Learn how organisms interact with each other and their environment, and discover the impact of human activity in a series of exciting field-based and lab-taught modules. Benefit from support to secure a paid placement enabling you to experience twelve months working in the type of organisation that you might aspire to join when you graduate.
Our renowned researchers deliver an exceptional training programme that provides a thorough grounding in ecological theory and practice, combining lectures, practicals, fieldwork and small-group tutorials. You will gain a deep understanding and hands-on experience of how these principles are applied in the study and conservation of species and the ecosystems in which they live.
Throughout your degree, you will have the opportunity to experience a range of exciting fieldwork modules and residential courses. You will explore the Doñana National Park, in the south west of Spain, which is home to a plethora of plant and animal species, including the world’s most endangered cat, the Iberian Lynx. You can visit some of the UK’s last remaining natural habitats in rural Scotland, and observe a range of animals including red deer, mountain hare, pine marten, osprey and golden eagle; or contribute to an expert-led study of the Rift Valley of Kenya, where you will evaluate the challenge of balancing tropical conversation and human activity.
To prepare students for their work placement year, our Careers and Placements Team will provide advice and guidance on: the skills required to create effective CVs, cover letters and applications; tips and techniques on how to make an impact at interviews and assessment centres; how to create a relevant digital profile; and how to research employers and career sectors of interest. In addition, there is great emphasis placed upon developing self-awareness and on how to present yourself in a professional manner to employers. This optional provision will be delivered via a blend of traditional and digital methods including face-to-face workshops, online webinars, e-courses and 1:1 appointments.
Your first year will begin with a rounded introduction to ecology and conservation biology. You will participate in the field course in southern Spain, and you will study a series of modules in ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. You will also take a Placement Preparation module which provides guidance on writing your CV, finding a placement and interview techniques.
Specialisation from the second year onwards allows you to choose topics that match your interests. A diverse range of modules will equip you with a range of ecology, conservation biology and practical skills. You can choose from a selection of relevant optional modules such as Evolution and Environmental Physiology, Animal Behaviour, Conservation in Practice and Issues in Conservation Biology and you will carry out an independent research project. You will also take part in a ‘work-based learning’ module designed to provide guidance and support as you apply for nationally advertised placements and help you gain the most from your placement year.
You will spend your third year on placement, which may be in a science or non-science related position before returning to Lancaster where you will continue in your chosen specialities. The placement offers you the opportunity to work as a full-time employee of the organisation whilst still receiving both academic and pastoral support from the University.
The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.
If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.