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Higher Education Courses

There are several higher education courses that are taught at or linked with Bristol Zoo, click a course title below to find out more information:

Foundation Science Degree in Integrated Wildlife Conservation

Higher education students

Delivered entirely at Bristol Zoo Gardens in a collaborative partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE), South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, and Bristol Zoo, this course has been specifically designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively in wildlife conservation. It takes a biological approach to the study of wildlife conservation issues, and integrates this knowledge with a consideration of how humans interact with wildlife, in particular where these interactions are detrimental to wildlife, humans, or both. It explores the motivations behind human behaviours that have a detrimental impact on biodiversity, and considers how communication strategies might best be developed to promote more wildlife-friendly behaviours. It also provides an opportunity for those students wishing to progress further in Higher Education to continue to a Level 3 BSc(Hons) Integrated Wildlife Conservation at UWE, or similar programmes elsewhere.

This course places strong emphasis on the development of subject-specific and generic practical skills, with Bristol Zoo providing an excellent resource to help you develop these skills across the programme, in a real-world context. You also undertake work experience in both years of the programme. This may be based in the zoo itself, or working with a range of other conservation organisations, and will include opportunities to work abroad in the second year.

For more information on the integrated wildlife and conservation foundation science degree click here

PhD or MSc by Research in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation

Bristol Zoo collaborates with the University of Bristol to offer excellent training opportunities to develop research expertise leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Masters of Science by Research (MSc).

The PhD is a research-based degree incorporating three years of full-time training (or six years part-time) that can be co-supervised by Bristol Zoo and University of Bristol academic staff. The research project is an independent and original investigation in a specific area of wildlife conservation (or subjects relating to this) and may be field-based, lab-based, theoretical or a combination of these elements. Postgraduate students at the University of Bristol develop academic and transferable skills by attending carefully designed courses and workshops. They are also highly encouraged to attend conferences. The PhD research project is written up as a thesis, which is assessed by two independent examiners; the candidate must also defend the thesis in an oral examination (viva voce). We will consider applications from potential PhD students in any area where we have research interests. Please note that Bristol Zoo does not offer any PhD scholarships.

The MSc that we offer is also a research based degree, as described above, but it consists of one year of full-time training (or two years part-time) co-supervised by Bristol Zoo and University of Bristol academic staff.  The MSc by Research is usually self-funded.

Postgraduate students carry out a specific research project. We will consider applications from potential MSc students in any area where we have research interests. To find out more, follow this link

Taught MSc in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation

At a time when natural habitats and wild species are coming under increasing pressure from human activities, the world needs properly trained wildlife biologists like never before. Bristol Zoo is working with the School of Veterinary Sciences at Bristol University to train people in this subject.

This vocational programme aims to give you the knowledge, skills and practical training needed to work with wildlife, with special emphasis on its health and conservation at the global scale. Cutting-edge topics covered include animal capture and handling techniques, the assessment, stabilisation and transport of injured animals, concepts in behavioural ecology, ethical issues in wildlife management, methods for improving the welfare of captive animals, the importance of biosecurity, endangered species breeding programmes, the reintroduction of captive populations to the wild, post-release monitoring, practical field-based conservation strategies and the management of protected areas. The curriculum also delivers a comprehensive introduction to wildlife disease ecology, surveillance and control.

The MSc is based at the Bristol Veterinary School near the Mendip Hills in Somerset, providing convenient access to Exmoor National Park and the rich wildlife habitats of South West England. A special feature of this MSc is the large number of specialist lectures, workshops and seminars that are delivered by leading researchers, conservationists and wildlife veterinarians from outside the University. A variety of programme workshops and practical sessions are held at Bristol Zoo, allowing you to gain hands-on experience of exotic wildlife care and management.

The programme has been carefully designed for those aspiring to a career in wildlife conservation. Potential employers include national parks, zoological gardens, animal rescue centres and government agencies with statutory wildlife responsibilities, either in Britain or overseas. By the end of the programme you will have gained the skills and knowledge to deal with a variety of practical situations that professional wildlife biologists face on a day-to-day basis.

Sandwich Year Placements 

Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation offers sandwich year placements at Bristol Zoo Gardens to dedicated students wishing to gain valuable work experience in preparation for their future career. For more information, follow this link

Postgraduate research at Bristol Uni

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Click below to find out more about the postgraduate research in Biological Sciences at Bristol University