Professional Doctorate in Biodiversity Management - MSc, PhD

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The research degree programme carries the generic title of Biodiversity Management, in order to allow a student to undertake any relevant research project that relates to conserving and managing biodiversity. With the varied research interests of the School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) and Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) staff, this continues to allow research on a wide variety of projects on different organisms or systems and in different habitats and countries. There are, therefore, specific research projects underway on species conservation, wildlife management, economics, wildlife trade, tourism and conservation, and the sustainable uses of biodiversity.

    SAC and DICE encourage research students to undertake original research to submit as a thesis on important topics related to conserving and managing biodiversity.

    Since it was founded in 1989, DICE has graduated over 110 research students and, as with all its other activities, the major characteristics of the research degree programme are its international and interdisciplinary focus.

    Because of the diversity and international nature of many field-orientated projects, the amount of time that individual research students spend at DICE varies. However local supervision is usually organised for those students spending considerable time overseas.

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    About The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

    The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) is the United Kingdom’s leading research centre dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation, and sets itself apart from more traditionally minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:

    • break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation
    • conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors
    • disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders
    • build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training
    • strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people.

    Our members have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

    Our taught Master’s programmes cover topics in conservation management, policy, ecotourism and sustainable natural resource use. The research degree programmes (MSc by Research and PhD) encourage you to undertake original, high-quality research, which culminates in the submission of a thesis.

    Research areas

    Our disciplinary breadth enables us to provide supervision on a wide range of topics across the full spectrum of conservation biology, biodiversity management and sustainable resource use.

    Recent or current projects cover topics such as:

    • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes in Human-Modified Tropical Forests, Sabah, Malaysia
    • Environmental Spaces and the Feel-Good Factor: Relating Subjective Wellbeing to Biodiversity
    • Evolution of Protected Area Systems with Regard to Climate Change in West Africa
    • Implementing CITES in Madagascar
    • Invasion dynamics of parrots and risks to agriculture and society
    • Reconnecting poverty-alleviation to biodiversity conservation in Kenya's Eastern Arc Mountains
    • Securing the conservation of biodiversity across administrative levels and spatial, temporal, and ecological Scales in Europe
    • Socio-ecological landscapes for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation, Western Ghats, India
    • Status of chimpanzees and their use of the oil palm in degraded landscapes using drone and camera trapping technology, Sierra Leone
    • The role of supplemental feeding and disease in Mauritius parakeets
    • Tolerating tigers in Indonesia: do local beliefs offset human-carnivore conflicts?
    • Valuing Nature Programme


    DICE programmes combine academic theory with practical field experience to develop graduates who are highly employable within government, NGOs and the private sector.

    Our alumni progress on to a wide range of organisations across the world, undertaking work that utilises the knowledge and skills they have developed through their studies. Examples of the work our graduates do and the organisations they are employed by include: consultancy for a Darwin Initiative project in West Sumatra; Wildlife Management Officer in Kenya; Chief of the Biodiversity Unit, United Nations Environment Programme; Research and Analysis Programme Leader for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network; Freshwater Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Head of the Ecosystem Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC); Community-Based Natural Resource Manager, WWF; Leader of the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative; Managing Partner at Althelia Climate Fund; Wildlife Officer at Heritage Council, Ireland; and Programme Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

    Find out how to apply here -

    Visit the Biodiversity Management - MSc, PhD page on the University of Kent website for more details!

    (Student Profile)

    Leonie Lawrence

    After finishing my MSc, I joined Global Canopy Programme, initially working on international climate and forest policy before moving on to researching the supply chains driving tropical deforestation. Since then, I have expanded my work in this area, focusing on palm oil and sustainable investment in my previous role at ZSL, and recently joining WCS as Regional Technical Adviser on forest rich commodities. I am currently based in Indonesia working to reduce the impacts of agriculture and its related supply chains, including those of coffee and copra, on protected areas. DICE was invaluable in teaching me about the complexities of conservation, the challenges we face and the range of skills needed for effective interdisciplinary conservation. I loved my time at DICE and now being part of the wide-reaching network of DICE alumni.


    Santander Scholarships - CLOSED - No. of awards TBC

    Santander is offering scholarships of £5,000 each to support students from Iberian and Latin American countries studying for a full-time taught or research Master’s degree at the University of Kent. The Scholarships:
    •are for the forthcoming academic year only (2014-15), the start date cannot be deferred;
    •are for one year only (12 months full-time);
    •may be used at any of the University of Kent’s locations – Canterbury, Medway, Brussels, Paris, or Athens.CriteriaThe awards are not available to students that already have, or are already studying for, a Master’s degree. Candidates must:
    • be a national of one of the 11 countries of the Iberian and Latin American Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela;
    • have graduated or be studying at one of partner universities within the Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil , Chile, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, Uruguay;
    • be resident in one of the countries within the Santander Scheme.
    • have been offered a place to study a full-time Master’s degree at Kent;
    • have achieved a First or a 2:1 or equivalent at undergraduate level.
    • In addition to excellent academic achievement, demonstrate excellence in an area of their life; this may include: ◦extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music, managing events or societies;
    ◦significant achievement gained either in their working life or through volunteering and service to others.

    Value of Scholarship(s)



    See scheme details for eligibility critera.

    Application Procedure

    For application details please visit the website

    Further Information


    Restoring a Kentish icon: feasibility of reintroducing the Chough to Kent - CLOSED - Single Award

    he science of reintroducing species back into the wild has evolved into a distinct branch of conservation science. The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology has been working at the forefront of species conservation and reintroduction biology with partners around the world for over two decades. An opportunity has now arisen to apply this experience and expertise locally, with an analysis of the feasibility of bringing back the iconic Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) to Kent. The Chough population has become highly fragmented with several isolated populations around the coast of Britain. The Chough was once more widespread and formerly occurred as far east as Kent where it became extinct c. 160 years ago. However, it still lives on in the Coat of Arms of Canterbury City and the University of Kent, and potential habitat remains in Kent, with large areas of nature reserves and farmland across the Dover area. This project builds on the experience of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust who led the Chough reintroduction to Jersey through the Birds on the Edge project. The project will also partner with Operation Chough, based at Paradise Park in Cornwall, who have led the ex situ components of the reintroduction programme; and Wildwood Trust in Kent, a leading centre for the conservation and rewilding of British Wildlife.

    Value of Scholarship(s)

    £14,296 (2016/17 rate) plus tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. This scholarship is administered unde


    Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree and a good MSc in a relevant subject. Graduates who can demonstrate equivalent relevant experience to MSc level through professional work, research and publications may also be considered.

    Application Procedure

    Applications should comprise of a covering letter (1 page) and CV (2 pages max including the names and contact details of two referees) and should be sent to Dr Bob Smith ([email protected]) by midnight on May 8th 2017.

    Application deadline: midnight on May 8th 2017
    Interview: May 18th 2017
    Start date: 18th September 2017
    Programme: PhD
    Mode of Study: Full time
    Studentship Length: 3 years

    Further Information

    Entry Requirements

    A good second class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject for MSc by Research. Usually a Master’s degree in a relevant subject and/or an excellent first degree with relevant experience for PhD. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website

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