MSc Conservation

General information

The Conservation MSc at UCL is widely recognised as the leading programme for aspiring nature conservation professionals. This highly successful degree programme saw its first students graduate in 1960, and nearly 80% of its graduates have gone on to secure posts related to conservation.

The Conservation MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching. The programme is unique not only on account of its long history and the resulting extent of its alumni network, but also due to its vocational orientation and the active involvement of nature conservation professionals in the delivery of course material. The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and engages with environmental, social and policy dimensions, with residential field-classes providing first-hand experience of practical conservation challenges. At the same time, the programme provides the scientific rigour needed for evidence-based analysis and understanding of the natural environment. 

All students take four core conservation modules in Term 1 (60 credits) and choose a further four modules from a range of options in Term 2 (60 credits). Students also undertake a piece of original research (60 credits) leading to a dissertation of up to 12.000 words with the support of an academic supervisor. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and field studies, including a six-day field study to a coastal site in Norfolk and a field study of similar length to Snowdonia, as well as the option to join a two-week fieldclass to an overseas destination. 

Core Modules

  • Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation
  • The Rural Matrix
  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
  • Conservation and Environmental Management

Options (subject to confirmation)

  • Wetlands
  • Lakes
  • Marine Conservation
  • Coastal Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature, Culture, Politics
  • Changing Landscapes - Nature Conservation
  • Aquatic Macrophytes
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change
Contact Person: (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0731 - Marine spatial planning


Venue: University College London
London, United Kingdom

Department of Geography
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT




  • Full-time £9,815
  • Part-time £4,935


  • Full-time £18,670
  • Part-time £9,285

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.


Entry Requirements. Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applications with relevant professional experience in conservation or environmental management will also be considered.

English Language Requirements. If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

International students. Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from theInternational Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country here

Application Procedure:

Apply through the University's website where you will find more information about the online application process. You must submit your application yourself and not via an agency. Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Conservation
  • why you want to study Conservation at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

  Applications must be supported by:

  • two references from people who are able to comment on your suitability for the programme for which you are applying
  • transcripts (in English) for all qualifications that are relevant to your application
  • Personal statement
  • English language certificate

Application Deadlines: students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. The applications to startin September normally opens in October of the previous year, and close in July.

Grant Opportunities:

For information on bursaries available, please visit For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Academic level: Master


Assessment is through coursework essays and the dissertation, which includes a presentation of dissertation results.

Qualification: Master of Science

UK Credits
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