Orangutan
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Wildlife Conservation - BSc (Hons)

with a Year in Professional Practice

The world is experiencing a conservation crisis - animals and plants face extinction through habitat loss, over-exploitation, pollution, disease, invasive species and global climate change. Yet we know that wildlife and biodiversity are vital for human survival. On this degree you analyse the facts and gain an understanding of where we are now, putting you in a great position to offer innovative ways forward.

Overview

The BSc in Wildlife Conservation provides comprehensive training in natural science aspects of conservation (including genetics, ecology, wildlife management and species reintroductions) together with training in the human dimensions of conservation (for example environmental economics, international biodiversity regulation, the politics of climate change and work with rural communities).

The programme includes a significant lab-based and field-based component. Additionally, there is an opportunity to conduct a research project in the UK or abroad at the end of the second year. Recent locations include South Africa, Borneo and the Peruvian Amazon.

Follow the experiences of some of our students:

  • Katrine Burford-Bradshaw - follow her blog about her experiences in India
  • Toby Scriven - testimonial about his year working with elephants at Chester Zoo
  • Will Clothier - video about his work with rhino in South Africa, you can also follow him on Instagram

Queen’s Anniversary Prize

The University of Kent was awarded a highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the work of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE).

DICE leads projects in over 50 countries, including research on human wellbeing and nature, human-elephant conflict, oil palm deforestation, online illegal trade in protected species, national park planning and ecotourism projects and the mapping of biodiversity through eDNA.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you are introduced to biological, social and environmental sciences and the foundational skills required for wildlife conservation and management. Optional modules allow you to expand on areas of particular interest, which may include: Animals, People and Plants; Foundations of Biological Anthropology; Contested Environments; or Sustainable Land-Use Systems. You also benefit from practical learning through lab-based sessions and a number of visits away from the lecture room.

In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that further your skills and understanding, such as: Spatial Analysis in Wildlife Conservation; Data Analysis for Conservation Biologists; Methods and Research Design in Contemporary Conservation Science.

You also enjoy a wide and varied choice of modules enabling you to expand your perspectives or focus more on the natural or social science aspects of conservation. Optional modules may include: Human Wildlife Conflict and Resource Competition; Tropical Ecology and Conservation; Primate Behaviour and Ecology; Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation; Creative Conservation; Conservation and Communities; Human Ecology; Global Biodiversity and Species Conservation.

In your final year, you undertake a research project, choosing your topic with your project supervisor. Students often undertake their field research abroad with many joining our annual expedition to our research vessel on the Peruvian Amazon.

Year in professional practice

The year in professional practice is a wonderful opportunity to spend up to a year, between the second and final years, undertaking work placements with organisations relevant to your degree programme. You spend a minimum of 24 weeks on placement at one or more organisations. Placements can be at home or abroad and give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in a practical context, offering you rare and unique experiences which will set you apart. Previous placements have included: environmental consultancy for Afzelia Limited, Zambia; forest impact surveying a the Danau Girang Field Centre, Borneo; project co-ordination for the Uganda Conservation Foundation; project work for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Germany; wildlife crime mapping for the Freeland India Consultants Private Limited; and small animal and bear monitoring for the Administration of Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania.

Alternatively, you can take our three-year Wildlife Conservation degree, without a work placement. For details, see Wildlife Conservation BSc (Hons).

Field trips

Due to the practical nature of this degree, there is a strong emphasis on fieldwork. We aim to undertake two UK field trips per term. Potential excursions (linked to specific modules) may include:

  • Howletts Wild Animal Park
  • Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve
  • King's Wood
  • Powell Cotton Museum
  • Ashford Community Woodland
  • Monks Risborough nature reserve
  • Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Jersey Zoo).

Students on the Tropical Ecology and Conservation module spend two weeks at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo. You'll explore the beautiful, picturesque rainforest before venturing deeper into the jungle to the field studies site. The Centre is located in an area where huge swathes of jungle have been removed and replaced by plantations. You work on the front line between managing the needs of the community and the impact on biodiversity.

These opportunities may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.

Study resources

The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:

  • conservation genetics laboratories
  • ecology laboratory
  • field trials area and field laboratory
  • refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
  • upgraded visual anthropology suite with 16 iMacs
  • an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
  • student social spaces.

Extra activities

The Conservation Society is run by Kent students and is a good way to meet other students on your course in an informal way. The Conservation Society also works with local organisations and charities providing lots of opportunities for volunteering, community work and outings.

The School of Anthropology and Conservation puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. We host two public lectures a year, the Stirling Lecture and the DICE Lecture, which bring current ideas in anthropology and conservation to a wider audience. We are delighted that these events attract leading conservation figures from around the world.

