Postgraduate taught 

Ecology & Environmental Monitoring (Dumfries Campus) MSc

Monitoring device being mounted onto a tree

The global biodiversity crisis and threats to global sustainable development have highlighted the need for specialists in species identification, population monitoring, and conservation. This Masters programme in Ecology & Environmental Monitoring will help you develop essential skills in species identification, taxonomy, and ecology, and to become a catalyst for effective conservation and the preservation of biodiversity across the globe.

Register your interest for more information

Why this programme

  • In a world facing a biodiversity crisis driven by climate change, this programme equips you to make a difference. You'll develop vital skills in species identification, taxonomy and ecology to lead effective conservation, sustainable resource management and global biodiversity preservation efforts.
  • Our programme aligns with international commitments such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting the urgency of biodiversity preservation at national, regional, and local levels worldwide.
  • Immerse yourself in hands-on fieldwork and lab exercises, taking advantage of our ideal Dumfries Campus location. Collaborate with experts from research, consultancy, conservation, and regulatory bodies, honing your core competencies in taxonomy, identification, and environmental monitoring.
  • Our hands-on approach to developing your career-focussed field skills is complemented by research-led courses in ecological theory, plant and animal taxonomy, habitat monitoring, remote sensing, GIS, and more. You’ll leave us understanding what changes to our environment mean, for nature, for environmental management, and for us.
  • Benefit from collaborations with specialists from related fields, including external academics and organisations like the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Forestry Scotland, ensuring your education is relevant and up-to-date.
  • Join our diverse and close-knit community at the Dumfries Campus, offering access to picturesque surroundings, world-class teaching, and excellent placement opportunities. Explore the vibrant arts and cultural scene of Dumfries and enjoy outdoor activities in the scenic Scottish countryside.

Programme structure

This programme includes three compulsory courses as well as two optional courses, and either a work placement or dissertation in the summer of the academic year, following completion of the taught courses.

Core courses

Optional courses

Fieldwork: A Snapshot

In addition to undertaking a practical placement or hands-on dissertation, during your taught courses you can expect to be out in the field or in the laboratory on a regular basis. A typical year can look like this:

Semester 1

  • Week 1: Practical lab skills for biological recorders
  • Week 2: Survey design and data analysis: a hands-on exploration
  • Week 3: Exploring the phytoplankton and macroalgae in aquatic habitats around the Solway Firth
  • Weeks 4 and 5: Monitoring and mapping embryophyte assemblages in mixed woodland and upland settings
  • Week 8 and 9: Tracking and Trapping
  • Week 10: Bird surveys

Semester 2

  • Field Trip One: Marine and Coastal Habitat Monitoring
  • Field Trip Two: Freshwater and Terrestrial Monitoring

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: Student contract.

Career prospects

The skills developed during this programme are primarily relevant to:

  • NGO's such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the British Ornithological Society, PlantLife, BugLife, Fisheries Trusts, and similar charitable and special interest groups both nationally and internationally
  • Consultancies
  • Regulatory Organisations such as SEPA, the Environment Agency, the Marine Monitoring Organisation and similar groups both nationally and internationally
  • Legislators
  • Research
  • Handling and storage of environmental data, for example, the management of citizen science responses or recording schemes

This Ecology & Environmental Monitoring programme has been developed to address the issues of decreasing biodiversity, spatially uneven habitat monitoring, and the need for increased sustainability in the use of natural resources. The courses within this programme produce graduates with the essential skills in subjects including plant and animal taxonomy and identification, habitat monitoring, remote sensing, and GIS necessary to understand the functioning of the environment, identify and monitor the health of both species and habitats, and manage or limit the impacts of human activities. 

Graduates will leave the programme with the skills required to answer key questions of relevance to these career paths (for example: "what species are present?", "has this species previously been recorded?", "how is current biodiversity changing?", "why is this the case?" and "how can we prevent this?") as well as to interpret this information to answer new questions (such as, "is my modelling accurate?", "can satellite data by used to identify ecosystem threats?" and "will this new management method prevent biodiversity loss?"), in addition to presenting this data for a range of audiences from academics to the general public.

Find out more about careers paths and opportunities.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2024-25

MSc

UK

  • Full-time fee: £10650

International & EU

  • Full-time fee: £24000

Deposits

International and EU applicants are required to pay a deposit of £2000 within four weeks of an offer being made.

Deposits: terms & conditions

This programme requires some students to pay a deposit to secure their place.

If you are an international student, we will only issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) once the deposit has been paid.

