A minimum of 64 UCAS points
Only you can change the world!
Do you care about our environment? If so, this course is for you.
Through studying for the Foundation Degree in Environmental Conservation, you will develop the scientific knowledge, practical and management skills suitable for a wide range of jobs within conservation and environmental research. This degree takes a ‘big picture’ approach, looking at the environment as a whole and how it can be managed as well as specialising in specific subjects such as habitats, climatology and environmental science.
If we can conserve a habitat, we conserve everything living within it – including us.
Environmental and conservation concerns such as pollution, climate change, and biodiversity are becoming ever more significant in the 21st century. Preservation of the natural world is vital, and graduates with the knowledge, skills, and drive essential to achieving this aim will be better prepared to develop a career in this fast-moving sector.
University Centre Reaseheath is an academic partner of the University of Chester. Foundation degrees, Honours degrees, and Cert Ed are awarded by the University of Chester.
*This course is subject to validation.
Full-time: 2 years
Real word scenarios, hands on training, field trips and projects.
Our beautiful 350 hectare campus is full of possibilities. We have the following habitats within our grounds:
- Two lakes
- Two rivers
- Willow carr
- Marl pit ponds
- Wildflower meadows
- Ancient hedgerows
- Designated conservation area
- Designated Site of Biological Interest
We also have access to:
- Coastal sand dunes and salt marsh
- The Goyt valley and the Peak District
- The Cheshire Beaver Reintroduction project
- Salt flashes
Any many other exciting places!
What will I study?
This course gives you the opportunity to study the science behind the environmental processes that shape and influence our environment, and examine the impact on both the natural and man-made worlds. You will be able to develop your personal and academic skills, as well as gain specific knowledge and practical skills that are essential for a career in the environmental science/conservation sectors.
The course is comprised of 16 modules spread over 2 years of study, 15 of which are compulsory, and the final module is a choice of one of two optional units related to gaining work experience.
The modules at Level 4 provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for a range of students. Students undertake six core modules exclusively at this level, to ensure that students develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, skills and concepts necessary for the further study of environmental conservation. These include modules in
Ecological Survey & Census Skills
This module introduces students to the theory and practice of survey techniques for both flora and fauna, and the analysis of the data arising from these surveys.
Conservation of British Habitats
This module provides an understanding of the value and conservation of a range of UK habitats and ecosystems, introducing students to the key practice of habitat, species and vegetation management. Students will assess a case study habitat and formulate a management plan.
Scientific Data Collection & Analysis
This unit is designed to give students the skills and confidence to carry out the numerical and analytical activities that arise as a result of research and study within environmental science. The scientific method and the ability to evaluate data and facts are an essential part of any science-based discipline and industry.
Introduction to the Anthropocene
We are currently at the beginning of a new geological time period: the Anthropocene. This period of time is defined as the point at which human activity has started to affect the geological record. Within this unit, students will explore the issues that give rise to the current environmental and anthropological factors that affect life on this planet.
Principles of Environmental Science
This module provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical concepts underpinning environmental conservation. Subjects covered include ecological science, chemistry, botany, geomorphology and will give students the confidence to apply theoretical concepts to their practical work.
Rewilding & Ecosystem Services
Rewilding is an emerging conservation and ecological restoration strategy that is gaining increasing attention from the public, policymakers, and the conservation community. Broadly defined as ‘the passive management of ecological succession with the goal of restoring natural ecosystem processes and reducing human control of landscapes. Rewilding captures a range of different intervention types and targets ecological baselines, sharing a focus on the restoration of natural ecosystem processes to facilitate the establishment of self-sustaining ecosystems.
Level 4 modules are designed to give students a good introduction to a variety of environmental concepts and practical skills. In addition, further emphasis is placed on developing core academic skills (e.g. scientific writing, presenting/communicating research and referencing). These foundational skills are applied across all modules, and act as a core grounding in the principles of the academic field of study
Level 5 modules involve far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing knowledge and further enhance key concepts and skills.
