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BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day

Introduction to our Ecology and Conservation degree

Studying Ecology and Conservation at ARU

Passionate about protecting our planet? Explore diverse ecosystems in our labs in Cambridge – a world-renowned centre for wildlife conservation – and on international field trips.

Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023 logo

Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Ecology and Conservation at ARU?

  • Study in Cambridge – a hub of expertise and wildlife institutions' headquarters, and home to our £45m Science Centre.
  • Get hands-on using world-class equipment in our 200-seat SuperLab, as well as on residential field trips and day trips around the UK, with the added opportunity to study ecology in the tropics.
  • Study on a course developed in line with industry standards, with accreditation from the Royal Society of Biology and the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM).
  • Engage in innovative ‘Live Briefs’, designed, developed, and run with local employers such as the Wildlife Trust and Cambridge City Council, giving you exposure to ‘real life’ problem-solving.
  • Gain valuable employment experience by applying for internships supporting research, or opt for our placement year with a range of exciting employers.

Our planet needs protecting. Gain a deep understanding of the concerns surrounding different environments and the specialist skills to tackle them on our Ecology and Conservation degree in Cambridge.

As a conservation student at ARU, you’ll go on field trips in the UK and overseas, including opportunities to go to Europe and the tropics.

As a graduate with practical, hands-on experience, you’ll be equipped to work in ecology or conservation with governments, environment agencies and research establishments.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry Requirements


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Fees and Paying for University


Outstanding facilities and opportunities

As a student at ARU, you’ll be able to take advantage of:

  • state-of-the-art laboratory facilities including a 200-station biosciences laboratory in our Science Centre
  • the chance to gain experience and build your employability skills on an optional placement year
  • award-winning IT and library facilities.

Take a guided tour and meet our students

Field trips

Field trips are a central part of our Animal Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation, and Zoology degrees. You'll have the chance to learn more about tropical ecology and conservation, Dutch zoo design, and wildlife in the UK and further afield. As well as offering unforgettable experiences, field trips provide essential practical experience.


Royal Society of Biology

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, our degree course offers an integrated, scientific approach with hands-on experiences.

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

Our Ecology and Conservation course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and internationally.


Helping to protect our planet’s habitats and wildlife is fascinating and rewarding work. When you graduate, you’ll have built a deep understanding of issues relating to marine biology, backed up by your own practical experiences on a variety of field trips.

As a graduate, you’ll have the specialist skills you need to work in your chosen area of ecology or conservation. You could apply for work in the UK or internationally, for employers such as governments, environment agencies, education institutions and research establishments.

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023), and ranked third in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates that agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Our students have gone to work as:

  • Zookeeper
  • Pet Claims Assessor
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Sustainability Advisor
  • Trainee Field Archaeologist
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Marine Field Scientist
  • Flood Recovery Officer

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a range of postgraduate courses including MSc Animal Behaviour: Applications for Conservation and MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.


"I realised through my time at ARU how often opportunities arise. I grabbed everything I could to develop my CV, which has worked wonders as I now work at my dream job at Woburn Safari Park! I love being a keeper. It really does bring me so much joy."


BSc (Hons) Zoology graduate

Olivia's story

Emily Changoluisa-Zambrano

"Going on trips with knowledgeable people to places from the Island of Rum in Scotland to the Amazon in Peru made my time at university delightful and gave me the energy to continue on this path to protect our planet."

Emily Changoluisa-Zambrano

BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation student

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation

Life in Cambridge

Our friendly, bustling campus is a stone’s throw from the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore Cambridge

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements

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