Orangutan
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Wildlife Conservation - BSc (Hons)
with a Year in Professional Practice

Animals and plants face extinction through habitat loss, over-exploitation, pollution, disease, invasive species and global climate change. What will you contribute to solutions to the conservation crisis? Analyse the facts and learn the field techniques, so that you are well-positioned to offer innovative ways forward.

Overview

Learn about the natural science aspects of conservation including genetics, ecology, wildlife management and species reintroduction. Explore the human aspect of conservation and develop your own understanding of what needs to be done so, upon graduation, you can make a real difference in tomorrow’s world.

Our degree includes a significant lab-based and field-based component. You can also 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.

Reasons to study Wildlife Conservation at Kent

  • You’ll be inspired by academics at the forefront of their fields including primate conservation, biodiversity-human wellbeing relationships, business and biodiversity, environmental change and wildlife trade
  • You’ll become part of the growing community of conservationists in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), an award-winning research centre
  • You’ll experience a thought-provoking mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field visits and laboratory sessions. The student-led Conservation Society offers even more opportunities to be involved in projects and be part of a close-knit community
  • You’ll build up academic and practical skills on your placement (at home or abroad) that prepare you for careers in environmental consultancy, forest impact, project work and coordination, animal monitoring and wildlife crime mapping
  • You’ll use outstanding facilities such as modern genetics labs and an Ecology lab for your own research
  • You’ll benefit from ongoing support in your studies through our excellent staff-student ratio, regular workshops and alumni talks as well as dedicated academic advisors and peer mentoring scheme

What you'll learn

Receive training in the human dimensions of conservation, for example environmental economics, international biodiversity regulation, the politics of climate change and work with rural communities. Acquire the skills to collect useable data for understanding threats, establishing conservation priorities (at the species and habitat levels) and informing decision-making.

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. 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.

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Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. 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 welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant 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

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL, 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).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. 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.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the range of basic academic and research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes. Students will learn to independently use library resources to conduct scholarly research in their field of study and related fields, how to appropriately analyse that literature, and incorporate it into their own academic writing. Beyond writing, student will learn how to effectively communicate scholarly topics in the format of oral and poster presentations. Students will then be introduced to the basic aspects of collecting and analysing qualitative data as relevant in their own field of study and related disciplines. Finally, the module will focus on the skills needed to organise, analyse, and present quantitative data for the purpose of hypothesis testing in these disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS3080

We are living in the era of the Anthropocene (the era of humankind), when humans have become the key driver of planetary changes. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene, understanding human impacts on nature. Using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on human and environmental geography, we discuss key environmental challenges including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, among others. We explore contemporary debates around sustainable development and critically analyse these in relation to real world sustainability problems along with an understanding of the relevant policy context. You are introduced to a series of case studies that illustrate human-environment relations as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. The module introduces systems thinking, initiating the understanding of interconnectedness.

Find out more about GEOG3004

The broad aim of this module is to provide students with practical field experience in biodiversity monitoring and assessment methods. Specific aims are to introduce students to a range of basic field techniques and develop their skills in the collection, analysis and presentation of field data. The module provides an essential practical element of the Wildlife Conservation programme.

The module is spread over the term, allowing different groups of organisms to be examined as they become available for survey, and the dates may vary slightly from year to year. Groups of students will each undertake survey or monitoring projects under the supervision of a member of staff. Each project will assess the biodiversity of an appropriate taxonomic group (eg. birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected carry out a range of surveys, analyse the data and write-up their results.

Find out more about HECO3030

This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, including how past geophysical processes have shaped biodiversity as we see it distributed across biomes today. The importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values) will be discussed – including a case study of the global carbon cycle, explaining how that links to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.

