UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology (inc. Foundation Year)

Is your ambition to undertake meaningful conservation work to protect our wildlife and our environment for years to come?

This course includes a broad range of specialist modules and practical opportunities to gain the essential industry skills and knowledge, with which to effectively conserve species, habitats and biodiversity both in the UK and overseas. 

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Course Overview

Through your studies, you will address a range of topics such as wildlife ecology, conservation biology, evolution and adaptation, ecological survey skills and species identification and principles of ecological restoration. 

Combined with dedicated practical work, using our campus laboratories, the wider Reaseheath estate and servicing our community conservation work, you will develop a broad range of transferable knowledge, skills and competencies for future application in the conservation science and ecology sectors.


Course Features

  • Surveying techniques
  • Species identification
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Conservation biology and biodiversity
  • Restoration ecology
  • Environmental assessment and impact mitigation
  • Access to a diverse rural green space across the campus
  • Field course opportunities to South Africa, Costa Rica and South West UK 

Career Options

  • Conservation science research
  • Ecological/environmental consultancy
  • Wildlife/conservation management
  • Conservation charities
  • Conservation ecotourism
  • Conservation education 
  • Progress to MSc or PhD Study

BSc Wildlife Conservation & Ecology

This course includes specialist modules and practical experience where students will gain skills and knowledge, in such areas as species identification, live trapping techniques, population management, and strategies by which to effectively conserve species and biodiversity.

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Course Information

The foundation year allows you to build your confidence and the skills and knowledge required to progress on to study the BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation and Ecology. This first year focuses on developing a broad underpinning knowledge in themes such as environmental science, animal husbandry and management, and animal biology. Once you have progressed onto your second year, you will develop essential knowledge and skills in wildlife conservation, ecology, evolution and biodiversity, with an emphasis on practical experience whilst in your third year, you will shift in emphasis to more academic and research-informed study, including themes in population management, ecological restoration, wildlife rehabilitation, and environmental impact and mitigation. A work placement within a relevant field of industry or an international field course is also available to study for academic credit at this level. Your final year will further develop your critical thinking skills and deepen your knowledge in areas of conservation and ecology, and will include a research dissertation on a topic of your interest.

  • A minimum of 72 tariff points from A & AS levels (a Science subject is preferred)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) –A minimum of grade MMP in Applied Science or Animal Care/Management
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – A minimum grade DM in Applied Science or Animal Care/Management
  • Scottish Higher – a minimum of 72 tariff points
  • T Level – a minimum grade of Pass (D or E)
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – a minimum of 72 tariff points
  • Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to Higher Education course
  • Academic Skills for the Animal Sciences
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Introduction to Data Handling & Analysis
  • Practical Skills in Animal Husbandry
  • Scientific Principles in the Animal Sciences
  • Animal Form & Function

Level 4

  • Conservation Biology and Biodiversity
  • Ecological Survey and Census Skills
  • Conservation of British Habitats
  • Introduction to Scientific Communication
  • Evolution & Adaptation
  • Wildlife Ecology

Level 5

  • Research Methods
  • Principles of Ecological Restoration
  • Animal Ecophysiology


  • Behavioural Ecology*1
  • Technological Advancements in Conservation*1
  • Ecological Assessment, Impact Mitigation & Enhancement*2
  • Wildlife Health and Rehabilitation*2
  • Experiential Learning*3
  • Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries*3


*Denotes optional modules. The number corresponds to the combination for selection.

Level 6

  • Applied Issues in Wildlife Conservation
  • Environmental Sustainability & Natural Resource Management
  • Dissertation†
  • Biology & Conservation of Mammals*1
  • Biology & Conservation of Birds*1
  • Biology & Conservation of Herpetofauna*1
  • Conservation Education*2
  • Applications of Animal Behaviour for Conservation*2
  • Anthrozoology*2

* Denotes optional modules. The number corresponds to the combination for selection.

† Dissertation is a double-weighted module, worth 40 credits. Therefore, only five modules are selected for study at Level 6 (Year 3).

Please note that availability of optional modules (Levels 5 & 6 only) is subject to availability of subject-specialist staff and the recruitment of the minimum viable student number (7 individuals). Should a module not be deemed viable for operation then all students whom selected for that module will be communicated to in writing in advance of the academic year, and will be informed of the alternative options available to select from.

Students will be expected to make their module choices for the following academic year during March/April, via on online module selection service. Confirmation of module selections will be provided via email following approval.

Overall workload

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: 36% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 432 hours

Independent Study: 768 hours

Year 2: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 360 hours

Independent Study: 840 hours

Year 3: 21% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 252 hours

Placement: 150 hours

Independent Study: 798 hours

Year 4: 14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 170 hours

Independent Study: 1030 hours

Assessment Methods

Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and professional skills highly sought after in industry. Assessments include a combination of coursework and timed online assessments.  Coursework may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence and practical competency assessments. The timed online assessments vary, depending on the nature of the module, but may take the form of multiple-choice papers, essays, practical assessments, data handling questions and short answer quizzes.

The balance of assessment by timed online assessment 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:

Year 1

85% coursework

15% timed online assessments

Year 2

54.5% coursework

45.5% timed online assessments

Year 3

85% coursework

15% timed online assessments

Year 4

75% coursework

25% timetable online assessments


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.

Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend 3-4 days per week on campus.

Students are given the opportunity to study an optional module at Level 5 (year 2) entitled Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries. Students are expected to source their own placement, and complete a minimum of 150 hours of work, which can be accrued either in a block or cumulatively over weekends and holiday periods. When selecting a placement, students should consider the financial implications associated with accommodation, travel/commuting and the possible need for a Disclosure Barring service (DBS) check, as UCR is unable to subsidise such costs.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, 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 our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Additional Costs

Students will be offered the chance to engage in both domestic and overseas learning opportunities with which to enhance their classroom-based learning experience. Here, students will have the option to undertake overseas study for academic credit in year 2 of the programme, or simply participate for experiential purposes. These may include opportunities to undertake conservation field courses within locations such as South Africa, Central America and the UK.

The main emphasis placed on these field courses is the development of professional, industry relevant skills and the application of students’ knowledge in a novel, stimulating, yet challenging environment. Costs associated with the field courses range from £500 – £1200 (UK), and between £2,200 – £3,000 (Central America & South Africa). Please note that precise pricing of all field courses is subject to change, pending availability and recruitment.

Equipment Costs

  • Pens 
  • Pencils 
  • Notepad 
  • A laptop that is windows compatible 
  • Lever arch files or equivalent 
  • USB memory stick/hard drive or cloud based digital storage space 
  • Wellies (£20 min) 
  • Protective steel-capped boots/walking boots (tip: steel capped boots are more comfortable when worn with a pair of thick walking socks) (£20 min) 
  • Protective gardening gloves (£5 min) 
  • A magnifying x10 hand lens (£5) 
  • Plenty of warm, waterproof clothing – layers are the best! 
  • A pair of binoculars  

Prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer.

Apply directly through UCAS


A minimum of 72 UCAS points

September 2024
September 2025

Full-time: 4 years

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit our additional financial support page.

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 UCR 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.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR 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 (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.