FdSc Environmental Conservation

We live in a rapidly changing world. If you feel your purpose in life is to safeguard our environment and you have a desire to share your passion with others, we can help you to achieve your goals.  

With plenty of hands-on practical management of our stunning 330-hectare campus, this course will provide you with all the industry-focused skills and knowledge you need to ensure you can pursue your passion to make a positive difference to our environment.  

Course Overview

You will access a mosaic of habitats including native woodland, wetlands, grasslands and wildflower meadows hosting endangered species such as otters, great created newts, stoats, earth stars, great burnet and many more. 

Flexible study routes, including part-time courses, are ideal if you are looking to change your career or return to education.  

Course Features

  • Research projects and fieldwork
  • Enhancing and management of habitats to attract wildlife species
  • Industry placement with local authorities, businesses and organisations  

Career Options

  • Reserves officer/supervisor
  • Conservation officer
  • Ecologist
  • Science officer
  • Nature recovery officer
  • Biodiversity project officer
  • Woodland delivery officer
  • Reserves warden
  • Conservation scientist
  • Peatland conservation officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • People and wildlife officer

Conducting survey on a Site of Special Scientific Interest

UCR Environmental Science undergrads conduct survey on a
Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Play Video

Course Information

This course gives you the opportunity to study the science behind the environmental processes that shape and influence our environment, and examine the impact on both the natural and man-made worlds.  You will be able to develop your personal and academic skills, as well as gain specific knowledge and practical skills that are essential for a career in the environmental science/conservation sectors.

The course is comprised of 16 modules spread over 2 years of study.

  • A minimum of 64 points UCAS Tariff points
    CCC – A*A*A*- A Levels including a science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – MMM – D*D*D* in relevant subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – DD – D*D* in relevant subject
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis and substantial work experience will be considered, as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications
  • Ecological Survey & Census Skills
  • Conservation of British Habitats
  • Scientific Data Collection & Analysis
  • Introduction to the Anthropocene
  • Principles of Environmental Science
  • Evolution and Adaptation

Level 5 modules involve far greater detail and depth of knowledge to reinforce existing knowledge and further enhance key concepts and skills.

  • Research Methods
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Work based learning for the land-based industries*
  • Experiential Learning*
  • Woodland and Wetlands Management
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Climatology

*Optional modules

The final module is a choice of one of two optional units related to gaining work experience.

Please note that availability of optional modules is subject to availability of subject-specialist staff and the recruitment of the minimum viable student number (7 individuals). Should a module not be deemed viable for operation then all students whom selected for that module will be communicated to in writing in advance of the academic year, and will be informed of the alternative options available to select from.

Students will be expected to make their module choices for the following academic year during March/April, via on online module selection service. Confirmation of module selections will be provided via email following approval.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity, plus field trips. Your actual contact hours may depend on which optional modules you select, but the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each year of the course:

Year 1:

30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 360 hours

Independent Study: 840 hours

Year 2:

20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, Learning and Assessment: 288 hours

Placement: 100 hours

Independent Study: 812 hours

Cohort sizes vary and can be up to 15 students. Some units are taught with other cohorts.

Assessment Methods

Assessments are designed to encourage both academic skills and skills valued in the workplace. They include a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework may take many forms including: essays, reports, data processing, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence and practical competency assessments. The examinations vary, depending on the nature of the module, but may take the form of multiple-choice papers, essays, practical assessments, data handling questions, short answer quizzes, and in class examinations.

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1

80% coursework

20% written exams

Year 2

80% coursework

20% written exams


Feedback is supplied not only on assignments but also throughout the course in several ways. These include Turnitin, directly from module leaders, through one to one and group tutorials, during lessons and will be both oral or written. The majority of submissions for assessment are made via Turnitin and feedback for coursework is provided within twenty working days after the submission date.

For summative assessments, written feedback will be supported verbally should the student require clarification. Formative assessment feedback will be provided at the time of completion where possible, with more detailed summative feedback for reports.

Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend 3-3.5 days per week on campus.

Students are given the opportunity to study an optional module at level 5 (year 2) entitled Work Based Learning for the Land Based Industries.

Students are expected to source their own placement, and complete a minimum of 100 hours of work, which can be accrued either in a block or cumulatively over weekends and holiday periods. When selecting a placement, students should consider the financial implications associated with accommodation, travel/commuting and the possible need for a Disclosure Barring service (DBS) check, as UCR is unable to subsidise such costs.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.

Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Additional Costs

It is strongly recommended that students have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination record before starting this course.

Reading lists are provided for each module studied and some students chose to purchase key texts.

Students will have the option to undertake overseas study for academic credit in year 2 of the programme, or simply participate for experiential purposes. These may include opportunities to undertake conservation field courses within locations such as Southern Africa, South America and the UK.

The main emphasis placed on these field courses is the development of professional, industry relevant skills and the application of students’ knowledge in a novel, stimulating, yet challenging environment. Costs associated with the field courses range from £500 – £1000 (UK & Europe), and between £2,200 – £2,800 (South America & Southern Africa). Please note that precise pricing of all field courses is subject to change, pending availability and recruitment.

Equipment Costs

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Notepad
  • A laptop that is windows compatible
  • A scientific calculator (£10-20)
  • Leaver arch files or equivalent
  • USB memory stick/hard drive or cloud based digital storage space
  • Wellies (£20 min)
  • Protective steel-capped boots (tip: steel capped boots are more comfortable when worn with a pair of thick walking socks) (£20 min)
  • Protective gardening gloves (£5 min)
  • A magnifying x10 hand lens (£5)
  • Waders are recommended but not essential
  • Plenty of warm, waterproof clothing – layers are the best!
  • A copy of ‘Maths Skills for Biologists’- available from the FSC online (£3.75)


Prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer.

Apply directly through UCAS

A minimum of 64 UCAS points

September 2022
September 2023

Full-time: 2 years

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit the additional financial support pages.

For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our UCR Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.