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Ecology and Conservation Biology, BSc

University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

University of Leeds

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
BScFull-time3 yearsSeptemberGBP 9250 per yearGBP 21500 per year

About Ecology and Conservation Biology, BSc - at University of Leeds

With human activity increasingly transforming the planet, its never been more important to understand what determines the distribution and abundance of different species, how they interact with each other and their environment, and how they respond to threats such as climate change, over-exploitation and habitat destruction. This course provides practical insights into these processes and how to manage them to conserve species and ecosystems in a rapidly-changing world.

You'll learn from experts in world-class facilities, and you can apply your knowledge and skills outside the lab - we offer a variety of exciting field courses from North Yorkshire to Kenya.


This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders of the future. The advanced accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

  • Course content

    Through modules such as 'Living Planet' and 'The Basis of Life', year one will introduce you to a broad range of concepts in ecology and biology. Covering a wide range of topics including biodiversity and evolution, you will develop grounding in the key skills required for your degree. Ecology is best understood through observation, so year one will also see you undertake your first of the residential field courses that we offer.
    Year two will see you focus on core issues within ecology, studying modules such as 'Population and Community Ecology' and 'Animal Behaviour'. The compulsory Mediterranean ecology field course and the optional terrestrial ecology and behaviour Yorkshire Dales field course offer excellent opportunities to hone your fieldwork skills that are an essential part of ecology.
    The focal point of year three is the independent research, literature, or computer-based project which you will undertake under the guidance of a leading academic. Alongside this you will work with field-leading experts on advanced topic modules such as 'Evolution' and 'Conservation Biology', developing your research techniques, knowledge and transferable skills. You will also have chance to attend the optional South African field trip.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    You will be required to study 120 credits

    Compulsory modules

    You will study the following compulsory modules:

    • Entry requirements, fees and applying

      Entry requirements

      A-level: AAA - AAB

      Including Biology and preferably another science or science-related subject. If Biology is the only science subject then an A grade is required. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

      We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.

      Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

      GCSE: Typically Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

      • Career opportunities

        Number 1 for employability - the Faculty of Biological Sciences is ranked highest for employability amongst Russell Group universities. Higher than Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings College, Liverpool, Manchester, York.

        Ecologists have a vital role to play in monitoring and understanding our environment, how and why it is changing, and its impacts on biodiversity now and in the future. The skills and knowledge you develop will be relevant to ecology-related careers as well as broader opportunities after graduation.

        96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation.Graduates in Ecology and Conservation Biology go on to do many different things. Some remain in academia and choose to further their studies at Masters or PhD level. Others go on to careers in conservation, ecological research or environmental consultancy, while the practical skills provided by this degree are ideally suited to a wide range of professions including journalism and teaching.

        Many of our students go on to work in research laboratories, conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, museums and environmental education. Some also choose to further their studies at Masters or PhD level.

        Careers support

        Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

        We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

        Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

        The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

      • Study abroad and work placements

        Study abroad

        On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

        Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

        If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of the BSc studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.

        Work placements

        Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

        Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

        We have a dedicated Employability Officer in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who works closely with the University's Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. We also organise regular careers workshops designed specifically for sport sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual Bioscience Networking Event, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

      • Related courses

        Biology BSc
        Biology with Enterprise BSc
        Genetics BSc
        Zoology BSc
  • Entry requirements for this course

    Contact University of Leeds to find course entry requirements.

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