Each term, there are also seminars and workshops discussing current research in anthropology, conservation and human ecology.

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

This programme is taught by members of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) research centre. DICE, in the School of Anthropology and Conservation at Kent, is a leading international research and training centre dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.

DICE was founded in 1989 with a clear mission: to conserve biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It does so by developing capacity and improving conservation management and policy through high-impact research. That is why DICE is in a School that does research and teaching in anthropology alongside conservation.

One component of DICE’s work is to train a new, interdisciplinary generation of conservationists who think innovatively about the challenges that lie ahead. As undergraduates, you are part of a dynamic and growing community of conservationists whose work spans all major regions of the world.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB including one of Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Psychology, Geology, Physics, Maths or any Joint Science at grade B or above.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C / 4

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Countryside Management, Animal Management or Applied Science. Other subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    IB Diploma 34 points overall or 15 points at Higher, including 5 at HL or 6 at SL in Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology, Geology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths.

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in LZ045 Life Sciences (1 & 2), 60% in LZ036 Academic Skills (and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time, 7 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £7700
  • International part-time £10250

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. In addition to lectures and seminars, we run laboratory-based practicals and field trips. You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation, all with the support of a dedicated project supervisor.

We offer you the opportunity to conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad – for example, many students have taken part in the annual expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.

Most modules are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% unseen exam. Some modules are assessed only by coursework, which takes a variety of forms, including essays, short answer tests, oral presentations, laboratory reports, individual and team projects, field reports, commentaries, management plans and statistical analyses.

Year in professional practice

Assessment is by means of a manager appraisal (10%), a written report by the student (80%) and a presentation by the student (10%); the manager appraisal is carried out by the manager within the placement host organisation whereas the report and presentation are assessed by SAC academic staff.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

Our aims are to provide students with:

  • knowledge of the science and practicalities of wildlife conservation, including the biological, social and economic aspects of the subject
  • an understanding of theoretical issues, methods and practical tools
  • awareness of sustainability and wildlife exploitation
  • knowledge of wildlife conservation at local, national and international levels
  • the abilities necessary for professional development, such as analytical problem-solving, interpersonal skills, autonomous practice and team-working
  • the knowledge to play a leading role in the field of wildlife conservation
  • innovative opportunities for fieldwork
  • experience of work in a professional environment relevant to your degree programme, whether at home or abroad
  • employment-related skills, including an understanding of how to relate to the structures and functions in an organisation
  • the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision-making.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • ecological and biodiversity-related concepts
  • species, habitat and landscape conservation
  • practical understanding of wildlife conservation
  • principles of sustainable use and wildlife management
  • the relationship between local communities and conservation
  • issues and practices when managing wildlife within or outside protected areas
  • the role of behavioural ecology in conservation
  • genetics in conservation issues
  • wildlife laws and legislative frameworks
  • the role that statistics has in conservation
  • the way that an employee can contribute to the organisation in which they work
  • specific areas of theory, policy or practice relevant to the host organisation(s) and the agreed placement task(s).

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • learning and study
  • critical and analytical methods
  • expressing ideas in writing and orally
  • design, implementation, analysis and write-up of a research project
  • ability to interpret scholarly publications
  • how to formulate and test theories
  • presenting a structured and logical argument
  • apply some of the above skills from the perspective of your chosen employment sector
  • gain a broader perspective on your individual discipline.

Subject-specific skills

You gain wildlife conservation skills in the following:

  • field biology (such as surveys and sampling)
  • social science (such as interviews and questionnaires)
  • research design, statistics
  • analysing case studies
  • environmental education
  • how to evaluate sustainability of resource use
  • management of protected areas
  • the ability to apply theoretical and technical knowledge to professional practice.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • IT
  • presentations
  • writing reports and proposals
  • time management
  • using library resources
  • independent research
  • group work
  • professional teamwork
  • effective use of information sources.

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 10th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

For graduate prospects, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Careers

The conservation and environmental sector is an expanding area for employment opportunities.  Potential employers include local, regional and national UK government departments, voluntary organisations and the private sector, as well as international conservation and environmental organisations. Many students also go on to pursue postgraduate studies.

Graduate destinations  

Our recent graduates have found work in:

  • ecological surveying
  • habitat management
  • species conservation
  • environmental education
  • conservation planning 
  • conservation policy
  • international consultancy
  • community-based conservation projects

Help finding a job

The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you'll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As a conservation student, you develop expertise in understanding and managing wildlife and biodiversity in a sustainable way. You'll gain skills in gathering and collecting information, analysing data, exploring and communicating challenging ideas. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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