BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation
Why study Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University?
- Accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences
- Option to undertake a 4 to 6 week placement and/or a 12 month sandwich placement
- Learn practical skills including field surveying, animal and plant identification, GIS and recording animal behaviour
- Learn conservation practice skills, such as Habitat Management Plans, protected area designation, zoo conservation and conservation technology
- £6 million invested in state-of-the-art teaching facilities
- Excellent career prospects
- This degree is available to study following a foundation year
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
About your course
The BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University is taught by conservation experts and will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to work in a professional conservation organisation. Develop your knowledge in ecology, genetics, evolution and animal behaviour and environmental sustainability and how to apply these to conservation practice. Develop key skills in animal and plant surveys and identification, create Habitat Management plans, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and conservation technologies. The degree also offers diverse placement opportunities in areas such as otter surveying, habitat and vegetation mapping and the rehabilitation and welfare of endangered species. Plus you will be able to go on overseas field trips.
With greater public awareness of the environment and increasing concern about the exploitation and destruction of wildlife resources, this BSc degree looks at the causes of biodiversity loss as well as practical and sustainable ways to halt and reverse it.
During the course you will develop your knowledge of ecology, genetics, evolution, animal behaviour and environmental sustainability and apply this knowledge to develop practical solutions to conservation problems and conservation practice. You will also develop practical skills, such as animal and plant identification, wildlife surveys and conservation technology, recording animal behaviour, creating Habitat Management Plans and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). These are the skills and knowledge you need to work in a professional conservation organisation.
You will be taught by conservation experts involved in collaborative research projects and consultancy, including primate conservation, large African mammal conservation, human wildlife conflict, species reintroduction, biogeography and species distributions, bird social behaviour and ecosystem services.
A key feature of this programme is the opportunity it presents to observe wildlife first hand in natural habitats. There are a large number of UK-based fieldtrips throughout the course, as well as a residential field trip at level 5. You will also have the opportunity to go on an international trip at level 6 - the destinations are subject to confirmation but currently include the primeval forests of Poland and volcanic landscapes of Iceland. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a short (4 to 6 week) placement and/or 12-month sandwich placement with an organisation in the UK or overseas.
Other study options:
"I have loved being at LJMU. The amazing people I have met throughout my university experience have been a catalyst for achievement. Friends, lecturers and employers have all made my experience thoroughly enjoyable, and made Liverpool a special and endearing place which I will always feel at home in."
The degree is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).
The academic team also has links with local, national and international conservation agencies, such as the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the British Ecological Society, Wildlife Trusts and the North of England Zoological Society. They provide consultancy advice and form collaborative partnerships via research projects and membership of trustee boards.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
Practical and field activities underpin all programmes in the School. PPE is provided for all necessary practical work. There are no costs for day field trips for core and optional modules. Residential field trips associated with core modules are subsidised and include travel and half-board accommodation costs. Any residential field trips for optional modules will have costs involved. Locations may be subject to change and also subject to national and international travel restrictions.
A DBS check is not required for your application, however a DBS may be required for modules where there is a work based learning placement option. Work based learning placements that do not require a DBS check are available.
The range of careers open to our BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation graduates is vast. You will enjoy opportunities both in the UK and overseas.
Graduates find jobs in nature reserve management, conservation NGOs, zoos, aquaria and wildlife parks, conservation charities, countryside ranger departments, ecological consultancies, fisheries management, agri-environment advisory services, environmental education, ecological research and overseas conservation projects.
Recent graduates can be found working as wildlife trust reserve managers, wildlife rangers, environmental and ecological consultants, zoo keepers, zoo scientific and education officers and children's nature activities leaders.
Postgraduate study or research is another option. LJMU currently runs the following MSc programmes –
MSc Wildlife Conservation Technology
A number of our graduates are currently undertaking research degrees within the School, on topics such as assessing reasons for success and failure of species reintroduction, the effects of climate change on plant communities and assessing the effectiveness of vegetation buffer zones on maintaining water quality.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Please note that your choice of options may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Evolution and Inheritance
This module introduces you to the fundamentals of evolution and genetics, with a focus on key concepts that impact animal behaviour and conservation.
Fundamentals of Scientific Research
This module aims to develop your research skills and covers problem solving, scientific writing, data handling and statistical analysis.
