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    BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology*

    Key information

    Select a year of entry

    Level of study


    UCAS code

    Institution code: H12


    4 years (full-time) including a one-year work placement. A three year programme is available for applicants with at least two years, full-time relevant work experience.

    Start date

    September 2024


    Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)*

    Typical offer

    88 - 104 UCAS points for A level students. See below for details of entry requirements for other accepted qualifications.

    Biodiversity underpins a range of ecosystem services which support our social and economic health and well-being, yet the World is facing global crises of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation.

    If you have a passion for wildlife conservation and want to make a difference to the quality of the environment we leave for future generations both in the UK and internationally this is the course for you. The programme is founded on the study of ecological science: the interactions between species, their physical environment and humans; and its application to the conservation and management of wildlife. Key aspects focus on the ecology of protected species, animal behaviour, practical habitat management, ecological assessment of planning projects, and managing the ecological impacts of population growth, food production, land management and the climate crisis. Students will also develop professional skills in species identification, field survey techniques, data management, and project management. These topics will be underpinned by a sound knowledge of how key international and national legislation applies to practical conservation of species and habitats at home and abroad.  

    Each year of the programme includes fieldwork and there is a residential field course in every year. There are international field courses in the second and final year. The final year course is currently in South Africa, while the L5 course will be in Europe. These residential field courses are supplemented by a wide range of field trips to local sites to contextualise material introduced in lectures and seminars. The programme has a strong applied focus using standard industry techniques underpinned by science.    

    Industry best practice has been driven by technological advances in remote sensing, eDNA, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and GIS. The application of these technologies is embedded in the course to promote the conservation of wildlife.  

    The first two years of the course include an emphasis on professional development and employability. In their third year, all students undertake a work placement in the sector of at least 44 weeks. Students will have a wide range of exciting opportunities available to them. During the placement year students will have the support of the placement manager and a dedicated tutor. After successfully completing the placement students return to the university to rejoin their cohort for the final year of the degree.  

    The university is situated in a rural location with easy access to the countryside of Cheshire and Shropshire, including the Meres and Mosses and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The university also has its own estate of 400ha including a range of agricultural and semi-natural habitats. The estate and local sites are used in the course for site visits and practical exercises.  

    This is a new course but is built on a long history of related courses, taught by staff with a wide range of academic and professional expertise. The BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology will be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) reflecting its inclusion of the knowledge and skills that are critical to protecting our environment now and in the future. Accreditation ensures that the curriculum is aligned to best practice in the sector.   

    Graduates will find a diversity of employment opportunities within the fields of ecological management, wildlife conservation, sustainable development and land management, including acting as ecological consultants and ecologists working to mitigate the impacts on wildlife of infrastructure projects, food production and climate change. Alongside these roles are opportunities with relevant organisations in the public and private sector. 


    What does HF mean? You might notice that the modules on this page have the letters HF before the title. This denotes a module that has been developed as part of the Harper Forward Curriculum Review, through which new versions of existing courses and some entirely new courses have emerged. Teams of university employees have worked with past and present students, employees, industry organisations and more to build these programmes, ensuring every route is able to shape the types of graduate each sector needs, is aligned to relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals and is built to ensure every student leaves the university embodying a specific set of Harper Graduate Attributes, namely that they Care for people and planet, have a Global mindest, have vital Digital skills, seek continued personal Growth, can apply Practical skills as well as knowledge and are both Inspired and Inspirational


    This programme is pending accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). CIEEM is the leading ecology based chartered institute and is cited on job adverts as an expected membership. A course accredited by CIEEM gives employers confidence in the graduate’s skills and expertise both for national and international recruiters. Students also benefit from access to frequent publications and local continuing professional development activities allowing for networking and skill expansion.

    Entry requirements for 2024

    Use the drop-down tool to select the qualifications you have or are working towards to see what grades would be required for access to this programme. If you can’t see your qualification or would like any assistance with entry requirements, please contact the Admissions team:

    Course fees

    The latest fees for this course can be found in our fees and funding section. You will also find course related costs, specific to this course in this area.

    Not sure which course is right for you? Try our Course Comparison tool to compare modules taught on different courses.

    Teaching and learning

    The course comprises modules covering wildlife conservation and ecology themes along with cross-disciplinary subjects in fieldwork, personal development and project management. Each module is worth either 10 or 20 credits (although the final year research project is weighted at 40 credits) and each academic year of the course carries a weighting of 120 credits. 

    Each module has a web page on our Virtual Learning Environment. Here tutors upload material such as presentations, videos, and links to key sources for independent study. Material used in face-to-face teaching is uploaded in advance of classes, so that students can prepare and subsequently follow up to reinforce their understanding. Many modules also include practical work in the university laboratory, on the university farm, or at locations (e.g. nature reserves) nearby. Each year includes at least one residential field course.

    The second year of the course builds on the themes introduced in the first year. There are two optional modules (students must select one) and also an elective module. For the elective, students can pick a specialist module delivered by the wildlife conservation team or any other elective modules offered across the university.

    The third year of the course is spent on placement with an employer. Students then return to re-join their peers for the final year of the course. A key aspect of the final year is the individual research project where students get to investigate a topic of personal interest. This might involve the collection, analysis and interpretation of data from ecological field survey, or a questionnaire, to answer research questions which they have developed with support of their project supervisor. There are two pairs of optional modules, including a module focussing on forestry that builds on the second year module on woodland management. Students select one optional module from each pair.

    See module table for full details. 

    Course life


    For course related enquiries please contact:

    Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 000

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    Whilst every opportunity has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information on this course page, Harper Adams University wishes to emphasise that the content is regularly reviewed and is subject to change from time-to-time as required. Our courses undergo reviews to ensure they are flexible, relevant and as up-to-date as possible.

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