BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology

Develop your knowledge of key areas such as population ecology, evolutionary processes, behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and habitat management, and prime yourself for a career in ecology, conservation or environmental monitoring.

Course details

Why should we conserve biodiversity? How can we manage and restore habitats? With a hands-on approach, we’ll give you the scientific tools to address these issues, developing your understanding of plant and animal biodiversity in the UK and abroad.
  • Mode of study: 3-4 days  a week
  • Intake: Intakes: September
  • Course length: 3-4 years
  • Course fee: 9250 per year
  • Location: Plymouth campus

Plymouth University

Course overview

This course focuses on conservation in terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments. You will have the opportunity to experience two overseas residential field courses or an alternative, giving you first-hand experience of a range of ecosystems. Recent locations include southern Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica. You can participate in an optional work placement year, giving you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a real world context.


Entry requirements

UCAS tariff 112 – 128

To include A level Biology and a second relevant subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Environmental Science or Environmental Studies, Applied Science, Marine Science, Psychology) at grade C.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma/RQF National Extended Diploma in a Science: DDD – note that this is subject to the exact modules you have studied – please contact, stating explicitly the full list of modules within your qualification.

International Baccalaureate 30 diploma points overall, to include 5 diploma points in Biology (Higher Level) plus 5 diploma points in second science at Higher Level. English and Mathematics must be included.

Access To Higher Education Science-based diplomas, 33 credits in science-based units at merit including a minimum of 12 credits in biology units.

We would usually expect GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4, or equivalent.


Our conservation biology students have tremendous opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in a variety of work settings. Our hands-on approach to teaching and learning throughout the course will provide you with the topical skills and experience that you can apply to the wide range of career options as graduates.


In your first year, you’ll establish a solid foundation in ecology, biodiversity, natural history, taxonomy, genetics, evolution, microbiology, animal and plant physiology, and animal behaviour. You will gain essential practical field skills through local field trips and a field course. You’ll also begin to develop useful personal and transferable skills through individual and one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor.

  • Field Biology (BIOL123Z)
  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 1 (BIOL129Z)
  • Cells: The Building Blocks of Life (BIOL131Z)
  • Ecology and the Diversity of Life (BIOL132Z)
  • Principles of Physiology (BIOL133Z)
  • Evolution and Behaviour (MBIO161Z)
  • Introduction to Biology (BIOL119Z)
  • Principles of Conservation Biology (BIOL204Z)
  • Animal Behaviour (BIOL205Z)
  • Ecology (BIOL214Z)
  • Ecology Field Course (BIOL219Z)
  • Professional Development in Biological Sciences 2 (BIOL225Z)
  • Methods in Biology (BIOL234Z)

Optional modules

  • Plant Ecophysiology (BIOL235Z)
  • Applied Aquatic Biology (MBIO220Z)
  • Applied Conservation Biology (BIOL308Z)
  • Personal Research (BIOL315Z)

Optional modules

  • Plant Biotechnology (BIOL301Z)
  • Global Change Biology (BIOL310Z)
  • Behavioural Ecology (MBIO317Z)
  • Ecology and Conservation of Marine Vertebrates (MBIO339Z)
  • Advanced Behaviour Analysis Techniques (BIOL323Z)
  • Advanced Bioinformatics and Phylogenetics (BIOL324Z)