Find out more about WCON3050

The aim of the module is to link theory and practice in wildlife conservation. A number of practical conservation problems will be used to introduce key theoretical concepts that underlie modern biodiversity management. Particular emphasis will be placed on the challenges of collecting useable data for understanding threats, establishing conservation priorities (at the species and habitat levels) and informing decision-making. Students will develop an understanding of the practical skills and scientific principles that underlie conservation management goals and plans at different geographical and temporal scales.

Find out more about WCON3101

The module explores the geographic patterns of biological diversity around the world (biogeography), and the relationships between plants, animals and their environment (ecology). It begins with how the physiology and reproductive biology of plants has shaped the variety of habitats, ecosystems and biomes seen in the natural world today. Key concepts and theories concerning how these geographical patterns have been affected by complex historical and current factors will also be explored. The module continues with an introduction to ecological concepts that define how species are distributed within communities and across landscapes. It concludes with a discussion of how biogeographical and ecological principles inform global conservation strategies, and help us better understand how to manage threats to biodiversity from environmental change.

Find out more about WCON3111

Optional modules may include

This module is an introduction to biological anthropology and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race and diversity, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history, biology, and behaviour of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and social anthropology staff.

Find out more about ANTB3020

This module is an introduction to human and primate evolution, and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, elementary genetics, prehistoric archaeology, and the evolution of our species (and that of our ancestors such as Australopithecines and Neanderthals). Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history of our planet and our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications.

Find out more about ANTB3160

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to people, place and the environment. In the first half of the module we explore this relationship through the lens of contemporary environmentalism. We consider how environmental issues are framed and managed by different societal stakeholders (such as policy makers, scientists, the media, activists) and introduce a series of core concepts of relevance to contemporary environmental management, including sustainability, resilience and environmental economics. In the second half, we explore the broader social and spatial dynamics that govern how the relationship between people, place and the environment takes shape, including urbanisation and the rise of mega-cities, the changing role of regional blocs and nation states, and changing geographies of gender, class, and ethnicity.

Find out more about GEOG3001

This module explores and evaluates geographical patterns and processes occurring within urban and rural systems. The module includes introductory lectures and seminars on conceptualising the dynamics of urban and rural change and the underlying economic, social, cultural and environmental processes that drive their geographical expression. Understanding is set within a broader consideration of how social-spatial processes in urban and rural environments can be interpreted and assessed with respect to different values and priorities, and in relation to wider questions of environmental sustainability, social justice and economic prosperity. The introductory lectures and seminars for each section of the module (urban and rural) provide the context in which these systems are investigated empirically through field-based observation, interpretation and analysis.

Find out more about GEOG3005

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces you to the many and diverse methods and design issues that inform social science research inquiry within geography and environmental studies. Its purpose is to equip you with some of the skills and mindsets to approach independent research and thus become an active participant in knowledge creation. The module explores what counts as research and how research validity can be assessed from a social science perspective. You will be trained in the design and use of a range of research techniques, including: qualitative interviews; extensive questionnaires; group work and ethnography. We also consider the processing and analysis of qualitative data, as well as basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data. Towards the end of the module, we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help you begin to plan your final year research project.

Find out more about GEOG5001

The aim of this module is to examine emerging and controversial topics in conservation biology and to help students develop conceptual and critical thinking. Each week a topic is introduced in the lecture and discussed in seminar later in the week. You will be given papers on Moodle to read and evaluate before the seminar. Indicative topics that will be critically evaluated during the course include: developing sustainable use strategies for over-exploited species, wildlife trade and illegal hunting, the roles of zoos and museums in conservation biology, the impact of emerging infectious diseases, large-scale ecological and evolutionary approaches for setting conservation priorities, and the importance of reintroduction for recovery of threatened species.

Find out more about WCON5050

This module is designed to introduce and re-affirm statistical concepts and their correct use and relevance to field biologists. It is delivered through a combination of lectures on statistical practical tasks and exercises.

Introductory topics will include:

• measures of central tendency

• frequency distributions

• the normal distribution

• standard errors

• how sample parameters and null hypotheses apply in real biological situations.