Modules at Level 5 include:
Work based learning for the land-based industries.
An essential part of URC learning experience giving students the valuable opportunity to work within their chosen industry. This is an optional module where students can choose between this and Experiential Learning
This optional module allows students to synthesise their classroom-based knowledge and skills in real world field conditions. Students can choose this module or Work based learning for the land-based industries.
The module’s broad aim is to develop students’ skills and abilities to investigate, understand and interpret the processes involved in scientific research. The module has two specific objectives. First, it aims to introduce students to the philosophical and ethical underpinnings of scientific research, as well as to a range of quantitative and qualitative techniques used therein. Second, it aims to provide students with an introduction to statistics and quantitative data analysis, including the use of SPSS.
This module provides students with the opportunity to plan and complete a small research project that will help them to develop a research idea and proposal for their dissertation should they progress to the level 6 BSc (Hons) Top-up.
Ecological Assessment Impact Mitigation and Enhancement
This module is essential to understanding and developing the necessary industry competencies in evaluating complex environmental and social impacts of planned projects and interventions that affect the environment and assessing alternatives.
Woodland and wetland management.
Woodland and wetlands are two fragile and highly biodiverse environments that are essential to both anthropogenic and ecosystem services. This module will equip students with the skills necessary to manage or mitigate habitat degradation and will explore the impact of the increased risk of flooding due to human activities.
Plant and soil science.
Plants are the primary producers in any food chain and understanding how they interact with their environment, is a vital consideration in any conservation undertaking. Considering the issues with soil degradation, a firm grasp of soil science facilitates an holistic approach to environmental science. An ability to analyse plant and soil parameters is an essential skill within the environmental industry.
The global climate emergency will have an impact on every aspect of environmental conservation. The ability to analyse and interpret the global movement of air masses and how this is affected by biological, chemical and physical factors is vital to manage changing environment.
These modules are designed to further develop the skills and knowledge gained at level 4 and to introduce higher level concepts in the discipline providing students with specialisms in key areas. Study at Level 5 culminates with students taking Work Based Learning for Academic Credit or Experiential learning which provide an opportunity for students to apply and enhance their knowledge in an industry or work-related environment in a specific area of interest. This forms an integral part of the programme in developing students professional and employability skills.
Employability skills are a core part of URC’s student’s University experience and encompass the attributes that help graduates to secure employment, enable them to respond to the changing demands of the workplace and contribute positively to their employer’s success. Their own progress in these skills is therefore essential as any outcomes in the programmes of study. Employability skills include self-management, teamwork, business and customer awareness, problem-solving, communication and literacy, application of numeracy and application of information technology.
The programme structure provides students with module combinations allowing them to develop and enhance core transferable skills integral to environmental conservation. This enables students to explore particular roles aligned with their career aspirations and specialist interests. For those students aspiring to progress and complete undergraduate studies at Level 6, this programme facilitates progression to the proposed BSc(Hons) top-up in Environmental Conservation
In Work Based Learning for Academic Credit (RC5110) students complete a minimum of 115 hours voluntary work in the environmental sector. This is compulsory and is required to complete the unit. The only costs incurred are travel to and from the respective work placement sites. In the past, this has included work with the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, The Conservation Volunteers and local Friends of groups.
Students are responsible for finding their own Work Based Learning volunteering opportunities. This can be completed as a discrete block or to fit in with work and study commitments throughout the year. Support is offered to prepare for and plan your volunteering placement(s) in a series of workshops at the beginning of the year.
In Experiential Learning (RC5807), students arrange and complete a 2-week work placement overseas (100 hours equivalent). Students are responsible for finding their own placement, and this may have costs associated with it, for which the student is responsible. Support is provided in orientation sessions prior to departure to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the political/ cultural environment and personal safety needs of the learner whilst on placement overseas.
RC5110 and RC5807 are alternative modules (students will complete one or the other).
