Postgraduate taught 

Conservation Management of African Ecosystems MSc

wildabeest 2 cmae

The Conservation Management of African Ecosystems programme is a unique, double Masters Programme implemented jointly with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania. A key feature of the programme will be, following a taught component in Glasgow, the opportunity to carry out an in-depth research project over 15 months in one of the major conservation areas of Tanzania. Successful students will qualify with a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow and a Masters degree from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology.

  • MSc : Double Masters degree (see programme structure below) - 24 months full-time;
  • Contact: 
  • September start

Why this programme

  • The Programme will provide insight into the principles of conservation management, biodiversity measurement, applied ecology, the human dimension of conservation and the epidemiology of diseases that threaten endangered species.
  • It will develop students’ competence in study design, data analysis, scientific writing and communication skills in a quantitative and scientific context appropriate to enable independent research and publication of high quality outputs, as well as communicating to a broader range of audiences (eg. for government policy making and public outreach) and will train students in a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and analyses required for state-of-the-art research and management in conservation biology.
  • The Programme will provide the opportunity to study in-depth a choice of current issues in conservation management through an extended research project that involves setting their own results in the wider context through critical evaluation of the evidence base in that field, assimilation and synthesis of information relevant to their specific study, with reference to the latest literature and identification of the strengths and weaknesses in their own approach and results.
  • The University of Glasgow has a wide range of experience, expertise and long-term cooperation with partners in northern Tanzania. This Programme offers students the opportunity to benefit from well-established teaching and support at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and combine that with research work in one of the major conservation areas of Tanzania. 

Programme structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses based at Glasgow: see ‘Core and optional courses’ below.

Following the Glasgow taught courses the student will travel to Tanzania to undertake training and research at one of the major conservation areas in Tanzania. During this time they will be registered with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

A final three months of the research period will be linked to the University of Glasgow but, by common agreement with the supervisors, the student may remain in Tanzania for this period, or study back at Glasgow.

Successful completion of the full course will lead to the award of two Masters Degree: one from the University of Glasgow, and one from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, will recognise the credits from the taught courses at Glasgow as part of the NMAIST Masters degree. An exit point following successful completion of the taught parts of the course without completion of the research component may be awarded a PgDip from the University of Glasgow.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 30 flexible credits in the 2nd term.  See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview.  When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Term 1: Core Courses (Assessment in %)                       

  • Key research skills (Scientific writing, Introduction to R, Introduction to Linear Models; Advanced Linear Models, Experimental Design): Coursework – 60%; Scientific Report – 40%
  • Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity: Coursework – 60%; Assignment – 40%

Term 2: Core Courses                                   

  • Human dimensions of conservation: Press statement – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Principles of conservation ecology: Coursework – 30%; Set exercise – 15; Poster – 55%
  • Protected area management: Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%

Term 2: Optional Courses                                           

  • Programming in R (*prerequisite B grade in KRS R component): Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Biodiversity informatics: Coursework – 25%; Assignment – 75%
  • GIS for ecologists: Set Exercise – 60; Critical Review – 40%
  • Infectious disease ecology & the dynamics of emerging disease* : Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Introduction to Bayesian statistics*: Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Invertebrate identification: Coursework – 20%; Class test – 40%; Assignment – 40%
  • Molecular analyses for biodiversity and conservation: Coursework – 40%; Assignment – 60%
  • Molecular epidemiology & phylodynamics: Coursework – 40%; Assignment – 60%
  • Multi-species models: Coursework – 50%; Assignment – 50%
  • Single-species population models: Coursework – 30%; Assignment – 70%
  • Vertebrate identification: Coursework – 20%; Class test – 40%; Assignment – 40%
  • Animal ethics: Oral Presentation – 50%; Reflective Essay – 50%
  • Biology of suffering: Essay – 100%
  • Care of captive animals: Report – 100%
  • Enrichment of animals in captive environments: Essay – 100%
  • Legislation & societal issues: Position Paper – 50%; Press Release – 50%
  • Welfare assessment: Critical Essay – 100%

Year 2: Core MSc Component                                    

  • Research project: Research proposal – 10%; Presentation – 10%; Project report – 80%

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent (eg GPA of 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified.

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:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit 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:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

View fees for entry in 2017-18

Tuition fees for 2018-19


Students are required to pay for fees at both the University of Glasgow and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science  and Technology for 12 months each. The 2016-17 fees are as below. 2017-18 fees will be confirmed soon.

  University of Glasgow Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology
Home/EU £6,950 US$13,000*
International £18,900 US$13,000*

*Fees at NM-AIST for 2017 are currently under review. They include US$5,000 as Fee plus US$8,000 for the research component. See: 

Students should also ensure that they have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses. As a guide, stipend rates for students are currently estimated as:

  • Glasgow: £14,252 for 12 months
  • Arusha:   US$6,700 for 12 months

Find out more about additional fees at NM-AIST.

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150
  • General Council fee: £50

Funding opportunities

University International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has  10  International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarships is awarded as a tuition fees discount of £10,000.

more information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

more information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

You will need to submit your CV plus a 1000 word Personal Statement with the following:

  • why you want to apply
  • why your qualifications/experience to-date support your application
  • how the programme will help your career.

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 documents do I need to provide to make an 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) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • 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)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

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

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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:

Postgraduate Admissions
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ

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.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught 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. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • 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.

Applications for entry in 2017 are now closed.

Related links