Further topics will include

• one- and two-tailed tests

• chi-squared test

• regression analysis

• analysis of variance.

The role of probability in data analysis will be considered, as will its application to biological and ecological questions. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on practical application of statistics as much as possible, and when and how they are applied.

Since there is both a theoretical and practical component, students should aim to link the theory presented in lectures with the practical sessions and field trip components. The field trip will be towards the end, by which time you will have been exposed to sufficient statistical methods and be ready to apply them.

By the end of the module you should have a knowledge of the underlying principles of statistics, be able to evaluate statistical results from a theoretical standpoint and in practice, and have a sound appreciation of the benefits and limitations of different statistical techniques and their application. This module provides you with the statistical knowledge to conduct the data analysis for your research project, and to reinforce the appreciation and knowledge of statistical methods.

Find out more about WCON5380

Optional modules may include

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

This module will provide the fundamental theoretical and comparative perspective that lies at heart of biology, with a particular focus on the order Primates. Particular attention will be paid to the evolutionary history of the primates and comparative primate (skeletal) anatomy, both placed in an evolutionary ecological context (e.g. a consideration of dentition in relation to diet and feeding; post-cranial anatomy in relation to locomotion and phylogenetic trends). The module covers latest discoveries and developments in these areas, engaging students with primary literature. Extensive use of casts of primate skeletal material will provide hands-on 'experiential' learning. The module will provide a detailed treatment of natural and sexual selection as key components of evolutionary theory that shape the adaptations of organisms, and the way adaptations are used to make sense of the diversity of organisms with particular reference to the primates.

Find out more about ANTB5820

You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

A. Comparative physiology - in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses, reproduction and immunology.

B. Form and Function - in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover the following areas:

* Plant specific features of cellular organisation and processes – cell wall synthesis, cell division, endoreduplication, plasmadesmata.

* Photosynthesis – mechanism and regulation of photosynthesis, photorespiration, C3, C4 and CAM.

* Plant hormones and signalling – e.g. auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins etc. and their roles in tropism, photoperiodism, and flowering.

* Adaptation and stress response – environmental stress, acclimatisation and adaptation.

Find out more about BIOS5470

The aim of this module is to explore, assess and apply critical concepts and approaches to the sustainable planning of landscapes. Drawing on recent developments in the geography, conservation and environmental planning literatures, it introduces you to key ideas intersecting with policy and practice agendas and initiatives for landscape, including natural capital, ecosystem services, environmental economics and participatory environmental management. Alongside critical reflection on the underlying assumptions that guide these developments, the module places you in real-world scenarios in which you must design and shape plans for rural and urban landscapes.

Find out more about GEOG5003

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

This module will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

• Active community volunteering

• Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

• Active university volunteering

• Training facilitator

• Mentoring

• Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year

Find out more about SOCI6700

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

Find out more about WCON5030

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

Find out more about WCON5310

This module explores the ways in which ecological science can be applied to solving some of the crucial problems facing the world today, including those affecting wildlife conservation. It covers key ecological principles at the population, community and ecosystem levels, and investigates how these principles can help guide management decisions, policy and environmental practice. A major theme is how natural resources can be managed and exploited sustainably, drawing on examples from agriculture, urbanisation, forestry and fisheries in temperate and tropical regions. Central to the module is the question of how wildlife conservation can be better incorporated into the wider needs of environmental management.

Find out more about WCON5390

The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.

The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.

Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.

Find out more about WCON5450

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.

Find out more about WCON5460

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year in industry

If you want to stand out from other graduates in today’s highly competitive global job market, spending time in the workplace as part of your degree can be invaluable. Many students find that prospective employers are very interested in their professional practice experience.

Participation in the placement year is normally dependent on maintaining a clean disciplinary record during your registration on the degree programme up to the time of your placement. It is your responsibility to find a placement, but the department offers help and support. You must achieve a minimum of 60% across your compulsory and optional modules in Stage 1 to qualify for the Year in Professional Practice. Students who do not meet these conditions or are unable to find a placement will normally be advised to transfer to the standard three-year degree programme without the Year in Professional Practice.

