The relationship between conservation and rural development can best be described as an uneasy alliance: on the one hand there is substantial common ground between them in terms of preventing environmental degradation, but on the other, they are often in direct conflict. This pathway explores the issues underlying the conservation/rural development debate and offers practical and methodological tools for working at the interface between the two.
The programme is relevant to the work of national management and scientific authorities, international and national NGOs, consultancy firms and contractors, international agencies and donors.
Queen’s Anniversary Prize
The University of Kent was awarded a highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for the work of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE).
DICE leads projects in over 50 countries, including research on human wellbeing and nature, human-elephant conflict, oil palm deforestation, online illegal trade in protected species, national park planning and ecotourism projects and the mapping of biodiversity through eDNA.
Why study with us?
- One-year taught Master's programme
- Teaching which provides substantive natural and social sciences training in both conservation and rural development
- Formal lectures and seminars supported by residential courses and day trips including to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Jersey, previous fieldtrips have also taken place in Scotland and Malta (these change annually)
- Mix of formal academic training and practical field conservation experience
- Research-led pathway taught by academics rated as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF2014) who are members of DICE
- Benefit from DICE's extensive links with international conservation organisations
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- fundamental ecological concepts and how they apply to conservation biology and biodiversity management
- conservation at the species, population, community and ecosystem levels
- fundamental social science perspectives on conservation, and the principles of interdisciplinarity
- principles and significance of resource economics
- biodiversity law, policy and legislative frameworks
- principles and practice involved with sustainable resource use
- principles and practice involved with managing protected areas for conservation
- principles of conservation research design, implementation and analysis, including problem-led interdisciplinary approaches
- principles and practice in conservation, business and rural development.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- the ability to marshal ideas and examples into well-organised written and oral presentations
- critical analysis of case studies
- reflective evaluation of theoretical and methodological frameworks
- design, implementation, analysis and write-up of a substantial research project (your Master’s dissertation)
- linking theory to practice in conservation science and social science.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- field biology skills
- social science methodologies
- experimental design and statistics
- methodologies for analysing and appraising conservation case studies
- population assessment and assessment of threat status
- methodologies for estimating sustainable wildlife management
- methodologies for protected areas management and planning.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- IT: Word, Excel, statistical and modelling programmes, email, bibliographic and web searches
- presentation skills
- writing reports and funding proposals
- time management
- using a library
- working in groups
- the skills to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
- independent learning skills required for continuing professional development.
This programme aims to:
- produce postgraduates equipped to play leading roles in the field of international conservation and biodiversity management
- develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and practice
- provide you with opportunities to gain a interdisciplinary perspective on conservation issues through collaborative exchange between DICE and the wider University
- develop your competence in applying theoretical and methodological skills to the implementation of conservation practice and biodiversity management
- develop your critical and analytical powers in relation to policy formulation and data analysis and interpretation
- provide you with the skills to adapt and respond positively to change
- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and the transferable skills necessary for professional development
- enhance the development of your interpersonal skills
- assist you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.