The University of Edinburgh

Degree level: Postgraduate

Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics (Online Learning) (Taught)

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

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Course summary

Within conservation science, there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions. However, scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Within this arena, wildlife forensics is an exciting new field that is attracting increasing global attention in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. Theoretical and practical learning The PPD/Cert/Dip/MSc in Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics aims to provide a blend of theoretical and practical education in the application of genetic data to wildlife management and conservation law enforcement. The programme will cover all essential aspects, from population genetic theory and data analysis, to the considerations involved in the interpretation and transfer of scientific findings to management, policy and criminal investigation. Choice of specialism You will have the choice to specialise in either applied conservation genetics or wildlife forensics. Both options provide transferable scientific skills relating to:

  • knowledge acquisition and application
  • problem-solving
  • science communication
  • decision making
The overall aim of the programme is to equip current and future wildlife professionals with the knowledge, skills and global networks to address modern challenges in conservation management and law enforcement. Learn from internationally recognised specialists The programme is designed as an institutional collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), a government facility which houses the UK wildlife DNA forensics laboratory. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists in the application of genetic analysis to conservation management and wildlife forensics. In addition, individual courses will engage a number of external tutors from local and international organisations with specific expertise in the subject matter. Course materials will based on actual examples from wildlife management projects and forensic casework. Who this programme is for This programme may be for you if you are a wildlife professional interested in learning how DNA analysis can be applied to conservation management, from captive breeding programmes to reintroductions and natural population management. The programme will also be appropriate if you are working in wildlife law enforcement or wildlife policy sectors and want to understand how genetic data is relied upon to inform conservation decision-making, trade regulation and criminal investigations. As a comprehensive introduction to the fields of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, the programme is also a valuable stepping stone if you are seeking to pursue an advanced scientific career in these fields.


See our website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics (Online Learning) at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS