Global Conservation Science MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components
UK fees
£13,750 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

Rockingham Lake regional park.Female scientific environmental conservationist working with the aid of technology to collect data. The Australian Bush has been damaged by fire.

Become an ecological change maker

Solutions to the global biodiversity crisis require an appreciation of the ecological, social, economic, political, and ethical aspects of environmental challenges that influence the way in which we go about conserving the natural world.

Taught by experts in the area of global conservation science and management, this course will provide you with strong interdisciplinary expertise in managing biodiversity and natural resources with a focus on social, economic, and policy aspects. Taking a global perspective, you will be trained in both the ecological and decision science aspects of biodiversity conservation and in the broader ethical and social issues that are part and parcel of conservation action on the ground. You will become skilled in areas such as geographic information systems (GIS), decision science, and conservation project planning. You’ll also gain first-hand practical conservation experience from one of the world’s leading conservation organisations - The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Through an understanding of the way that conservation projects are designed, managed, evaluated, and communicated, you will learn how to deliver effective conservation solutions in any situation. You’ll be highly employable in both the public and third sectors nationally and internationally, where a multidisciplinary understanding of real-world problems is needed to arrive at effective solutions. This could lead to a career in organisations such as Wildlife Trusts and International NGOs including the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Nature Conservancy.

Field trip, Durrell Wildlife

Find out what it's like to be on a field trip at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust through the eyes (and camera) of a current student.

Course highlights

  • Be empowered to pursue the conservation problems that you want to solve.
  • Learn from practitioners, NGO experts and international partners from within the conservation sector.
  • Receive dedicated training in project management, fundraising, grant writing, and decision science.
  • Visit and learn from one of the world’s leading conservation organisations with our Conservation Project Management module.
  • Graduate ready to engage with all aspects of conservation work at a leadership level.
  • Facilitate your career development by gaining more extensive technical training in interdisciplinary conservation science.

Course details

By drawing on expertise from across the faculties of Biological Sciences and Environment, you’ll gain a unique set of skills in biodiversity conservation and management. You’ll also explore topics on climate change, environmental policy, international development, and solutions to the biodiversity crisis. You’ll have access to our high-quality teaching facilities, including computer clusters and interactive meeting rooms.

Semester 1

You’ll upskill with a variety of technical modules in biodiversity and research methods, R programming and GIS that will enable you to conduct practical day-to-day work in a conservation setting to develop effective and evidence-based solutions for global biodiversity and conservation.

You’ll visit and learn from one of the world’s leading conservation organisations, The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at Jersey Zoo. This residential two-week course will be an immersive, exciting opportunity to learn about the practical side of conservation from leading experts. There will be a focus on project planning using Conservation Management Plans (CMPs), and you’ll also learn how to harness a range of global datasets, design species recovery plans, and develop broader skills including teamwork and grant writing.

Field trip, Durrell Wildlife

Find out what it's like to be on a field trip at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust through the eyes (and camera) of a current student.

Semester 2

You’ll gain specialist knowledge in varied disciplines that are vital to ensure effective and efficient work within the conservation sector, both in NGO and government roles. Modules include areas such equitable sustainability, environmental economics & policy, and decision science, a unique aspect of our training at Leeds. You’ll also deepen your knowledge in solution-facing global change ecology, where you will examine threats to biodiversity such as climate change, land-use change, and habitat loss and how to manage them.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Global Conservation Science MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Introduction to GIS 15
Conservation Project Management 15
Research Skills and Data Analysis 15
Conservation Decision Science 15
Equitable Sustainability 15
Masters Research Project 60
Global Change Ecology 15

Learning and teaching

You’ll be trained in the technical, scientific aspects of biodiversity conservation as well as the broader issues in managing biodiversity and people depending on it through a variety of methods such as lectures, workshops, debates, and group or individual research.

You’ll have dedicated training sessions in team working, project management, grant writing, and leadership skills.

