Learn about the natural science aspects of conservation including genetics, ecology, wildlife management and species reintroduction. Explore the human aspect of conservation and develop your own understanding of what needs to be done so, upon graduation, you can make a real difference in tomorrow’s world.
Our degree includes a significant lab-based and field-based component. You can also conduct a research project in the UK or abroad at the end of the second year. Recent locations include South Africa, Borneo and the Peruvian Amazon.
Reasons to study Wildlife Conservation at Kent
You’ll be inspired by academics at the forefront of their fields including primate conservation, biodiversity-human wellbeing relationships, business and biodiversity, environmental change and wildlife trade You’ll become part of the growing community of conservationists in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), an award-winning research centre You’ll experience a thought-provoking mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field visits and laboratory sessions. The student-led Conservation Society offers even more opportunities to be involved in projects and be part of a close-knit community You’ll build up academic and practical skills on your placement (at home or abroad) that prepare you for careers in environmental consultancy, forest impact, project work and coordination, animal monitoring and wildlife crime mapping You’ll use outstanding facilities such as modern genetics labs and an Ecology lab for your own research You’ll benefit from ongoing support in your studies through our excellent staff-student ratio, regular workshops and alumni talks as well as dedicated academic advisors and peer mentoring scheme
What you'll learn
Receive training in the human dimensions of conservation, for example environmental economics, international biodiversity regulation, the politics of climate change and work with rural communities. Acquire the skills to collect useable data for understanding threats, establishing conservation priorities (at the species and habitat levels) and informing decision-making.
Year in professional practice
The year in professional practice is a wonderful opportunity to spend up to a year, between the second and final years, undertaking work placements with organisations relevant to your degree programme. Placements can be at home or abroad and give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in a practical context, offering you rare and unique experiences which will set you apart.
Previous placements have included: environmental consultancy for Afzelia Limited, Zambia; forest impact surveying a the Danau Girang Field Centre, Borneo; project co-ordination for the Uganda Conservation Foundation; project work for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Germany; wildlife crime mapping for the Freeland India Consultants Private Limited; and small animal and bear monitoring for the Administration of Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania.
Alternatively, you can take our three-year Wildlife Conservation degree, without a work placement.
Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. In addition to lectures and seminars, we run laboratory-based practicals and field trips. You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation, all with the support of a dedicated project supervisor.
We offer you the opportunity to conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad – for example, many students have taken part in the annual expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.
Most modules are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% unseen exam. Some modules are assessed only by coursework, which takes a variety of forms, including essays, short answer tests, oral presentations, laboratory reports, individual and team projects, field reports, commentaries, management plans and statistical analyses.
Year in professional practice
Assessment is by means of a manager appraisal (10%), a written report by the student (80%) and a presentation by the student (10%); the manager appraisal is carried out by the manager within the placement host organisation whereas the report and presentation are assessed by SAC academic staff.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- ecological and biodiversity-related concepts
- species, habitat and landscape conservation
- practical understanding of wildlife conservation
- principles of sustainable use and wildlife management
- the relationship between local communities and conservation
- issues and practices when managing wildlife within or outside protected areas
- the role of behavioural ecology in conservation
- genetics in conservation issues
- wildlife laws and legislative frameworks
- the role that statistics has in conservation
- the way that an employee can contribute to the organisation in which they work
- specific areas of theory, policy or practice relevant to the host organisation(s) and the agreed placement task(s).
You develop intellectual abilities in the following:
- learning and study
- critical and analytical methods
- expressing ideas in writing and orally
- design, implementation, analysis and write-up of a research project
- ability to interpret scholarly publications
- how to formulate and test theories
- presenting a structured and logical argument
- apply some of the above skills from the perspective of your chosen employment sector
- gain a broader perspective on your individual discipline.
You gain wildlife conservation skills in the following:
- field biology (such as surveys and sampling)
- social science (such as interviews and questionnaires)
- research design, statistics
- analysing case studies
- environmental education
- how to evaluate sustainability of resource use
- management of protected areas
- the ability to apply theoretical and technical knowledge to professional practice.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- writing reports and proposals
- time management
- using library resources
- independent research
- group work
- professional teamwork
- effective use of information sources.
Our aims are to provide students with:
- knowledge of the science and practicalities of wildlife conservation, including the biological, social and economic aspects of the subject
- an understanding of theoretical issues, methods and practical tools
- awareness of sustainability and wildlife exploitation
- knowledge of wildlife conservation at local, national and international levels
- the abilities necessary for professional development, such as analytical problem-solving, interpersonal skills, autonomous practice and team-working
- the knowledge to play a leading role in the field of wildlife conservation
- innovative opportunities for fieldwork
- experience of work in a professional environment relevant to your degree programme, whether at home or abroad
- employment-related skills, including an understanding of how to relate to the structures and functions in an organisation
- the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision-making.