This course combines the scientific principles of animal function and behaviour with conservation biology. You will acquire sound knowledge of the ecological processes and theories surrounding wildlife conservation while developing the skills to identify, monitor and manage wild animals and their habitats. You will graduate with a range of transferable skills, enabling you to work in the diverse field of wildlife conservation in the UK and overseas.
Why choose this course?
This degree will give you the opportunity to learn through practical experience and develop a strong understanding of essential aspects such as animal biology, wildlife surveying and habitat management principles. You will be able to carry out your own personal piece of wildlife research, all the while gaining skills to enable you to work in the diverse field of wildlife conservation in the UK and abroad.
- You will be taught at Brackenhurst Campus, which is the ideal rural environment for studying wildlife conservation. With easy access to Nottingham city centre, you get the best of both worlds.
- You will take part in a residential overseas field course (currently to Spain) during your second year. This will enable you to study wildlife in a range of habitats. The field course includes studies on:
- habitat preferences of wild boar
- optimal foraging in greater flamingos
- the relationship between song complexity and territory size in birds.
- You will also take part in a residential field course in your final year. There is the opportunity to study wildlife in the UK (highlands and islands), South Africa (Mankwe Wildlife Reserve) or Mauritius. The field courses currently include studies on:
- coastal management
- the effect of savannah burning on large mammal diversity
- the impact of turbidity on reef fish assemblages.
- You can choose to take part in our International Exchange programme and study abroad for part of your course.
- You'll learn from our expert staff who have recently had pieces of work featured on ITV's Nature Nuts and in The Conversation.
- Research undertaken in your final year is often used by conservation organisations.
- You'll be in great company – David Attenborough was awarded an honorary degree from NTU in 2010.
How you're taught
You will be taught through a variety of methods including group seminars, lectures and practical sessions.
- Year 1 coursework (50%), written (50%) and practical (0%).
- Year 2 coursework (67%), written (33%) and practical (0%).
- Year 3 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).
A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:
- Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%) and placements (0%).
- Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (27%), independent study (73%) and placements (0%).
- Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%) and placements (0%).
A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study.
Careers and employability
Your future career
Upon graduation, you will have the skills needed to become a:
- ecological consultant
- environmental officer
- field biologist
- project ecologist
- species officer
- wildlife journalist
- wildlife researcher
- Safari Tour Guide
Our graduates work for companies such as:
- Natural England
- The Wildlife Trusts
- ecological consultancies
- local and county councils
- environmental consultancies
- ecological consultancies
- various zoos and wildlife parks such as Longleat Safari Park and Mankwe Wildlife Reserve, South Africa.
Some students opt to take an industrial placement between Year Two and Year Three providing them with the opportunity to spend an additional year working in industry. This is an excellent chance to explore an aspect of wildlife conservation that might interest you as a career and at the same time significantly increase employment prospects.
Placements can be undertaken with one or several organisations, either in the UK or abroad. A placement diploma is available for students who have undertaken a substantial placement of at least 36 weeks. A placement certificate in available for students who have undertaken a shorter placement of at least 10 weeks.
In the past these have
What are the benefits of a work placement?
Practical work experience has many benefits for you. It can help you in your day-to-day studies and is often paid. It can enhance your commercial awareness and your ability to link theory and practice which will be an invaluable skill in your future career. Although a work placement is highly recommended, obtaining one is based on an individual's efforts and is not guaranteed.
Recent student placements have included:
- A Rocha Kenya (ARK), Kenya
- Bison Kabini Resort, India
- Cheetah Outreach Paardevlei, South Africa
- Herpetologic Ltd
- Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust
- The Living Rainforest
- Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Canada
- Sheffield Ecology Unit
- West Midland Safari Park
- World Owl Trust
- WWT Washington Wetland Centre.
This course also offers the opportunity to get involved in our International Exchange programme and study abroad at another university for part of the second year. Students have previously been involved in exchanges with the University of Guelph in Canada and Murdoch University in Australia.
You will be studying in the ideal environment for Wildlife Conservation. Brackenhurst Campus is a 200-hectare estate with:
- a diverse range of habitats and wildlife species.
- Conservation students are involved in tracking, mapping and recording a wide variety of species at Brackenhurst Campus.
- These have included hedgehogs, badgers, bats, newts and farmland bird species.
- Many of the techniques learnt at Brackenhurst campus with native species have been transferred to global research projects including those on wolves, hyaenas and vultures.
- Farmland birds have suffered dramatic declines over the past 40 years due to loss of habitat and agricultural intensification, one example being Skylarks, which were once a common sight on farms.
- Here on the estate numbers are increasing due to the provision of quality nesting sites in summer crops and the use of field margins.
- Another farmland bird that has been in decline is the Yellowhammer; however, numbers here at Brackenhurst are also on the increase.
- From 2008 farmland birds have been rung on the estate and the data has been used in research. Bird ringing is the delicate process of catching a bird and attaching an identifying ring.
- In the winter of 2008-2009, The South Nottinghamshire Ringing Group, along with staff and students, rang 5% of the national population of yellowhammers here on the estate.
- Grey Partridge are another farmland bird species that has suffered dramatic declines, however through conservation methods and wildlife friendly farming, numbers at Brackenhurst are increasing.
Great Crested Newts
- The Brackenhurst Estate hosts one of Nottinghamshire's highest populations of Great Crested Newt.
- Estimates range between 2,000-3,000 in various ponds and hybernaculas around the main hall and gardens.
- Great Crested Newts will navigate from one pond to another, often using the 12 miles of hedgerows to do so as they provide a food source, shelter and protection from predators.
Pond and bird hide
- Sheepwalk's Pond was created in the winter of 1995 by excavating an area adjacent to Halloughton Dumble that suffered seasonal water logging due to the high water table, and natural spring, which is located to the north of the pond.
- Puddle clay, as used by canal builders, was used in the construction of this wildlife haven.
- The bird hide provides students with a platform to observe wildlife on the pond.
- Notable species include Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Bittern and many other species of Wildfowl.
Birds of prey
- In addition to Kestrel, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk we have also recorded Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Hobby and Little Owl.
- These birds commonly prey on small mammals and birds, but will also eat carrion.
- The first evidence of Kestrels attempting to predate small birds in nestboxes was recorded on the Brackenhurst Estate during a student research project
Our brand new 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million pound campus library opened in 2013. The library building uses energy-efficient and low-carbon initiatives such as photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, intelligent lighting control, heat-reclaim ventilation during winter, renewable cladding materials, locally sourced materials and water-leak detection systems.
Our biodiversity analysis of the library site highlighted the need to check for protected species such as bats and great crested newts. We've created new ponds, fence-ringed areas and bespoke habitats as part of our mitigation strategy.
Peregrine falcons – live streaming
The Newton building at Nottingham Trent University has, for the last decade, been home to a breeding pair of peregrine falcons, who nest on an outside ledge near the top. Watch live footage or archive video of them nesting, laying eggs and rearing their chicks. One of the Brackenhurst PhD research students is currently studying the behaviour of the NTU peregrines as part of a nationwide study investigating the use of urban habitats by peregrine falcons.
Green Flag status
Brackenhurst Campus has been awarded Green Flag status, a national award recognising green spaces throughout the country. We received the award along with other notable green spaces such as Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park and St James's Park.
Brackenhurst Campus has a student-led Conservation Society who organise events throughout the year. These include a variety of activities including seminars, species surveys, field day trips, social events and practical tasks such as habitat management.