BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science (with integrated foundation year)

Course details

UCAS Course code D328

September 2017 - Ambleside

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The need for animal conservation is higher than ever, due to growing rates of extinction and a great loss of biodiversity. If you're concerned about the growing threat to the environment and want to do something about it, we'll help nurture your passion to a professional standard. Our foundation year will help you reach the right level for taking the rest of the degree, building a solid foundation of skills from which to expand upon.

We provide a thorough grounding in the core disciplines of conservation biology, covering everything from animal preservation to the landscape scale. Our strong network of professional contacts keeps us well informed about the changing nature of conservation, and with an optional one-year placement, you'll get the chance to put your knowledge into practice. Join our many graduates who have gone on to have great success in helping animals to regain their homes.

You'll start by developing a firm foundation in scientific, intellectual and investigative skills and knowledge that will help you progress through the course. This is built upon through lectures and field sessions in the second year; you'll study the world's biodiversity (including animal and plant identification skills), ecology and the principles and practice of conservation.

You will then learn to perform professional-standard surveys, and use research techniques which will be put into practice during a fieldwork module in your third year. These currently take place in West Africa or India. Your final year will include a year-long research project on a subject of your choice, and a choice of specialist modules to focus on the area you wish to pursue at career level after graduation.

Between years three and four you'll also have the option to take a year-long academic/vocational placement (you must maintain an Upper Second Class Honours profile to take an academic placement).


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
  • 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)

  • Geographic Information System
  • Freshwater Ecology
  • Marine Ecology
  • Marine Biodiversity Assessments

Year three

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Applied Field Studies

Optional modules

  • 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

Programme specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

56-72 UCAS tariff points

The UCAS tariff has changed for 2017. You can find out more about the new tariff and qualification options from the new UCAS tariff table

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

2018 entry

56-72 UCAS tariff points

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

  • UCAS tariff points to include Level 3 qualification in Biology or Applied Science.
  • GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You'll have the skills and knowledge to work in any field concerning conservation, with previous students going on to work with the Wildlife Trust, Chester Zoo, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and many more. You might also wish to continue your education through postgraduate study, including MSc and PhD courses.

We are the only UK university to teach conservation on a campus located within a national park. The Lake District is home to many of the UK's most iconic and endangered wildlife species, including ospreys, otters, golden eagles, red squirrels and endangered coldwater fishes such as Atlantic salmon and Arctic charr. You'll have access to a highly diverse range of ecosystems, including Atlantic oak forests, heather moorlands, lakes, tarns, brooks and many more.

Our on-campus facilities include research and teaching labs, IT equipment and a library with a broad range of digital and hardcopy resources. Most of our teaching staff are actively involved in conservation research in the UK and abroad, and their research allows for students to get involved with scientific studies.

All this means we can offer state-of-the-art learning facilities combined with hands-on teaching in wildlife and habitats, giving you everything you need to enhance your studies to their peak. Have a look at our learning resources for Conservation.