The Year in Professional Practice involves a minimum of 24 weeks spent on placement at one or more organisations whose work is relevant to your degree programme. This contributes to 10% of your final degree classification.

You are required to pay 15% of the normal annual tuition fee to Kent.  Placements are primarily internships and vary significantly. Some employers will offer a salary, some offer subsistence whilst others offer no financial support. 

During your placement, you work under the direction of a line manager within the host organisation, with additional support via a member of academic staff from the University. You work on one or more tasks agreed in advance; for example, a management plan, a policy report, consultation process, a piece of applied research, or development of a set of educational materials.

Assessment is via an appraisal by your designated line manager (10%) and a written report (80%) and presentation (10%) which are assessed by a member of academic staff.

Compulsory modules currently include

The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to spend a year (minimum 24 weeks) working in a professional environment, applying and enhancing the knowledge, skills and techniques that they have acquired in Stages 1 and 2 of their degree programme. This may be made up of a single placement of at least 24 weeks or of two or more shorter placements that together add up to at least 24 weeks. Individual placements will involve one or more defined roles or tasks; for example placements may involve contributing to, producing or carrying out (i) a piece of research; (ii) a management plan or other management tool; (iii) a policy report, a piece of law or policy or its implementation; (iv) an exercise related to the storage and systematisation of data sets; (v) facilitation, planning and coordination of a consultation process or an event (vi) development of educational, awareness-raising or advocacy materials or activities. The work they do is entirely under the direction of their line manager at each placement, but support is provided via a named member of academic staff within the School (the 'Placement coordinator' for each student). This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Find out more about WCON5321

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

Conservationists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding contemporary research, critically evaluating its ecological, evolutionary and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to conservation problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, students will use and apply knowledge/skills gained throughout their degree programme during in-depth discussions of how current research programmes, as presented at the weekly DICE seminars, fit into the wider conservation context. In addition, they will write up these evaluations as a series of 'News and Views' style commentary articles, as published in the top international journal Nature.

Find out more about WCON5180

The module is considered as an important element of Wildlife Conservation undergraduate training. The opportunity to engage in personal research is seen as an essential element of academic training in all disciplines. The particular skills necessary to undertake research, whether practical fieldwork or laboratory work or a desk-based study, can only be taught through the medium of practically orientated investigative tasks. The principle objective in the research project is to assist students in gaining insight into the organisation, analysis and communication of research. The approved investigation may be novel i.e. one that has not previously been carried out, or it may repeat previously executed work for comparative or control purposes

Find out more about WCON5220

Optional modules may include

The diversity and complexity of primate sociality is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their communication strategies. This module complements the module ANTB5800 (SE580) 'Primate Behaviour & Ecology' by examining the ways in which primates communicate with one another through olfactory, tactile, visual, and acoustic signals. We will address fundamental questions in animal communication including: Is it appropriate to characterize such communication in terms of information transfer? How does communication evolve? What maintains signal honesty, and under what conditions can deceptive communication can evolve? The module will cover the physical and biological bases of signal production and perception. We will explore the extent to which studies of primate communication can provide a window into their minds. Finally, we will delve into the question of the relevance of primate communication for understanding the evolution of human language.

Find out more about ANTB5570

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

This module will provide the fundamental theoretical and comparative perspective that lies at heart of biology, with a particular focus on the order Primates. Particular attention will be paid to the evolutionary history of the primates and comparative primate (skeletal) anatomy, both placed in an evolutionary ecological context (e.g. a consideration of dentition in relation to diet and feeding; post-cranial anatomy in relation to locomotion and phylogenetic trends). The module covers latest discoveries and developments in these areas, engaging students with primary literature. Extensive use of casts of primate skeletal material will provide hands-on 'experiential' learning. The module will provide a detailed treatment of natural and sexual selection as key components of evolutionary theory that shape the adaptations of organisms, and the way adaptations are used to make sense of the diversity of organisms with particular reference to the primates.

