This degree focuses on ecological concepts, the natural world and how we conserve it. It has been designed
to develop your knowledge and understanding of environmental problems and their solutions. You'll study how ecological concepts can be applied to conserve nature, and the threats from pressures such as climate and land-use change.
You'll benefit from studying in a variety of habitats including the wetland, woodland and grassland that form part of our Brackenhurst Campus. It's the ideal location for you to gain ecological and conservation skills and undertake field studies.
Why choose this course?
- Explore over 200 hectares of farm and woodland estate on our Brackenhurst Campus, an ideal location to study Ecology and Conservation.
- Benefit from studying with a variety of habitats including wetland, woodland and grassland, right on your doorstep.
- Study at one of the UK's most environmentally friendly universities – NTU has achieved the EcoCampus Platinum award and invested in many environmental-impact innovations.
- Put your learning into practice and boost your appeal to employers with a work placement.
- Brackenhurst is part of the DEFRA Environmental Stewardship Scheme and home to NTU's academic environmental team.
- Get the best of both worlds! Immerse yourself in the subject in our stunning outdoor classroom at Brackenhurst, but still be completely connected to student life and all the events, entertainment, clubs and societies that Nottingham has to offer.
- We have a 1,000 square metre, £2.5 million eco-library on campus.
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 (33%) and practical (17%).
- Year 2 coursework (83%), written (17%) and practical (0%).
- Year 3 coursework (67%), written (33%) 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
You will gain the skills you need to become a:
- reserve warden
- community / site / area ranger
- assistant field ecologist / ecologist
- public rights of way officer
- environmental education officer
- biodiversity officer
- species officer.
You could work for companies such as:
- Forestry Commission
- Wildlife Trusts
- National Trust
- Woodland Trust
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
- Environment Agency
- Local Authorities
- Water companies
- Academic institutions.
Excellent placement opportunities
You will have the option to do a year's placement in industry. The vital experience you will gain in a vocational position will make you more employable when you graduate.
Sandwich placements take place between Year Two and Year Three. This is an excellent chance for you to explore an aspect of ecology or conservation that interests you as a career while significantly increasing your employment prospects.
Recent student placements include:
- Earth Trust
- Middleton Lakes
- National Trust
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Brackenhurst estate is the ideal learning environment for you to study this course.
- Here on the Brackenhurst estate we have approximately 12 miles of hedgerows, many being species-rich containing more than seven species of vegetation.
- Hedgerows are traditionally used to provide a stock proof barrier or to separate various fields. They also provide shelter to crops from the elements, and prevent soil erosion
- Their main ecological role is to provide varying habitats to many insect, bird, small mammal and some amphibian species, providing not only shelter or a food source but forming wildlife corridors, linking sites.
- The great crested newt uses the hedgerow to move to different ponds on the estate, bats also feed in the summer months along a hedgerow.
- A more traditional method is also used on the estate, that being 'hedge laying' where stems or pleachers are severed part way through, using a billhook, and laid down at an angle. This gives longevity to the hedge, thus maintaining its ecological importance, providing a stock proof boundary whilst teaching students hedgerow management in a traditional manner.
- Field margins are an increasingly important wildlife refuge on farmland, varying from one to six metres in width on the Estate.
- They provide a valuable source of food and shelter for invertebrates, which in turn provide food for birds and small mammals.
- Ground nesting birds such as Skylark and Grey partridge use the margins for breeding and foraging.
- Semi-natural ancient woodlands are categorised as being approximately 400 years old.
- At Brackenhurst our woodlands contain such species as oak, ash and beech, to name but a few, and these are managed in several ways.
- Trees are high pruned to allow sunlight to penetrate the canopy allowing light to the flora on the ground, and brash (cuttings from pruning) are laid in lines called windrows throughout the woodland. This provides shelter for invertebrates and small mammals and nesting areas for birds such as the wren.
- Coppicing is another traditional method of woodland management where stems are cut off just above ground level, which allows regrowth of the tree.
- Deadwood (standing and felled) is an important but often neglected part of any woodland ecosystem and provides habitat for insects and fungi. Some tree felling is also undertaken to create open glades, diversifying the woodland structure even further.
- The dumble is a characteristic waterway of mid-Nottinghamshire farmlands, containing both shallow and deep pools often with high sided banks.
- The dumble runs approximately west to east from Halloughton Village.
- The dumble supports a variety of habitats vital for wildlife survival on the estate.
Pond and bird hide
- Sheepwalks 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 and bunting, little grebe, shoveller, bittern and many other species of wildfowl.
- Through environmentally friendly farming methods and its various habitats the Brackenhurst Estate provides a haven for wild flowers to flourish in the summer months
- Species such as birdsfoot trefoil, cowslips and primroses, to mention but a few can all be found in the woodlands, field margins and grasslands within the Estate.
Local areas of environmental importance
Nottinghamshire comprises a diverse range of environments for students to study and is close to many areas of environmental importance such as:
- the Peak District
- Lincolnshire coast
- Sherwood Forest and agricultural region.
Our 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.