Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology MSc

This Masters combines ecology, evolution, epidemiology and animal ethics into one integrated programme. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM); a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining ecology and evolution with more applied problems in animal health and welfare.

Key facts

Why Glasgow

  • This programme encompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
  • It covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation; and ethics and legislative policy critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.
  • You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbria (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or environmental consulting firms whenever possible.
  • The uniqueness of the programme is the opportunity to gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects, which will enhance future career opportunities, including entrance into competitive PhD programmes. For example, it is rare for students in animal welfare to gain extensive quantitative skills, even though this can be critical for designing experiments that meet the criteria of the "three R's" (reduce, refine, replace) in animal-based research. Similarly, there are identification based programmes offered elsewhere, but most others do not combine practical field skills with molecular techniques, advanced informatics for assessing biodiversity based on molecular markers, as well as advanced statistics. Other courses in epidemiology are rarely ecologically focused; the specialty in IBAHCM is understanding disease ecology, in the context of both animal conservation and implications for human public health.
  • You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunites to learn about legislation and ethics associated with the use of animals in research.
  • A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in:

  • Monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
  • Quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation
  • Ethics and legislative policy – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.

Core courses

  • Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, advanced linear models, experimental design and power analysis)
  • Measuring biodiversity and abundance
  • Programming in R
  • Independent research project

Optional courses

  • Freshwater sampling techniques
  • Marine sampling techniques
  • Invertebrate identification
  • Vertebrate identification
  • Molecular analyses for DNA barcoding and biodiversity measurement
  • Phyloinformatics
  • Conservation genetics and phylodynamics
  • Infectious disease ecology and the dynamics of emerging disease
  • Single-species population models
  • Multi-species models
  • Spatial processes
  • Introduction to Bayesian statistics
  • Animal welfare science
  • Legislation related to animal welfare
  • Enrichment of animals in captive environments
  • Care of captive animals
  • Biology of suffering
  • Assessment of physiological state.

Core and optional courses

What our students say

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

At least a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent (eg GPA of 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject. Professional experience may be taken into account.

In your application, please submit a statement (up to 200 words) outlining why you want to study this programme in particular and what you hope to get out of it.

Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20*
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

* Please note that TOEFL has now been removed from the approved list of English tests by the Home Office and TOEFL tests taken on or after 17 April 2014 will no longer normally be accepted for UK visa applications. However, the University as an HEI can still choose to accept TOEFL tests for admission to degree level courses and so TOEFL tests can still be accepted as normal for this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2014-15 (subject to change and for guidance only)

MSc

Home and EU
Full time fee£5350
International
Full time fee£17250

PgDip

Home and EU
Full time fee£3567
International
Full time fee£11500

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, environmental consultancies, government agencies, ecotourism and conservation biology, and veterinary or public health epidemiology.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What essential documentation should I have available before I start my application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU) 24 July 2015
  • UK and EU applications 28 August 2015*
    (with the exception of those programmes offering SFC funded places)

Classes start September 2015 for most programmes and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before. 

*Please note that we can accept UK and EU applications for entry in 2014 up until 8th September 2014 but for any applications made after 29th August we cannot guarantee that an offer will be made before the start of the programme. In cases where an offer cannot be made before the start of the programme then entry in September 2015 may be offered instead.

Apply now