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BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology and Management

UCAS Code CD14 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

Stirling is a superb place to study a degree in conservation biology and management. Study at Scotland’s academic hub for environmental conservation.

Conservation Biology and Management

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based

Our world is changing. Human interference in natural environments is rapidly increasing, along with growing competition for space and resources. If you’re planning a career in Conservation Biology and Management, the University of Stirling is the perfect place to develop your understanding of the world we live in, and help protect the planet.

This course will provide you with a deep understanding of the complex relationships between environments and their inhabitants. You’ll learn about the policies and management strategies that aim to safeguard our biodiversity and the ecosystem services upon which humans depend.

Stirling is a superb place to study this. We’re near to diverse landscapes and can link up with more environmental and conservation organisations than anywhere else in the UK.

We place great emphasis on practical training, hands-on experience and preparation for a wide range of careers in conservation. This includes our inspiring 10-day field class in Cévennes, France, a landscape of exceptional natural beauty and tremendous biodiversity recognised by UNESCO.

Doing this course at Stirling has really changed how I view the natural world. This course at Stirling is uniquely placed in that there are so many conservation-based organisations on our doorstep and, for those who are keen to get stuck in, there’s a world of things to get involved in.

Lorna Blackmore, BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology and Management

  • Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    AABB - by the end of S5
    AAAB - by the end of S6

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    Essential subjects
    To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

    Widening access students
    Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

    Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

  • Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

    SQA Advanced Highers

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    35 points

    Essential subjects
    To include Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology.

  • Other Scottish qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

    Access courses
    University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

    SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

    Essential subjects
    To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

  • Other qualifications

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
    Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

    Essential subjects
    To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

  • Advanced entry

    Year 2 entry
    Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

    Other qualifications
    Advanced entry may by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our advanced entry pages.

    Essential subjects
    To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

  • Other routes of entry

    If you’re an international student and don’t meet the academic and English-language requirements for entry onto this degree, there are other options. You could take our International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering which prepares you for entry onto our degrees. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training.  Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Sport Computing and Engineering or Maths provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS - 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 with minimum of 162 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 162 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

This degree will teach you the main issues in managing and conserving biodiversity at national and global scales. We place great emphasis on practical training and preparing students for a wide range of careers in conservation.

Semesters 1-4 cover core modules in foundation subjects, including: Ecology; Biodiversity; Cell Biology and Physiology; Environmental Sciences; and Practical Skills.

Semesters 5-6 cover advanced modules in: Environmental Policy and Management; Population and Community Ecology; plus up to four modules from a defined list of options, including a fieldtrip to Spain.

You’ll go on a four-week placement working with a relevant organisation in the summer between Years 3 and 4.

In Semesters 7-8, you’ll work on a research project and can choose to go on the ecology fieldtrip, currently based at the CERES Field Centre in Aljiezur, Portual. You can take up to six modules from a range of options.

There’s an active Conservation Volunteers group at the University, enabling you to develop and expand your experience of survey work and other practical skills.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2018.

    Our teaching builds on the latest thinking in Conservation Biology. Teaching is delivered in the form of formal lectures and practical classes, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning and guided reading and research.

  • Fieldwork

    Fieldwork is an essential and enjoyable part of this degree course. We are ideally located to make fieldtrips, whether to study lekking Black Grouse in the Highlands, the growth of trees on the sides of the Ochil Hills, or the distribution of animals on the Forth Estuary. As well as fieldwork in Scotland, the Conservation Biology and Management (Hons) course includes fieldtrips to Spain and/or France.

    If you go on the week-long fieldtrip to Spain, you’ll stay near Almeria, one of the driest parts of Europe. Through a series of excursions and intensive field projects you’ll be introduced to environmental processes in arid environments.

    You can undertake an inspiring 7-day field class in biology at the CERES Field Centre in Aljezur, Portugal. The field station is situated within the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina on the western Portuguese Atlantic coast and is one of the richest regions of Europe in terms of animal and plant biodiversity.

  • Assessment

    Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination, completed during each semester. For many modules, the marks awarded for coursework contribute 40–50 percent of the final grade, but for some modules this is as high as 100 percent.

  • Work placement opportunities

    You have the opportunity to go on a three-week placement with an external organisation between your 3rd and 4th year, where you’ll get relevant working experience and make useful contacts.

  • Study abroad

    You can spend part of Year 3 abroad. There is a well-established reciprocal exchange programme with the University of Guelph in Canada, where you’ll take subjects equivalent to those at Stirling. In addition, there are exchange opportunities with a range of universities in the USA, Australia and Europe.

    Find out more about studying abroad.

  • Contact

    For programme-related queries, please contact Professor Kirsty Park

    +44 (0) 1786 467799

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2019/20 2020/21

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2019 and 2020 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2021 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on our University and Europe information pages.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.


    *This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,820 £15,600

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

    Additional student costs are kept as low as possible, but include purchase of lab coat and some personal lab kit.

    We subsidise costs for fieldtrips, but you’ll be required to make a financial contribution towards your travel, accommodation and subsistence for the Scottish field class in Year 2 and the optional field classes in Years 3 and 4.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

What jobs can you get with a Conservation Biology and Management degree?

As a Conservation Biology and Management graduate, you’ll find jobs in:

  • as scientists and advisors for Government and related agencies

  • working for environmental charities

  • as environmental consultants

  • as researchers in Universities, research institutes or NGOs

  • teaching

There is high demand for well-qualified conservation graduates, and students completing a Conservation Biology and Management degree at Stirling work with a range of  employers.

We’ve strong links with research and conservation bodies in Scotland (e.g. Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency), the rest of the UK and overseas (e.g. International Union for Conservation of Nature, European Environment Agency, Gabonese National Parks Service, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research).

We also have strong links various conservation non-government organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, British Trust for Ornithology, Bat Conservation Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, wildlife trusts and environmental consultancies.

This approach ensures that you’ll appreciate the transferable nature of a science degree and see how your learning can be applied to the real world. In employment terms, there is a demand for well-trained graduates from conservation and government agencies to plan sustainable management of resources for the benefit of future generations.

Other graduates may train as teachers or undertake further study.

  • The University of Stirling consistently earns five QS Stars for employability, with more than 97% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating. (HESA DLHE 2016/17)
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