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Course summary

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (October/November 2022). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Ecological Survey Techniques is a one year, part-time course providing the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to conduct effective ecological field surveys and data analysis for a range of key taxa. The course can be completed in one year (though two years is possible), and uses a mixture of online, face-to-face and experiential learning, including an independent field survey project, and is led by experienced academics and practitioners. The PGCert provides the high standard of training needed to design, plan and implement effective ecological field surveys from beginning to end, including handling data and reporting results. The course supports research and professional development in the field, providing students with the skills needed to effectively assess and monitor biodiversity and ecosystems across all biomes. The face-to-face week in September includes classroom and field work based teaching, as well as practical exercises including the use of GIS software, this is followed by core and option modules taught online and an independently-researched project with field work. The PGCert comprises:

  • one five-day core face-to-face module, 'Introduction to Ecological Survey Techniques in Oxford' consisting of classroom and field-based teaching;
  • two online core modules in plant biodiversity and in data analysis;
  • a choice of two out of four online option modules specialising in mammals and reptiles, bird, fish and amphibians, and invertebrate biodiversity. These online modules are five weeks in duration and will take no more than 100 hours to complete. Module tutors usually engage online for 6 hours per week distributed across each week and will focus on particular topics, questions and activities. There are no live lectures or set times to log in to accommodate students in different time zones; and
  • a core field project which consists of one month preparation time, one-two weeks full-time (or equivalent) field work and one month project writing for submission in September
Further details regarding the face-to-face week, online modules and field project, including indicative dates, are available via the course page on the department's website (see Further Information and Enquiries). Students are expected to spend around 10-15 hours per week in private study in addition to time spent in classes or participating in on-line learning. This may require careful scheduling at times to fit in with your other commitments. Good organisational and time management skills should contribute to successful completion of the course. Supervision The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department for Continuing Education and this role will usually be performed by the Course Director. It is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department for Continuing Education. In the case of students who require specific help to adjust to an academic programme or to a new range of skills, the supervisor will work with them to ensure that they have additional support.

Entry requirements

For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

For complete and up-to-date information about fees and funding for this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via
Ecological Survey Techniques at University of Oxford - UCAS