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FdSc - Forestry

Looking for a career where you can be immersed in nature and protect the world around you? Our FdSc Forestry degree provides a path into the forestry profession combined with an optional work experience element, so you gain all the practical know-how to be employed in a truly worthwhile and rewarding sector.

From our campus in Ambleside (Lake District), you’ll have the opportunity to study in woodlands managed for conservation, timber production and social benefits - all within easy access.

Delve into the enchanting world of forestry and discover the untapped wonders of nature.

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Accredited by:

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Institute of Chartered Foresters

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Course Overview

Study a professional forestry course at our National School of Forestry in the iconic Lake District National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site just minutes from our Ambleside campus. Gain the skills to start a career in a sector crucial for biodiversity, society and the economy, with a pathway into the National School of Forestry.

On this course you will...

  • Develop hands-on skills with 150 hours of work experience.
  • Get accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters.
  • Use the latest forest management technology, such as remote sensing and drones during your studies, to enhance your employability.
  • Benefits from our more than 50 years' experience educating and training professional and award-winning foresters.
  • Boost your employability through our excellent links with the Royal Forestry Society, Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and many other forestry organisations.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

This course is ideally located to explore and practice the management of forests, with the National School of Forestry based on our inspirational Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District. You’ll receive a thorough introduction to the forestry profession combined with a work-experience option to back up your theoretical knowledge. Our four week work experience offers you a fantastic chance to gain more hands-on forestry work in a real-life context, whilst on campus you’ll have access on your doorstep to study in woodlands managed for timber, conservation and social benefits.

The skills you develop will see you go on to a rewarding career in forestry both in the UK and potentially internationally. You’ll have the qualifications necessary to progress to the top-up BSc (Hons) Forestry degree should you wish to take your studies further. You will study the sustainable management of forests and woodlands for commercial, social benefits and conservation management.

Year one

You will develop a good grounding in the underlying principles and practice of forest and woodland management. Modules you will study include Measuring Trees and Forests, Silviculture, Wood Utilisation and Processing and Woodland Ecology.

  • Introduction to Managing Trees, Woods and Forests
    Provides students with a basic understanding of the history of forestry in the UK and worldwide, the underlying principles of soil and plant science and an overview of current practice of sustainable forest management to protect biodiversity, produce timber and other benefits to human society.
  • Measuring Trees and Forests
    To learn to apply the standard methods of tree and woodland measurement used in British forestry.
  • Silviculture
    Aims to give a grounding in silvicultural practice, to include a thorough and applied understanding of plantation, conservation and amenity woodland establishment and maintenance.
  • Woodland Ecology
    Gives a broad introduction to ecology and ecological processes. Ecology, the study of interactions between organisms and with their environments, provides a theoretical and practical framework for managing and working with natural and semi-natural ecosystems, but also in managed landscapes.
  • Wood Utilisation & Processing
    You will get an understanding of the utilisation of wood as a raw material. During this module students will cover the biology of wood and how the properties of wood relate to their potential utilisation.
  • Forestry Fundamentals
    The aim of this module is to enable students to learn the key writing and presentation skills necessary to succeed in their studies and their future career.
  • Practical Forest Skills
    The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of traditional and modern practical forestry skills. The safe and effective use of tools is central to the module with an emphasis on the planning and organisation of working sites.
Year two

In Year Two, you will build on this foundation developing your skills further, for example you will create a forest design plan and you'll be taught important new subjects, such as Forest Health and Protection, GIS and People and Forests. Between years 1 and 2 you will have the option to obtain 4 weeks of work experience.

  • Work Experience
    Enables you to gain knowledge and understanding of working in a relevant sector. You will be able to consolidate and further develop your professional, technical and personal skills in a work place and demonstrate independent learning and initiative outside a formal teaching environment.
  • Geographic Information Systems
    The aim of this module is to provide students with a sound understanding of the theory and application of GIS in a manner relevant to their field of study and potential future employment.
  • Managing Forest Operations
    From harvesting to establishment and tree safety, the module will take students through the principles of good planning, the financial, legal and regulatory frameworks within which they will have to operate and the tools and skills required to implement and manage forest operations.
  • Forest Policy and Governance
    Throughout the module, students will develop the knowledge and skills required to manage modern, sustainable, multipurpose forestry within the constraints of national and international legislative and policy frameworks.
  • Forest Health and Protection
    The aim of this module is to enable students to identify, understand and manage the main biotic (pests and pathogens) and abiotic (nutrient and climate) factors that adversely affect trees and forests.
  • People and Forests
    Forests and woodlands in both the rural and urban environments have always played a wide and varied role for communities throughout our history, both as a physical resource to be exploited and also providing spaces for our mental and physical health and wellbeing.
  • Forest Design and Planning
    The aim of this module is to enable you to create an extended plan for a given woodland, balancing the needs of a range of objectives and considering the principles of sustainable forest management.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
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