Your offer letter will state:

  • how to pay the deposit payment
  • the deadline for paying the deposit

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 25% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits will be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown 'real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s applicant self-service to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits will not be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry.

Refund requests must be made within 30 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter.

Requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.


Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Funding opportunities

British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

The British Council has established programmes to support Women and Girls in STEM around the world, designed with a lifecycle approach in mind, from inspiring young girls to stay in STEM to supporting women working in STEM fields reach positions of leadership and network with their peers in their region and the UK.

This year, kindly supported by the British Council, the University of Glasgow is delighted to announce 5 fully funded scholarships for female students fromthe countires listed below interested in pursuing master’s studies in the fields of Sustainable Energy, Climate Change and Health. Each of these scholarships covers full tuition fees, monthly stipend, a return economy class ticket and other costs such as IELTS exam fee, visa application, NHS surcharge and key study materials.

Please see British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM for more details.

Southeast Asia Distinction Award

The University of Glasgow is excited to announce the new Southeast Asia Distinction Award for highly qualified students from this region. This scholarship is available to students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme on any eligible degree programme for Academic Session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

Climate Leadership Scholarships

Cop26 was held in Glasgow from 31st October – 12th November 2021 and the University of Glasgow recognises the importance of universities in tackling the climate emergency. Glasgow is part of the newly formed  Cop26 Universities Network, a growing group of over 80 universities working together to promote a zero-carbon future. Alongside vital research being carried out by our academics, Glasgow recognises that urgent action is needed on our campuses, and we aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.  We believe that the climate emergency can only be addressed by implementing long-term sustainability policies and our Green Glasgow strategy details our action plan for the next decade.

In recognition of the vital need for action to combat the climate emergency the University of Glasgow is excited to launch our Climate Leadership Scholarships. We have 20 scholarships available to UK students entering any of our Colleges on a PGT programme which engages with the climate emergency.

As a world-changing research-led University we are committed to supporting the next generation of researchers working across disciplines to address the climate emergency.

Chevening Scholarship

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government's global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding scholars with leadership potential. Awards are typically for a one year Master’s degree at universities across the UK. There are over 50,000 Chevening Alumni around the world who together comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

For further information, please refer to the Chevening website.

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Schemes

Commonwealth Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are offered to citizens from low and middle income Commonwealth countries. The majority of Scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

Vice Chancellor EU Award

The University of Glasgow continues to be committed to ensuring a strong relationship with our existing and future EU students, and supporting EU talent to make their home at the University of Glasgow. 

We appreciate the challenging financial implications that have arisen for our European applicants, and are therefore delighted to offer the Vice Chancellor EU Award to highly qualified new incoming EU students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline for Academic Session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount. This discount cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

Applicants that graduated from the University of Glasgow or completed a Study Abroad year, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow, are eligible for the Alumni discount and this can be combined with the Vice Chancellor EU Award.

EU Welcome Award

The University of Glasgow continues to be committed to ensuring a strong relationship with our existing and future EU students, and supporting EU talent to make their home at the University of Glasgow. 

We appreciate the challenging financial implications that have arisen for our European applicants, and are therefore delighted to offer the EU Welcome Award to new incoming EU students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme for Academic Session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 tuition fee discount. This discount cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

Applicants that graduated from the University of Glasgow or completed a Study Abroad year, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow, are eligible for the Alumni discount and this can be combined with the EU Welcome Award.

University of Glasgow African Excellence Award

The University of Glasgow African Excellence Award aims to support high achieving students from across Africa in their journey to become Future World Changers.  We are looking for students who wish to undertake Masters level study, to further develop their knowledge and skills, in order to positively contribute to their community in the future. 

The University is offering up to 15 scholarships for International students from Africa, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2024/25.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver. 

University of Glasgow African Partners Award

The University of Glasgow African Partners Awards aims to support high achieving students from across Africa in their journey to become Future World Changers.  We are looking for students who wish to undertake Masters level study, to further develop their knowledge and skills, in order to positively contribute to their community in the future.  The scholarship is exclusively for students, alumni and staff of the University partners across Africa: African Partners List 2024.

The University is offering up to 5 scholarships for International students from Africa, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2023/24.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver. 

Applicants much hold an offer of a place for a postgraduate taught one year Masters programme for September 2024 intake (offer is not needed to apply but applicants will require an offer to be considered for interview, and should take programme application timelines into consideration as detailed on programme webpages)

Emerging Asia Award

The University of Glasgow is proud to introduce an exciting new award designed to support students from a selection of underrepresented 'frontier and developing' Asian countries . 

