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Ecological Management & Conservation Biology

Overview
We’re in the middle of a biodiversity crisis; the sixth mass extinction event on Earth. Over half of the world’s wildlife has vanished in the last fifty years.

There is unprecedented pressure on the environment due to exploitation, habitat degradation and loss, climate change, invasive species, pollution and emerging diseases. You can be part of something to help address this.

Why Queen's?
You will taught by staff with research profiles of international standing, with a wide range of interests in ecological management and conservation biology covering taxa from algae to mammals and environments from marine to terrestrial.

Ecological researchers in the School of Biological Sciences maintain close links between academia and government departments responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity.

Laboratory facilities and access to field facilities are excellent and include a fully equipped Marine Laboratory at Portaferry on Strangford Lough.

PERKS YOU'LL GET
You’ll do a professional development module with a work placement.

You don’t have to necessarily work in a conservation-orientated environment - previous students have gone to places as unusual as art galleries where they have created scientifically inspired artwork as an alternative method for scientific communication outreach.

THE PEOPLE TEACHING YOU
Dr Neil Reid is the Course Director. He wants to move students away from sitting in dry academic lectures to get you out into the real world to acquire the skills you’ll need for a job in conservation.

Course Details
The programme has a backbone of taught academic lectures covering the full spectrum of subjects contained within conservation biology including:

Animal behaviour
Biodiversity Conservation genetics
Emerging plant pathogens
Environmental economics
Environmental impact assessment
Grassland management
Invasion biology
Marine conservation
Soil biology
Wildfire ecology

WHAT ELSE WILL YOU DO?
•Each week there is a day trip to experience the practicalities of what you’ve learned in class and to see ecological management in-the-field.

•You’ll visit captive breeding facilities for endangered species, offshore island bird colonies, river corridors along which invasive species are managed, ground-nesting bird conservation programmes, national nature reserves including sand dunes, bogs and species-rich grasslands, commercial industry, Belfast Zoo and the Mourne Mountains.

•Although you’ll be based in the Medical Biology Centre (MBC), you’ll be taken off campus a lot, including to the Queen’s Marine Laboratory (QML) located an hour south of Belfast at Portaferry.

Entry requirements

MSc: a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science, such any type of biology (including animal science, biological science, environmental science, marine biology and zoology), agriculture or veterinary science and paleoecology or geography degrees are acceptable. Those who have experience but less relevant degrees will be referred to the School for judgement on a case-by-case basis. Examples of relevant experience include (but are not limited to); farming, zoo work, conservation charities, environmental consultancy, conservation relevant NGOs, relevant Government Departments and overseas conservation volunteering.

PG Diploma: A Pass degree is acceptable from the list of relevant subjects above.

INTERNATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

•English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

•Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Duration

MSc: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time PgDip: 9 months full-time.

Learning and Teaching
THE ENVIRONMENT
You’ll be part of a small, informal and chatty class. You’re encouraged to butt-in and ask questions. You’ll get to know your classmates and your lecturers well during field trips. You are expected to become an integral part of the School of Biological Sciences and are invited to staff and postgraduate student coffee mornings each Thursday.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
This Master’s will transform your love of nature and interest in the environment into a professional career.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have a broad knowledge of academic conservation biology and you will have developed the practical skills in ecological management that will enable you to forge a career in environmental consultancy, museums, conservation charities, Government, environmental protection and enforcement as well as non-governmental organisations.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN FIVE YEARS TIME?
You will be perfectly placed as a site manager on a nature reserve or an environmental education officer. You could equally end up in industry conducting environmental impact assessments on projects such as alternative energy production like windfarms or marine turbines, or infrastructural developments such as airport runway extensions.

After your MSc you might want to travel and gain experience in places like Asia, South America or Africa.

You may even follow in the footsteps of Queen’s alumni like zoologist, wildlife photographer and television presenter Jonathan Scott, who has gone on to film wildlife documentaries for the BBC like Big Cat Diary.

EMPLOYERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PEOPLE LIKE YOU
Environmental consultancies (local, national and international), museums, conservation charities like the RSPB, National Trust or the Wildlife Trusts, government, for example, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) or local conservation groups such as those into fisheries management, stock assessment, habitat or species restoration.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Neil Reid
Lecturer in Conservation Biology, Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS)
SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Queen’s University Belfast, Office 05.014, MBC, 97 Lisburn Road, BELFAST. BT9 7BL
TEL: +44 (0)28 9097 2281
EMAIL: neil.reid@qub.ac.uk

Subjects taught

The course consists of five modules that are taken by all students:

Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
Ecological Management and Conservation Biology (BBC8034
Foundations for Research in the Biosciences (BBC8042)
Conservation Biology Group Project (BBC8026)

Semester 2 (Jan-April)
Skills in Ecological Management (BBC8035)
Literature review (BBC8025)

Semester 3 (May-Aug)
Option 1: Work placement research project (BBC800X) - MSc only
Option 2: Academic research project (BBC8001) - MSc only

Assessment method

Assessment & Feedback
All assessment is Continuous Assessment such as coursework and module assignments based on self-driven, independent, study (there are no examinations).

A Postgraduate Diploma (PGDIP) student who achieves 50% or higher in completed modules may be permitted to transfer to the MSc Pathway subject to General Regulations. The MSc will be awarded with Distinction to a student who achieves an average mark exceeding 70% and with Commendation for those achieving a mark between 60-69%.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught

In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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