Find out more about ANTB5820

This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', ‘society’, ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

Find out more about ANTS6210

You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

A. Comparative physiology - in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses, reproduction and immunology.

B. Form and Function - in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover the following areas:

* Plant specific features of cellular organisation and processes – cell wall synthesis, cell division, endoreduplication, plasmadesmata.

* Photosynthesis – mechanism and regulation of photosynthesis, photorespiration, C3, C4 and CAM.

* Plant hormones and signalling – e.g. auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins etc. and their roles in tropism, photoperiodism, and flowering.

* Adaptation and stress response – environmental stress, acclimatisation and adaptation.

Find out more about BIOS5470

The aim of this module is to explore, assess and apply critical concepts and approaches to the sustainable planning of landscapes. Drawing on recent developments in the geography, conservation and environmental planning literatures, it introduces you to key ideas intersecting with policy and practice agendas and initiatives for landscape, including natural capital, ecosystem services, environmental economics and participatory environmental management. Alongside critical reflection on the underlying assumptions that guide these developments, the module places you in real-world scenarios in which you must design and shape plans for rural and urban landscapes.

Find out more about GEOG5003

Nature-based tourism (including recreation) is a subject of growing importance in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, and community development in both developing and developed countries. This module will introduce students to the conceptual, ethical and practical issues concerning environmental, social, and economic impacts of tourism, and will provide them with some basic tools for visitor and site management. It thus contributes to the core aim of the Wildlife Conservation BSc and Environmental Social Sciences BA degree programmes in providing essential theoretical and practical training for conservation and wildlife managers. It is also one of the modules within the conservation degrees that focus on social and economic aspects of conservation, thus strengthening the interdisciplinary nature of the degrees. It will also provide a useful optional module for Human Geography BSc students.

The module will cover the following subject areas:

1. An introduction to the tourism industry: nature-based ecotourism (including. recreation) and its significance for conservation.

2. Environmental impacts of tourism and visitor management.

3. Tourism and environmental education.

4. Social impacts of tourism.

5. Tourism, protected areas and local communities

6. Economic impacts of tourism.

7. Multidisciplinary aspects of tourism management.

Find out more about GEOG5006

This interdisciplinary module introduces to a range of key concepts and discourses in the field of development geography with a specific focus on the global South. The module begins by conceptualising 'development' as well as introducing contemporary development theories to build the foundation. The module then applies this understanding in examining a selection of contemporary development issues and debates in the global South context including poverty, inequality, impacts of climate change, nature of disasters, gendered vulnerabilities, and the challenges of sustainable development. Here context and place matters, as well as the differences and links between places and peoples. Students are introduced to a series of global South case studies that illustrate development processes as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. Although development approaches are equally applicable to urban and rural environments, the focus in this module is predominantly on the urban context and the contestations within them. The module is divided into several sections, each of which introduces students to a set of issues, concepts, key vocabularies and approaches in relevance to Development Geography. The sections of the modules are complementary to each other and as a whole they will provide a strong understanding of the development context and processes in the global South. Students are strongly encouraged to think of the module as a whole and to explore the connections between the different issues and theoretical approaches addressed in this module.

Find out more about GEOG5007

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the 'greening' of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Find out more about SOCI5250

This module will inform students how climate has influenced the diversity of life on Earth, from past to present, and its likely future impacts. We will begin with a summary of the physical science basis of contemporary climate change and the role that anthropogenic factors have played since the commencement of the industrial era. We will then explore the biological and ecological impacts of climate change on individual organisms, populations and communities, with particular emphasis given to understanding how species are responding. The module will then explore how conservation biologists are using particular interventions to ameliorate the most harmful and destabilising effects of climate change. From a more general perspective, the social, economic and political ways in which climate change can be mitigated will be assessed.