A large proportion of your learning will be led by experts from conservation institutions so that you not only experience the wider conservation sector in specific areas, but also gain an in-depth understanding of the sort of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary perspectives on conservation issues that are needed to develop effective solutions to problems. The global focus will provide you with insights into cultural and ethical differences among regions, but also in how threats to and solutions for biodiversity conservation may apply differently.

Research projects

In your final research project you’ll work alongside a leading academic and typically in collaboration with an external partner to apply your understanding to a real world problem in a practical or fundamental way that integrates concepts and methods from across the disciplines in the course.

Practical skills

The programme is focused on developing skills alongside understanding, and these skills involve a wide range of different disciplines and approaches. We’ll provide you with the suite of skills that you’ll need to operate not only at a technical level, but also at a project management and leadership level in conservation organisations. You’ll have dedicated training sessions to develop skills that are needed in this industry such as team working, project management, grant writing, and leadership.

You’ll learn a variety of technical, specialist modules in research methods, project planning, R programming, GIS and conservation science that will enable graduates to conduct practical day-to-day work in a conservation setting.

We’ll give you the skills to enable you to become an ecological change maker through positive effective conservation such as skills in technical expertise and in natural systems along with skills in socio-political systems.

We’ll also provide you with strong training in the practicalities of research and innovation around conservation practices on the ground. This might involve biological interventions, but you will learn how to best integrate these conservation actions with social, political, or economic activities.

You’ll also build your knowledge and skills in social methods and processes that underpin governance and policy globally.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2:1 honours or equivalent, from a biological, environmental, or social science subject, with a strong interest in conservation and a commitment to interdisciplinary study. Given a strong interest and experience in conservation, we will also consider applicants from other backgrounds.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Documents and information you’ll need

  • Completed online application form (for Taught Postgraduate Study).
  • Full CV.
  • Transcript of degree examination marks achieved to date.
  • Copy of final degree certificate (if completed).
  • Evidence of English language qualification (non-native English speakers only).
  • Copy of passport (if you’re an overseas student).
  • Completed supporting statement:

Find out more about how to apply.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Next steps

  • We process your application.
  • We inform you of our decision.
  • If we make you an offer, you respond by accepting or declining.

Taught postgraduate confirmation

Taught postgraduate applicants are required to submit their results for consideration as soon as possible. Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK are recommended to submit their results no later than 31 July, although they will still be considered if submitted after this date.


It is standard procedure to interview applicants, prior to making a decision on their application, for MRes Neuroscience, MSc Biopharmaceutical Development (Industrial), MRes Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, and MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine. Interviews do not form part of the standard admissions process for other programmes in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

International application deadline: July 31 2024

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences postgraduate taught admissions team



UK: £13,750 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Scholarships for Faculty of Biological Sciences students

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offers a number of Masters scholarships to support and reward students from the UK and around the world. Don’t miss out on available support, visit our dedicated faculty scholarship page to check your eligibility.

Career opportunities

On graduating from this course, you’ll be able to engage with all aspects of conservation work at a leadership level. You’ll be highly employable in both the public and third sectors, for example the Wildlife Trusts, Worldwide Fund for Nature, the RSPB, and The Nature Conservancy, as well as by non-governmental organisations, where a multidisciplinary understanding of real-world problems is needed to arrive at effective solutions.

With a clear understanding of how to manage environmental problems from multiple perspectives, you’ll also have the necessary knowledge and skills to work within public sector organisations such as Natural England, the Environment Agency, and regional equivalents around the world.

Our dedicated employability and opportunity team will support you throughout your time with us, ensuring that you’re aware of events and opportunities, with a goal of helping you into graduate employment. In addition, our Masters career development programme will support you to:

  • Explore career options and career planning.
  • Understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application.
  • Learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities.
  • Practice interviews for both job and PhD applications.

You’ll also have access to seminars and presentations from industry professionals (including our alumni) at faculty-led career events. We also have regular research seminars presented by leading academics from around the world on their specialist subjects.

Student profile: Benedict Wilson

I really enjoy the practical elements of the course as well as discussing and engaging with important conservation and sustainability topics.
Find out more about Benedict Wilson's time at Leeds