MSc Conservation and Biodiversity


Penryn Campus

This one-year full-time Masters programme is taught at our Penryn Campus by the Centre for Ecology and Conservation; the fastest growing institute of its kind in the UK. The course boasts a significant research component, with substantial fieldwork opportunities in the UK as well as a field course in Africa. A distinctive and integral feature of our MSc is the high degree of input from conservationists in collaborating governmental and non-governmental organisations. 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 organisations. Collaborating organisations include: Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Marine Conservation Society, Natural England, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (links open in new windows).

The course provides excellent employability, with our alumni moving into careers such as: ecological consultancy, government conservation in UK and overseas, NGO conservation in the UK (Bat Conservation Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts) and overseas and fully funded PhD positions in ecology and conservation.

I have always been interested in the natural world, environmental issues, sustainability and conservation. After travelling for a while following my undergraduate degree I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the environmental field, and the MSc Conservation and Biodiversity at Cornwall sounded really interesting.

There have been many valuable aspects of the programme, most notably the high level of external speakers and experts who have come in to speak to us regarding local and national conservation issues and programmes; this included talks about the conservation implications of development at Falmouth docks, and speakers from Natural England, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Atlantic Whale Foundation and many more. This made a change from lectures and showed us the practical side of what we were learning. It also gave us a chance to have lively debates and question sessions with these experts. Another valuable aspect of the course was the diversity and number of field visits. The Kenya field trip was by far the most rewarding learning experience of the course.

I found the staff to all be really approachable and down to earth, and the modules mean that you learn a huge variety of new information and skills, from statistics and GIS to marine conservation. What’s more, the Cornwall Campus is in a great location surrounded by nature so we were able to do many local field trips including the national seal sanctuary, the lobster hatchery and Plymouth aquarium. It also means you don’t have to travel far to carry out research for your dissertation since there is a lot of wildlife right on the doorstep.

Katie Goodman, MSc Conservation and Biodiversity 2010/11

Su Shan

The MSc Conservation and Biodiversity programme at the Cornwall Campus was exactly what I was looking for. One of the best aspects of the Cornwall Campus is the beautiful nature in the area. While studying I’ve even found the time to surf, join FX-PEDITION 2010 and volunteer for the conservation charity BTCV.

Su Shan from Taiwan, MSc Conservation and Biodiversity 2010