Find out more about WCON5010

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

Find out more about WCON5030

This module examines today's cutting-edge techniques that are available to wildlife biologists attempting to save some of the world's most critically endangered species from extinction. The module exposes students directly to world experts in this field through a two-day residential field trip to the Durrell Conservation Academy on Jersey where formal presentations and group activities together with behind-the-scenes tours of state-of-the-art captive-breeding facilities provide a first-hand experience of species conservation on a global scale. The module then examines a number of cross-cutting themes relevant to recovering endangered species, including the management of invasive species, leadership of species recovery programmes, island endemic species, species of extreme rarity, reintroduction biology and managing infectious disease in conservation programmes. Throughout the module iconic case histories are examined and used as a way to consider the reasons why some programmes are successful whilst others fail. The consideration of topics and case studies leads to a reappraisal of particular approaches to species conservation such as institutional priority-setting, field infrastructures and leadership styles which tomorrow's wildlife biologists will need in order to restore endangered species in the future.

Find out more about WCON5210

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

Find out more about WCON5310

This residential module is designed to provide you with first-hand experience of ecological processes, biodiversity and conservation issues associated with humid tropical environments. Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth and the loss of rainforest is of tremendous conservation concern, due to both loss of diversity and its consequences for global warming.

Topics to be covered in the curriculum:

• Rainforest structure and defining characteristics of pristine and disturbed habitats.

• Practical training in ecological techniques and survey methods for a range of terrestrial taxonomic groups.

• Anthropogenic factors affecting rainforests including logging, fragmentation, global warming & agriculture.

The module will take place in a field studies centre at a rainforest location where there is an adequate infrastructure to ensure an acceptable standard of logistical support and health and safety conditions. You will spend time working in forest systems, and there will be an emphasis on practical training in ecological survey and assessment methods. Teaching on conservation will be integrated with short visits to surrounding sites to gain direct appreciation of the issues, problems and solutions surrounding rainforests and their wildlife.

Participation in the module will be dependent on maintaining a clean disciplinary record during registration on the degree programme prior to the module. These requirements may be waived in individual cases at the discretion of the module and programme convenors where we judge that there is a strong case for allowing the student onto the module.

Find out more about WCON5350

This module explores the ways in which ecological science can be applied to solving some of the crucial problems facing the world today, including those affecting wildlife conservation. It covers key ecological principles at the population, community and ecosystem levels, and investigates how these principles can help guide management decisions, policy and environmental practice. A major theme is how natural resources can be managed and exploited sustainably, drawing on examples from agriculture, urbanisation, forestry and fisheries in temperate and tropical regions. Central to the module is the question of how wildlife conservation can be better incorporated into the wider needs of environmental management.

Find out more about WCON5390

The module will examine the way in which biodiversity conservation activities are widely implemented in practice and on the ground, particularly by organisations for which conservation is not the primary focus. As such, relevant regulatory and voluntary principles that govern the conservation actions of businesses and governments will be explored, alongside some of the more influential multilateral conservation policies.

The pathways by which scientific evidence is integrated into policy and practice will be illustrated using some case studies. Consultation processes, as well as the role of government and non-government organisations in formulating and implementing policy and practice will be explored.

Ultimately, the goal of the module is to better equip students to practice conservation in a non-conservation organisational setting once they have completed their programmes.

Find out more about WCON5450

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.

Find out more about WCON5460

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £16400
  • International full-time £21900
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £8200
  • International part-time £10950

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.

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

Funding

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

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 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2022.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 10th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023.

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.

Apply for Wildlife Conservation with a Year in Professional Practice - BSc (Hons)

UCAS application cycle for 2023 is open. You can search courses and apply via the UCAS website.

Our Open Days are a great way to discover more about the courses and get a feel for where you'll be studying. Along with campus tours, online chats and virtual events there are lots of other ways to visit us.

Sign up to receive all the latest news and events from Kent. 

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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