University of Cumbria

Degree level: Undergraduate

Animal Conservation Science

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

Learn to protect the future of animals and their habitats on our BSc Animal Conservation Science, where the Lake District – one of the UK’s oldest national parks - is your outdoor classroom. Our course has been designed by experts, renowned for their research in animal conservation science and we are based in Ambleside so that you fully benefit from learning and living in this inspiring environment. You will discover many of the UK's most iconic and endangered wildlife species, diverse habitats, ecosystems and important conservation sites with hands-on research opportunities throughout your studies here. Live, study and research surrounded by rare and endangered species – including ospreys, freshwater pearl mussels, red squirrels and Atlantic salmon - a diverse range of ecosystems and habitats, including Atlantic oak forests (Britain’s own rainforest). Our strong links with wildlife conservation organisations in the UK and abroad provide you with excellent work placements, volunteering opportunities and job prospects. Your campus is based close to the shores of Windermere, in the Lake District - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will have access to iconic landscapes and excellent facilities, including modern student spaces, state-of-the-art laboratories, a gym and a climbing wall.

  • 100% overall student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2019)
  • We’re the only UK university with a campus within a national park
  • The Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA) is based on our Ambleside campus and the research it produces will enhance your learning
  • You will be trained in cutting edge technology, including species monitoring using environmental DNA and digital mapping technologies, key skills desired by employers
  • Access to new laboratories and excellent up-to-date equipment – including 60 camera traps and a research boat
  • Opportunities to work alongside conservation organisations, such as Cumbria Wildlife Trust
  • Taught by a team involved in international research, which will inform your learning and provide opportunities to get involved
  • The teaching team have years of practical experience working in the field and they will bring their invaluable first-hand experience to their teaching
  • Flexible modules enable you to shape our course towards your intended career path
  • Conduct your own research and also get involved in our scientific studies at the university
  • Opportunity to go on an international field trip to learn about conservation issues in the developing world (currently in West Africa)
If you want a start a successful career in wildlife conservation, our course will teach you everything you need to earn a great degree and become a professional in the field. Our programme examines the theory and practice of animal conservation science by studying ecology, threats to biodiversity, animal behaviour, conservation genetics, wildlife management and behavioural ecology. Year 1 - You will build knowledge of the world's biodiversity (including animal and plant identification skills), ecology and the principles and practice of conservation through lectures and field sessions. Year 2 - You'll learn professional-standard survey and research techniques and put these into practice during a fieldwork module, which you can take in the UK or abroad (currently West Africa). You are also introduced to studies of behaviour and genetics in a conservation context and to a range of optional modules, including GIS, and freshwater or marine ecology. Year 3 - You undertake a year-long research project and receive training in the behavioural ecology of animals and wildlife management. Additionally, you choose from a range of specialist modules linking the theory and practice of animal conservation science. These include conservation strategies, contemporary issues in conservation, and advanced GIS and remote sensing.

Course details


Year one - compulsory modules: Core Scientific Skills, Introduction to Conservation Biology, Conservation Practice, Biodiversity I, Biodiversity II, Ecology, Biodiversity Monitoring - Qualificatory Practice Unit. Year two - compulsory modules: Research Methods and Data Analysis, Biodiversity Monitoring, Evolution and Biogeography, Animal Behaviour, Conservation Genetics. Optional modules (subject to availability and demand): Geographic Information System, Freshwater Ecology, Marine Ecology, Marine Biodiversity Assessments. Year three - compulsory modules: Dissertation, Behavioural Ecology, Applied Field Studies. Optional modules (subject to availability and demand): Conservation Strategies, Developing Marine Biodiversity Assessments, Conservation in Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Genetic Applications for Conservation, Behavioural Applications for Conservation, Wildlife Management, Advanced Geographic Information Science, Remote Sensing. Year four - Qualificatory Practice Unit: Academic/Vocational Placement: The aim of the placement is to give you a rounded view of all aspects of the work of a conservation organisation. During the placement your knowledge and confidence should grow, enabling employers to place you in different roles, and hopefully with increasing responsibility as the year progresses.

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £9250 Year 1
International £10500 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Animal Conservation Science at University of Cumbria - UCAS