The University of Glasgow is offering 8 scholarships for highly qualified international students from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Students must be starting a one-year postgraduate taught masters programme, in any discipline, for the academic session 2024/25. The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver with stipend for one year that can not be combined with any other scholarships. 

University of Glasgow Caribbean Partners Award

The University of Glasgow Caribbean Partners Awards aims to support high achieving students from our partner The University of the West Indies in their journey to become Future World Changers.  We are looking for students who wish to undertake Masters level study, to further develop their knowledge and skills, in order to positively contribute to their community in the future.  The scholarship is exclusively for students, alumni and staff of The University of the West Indies. 

The University is offering up to 5 scholarships for students, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2024/25.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver. 

Those who apply must hold an offer of a place for a postgraduate taught one year Masters programme for September 2024 intake (offer is not needed to apply but applicants will require an offer to be considered for interview, and should take programme application timelines into consideration as detailed on programme webpages);

University of Glasgow International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has several International Leadership Scholarships available to International students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline for Academic Session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

University of Glasgow Caribbean Excellence Award

The University of Glasgow Caribbean Excellence Award aims to support high achieving students from across the Caribbean in their journey to become Future World Changers.  We are looking for students who wish to undertake Masters level study, to further develop their knowledge and skills, in order to positively contribute to their community in the future. 

The University is offering up to 5 scholarships for International students from the Caribbean, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme, in any discipline for academic session 2024/25.  The scholarship is a full tuition fee waiver. 

University of Glasgow Chancellor's Award

The University of Glasgow has 40 Chancellors Award Scholarships available to students from low and middle income countries, starting a 1 year postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline, in academic session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

India Merit Award

The University of Glasgow is proud to announce a new India Merit award for 2024 entry to acknowledge highly qualified Indian postgraduate taught offer holders. The scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 tuition fee discount. This discount cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

University of Glasgow Chancellor's Award (Nigeria)

The University of Glasgow has 10 Chancellors Award Scholarships available to Nigerian students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in academic session 2024-25. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount.

Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £7,000 towards their course. Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.  

This support extends to online Masters or Postgraduate Diplomas, and not to the online Postgraduate Certificate courses.

For more information visit the SAAS website.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re an English student looking to study a taught Masters programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan. Students from England are able to apply for a non-means tested Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Alumni Discount

In response to the current unprecedented economic climate, the University is offering a 20% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni, commencing study in Academic session 2024/25. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme, International Summer School programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. This discount can be awarded alongside most University scholarships.

Postgraduate Access Scholarship

The University of Glasgow is pleased to be offering Postgraduate Access Scholarships to support Home students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. Applications are particularly welcomed from applicants who met any of our widening participation criteria, or equivalent, at undergraduate level. The value of each scholarship is £4,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only.

Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/types-of-finance/postgraduate .

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 20 Sanctuary Scholarships for applicants to the University, who have been forced to travel to the UK for humanitarian reasons and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Glasgow applying for entry in September 2024/25. Please note that you must have applied to the University before submitting an application for this scholarship.

The scholarship will meet the cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme, for applicants who are unable to access mainstream funding through Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) or Student Finance. The Sanctuary Scholarship also provides a £5,000 per year stipend, to assist with study costs. In addition, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met, this will also be provided for the duration of your degree, if required. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

Undergraduate students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs only, if successful.

Postgraduate Taught Masters students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs and a partial tuition fee waiver, to cover any shortfall not met by your Postgraduate Masters tuition fee loan.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society is offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate applicants for 2024 entry.

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

Entry requirements

2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects may include: Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Environmental Management, Global Sustainable Development, or Nature Conservation.

Individuals with professional experience working or volunteering in the fields of conservation, ecology, and environmental/land management and/or monitoring may also be considered even if they do not necessarily hold a 2:1 qualification.

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)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test
  • IELTS One Skill Retake accepted.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

TOEFL (ibt, mybest or athome)

  • 79; with Reading 13; Listening 12; Speaking 18; Writing 21
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 59 with minimum 59 in all subtests
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 7
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 6 with Reading: 21-24 Listening: 15-17
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 6.

Trinity College Tests

  • Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

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 UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT 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:

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.

Documents

As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting 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)
  • One reference letter 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)

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 supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, see how to apply for a postgraduate taught degree

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, see Application System Help.

  • 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.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadlines

September 2024

  • International & EU applicants: 26 July 2024
  • UK applicants: 16 August 2024
Apply now

More information about this programme