The MSc in Conservation Biology provides you with a knowledge base and the practical experience to address issues relating to biodiversity conservation and biodiversity management.

Modern conservation science transcends the traditional boundaries of biology, ecology and environmental management. Today’s managers of biodiversity need to be versed in a broad range of specialist fields, from population ecology and human community development, through to international wildlife trade and the economics of conservation, as well as the latest techniques in endangered species recovery.

Our MSc in Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary pathway that integrates all of these aspects of conservation biology. It is designed for wildlife managers with practical experience in international conservation work looking to acquire formal scientific training, as well as students with academic qualifications looking to develop a career in conservation.

Study Details:

MSc: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; School of Anthropology and Conservation, Canterbury Campus

Module Details:

Compulsory modules currently include

  • DI1001 – Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation (15 credits)
  • DI876 – Research Methods for Social Science (15 credits)
  • DI877 – Population and Evolutionary Biology (15 credits)
  • DI884 – Research Skills for Natural Sciences (15 credits)

Optional modules may include

  • DI885 – Ecotourism and Rural Development Field Course (15 credits)
  • DI888 – Economics of Biodiversity Conservation (15 credits)
  • DI889 – Leadership Skills for Conservation Managers (15 credits)
  • SE993 – Advanced Topics in Primate Behaviour (15 credits)
  • DI880 – Conservation and Community Development (15 credits)
  • DI883 – Special Topics in Conservation (15 credits)
  • DI841 – Managing Protected Areas (15 credits)
  • DI849 – Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (15 credits)
  • DI871 – International Wildlife Trade – Achieving Sustainability (15 credits)

Compulsory modules currently include

  • DI998 – Dissertation – Conservation (60 credits)

Programme Funding

Funding opportunities including scholarships available 

Student Destinations

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

Our alumni progress into a wide range of organisations across the world. Examples include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit – UN Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Managing Partner, Althelia Climate Fund; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


For fees and funding options please visit website to find out more

Entry Requirements

A good second class honours degree, or better, in a relevant subject; a good honours degree in other subjects together with relevant practical experience.

In exceptional circumstances we admit applicants without a first degree if their professional career and experience shows academic achievement of a high enough standard.

Please note that if you are interested in multiple pathways for this programme, you only need to apply to one. We offer flexibility in switching between pathways before and after starting the programme. Please contact [email protected] if you are undecided and we will be happy to provide further guidance.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

For 2021, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2 [A second class honours degree (2.2 or above) in a relevant subject; a good honours degree in other subjects together with relevant practical experience.]

This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Please see our website for how to apply

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