Skip to main content
Taught postgraduate

PgD / MSc

Ecological Applications

Year of entry


1 year full-time
2 to 3 years part-time

Start date: September 2021

Loading event details...

Are you interested in applying ecology to the real world?
Are you looking for a research career working in applied ecology?
Do you want to do something positive for the environment?
If so, then this is the course for you - a self-tailored MSc to reflect your applied ecological interests.

The course

This MSc serves to reinforce the relevance of ecology to a broad range of applications and trains students to apply ecological tools and understanding in a wide variety of contexts. The course draws on and complements the established and highly regarded MSc programmes taught at Harper Adams.  Along with core ecological training, students will be allowed to select modules from a number of the MSc courses running at Harper Adams, including Conservation and Forest Protection, Entomology, Integrated Pest Management, Rural Estate and Land Management and Sustainable Agriculture.

Specifically the course will:

  • Provide knowledge in a wide range of applied ecological areas.
  • Underpin this with a sound understanding of the quantitative aspects of this field including statistical analysis, expert system design and population modelling.
  • Provide taught elements linked to academic applied research groups.
  • Offer a rich research training through access to project supervisors with different expertise and disciplines.
  • Provide training in crucial transferable skills in writing, presenting, discussing scientific material.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the course you will be able to recognize the major entomological groups worldwide, understand how to apply a logical framework to demonstrate management priorities in different environments and have an understanding of individual, population and community ecology.  You will be able to assess the economic and environmental costs of ecological applications and evaluate their effectiveness. 

You will also have a clear understanding of the remit and function of ecosystems and a detailed knowledge and understanding of the essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relevant to your chosen area of specialization. You will receive training in how to communicate your ideas and findings related to applied ecology to a range of audiences.  Although there are some compulsory modules there is considerable flexibility enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions

For the MSc, you will also be able to test hypotheses relevant to applied ecological research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. Finally, you will learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing case studies.


The full-time and two year part-time courses are eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Block-based study

Modules are delivered in one week (and in a select few modules two week) blocks on campus. You will know in advance which weeks require physical attendance as they’ll be scheduled on the timetable. In addition to this, you will be required to allocate time for self-study to complete the assignments associated with each of the modules. Some modules may also include research and/or exam elements, these are also highlighted on the timetable.

Entry requirements for 2021

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.


Students from the course have mainly gone on to work for Natural England, ecological consultancies, ADAS, commercial biological control companies, or the horticulture sector.  Others have joined Research Institutes such as Forest Research, FERA, or Rothamsted Research.  Typically 50% of our MSc graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

98% Employability

Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

(HESA 2017)


For course related enquiries please contact:

No. 1

In the UK for graduate employment
(Graduate Outcomes 2020)


We work with more than 700 businesses to deliver, develop and drive forward higher skills

Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.