Ecology and Conservation Biology (BSc, MBiol)

University of Leeds

For more information about Ecology and Conservation Biology at University of Leeds, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BSc, MBiol

How long you will study
4 years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 21500 per year

All study options

About Ecology and Conservation Biology at University of Leeds

Ecology is the study of species and how they interact with one another and their environment. It forms a bridge between biology and environmental sciences and addresses important issues, such as species responses to climate change and maintaining biodiversity and conservation.

Ecologists have a vital role to play in monitoring, understanding and reversing environmental degradation. If you choose to study ecology and environmental biology at Leeds, you are choosing a fascinating subject that encompasses many aspects of biology but from a unique perspective. It explores the mechanisms and functions of ecosystems and the interdependence of the organisms within them. The skills and knowledge you develop will be relevant to ecology related careers as well as broader opportunities after graduation.

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.
    Year 3 on the MBiol will offer preparation modules to ensure you are ready to step up to the Masters level. Year 4 will offer a choice of Masters modules, including conservation genetics and an optional field course to Africa. The African field course is based at Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya. It provides a first-hand appreciation of the ecology and conservation concerns of an African savannah community, both for the wildlife and the people who live in the area.

    You will also undertake an extended research project on an original, cutting-edge topic specific to ecology that will equip you with the skills necessary for a career in research as well as setting you apart in the general graduate job market.

    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

      Including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded

      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.

        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 fourth year of the MBiol 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
        Ecology and Conservation Biology BSc
        Zoology BSc
        Biology MBiol, BSc
        Zoology MBiol, BSc
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