Postgraduate taught 

Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation & Epidemiology MSc/PgDip

Ecology researchers

Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.

  • MSc: 12 months full-time

Why this programme

  • TOP 100 UNIVERSITYEncompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
  • Covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.
  • 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.
  • Combine advanced statistics and modelling with opportunities to gain practical field skills, expertise in molecular techniques or bioinformatics tools for assessing biodiversity.
  • Understand disease ecology, in the context of wildlife, animal health and implications for human public health.
  • Base your independent research project at either the University Field Station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbrae (for marine projects); or Cochno Farm and Research Centre in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals).
  • Taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunities to actively participate in internationally recognised research. 
  • A unique strength is 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.
 

Main Campus Location

This programme is undertaken at the Gilmorehill Campus, in the West End of Glasgow. Research projects are undertaken at the above mentioned research centres at Loch Lomond, Isle of Cumbrae or Cochno Farm, Glasgow. Easy to travel to by bus, subway, train or car.

 

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

 Additional options are available from the other Masters programmes offered by our Insitute, providing access to courses on a wide range of topics from animal ethics and legislative policy to African conservation and antimicrobial resistance. A total of 180 credits are required, with 60 flexible credits in the second term.  See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Programme Overview   

Term 1: Core courses

  • Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, introduction to linear models; advanced linear models, experimental design) (40 credits)
  • Programming in R (20 credits)

Term 2: Optional courses (10 credits)

Students must select at least 40 credits from the X Options

X Options:

  • Spatial Ecology
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • Infectious Disease Ecology and the Dynamics of Emerging Disease
  • Introduction to Bayesian statistics
  • Conservation Genetics
  • Molecular Epidemiology and Phylodynamics
  • Multi Species Models
  • Single Species Models
  • Economic Tools for Conservation

Students can select the remaining 20 credits from the Y Options (or additional choices from the X Options)

Y Options:

  • Geographic Information Systems for Ecologists
  • Invertebrate Identification
  • Vertebrate Identification
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation
  • Principles of Conservation Ecology
  • Protected Area Management
  • Animal Ethics
  • Biology of Suffering
  • Care and Enrichment of Captive Animals
  • Animal Legislation and Societal Issues
  • Animal Welfare Assessment
  • Genetic and Genomic Aspects of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Societal Aspects of Antimicrobial Resistance 

Term 3: Core MSc Component

  • Research project

Some examples of recent publications lead by students in the programme:

  • Blackburn, S., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Ogutu, J. O., Matthiopoulos, J. and Frank, L. (2016), Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12632. 
  • Rysava, K., McGill, R. A. R., Matthiopoulos, J., and Hopcraft, J. G. C. (2016) Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 30:1461-1468. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7572.
  • Ferguson, E.A., Hampson, K., Cleaveland, S., Consunji, R., Deray, R., Friar, J., Haydon, D. T., Jimenez, J., Pancipane, M. and Townsend, S.E., 2015. Heterogeneity in the spread and control of infectious disease; consequences for the elimination of canine rabies. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 18232. doi: 10.1038/srep18232.
  • Capilla-Lasheras, P., Dominoni, D.M., Babayan, S.A., O'Shaughnessy, P.J., Mladenova, M., Woodford, L., Pollock, C.J., Barr, T., Baldini, F. and Helm, B. (2017) Elevated immune gene expression is associated with poor reproductive success of urban blue tits. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution5, p.64. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2017.00064

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

You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes.

Graduate jobs can be found in the UK, Europe, Central America and Africa in national government, health institutes, NGOs and academia.

In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in:

  • Zoos
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Government agencies
  • Ecotourism
  • Conservation biology
  • Veterinary or public health epidemiology.

Job titles include:

  • projects co-ordinator
  • scientific officer
  • GIS technician
  • lab technician
  • consultant
  • statistician
  • data analyst
  • university researcher

Some graduates went on to study for PhDs in field such as ecology and conservation, environmental research, biological sciences and statistics.

     student getting career advice

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2020-21

MSc

Home and EU

  • Full-time fee: £8500

International

  • Full-time fee: £21920

Deposits

The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.

Fee information is subject to change and is for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £360
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £340
  • Registration/exam only fee: £160

Funding opportunities

Joseph Lister India Scholarships

Formed in 2010, the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences brings together internationally renowned experts and state-of-the-art facilities to improve health and quality of life for humans and animals across the globe. The College has scholarships available to high quality applicants from India, and are awarded as a fee discount for September 2020.

The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences)

The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.

All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.

GREAT Scholarships China and Indonesia

This year, in partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, the University of Glasgow is offering scholarships to students in China and Indonesia applying for postgraduate courses in Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Chemistry and Geography and Social Sciences (excluding business management and related).

Postgraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards Postgraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is £2,000 and they are for students undertaking a one or two year Taught Masters programme, in any of the University’s Colleges. For two year Taught Masters programmes, the scholarship is available in year one only. 

University of Glasgow African Excellence Fee Waiver

For September 2020 entry we are offering 8 scholarships worth the full tuition fee of a one year Masters programme to academically excellent students from Africa. 

Banco de Mexico

The Mexican National Bank (Banco de Mexico) provides special loans for students who wish to undertake a programme of postgraduate study. The University of Glasgow in partnership with Bank of Mexico FIDERH is offering a fee discount to holders of a Bank of Mexico FIDERH loan. See the FIDERH website for further information.

Sir Fitzroy Maclean Postgraduate Scholarship

The University of Glasgow is pleased to award a Sir Fitzroy Maclean Postgraduate scholarship available to new students, from one of the eligible countries, for September 2020 entry.

Sir Fitzroy Maclean was a Scottish soldier, author and politician. Awarded an Honorary degree of DLitt from the University in 1969, Sir Fitzroy Maclean had a long relationship with the University before he died in 1996. This scholarship was established with respect to Sir Fitzroy’s interests and passions.

The Scholarship will be awarded as a tuition fee discount and stipend.

Chevening Scholarship

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government's global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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.

University of Glasgow International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 40 International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

PGT Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 28 PGT Excellence Awards available to UK and EU Students. Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University’s colleges and are awarded as a tuition fee discount.

Colfuturo Fundacion para el Futuro de Colombia

The University of Glasgow offer discounts to all successful Fundacion para el Futuro de Colombia (Colfuturo) scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

Commonwealth Scholarship schemes

Commonwealth Scholarships are available each year to fund Commonwealth citizens' study in the UK for undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. A range of scholarship schemes are available for citizens of Commonwealth countries other than the UK. Further information is available on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission's website.

Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans

Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans are EU-guaranteed loans with favourable pay-back terms. They’re designed to help prospective students finance their Master’s courses in an Erasmus+ Programme country while leaving as little of a lasting economic footprint as possible.

The scheme is designed to provide postgraduate students with the means to pay their tuition and living expenses – thereby allowing individuals to focus on their degree instead of managing their bank balance. The programme aims to be as inclusive as possible, working under the following guidelines:

  • No need for collateral from students or parents - ensuring equality of access
  • Favourable, better-than-market interest rates
  • Pay-back terms that allow graduates up to two years to find work before beginning repayment.

Please visit the Erasmus+ Master Degree Loans website for more information.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society are 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.

CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) / FUNED Agreement

CONACYT offers a non-refundable scholarship, a monthly stipend and medical insurance of an approximate total of $20,000 USD (in the case of the UK, no medical insurance grant is given since students are already covered by the National Health System) The University of Glasgow offer a 30% discount to all successful CONACyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

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

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 2020/21. 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. This discount can be awarded alongside other University scholarships.

CONICyT (La Comsion Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica de Chile)

The University of Glasgow offers a 25% discount to all successful CONICyT scholars who enrol at the University of Glasgow to complete a postgraduate programme.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re starting a master’s degree, you could get a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,609 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.

Examples of postgraduate master’s qualifications include:

  • MSc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • MPhil (Master of Philosophy)
  • MRes (Master of Research)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MLitt (Master of Letters)
  • MFA (Master of Fine Art)
  • MEd (Master of Education)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

If you plan to study for Master of Architecture (MArch) or an Integrated Master’s qualification, you should apply for undergraduate support

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 £5,500 towards their course. 

Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply to us for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500. 

Please see the Postgraduate funding guide.

For more information visit the SAAS website

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

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2020. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Residential Services section on the website.

We are also offering four scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.

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

Entry requirements

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 personal statement (200-300 words) outlining why you want to study this programme in particular and what you hope to get out of it. Please explicitly explain why you have chosen a programme with a focus on developing quantitative skills, such as statistical analyses, modelling and computer programming. 

Please also submit a copy of your CV.

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

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:

FAQs

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 using our enquiry form


 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

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, check Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 2020

Application deadlines for PG Taught programmes commencing September 2020 have been extended, where vacancies are available:

  • International applicants: 10 August 2020 (Exceptions apply for certain high demand programmes.)
  • UK/EU applicants: 31 August 2020

November 2020

Application deadlines for PG Taught programmes now commencing November 2020 have been extended, where vacancies are available:

  • International applicants: 28 September 2020 (Exceptions apply for certain high demand programmes.)
  • UK/EU applicants: 19 October 2020

January 2021

Application deadlines for PG Taught programmes now commencing January 2021 have been extended, where vacancies are available:

  • International applicants: 27 November 2020 (Exceptions apply for certain high demand programmes.)
  • UK/EU applicants: 15 December 2020
Apply now

More information about this programme