University of Cumbria

Degree level: Undergraduate

Marine and Freshwater Conservation (with integrated foundation year)

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

With a shortage of marine and freshwater scientists in the UK, there has never been a better time to study to become a future expert in the world of aquatic conservation. Our foundation year will build a solid base in scientific, intellectual, investigative skills and knowledge, enabling you to progress onto the BSc Marine and Freshwater degree. Our unique course, created with the guidance of professional environmental consultants and aquatic scientists, enables you to study freshwater and marine conservation together in one degree. Why Choose University of Cumbria Your studies at our Ambleside campus will be unrivalled - we're the only UK university with a campus within a national park and in an UNESCO World Heritage Site. So, forget sporadic, end of term field trips and research, you'll have an abundance of rivers, lakes and coastline on your doorstep to gain plenty of hands-on, practical science throughout every semester.

  • Prepared for employment in conservation, environmental and research fields
  • Easy access to the waters of the Lake District and coastal ecosystems
  • Use of up-to-date facilities in our new laboratories
  • Flexibility to customise your learning by selecting modules
  • Practical, taxonomic and analytical capabilities ready for a future in science
  • Exciting, international field trips and placements
  • Great contacts with wildlife, water and conservation organisations to enhance your job prospects
  • Taught by tutors involved in international research, which will enhance your learning and keep you up to date
  • Small class sizes mean we get to know you well and offer individual support during your studies
  • Use of modern learning spaces, lecture theatres and a well-stocked library with many marine and freshwater resources and journals
  • Access to excellent on-campus facilities, including a climbing wall and gym at the Ambleside Campus
If you have the passion for helping our planet's future, then we'll help you gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of ecology and aquatic environments, as well as the skills and practical experience you need to graduate as a professional aquatic scientist who can make a real difference in wildlife conservation. So, to become an expert in the conservation world, get started with our unique course. You'll be guided through the wonderful range of marine and freshwater environments to be found on our planet, from upland springs and freshwater lakes, through coastal environments to deep sea trenches. Year 1 - You'll build a solid base in scientific, intellectual and investigative skills and knowledge, which will be expanded upon during the rest of the course. Year 2 - You'll study six modules to give you a fundamental understanding of biodiversity and its conservation. Year 3 & 4 - You'll study the processes controlling the behaviour and characteristics of aquatic habitats, their plants and animals. Plus, there are many opportunities to get on-the-job experience in the field, with a UK or international placement or by volunteering with local conservation organisations. You also get the chance to choose from a range of modules to suit your interests. But, whatever you choose, you will always benefit from laboratory-based teaching to boost your practical and analytical skills, which will enhance your chances of employment. If you want the expertise to become successful in the conservation world, take advantage of our course and get started on a career in the aquatic sciences now.

Course details


Foundation year - Compulsory modules: Essential Academic Skills, Essential Professional Development, Working with Data, Applied Practice, Essential Biology, Dynamic Earth. Year one - Compulsory modules: Core Scientific Skills, Introduction to Conservation Biology, Biodiversity I, Biodiversity II, Ecology, Aquatic Environments, Biodiversity Monitoring - Qualificatory Practice Unit. Year two - Compulsory modules: Biodiversity Monitoring, Research Methods & Data Analysis, Freshwater Ecology, Marine Ecology, Evolution & Biogeography. Optional modules (subject to availability and demand): Conservation Genetics, Geographic Information Systems, Animal Behaviour, Marine Biodiversity Assessments Techniques, Conservation Policy, Practice & Philosophy, Applied Field Studies - Qualificatory Practice Unit. Students with placements: Qualificatory Practice Unit: Academic/Vocational Placement. Year three - Compulsory modules: Dissertation, Management of Aquatic Resources, Conservation in Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems. Optional modules (subject to availability and demand): Fisheries & Aquaculture, Conservation & Society, Behavioural Ecology, Genetic Applications for Conservation, Applied Field Studies, Developing Marine Biodiversity Assessments, Wildlife Management, Advanced GIS and Remote Sensing.

How to apply

Application codes

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Carlisle - Fusehill Street
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C/4. If you are over 21 and returning to study after being in relevant employment for a minimum of 3 years and do not meet the published entry requirements for Year 1 of our degree courses, please do not assume you are not qualified to join us. Our experienced Admissions and Academic staff will review your prior qualifications and professional experience to support your application. The Integrated Foundation Year programmes support your return to education and are specifically designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree but may not have all the necessary qualifications, skills or experience to join the degree in Year 1. Contact our Course Enquiries Team for more information.

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £6000 Year 1
Scotland £6000 Year 1
Wales £6000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £6000 Year 1
EU £6000 Year 1
International £7500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Marine and Freshwater Conservation (with integrated foundation year) at University of Cumbria - UCAS