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Wildlife Conservation - BSc (Hons)

Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, pollution, disease, and invasive species threaten our biodiversity into extinction. Analyse the facts, learn the field techniques, and offer innovative resolutions that will make a change.

Overview

Taught by award-winning staff, you will learn the natural science aspects of conservation including ecology, wildlife management, biology, genetics and species reintroduction through significant lab-based and field-based components. Explore the human aspect of conservation including community development, human-wildlife conflict and policy, and develop your own understanding of what needs to be done, so, upon graduation, you can make a real difference in tomorrow’s world.

During our extensive range of field trips, you will take advantage of Kent’s rich landscapes, our beautiful green campus, and could venture to the forests and beaches of Costa Rica on our tropical field course.

Reasons to study Wildlife Conservation at Kent

  • Learn from experts at the forefront of their fields. Our staff were ranked first in the UK for their research outputs (Geography & Environmental Studies panel, in the UK government’s Research Excellent Framework 2021).
  • Experience a thought-provoking mix of teaching methods, including field visits, lectures, small seminar groups and laboratory sessions.
  • Go on exciting field courses in the UK and abroad. Our optional residential course on ‘Tropical Conservation Science’ is currently held in the tropical forests and beaches of Costa Rica.
  • Conduct a research project in the UK or abroad at the end of the second year. Recent locations include Kent, South Africa, Borneo and the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Be part of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), an award-winning research centre. DICE was awarded the highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2020 for its world-leading research and training of conservation scientists worldwide.
  • Add a Placement Year - many of our students gain high-quality work experience in exciting conservation placements all over the world.
  • Experience our outstanding facilities such as our very own field ecology site on campus, modern genetics labs and an Ecology lab for your own research.
  • Benefit from ongoing support in your studies through our excellent staff-student ratio, regular workshops, and alumni talks, as well as our dedicated academic advisors and peer mentoring scheme.
  • The student-led Conservation Society offers even more opportunities to be involved in projects and be part of a close-knit community.
  • Continue your higher education, moving on to our world-leading Postgraduate programmes.

What you'll learn

Train in field ecology methods, and gain knowledge on the human dimensions of conservation, international biodiversity frameworks, climate change and work with rural communities. Acquire the skill of collecting data to understand threats to biodiversity, establish conservation priorities, and inform decision-making.

See the modules you’ll study

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

This degree programme is taught by academic staff from across the School, including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) research centre. DICE is a leading international research and training centre dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.

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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.

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    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.

International students

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: 3 years full-time, 6 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 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9,250
  • EU full-time £16,400
  • International full-time £21,900
  • Home part-time £4,625
  • EU part-time £8,200
  • International part-time £10,950

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.

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

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

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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.

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.

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.

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 of statistics in conservation.

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.

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.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • IT
  • presentations
  • writing reports and proposals
  • time management
  • using library resources
  • independent research
  • group work.

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 - BSc (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-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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