Skills for Wildlife Conservation
This module provides you with an introduction to the key practical skills required for careers in Wildlife Conservation. You will develop knowledge on various identification and surveying techniques for animal and plant taxonomic groups. You will also develop skills in current techniques such as Geographical Information systems.
In this module you will be introduced to the diversity of animal behaviour. You will learn to describe the behaviour of a wide range of animal species in relation to reproduction, foraging and social behaviour and to identify common behaviours in selected species, explaining their purpose.
This module provides you with a basic understanding of ecology and ecological characteristics of a range of habitats. You will study basic concepts, such as species and succession, communities and ecosystems, biotic and abiotic elements, nutrient cycling, populations and diversity and adaptations of organisms to their environment. Part of this will be achieved through field visits to a range of habitats.
Environment Society and Sustainability
Within this module, you will examine the relationship between environment, society and sustainability in the context of increasing concerns about human impacts on the environment. You will focus on issues in relationship to population, economic growth, resource use and distribution and social welfare in order to outline different scientific, technological, social and political approaches to handling 'real world' issues.
Research Skills and Employability
This module covers all aspects of handling and analysing scientific data and the development of employability/graduate skills. You will consider the fundamentals of analysing and interpreting scientific data using examples relevant to all biosciences. Additionally, it will allow you to prepare a better career plan in science, as well as becoming self-aware of your employability skills.
Ecology Field Skills
In this module you will examine different standardised methods used for ecological censuses and surveys in the UK. Field experience is provided and different sampling techniques are dealt with in depth during lectures and during fieldwork abroad, with the aim of explaining the quantitative framework on which they are based in addition to providing practical experience of their execution in the field. You will also learn how to digitise spatial data and produce maps using GIS which you will then use to analyse spatial data on habitat and vegetation features.
Wildlife and Ecosystem Management
This module is an advanced course in general ecology and wildlife population management and seeks to draw linkages between populations and biogeochemical cycles. This is placed within the context of applied wildlife and ecosystem management by using a mix of case studies, workshops, and fieldtrips to a site managed and restored for wildlife or wider ecosystem functioning.
Conservation Practice and Management Skills
This module introduces you to conservation practice and management through largely field based activities on sites of conservation protection or importance. The module is developed to work alongside conservation practice organisation. You will gain knowledge on development and implementation of conservation management plans, protected area designation and other conservation practices such as habitat restoration and agri-environment schemes.
This module enables you to examine how ecological and evolutionary factors affect the survival and reproductive behaviour of animals. The role of ecological and evolutionary selection pressures to maximise inclusive fitness in wild animals is stressed. Particular emphasis is placed on the design and interpretation of a behavioural time budget study on zoo animals.
Marine and Freshwater Biology
This module provides a broad introduction to fundamental aspects of marine and freshwater biology, including basic oceanography, limnology and productivity in the marine and freshwater environment. Different marine and freshwater habitat types found in various parts of the world are introduced, and their biological (e.g. ecology, animal behaviour) and physical characteristics are discussed. The exploitation and conservation of these ecosystems are also considered.
This module will be taught through lectures to teach you about technology and their applications in conservation. Computer practicals will be used to teach you how to process and analyse the data collected, workshops look at building and setting up the technology, and fieldtrips allow you to gain experience in using the technology.
Sandwich Year - Wildlife Conservation
The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.
Animal Health and Disease
This module aims to provide applied knowledge and skills in many areas of animal health and disease that are directly relevant to popular careers in the sector of wildlife conservation. The module covers aspects of bioveterinary science, behaviour, welfare, physiology, disease processes, and animal rescue and rehabilitation.
Study Year Abroad - Wildlife Conservation
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Semester Abroad - Wildlife Conservation
The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.
This module will introduce the processes that drive the functioning of two major (terrestrial and marine) environments of the Earth with a view to their deeper understanding, evaluation and management. You will develop an appreciation and assessment of capabilities of the environmental impact of humans (e.g. pollution, deforestation, ocean acidification) on natural environments and ecosystems. You will develop skills in acquiring, processing and interpreting environmental data.
The research project will be in any area appropriate to your programme of study on a topic of your choice. The module provides an opportunity for you to independently develop and demonstrate project planning, time-management and organisational inter-personal skills, along with scientific and practical working methods in a research or applied context.
Contemporary Issues in Conservation
This module enables you to examine a diverse range of important contemporary research topics linked to conservation biology, drawing on the research interests of the teaching staff.