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:
Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 360 hours
Independent Study: 840 hours
Year 2: 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 288 hours
Placement: 100 hours
Independent Study: 812 hours
Cohort sizes vary between 10 and 15 students.
Percentage of course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:
30% written exams
13% written exams
Feedback is supplied via Turnitin or directly from the module tutor. The majority of submissions are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within twenty working days after the submission date.
Written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.
Taught days will be provided at the start of September, with the detailed timetable being available in induction week.
The modules at Level 4 provide a comprehensive review of key concepts and skills for a range of students. Students undertake eight core modules exclusively at this level, to ensure that students develop grounded knowledge of the fundamental principles, skills and concepts necessary for the further study of environmental science and conservation. Level 4 modules are designed to give students a good introduction to a variety of environmental concepts and practical skills. In addition, further emphasis is placed on developing core academic skills (e.g. scientific writing, presenting/communicating research and referencing in accordance to a prescribed style) via the Academic Skills Development module (RC4208). These important skills are applied across many areas of study, particularly as students progress towards Level 5
Level 5 modules involve far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing knowledge and further enhance key concepts and skills. These modules are designed to further develop the skills and knowledge gained at level 4 and provide students with some specialism in certain areas. Study at Level 5 includes one of two work experience modules (Work Based Learning for Academic Credit (RC5110) or Experiential Learning (RC5807)). This provides an opportunity for students to apply and enhance their knowledge in an industry or work-related environment in a specific area of interest and forms an integral part of the programme in developing students in a professional capacity.
- A minimum of 64 UCAS points
- A Levels preferably including Science (or related subject)
- Or BTEC Level 3 (2 years) qualification at higher level in relevant subject
- Access to HE Diploma
- Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis and substantial work experience will be considered, as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications.
- UCAS code
- Following completion of this course you may study an additional top-up year in BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation
These may include a career for organisations such as The Environment Agency, Natural England, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, or working overseas in Environmental Conservation roles
- Reserves officer/supervisor
- Conservation officer
- Science officer
- Nature recovery officer
- Biodiversity project officer
- Woodland delivery officer
- Reserves warden
- Conservation scientist
- Peatland conservation officer
- Reserves officer
- Environmental consultant
- People and wildlife officer
There is also an opportunity for various field trips such as:
- Costa Rica
- Cornwall Beaver Project
- Somerset habitats and adders
Please note these trips will incur an additional cost.
As a Higher Education student you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.
Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on the student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.
If you are an international student or for the latest information on tuition fees visit the student finance page on our website.
Students will need to purchase their own waterproofs, steel toe-capped boots for and practicals.
Reading lists are provided for each module studied and some students chose to purchase key texts.
Module RC4805 Environmental Science Field Course will involve a week-long residential field trip within the UK, and there will be a cost associated with this field course, for which students will pay.
Students choosing to undertake Experiential Learning will be responsible for funding the cost of their overseas placement and all associated expenses.
University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit the additional financial support pages on our website.
All Higher Education students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath and who apply before 31st July of the year they intend to start their course. For full details on our halls of residence visit the accommodation pages.
We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support when and if you need it during your time with us. These include our Student Services team, Higher Education Support Team (HEST), Library and Learning Resources and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You will find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath here.
Before you apply you can come and visit us at one of our HE Open Events to see what we have to offer. Once we have received your application we will invite you to attend an Offer Holder Day.
Applications for full-time Degrees and Foundation Degrees are made through UCAS. Applications for all other full-time courses such as Access to HE and Level 4 Diplomas should be made directly to Reaseheath via the online application form. You can find out more here.
For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our Higher Education Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.
My Reaseheath degree opened up a new world for me, enabling me to see things in a different light. I was able to fit studying round work, which was a big bonus, and the lecturers were so inspiring.
Jamie Stevenson Foundation Degree in Countryside Conservation and Recreation Management
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is correct, some details may be subject to change.