Start date(s)
25 September 2023
Course specifications
View course spec
Course length
Full-time (1 year)
Campus location
Wolverhampton City Campus
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Why choose this course?

The MRes Wildlife Conservation course allows you to engage in substantial research and to develop your own independent research skills in the conservation subject area. This course is especially suited to students contemplating PhD study, who wish to gain more research experience before embarking on a doctorate.

You will receive training in all aspects of research: from project design to the use of advanced techniques in data collection and analysis, and the dissemination of research findings through conference presentations and publication. You will work alongside our staff engaging in current research in the department, either in the UK or at overseas locations (subject to any government travel restrictions).

What happens on the course?

You’ll spend the first semester studying three taught modules. You will build your knowledge and skills in field survey and GIS mapping and in conservation genetics. The research methods module will prepare you to undertake your own extended research project, supervised by our staff, either in the lab or in the field. The project will run during semester two and the summer period. Based on your own research findings, you will prepare a poster presentation and research paper for publication.

MRes Research Project Areas for 2022/23

Please indicate in your personal statement the area or areas within wildlife conservation in which you would be interested in undertaking research. Please note, this is subject to staff availability and any travel restrictions due to the Covid-19. Please see a list of staff and project titles below. 

Dr Stefano Kaburu 

Project 1: Human-macaque interactions and coexistence in Asia (field- & lab-based project).

Project 2: Effect of visitors on captive animal welfare (field- & lab-based project).


Dr Chris Young

Project 1: Wildlife use of small urban greenspaces (field-based project).

Project 2: Evaluation of wildlife sites for conservation purposes using a range of techniques including spatial analysis (field-based project).


Dr Stefano Vaglio

Project 1: Chemical signalling in primates – Multiple signals: public and private information (desk-based project).

Project 2: The scent enriched lemur – Towards successful captive breeding practices for endangered primates (field & lab-based project).


Dr Simon Maddock

Project 1: Are invasive species causing common toad (Bufo bufo) declines across the UK? An assessment using an eDNA metabarcoding approach (field- and lab-based project).

Project 2: How does landscape affect dispersal and gene flow in the great crested newt, Triturus cristatus? (field- and lab-based project)

Project 3: Diversity and distribution of sea snakes in New Guinea (field- and lab-based project).


Dr Lynn Besenyei

Project 1: Factors affecting the use of habitats by mammals or birds (field-based project).

Project 2: Use of restored hay meadows or other grasslands by bumblebees, butterflies or other invertebrate group (field-based project).

Project 3: Factors affecting the survival of rescued-released European hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus (field-based project).


Prof. Mark O’Shea

Project 1: Biogeography, distribution and systematics of Papuan snakes (museum-based project).

Project 2: Comparative ecology of vermophagous snakes (museum- and field-based project).


Dr Natasha Kruger

Project 1: Toad freeloaders: Bufo bufo parasite diversity and impacts on population health (field- and lab-based project)

Project 2: Investigating the decoupling of traits in an invasive amphibian species (lab-based project)


Dr Colin Dubreuil

Project 1: Vocal communication: Individually specific variation in call structure (field-based project)

Project 2: Vocal communication and anthropogenic noise (field-based project)


To read the full description of all of the above projects please click here MRes Wildlife Conservation Research Project Areas 2022


Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

The course prepares you for a role as a conservation professional, whether you continue on to PhD study or enter employment after the MRes. In particular, it gives you opportunities for entry into conservation-type roles in the UK and overseas, where higher-level qualifications are essential for demonstrating subject knowledge and technical competency.  Such roles are found in a host of statutory and non-governmental organisations across the wildlife and conservation sector.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

At the University of Wolverhampton you’ll have the opportunity to use the extensive facilities in our new science laboratories if you choose to do laboratory-based work such as genetic analysis.

For those whose focus is more field-based, we have decades of experience in undertaking fieldwork for wildlife conservation, both at home and overseas, and a comprehensive collection of field equipment. We have links with a wide range of conservation organisations such as Natural England, National Trust, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Birmingham Black Country Wildlife Trusts and Local Authorities.

If your interest is primarily in ex situ conservation, you can join the research we currently undertake at local organisations such as Twycross, Chester, and Dudley Zoos.

On successful completion of the course, you will:


  • Have a critical understanding of theory in wildlife conservation, and how theory relates to conservation management in practice.
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of current specialist techniques used in conservation research.
  • Have the ability to critically interpret, evaluate and synthesise complex scientific information from current research literature.
  • Have the ability to communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences using a range of techniques.
  • Have the ability to undertake a substantial piece of independent research in wildlife conservation and to report your findings.

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £10995 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £10995 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £17450 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £17450 per year 2022-23

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

  • You will need a 2:1 or first class honours in a related science degree (biology, zoology, Wildlife Conservation). In addition you will need to have achieved at least a 2.1 in your final year BSc research project.
  • We will also consider applicants who have substantial research experience in wildlife conservation equivalent to these qualifications.
  • Offers made will be subject to receipt of a suitable reference.
  • Please indicate in your personal statement the area or areas within wildlife conservation that you would be interested in undertaking research. The potential subject areas for research projects next academic year are posted on this course page in January.
  • Applicants from overseas should also have a good standard of written and spoken English (normally IELTS 6.5).
  • For qualified applicants you will be asked to attend an interview with the potential supervisor to discuss your suitability for the research project..

Postgraduate Loan (Home Fee Status):

You may be able to get a postgraduate student loan from Student Finance England of up to £11,570 to help pay for a Master’s degree. Applications are made through Student Finance England and more information on the regulations and eligibility criteria can be found at Masters Loans

* Any RPL will invalidate your eligibility as you must study a minimum of 180 credits

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as Overseas (International) students for fee purposes. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.

Postgraduate Loyalty Discount:

You can get 20% discount on a taught on-site postgraduate course if you’re a University of Wolverhampton Graduate.

The University offers a generous 20% Loyalty Discount to students progressing from an undergraduate programme to a taught postgraduate programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree as long as this is your first Masters level qualification.

The discount applies to the first year of enrolment only. Students who receive a loyalty discount are not entitled to any further tuition discount or bursary. For full terms and conditions click here.


If you are paying for the fees yourself then the fees can be paid in 3 instalments: November, January and April. More information can be found by clicking here.

Sponsored - Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

Your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Charitable Funding:

You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites Association of Charitable Foundations, Directory of Social Change or Family Action. Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


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