also includes a chair, and, if necessary, a supplementary member (often based in the country where the research is conducted).

In conjunction with the supervisory committee, an individual training programme is devised for each student that includes both the generic and specific skills required to undertake the programme of research.

Postgraduate resources

DICE has various long-term study sites around the world, in addition to maintaining an ecology field trials area and field laboratory on the University campus. DICE is part of the School of Anthropology and Conservation, which is well equipped with computing facilities and research laboratories for biological anthropology, ecology, ethnobotany and molecular genetics.

The DICE postgraduate student body is global. Since 1991, there have been over 500 taught MSc graduates from 75 countries, most of whom now have successful full-time conservation careers. The PhD research degree programme has produced over 90 graduates from 27 different countries. Several graduates have gone on to win prestigious international prizes for their outstanding conservation achievements.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and books. Articles have recently been published in prestigious periodicals including: Nature; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Ecology Letters; Conservation Letters; Conservation Biology; Global Environmental Change.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Entry requirements

A good second class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject for MSc by Research. Usually a Master’s degree in a relevant subject and/or an excellent first degree with relevant experience for PhD.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Worldwide research

Recent or current projects cover topics such as:

  • understanding adaptation to climate change; ringneck parakeets in the UK
  • improved management of socio-ecological landscapes in Western Ghats
  • cost, benefits and trade-offs in creating large conservation areas
  • monitoring population trends in tigers and their prey in Kirinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra
  • chameleon trade and conservation in Madagascar
  • conservation genetics of the critically endangered Seychelles paradise flycatcher
  • traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights and protected area management
  • the economic value of mammals in Britain
  • estimating extinction dates of plants, birds and mammals.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Peter Bennett: Reader in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Ecology

Evolution, ecology and conservation of birds; biodiversity hotspots; life history evolution and extinction risk; marine mammals; wildlife disease.

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Dr Ian Bride: Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity Management

Conservation education; biodiversity management; PA and visitor management; nature tourism; guiding and interpretation; community-based conservation; and restoration ecology.

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Professor Zoe Davies: Professor of Biodiversity Conservation

Conservation planning and practice; conservation financial and investment; urban ecology and human-wildlife interactions; biodiversity and ecosystem service relationships; species and assemblage responses to environmental change (eg, climate and habitat loss/fragmentation).

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Professor Richard Griffiths: Professor of Biological Conservation

Ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles; effects of environmental change on threatened species; survey and monitoring protocols for biodiversity.

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Dr Jim Groombridge: Reader in Biodiversity Conservation

Conservation of highly threatened bird species; conservation genetics of small populations; parrot conservation, genetics and biogeography.

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Dr Mark Hampton: Reader in Tourism Management

Tourism planning; tourism management; tourism impacts; developing countries; island tourism; island development; marine tourism; backpackers; south-east Asia; tax havens; offshore finance; political economy.

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Dr Tatyana Humle: Lecturer in Primate Conservation

Primate conservation and behavioural ecology; ethnoprimatology; cultural primatology; primate rehabilitation and reintroduction; human wildlife conflict and resource competition.

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Professor Douglas MacMillan: Professor of Conservation and Applied Resource Economics

Economics and wildlife conservation; environmental modelling; economics of collaboration in land and wildlife management; forest resource economics.

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Dr David Roberts: Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation

Species detectability and extinction; international wildlife trade; perception of biodiversity; the response of orchids to climate change; epiphyte community ecology and modelling epiphyte seed dispersal.

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Dr Bob Smith: Senior Research Fellow

Designing conservation landscapes and protected area networks, especially as part of long-term projects in southeast Africa and the English Channel.

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Dr Matthew Struebig: Lecturer in Biological Conservation

Ecology and management of tropical mammals; species response to climate change; biodiversity impacts of land-use change, disturbance and fragmentation; conservation value of degraded lands; oil palm and biodiversity.

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Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos: Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity conservation using a landscape approach to assess impacts of policy scenarios; reconciling biodiversity conservation and sustainable development on rural areas; landscape ecology and GIS; conservation policy and governance; agro-ecology and agricultural landscapes.

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Dr Charlie Gardner: Lecturer in Conservation Biology

Protected area management and governance; community-based conservation; small-scale fisheries; the researcher-practitioner divide

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Dr Robert Fish: Reader in Human Ecology

Sustainable landscapes, culture and ecology, environmental citizenship.

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The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Biodiversity Management - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £4327 £19000
Part-time £2164 £9500
Biodiversity Management - PhD at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £4327 £19000
Part-time £2164 £9500

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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