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Ecological Applications MSc / PgD

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

Are you interested in conservation and the forest environment? Are you looking for a research career working in practical conservation? Do you want to do something positive for the environment? Then this is the course for you!

The course

Forests are the lungs of the world. The great boreal forests cover almost 17 million square kilometers of North America, Europe and Asia. Tropical forests cover perhaps 6.5 million square kilometers and temperate forest systems another 10 million square kilometers. Tropical forests are renowned as sources of biodiversity, the northern boreal forests are major regions of carbon sequestration and they too are under threat through timber and mineral exploitation. Without forests our climate would be drastically different from the one we experience today, much of the globe would be desert and uninhabitable.

This course covers a broad range of topics in conservation and forestry related topics. All students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter a conservation or forestry related work environment or a research career in conservation or forestry and woodland ecology. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions. The MSc was designed in response to demands from conservation bodies for people with practical conservation skills as well as a strong academic background and has a strong practical field based component in each taught module.

A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from forest and conservation scientists in collaborating governmental organizations and consultancies. This participation takes a variety of forms, including guest lectures, field visits and specific training courses, but may also include providing research projects in their organizations.

Examples of collaborating organizations include, Butterfly Conservation, CEH Wallingford, Forest Research, The James Hutton Institute, The Natural History Museum London, and Rothamsted Research.

Students can also exit with PGDip award.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the MSc you will be able to recognize the major biotic and abiotic problems affecting temperate and tropical trees and forests. The course will develop your analytical skills to enable you to recognize and resolve environmental, conservation and landscape management problems using fundamental principles of forest ecology and integrated forest management.


Students from the MSc in Conservation and Forest Protection have gone on to work for Research Institutes such as Forest Research, FERA, RHS Wisley and Kew, or become ecological consultants. They have also gained employment with conservation bodies such as Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, The National Trust or overseas. A number of graduates have worked as Council Tree Officers and Biodiversity Officers and others have joined the Forestry Commission. Typically 60% of M.Sc graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

Different course options

Full time | Harper Adams University | 1 year | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



Before embarking on a research project it is essential to understand the principles of experimental design and analysis. This series of lectures and practicals provides students with: An understanding of the principles, stages and techniques involved in the research process; Ability to identify research problems and formulate research; Ability to analyse and present qualitative and quantitative data.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

A UK honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants with a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area plus at least two years' relevant industrial or professional experience may also be considered. Previous experience, referees' reports and interviews will be used to determine the suitability of candidates for particular programmes.