Frontiers of Ecology
This module enables you to examine a diverse range of important contemporary research topics linked to ecology. These will be placed in a broader context by examining conflicting issues and ideas arising from ecological considerations.
Advanced Field Skills Expedition
This module provides an introduction to biological issues in ecosystems during a residential field trip abroad. You will critically evaluate biological issues in selected habitats and design and carry out field-based studies to investigate biological questions.
Zoo Conservation and Genebanks
This module provides you with an understanding of the role of ex situ conservation in maintaining global biodiversity and the methods used in maintaining ex situ collections of animals and plants.
This module provides relevant, stimulating and career-orientated experiential learning to encourage you to develop transferable skills relevant to the work environment and to foster initiative and independence of thought.
Sustainable Natural Heritage
This module explores the relationship between human culture and environmental conservation through the natural heritage concept. Integrated conservation schemes and projects are investigated to find out the extent to which sustainable use of natural resources at local and regional levels can help to achieve long-term environmental conservation goals.
River Monitoring and Management
The aim of this module is to introduce and analyse the main water-related legislative and management frameworks that environmental regulators and consultants work within. You will study the application of scientific principles to the management of contemporary river management issues and evaluate the methodologies used to investigate, monitor, manage and improve river environments.
Cold Environments: Processes and Change
The aim of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in previous lecture-based modules to a new geographical setting, by carrying out detailed data-collection. You will critically evaluate the importance of field-based observations and analyses within the context of the wider literature and develop a wide range of transferable skills in measurement technique, research design, effective communication and group work.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching is via lectures, seminars and online activities with interactive workshops in the form of group discussions, practical demonstrations and fieldwork and laboratory sessions, which give you the chance to observe animals and plants first hand and develop your practical skills.
Small tutorial groups provide a forum for discussing course material more informally. Lecture material can also be found in our library and on our virtual learning environment, Canvas.
As part of your work-related learning, you have the opportunity to undertake a short (4-6 week) work-based placement or a 12-month placement with a relevant organisation in the UK or abroad. This work experience will not only give you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt in the first two years, it will also help you develop your personal skills and add real value to your CV. Such experiences are not only extremely rewarding, they can lead to permanent employment through contacts made.
Recent sandwich placements have included: management and surveying in RSPB reed bed sites, tracking game birds at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust; surveying for wolves in Italy, evaluation of top wildlife sites on an MoD estate; surveying sea birds with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust; rearing of endangered species at Blackpool and Chester Zoos; and working for a wildlife rehabilitation centres in Costa Rica and Bulgaria.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Throughout your course you will have the support of a personal tutor who will be available to discuss course-related matters in both tutorial sessions and one-to-one progress review meetings. These meetings are to monitor your performance and identify action plans for improvement. A dedicated supervisor will also provide support during your research project and/or work-based learning, including visits to your workplace if you opt for the 12-month work placement.
The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has a Disability Support Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
All students perform differently depending on the way they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Exams may therefore include a range of question types e.g. multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay. Coursework assessment could be in the form of phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or the evaluation of your practical skills, and are based on individual assignments though some require group work.
Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas, face-to-face or as written comments. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Sarah Dalrymple
Dr Sarah Dalrymple
Sarah is a global authority on reintroductions of threatened species and has written guidelines for conservation translocation for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She is currently working on species classed as Extinct in the Wild critically threatened plants and animals that are found only in zoos, aquaria and botanic gardens identifying opportunities to restore them to native habitat, or find new places to thrive. Sarah trained as a plant ecologist and has a major interest in seed conservation, including influencing the IUCN Red List to include seed banking facilities. Sarah's research interests include using translocations to address the threat of climate change.
I find it very rewarding to work with such committed people and it gives me a great deal of hope that we can actually address the current extinction crisis
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university's City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. You will have access to first class teaching facilities, laboratories and study areas. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 112
GCSEs and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
- NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
- Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
- Higher Diploma in Maths/English
- Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/English
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Subject specific requirements: At least one A Level at C or above in Biology, Geography, Environmental Science or other related science.
- Is general studies acceptable? No
- Average A Level offer: BBC
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* in a related area if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications.
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM in a related area required if no other Level 3 qualification taken
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: Access programme must have been taken in a relevant subject area. Overall Merit required.
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
T Level requirements: 112 UCAS points in a related subject area. Contact Faculty Admissions for details.
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Alternative qualifications considered
Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.
Reduced offer scheme
As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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