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Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, M.Sc.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months


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 these problems.

Ecological Management and Conservation Biology Highlights

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.

Industry Links

  • Ecological researchers in the School of Biological Sciences maintain close links between academia and government departments responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity. Weekly day trips also include input from conservation charities, environmental consultants, zoological gardens, museums, nature reserve managers and independent research institutes.

Career Development

  • 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.

World Class Facilities

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

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • 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.

Student Experience

  • You'll take part in a class conservation biology project before being given the option to under a professional work placement project.
  • 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.

Career Prospects

This MSc will equip you with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career in conservation or ecological consultancy. To date, graduates of the course have been employed by a range of non-governmental organisations (for example ORCA, The Irish Wildlife Trust and Bumblebee Conservation Trust), governmental organisations (NIEA and AFBI) and consultancies (including AECOM, WSP, WYG and RPS). Graduates have also progressed into research at various universities.

Employment after the Course

Many of our students go on to pursue further PhD study in relevant areas both here at Queen’s and further afield. Others go on to work in a variety of roles in both the private and public sector here in Northern Ireland and internationally with some setting up their own companies. The following are some of the jobs they have taken on:
  • Principal Town & Country Planning Consultant at TC Town Planning
  • Psychologist, DOE Marine Division
  • Conservation Officer, The Irish Wildlife Trust
  • Managing Quantity Surveyor, Faithful & Gold
  • Survey Team Leader & Wildlife Guide at ORCA
  • Ecologist at Roughan & O'Donovan
  • Ecologist at Neo Environmental Ltd
  • MCO Spatial NI at Ordnance Survey
  • Outreach Officer Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • HSEQ Coordinator & Advisor Remondis Australia
  • Scientific Officer at AFBI
  • Scientific Officer at Northern Ireland Environment Agency
  • Principal Environmental Consultant at Ayre Environmental Consulting
  • Assistant Ecologist WYG
  • Consultant Ecologist at AECOM
  • Network Development Manager (NE) Sustrans
  • Ecologist at Blackstaff Ecology Ltd
  • Project Manager for ESGE, Munich
  • Lab Analyst at Fibertec Environmental Services, Michigan
  • Freelance Seasonal Ecologist/ Bat Surveyor
  • Environmental Educator, UNESCO Dublin Bay Biosphere
  • Conservation Advisor at RSPB
  • Application Specialist, Exploristics Ltd 
  • Raptor Monitoring Officer at Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group
  • Environmental Assistant at Northstone (NI) Limited
  • AES Biodiversity Intern at Ulster Wildlife
  • Graduate Assistant Ecologist at Ecological Survey & Assessment (ECOSA) Limited
  • Ecologist at RPS Group
  • Ecologist at Focus Ecology
  • Compliance Officer at Norbrook Laboratories ltd
  • Assistant Ecologist Wild Frontier Ecology Ltd
  • Graduate Land Consultant at Mouchel
  • Regulatory Affairs Associate at Genpact Pharmalink
  • Engineering Technician at McCloy Consulting Limited
  • Volunteer at Belfast Hills Partnership Trust
  • Natural Resources Specialist at Equinox Environmental 
  • Consultation and Design, Inc. Ashville


Officially accredited/recognized by the Privy Council, Queen's University Belfast (QUB) is a large (enrollment range: 20,000-24,999 students) coeducational higher education institution. Queen's University Belfast (QUB) offers courses and programs leading to officialy recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation genetics
  • Emerging plant pathogens
  • Environmental economics
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Grassland management
  • Invasion biology
  • Marine conservation
  • Soil biology
  • Wildfire ecology
  • Ecological Management and Conservation Biology 
  • Foundations for Research in the Biosciences 
  • Conservation Biology Group Project 
  • Skills in Ecological Management 
  • Literature Review 
  • Option 1: Work Placement Research Project 
  • Option 2: Academic Research Project 

              Detailed Programme Facts

              • Programme intensity

                You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

                • Full-time duration 12 months
                • Average part-time duration 24 months
              • Credits
                180 alternative credits
              • Languages
                • English
              • Delivery mode
                On Campus

              English Language Requirements

              • Minimum required score:


                The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

                Schedule IELTS
              • Minimum required score:


                The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

                Schedule TOEFL®

              Academic Requirements

              You need the following GPA score:

              Required score: Lower Second Class

              Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Lower Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

              Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

              General Requirements

              A 2.2 Honours degree or above in a relevant area of science, such as any type of biology (including animal science, biological science, environmental science, marine biology and zoology), agriculture or veterinary science, paleoecology or geography. 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.

              Tuition Fee

              • International

                19600 GBP/year
                Tuition Fee
                Based on the original amount of 19600 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
              • EU/EEA

                5500 GBP/year
                Tuition Fee
                Based on the original amount of 5500 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
              We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

              Living costs for Belfast

              • 561 - 890 GBP/month
                Living Costs

              The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


              DEL Student Support Fund
              The DEL Student Support Fund is a discretionary fund which may provide financial assistance to students from Northern Ireland and Great Britain, who encounter financial difficulty whilst studying
              • All full-time and part-time (50% of equivalent full-time course) Northern Ireland and Great Britain undergraduates and postgraduate students can apply.
              • Undergraduate students must have taken out their maximum Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan entitlement.
              • All postgraduate students must demonstrate that they have organised sufficient funding for their course.
              University’s Hardship Fund
              Students who are not eligible for the DEL Student Support Fund will be considered for an award from the University’s Hardship Fund. There is a smaller amount of money available within the Hardship Fund, so circumstances must be exceptional for an award to be made.

              Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

              The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

              Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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