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Ecological Survey Techniques PgCert

Ecological Survey Techniques PgCert

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Certificate

Subject areas

Land & Sea Surveying Ecology Environmental Monitoring

Course type


Course Summary

About the course

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Ecological Survey Techniques is a one year, part-time course providing the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to conduct effective ecological field surveys and data analysis for a range of key taxa.

The course can be completed in one year (though two years is possible), and uses a mixture of online, face-to-face and experiential learning, including an independent field survey project, and is led by experienced academics and practitioners.

The PGCert provides the high standard of training needed to design, plan and implement effective ecological field surveys from beginning to end, including handling data and reporting results. The course supports research and professional development in the field, providing students with the skills needed to effectively assess and monitor biodiversity and ecosystems across all biomes.

The face-to-face week in September includes classroom and field work based teaching, as well as practical exercises including the use of GIS software, this is followed by core and option modules taught online and an independently-researched project with field work.


The course is assessed on a modular basis, with assessments reflecting the learning objectives of the course. During the course, you will be required to submit.

  • one 2,500-word formative assignment, which will be marked with feedback but will not contribute credit towards formal course results;
  • four 2,000-word assignments, up to two of which may be submitted as a PowerPoint poster or slide presentation depending on which option modules are chosen (10 CATS points each); and
  • one 5,000-word field project and a 1000-word online journal (20 CATS points).

The course is ideal for both UK-based and international students who wish to follow a flexible programme of study leading to an Oxford qualification. A choice of modules enables students to explore areas of interest and specialism, and areas which are relevant to their professional needs. Drawing on a rich pool of expertise, teaching is conducted by a highly knowledgeable and diverse team of practitioners and academics engaged directly with ecological issues.

The course page on the department's website contains further information on key IT requirements for undertaking the course and spotlights on past students from the course.

Graduate destinations

The course is designed for a wide range of professionals needing to up-skill in environmental management, assessment and biodiversity monitoring, including consultants, environmental managers and educators, as well as volunteers and those looking to make a career change, that are seeking flexible study combined with expert training. The course provides excellent opportunities to network and share practical experience and ideas.

Current and past students have included rangers and environmental managers at wildlife trusts and NGOs, tutors in higher and further education, research scientists, ecological consultants, officers for statutory bodies, as well as students successfully making career changes.

Participation has helped to boost students' professional practice, enhance career prospects, helped to secure promotions, and enabled students to progress onto further graduate studies, including doctoral research. The course is international in its use of case studies and examples, and past students have joined the PGCert in Ecological Survey Techniques from the UK, North America, Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe.


Field Project - Core
Data Analysis - Core
Introduction to Ecological Survey Techniques in Oxford - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications. a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours. Candidates with a degree in environmental conservation, ecology, biodiversity or other life sciences subjects will be given priority; however, candidates with degrees in other subjects who can demonstrate field experience or science skills will also be considered. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will also be considered if they are able to demonstrate considerable experience in the field of environmental conservation practice. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.