1 year (full-time)
2 to 3 years (part-time)
Start date: September 2018
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!
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. Yet despite their importance as sources of biodiversity and climate regulation they are, especially in the tropics and the far north, constantly under threat. In temperate regions commercially managed forests are important sources of much needed products for our homes and industry. They are also important refugia for threatened wild life and provide educational and recreational uses for a significant proportion of the population. Despite their importance we still know very little about how to manage them sustainably and how to protect our rapidly shrinking natural forests and woodlands and the organisms that live within them.
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.
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. You will also be able to show how forest and tree protection is directed to economic and social objectives and how ecological processes can be used to meet these objectives. You will also learn how to source and evaluate the latest developments in technology, and produce integrated management solutions that pay due regard to silvicultural, social and environmental requirements. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to forest ecology and conservation to a range of audiences using various methods of communication.
The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pure and applied forest conservation research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will also learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing entomological studies.
The aims of the MSc are to provide students with which will (a) prepare them for a career in sustainable forest management and/or conservation (b) prepare them for PhD studies (c) enable them to make a more informed choice for their PhD research and (d) offer practical vocational training in the area of conservation
The MSc covers a broad range of topics providing specialized training in practical conservation and forest ecology and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an appropriate work environment or a research career. There is, however, considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.
The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.
Please contact the course manager for entry requirements.
Accredited by: Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF)
This course is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and gives partial fulfilment of Professional Membership Entry based upon appropriate module selection.
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.