BSc (Hons) Zoological Management & Conservation (Level 6)

Course Description

This course will further develop your knowledge and experience of zoological conservation and management and its communication to others, learning about the role of zoos in conservation, Species Specialist Groups and campaign management. Taxa specific modules will provide you with extensive knowledge of managing species for conservation.Your programme is currently based in the Conservation Education Centre at Bristol Zoo.

Collaborative by nature

SGS work in collaboration with Bristol Zoological Society's Conservation Science and Education Departments. You will learn from staff working actively within the field, involved in conservation activities in 15 countries around the world where they work with local communities, organisations and international academics. These experiences support and enhance the day to day delivery of the programme module content. It also offers you potential opportunities for research and other collaboration.You will focus on: communication and interpretation design (you will create, develop and implement a campaign event), and the role of zoos in species management for conservation (you will learn interactively about species-specific knowledge in managing breeding, social grouping and release programmes for conservation).You will learn through a variety of lectures, workshops, tutorials, field site visits and study trips.

You will also experience talks by visiting lecturers, Bristol Zoo staff and have the opportunity to join one of the end-of-year residential study trips.Your assessments will cover the key skills learned, through a written exam, academic essays and reports, presentations (in groups and individually), literature reviews, a research project and participating in face to face Q&As.It is an exciting time to study with us as you will experience first-hand the transition of Bristol Zoo Gardens to the new Bristol Zoo (currently Wild Place Project), and have a great opportunity to learn how a new zoo can develop.

The future of Bristol Zoo: An opportunity like no other

The closure of the original Bristol Zoo Gardens is a once in a lifetime and rather limited opportunity, you will witness first hand the closing down and dismantling of a long-established, historic site, and the development and transformation of a new Zoo. You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out our usual observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Wild Place Project, so your experiences will not only be uninterrupted but will be significantly enhanced by this unique opportunity.

Although closed to the public, Bristol Zoo Gardens remains operational and open to our students (with lots happening behind the scenes). Bristol Zoo Gardens will continue to be the home campus for this course alongside lectures at the University Centre WISE campus in North Bristol. You will also benefit from lectures and observation at the Wild Place Project, observing it's redevelopment to become the 'New Bristol Zoo'

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Study Modules
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Communication in Zoological Collections

This module aims to allow you to develop and demonstrate practical communication skills, and understand how these skills should be applied in zoological collections. Many communication channels are available, and there are varied reasons for using them: promotion, information dissemination, or encouraging wildlife-friendly outcomes. You will learn to critically analyse a variety of on-site communications (interpretation panels, talks, shows, etc), marketing methods (the use of websites, social media, print media, etc), and will briefly explore the more complex field of using communication as a campaigning tool. In all areas covered you will receive ongoing feedback to support the development of your own presentation. The module will address the theoretical underpinning of various communication techniques, the practical skills in planning, creating and delivering appropriate materials to a range of audiences and the methods for evaluating the success of such ventures.</p>

100% Coursework: individual, presentation

The Role of Animal Collections in Conservation

This module aims to develop your knowledge of the various ways in which organisations holding animal collections are involved in field conservation projects. It will examine current conservation issues and the efforts and impacts that such organisations can demonstrate in the conservation arena, including but not limited to; understanding conservation prioritisation, assessing reintroduction sites, integrating in situ and ex situ conservation measures, working with stakeholders and developing species management and conservation action plans. The key focus of the module is to develop a core knowledge base surrounding the in situ conservation activities of organisations that hold animal collections.

Coursework: individual, presentation 50%

Coursework: Exam 50%

Management of Mammals for Conservation

Throughout this module you will develop enhanced knowledge of the role mammal collection staff play in supporting in situ conservation and you will examine the step-by-step process of conservation translocations, via reintroduction and restocking, for a variety of mammal species. You will focus specifically on the behavioural ecology of mammals and the, often complex, social structures that heavily influence the translocation process. Opportunities to access live data via the Species 360 database will also provide extensive knowledge of the species studied and enhance your understanding of practical population management. Visits to field sites, collections and interaction with industry specialists, will enable you to learn the process of training and preparing animals for release, including soft and hard release methods and techniques for post-release monitoring.Capture, mark and handling techniques will be critically assessed through research literature and first-hand experience of field specialists. You will also review the role rescue and rehabilitation centres play in supporting wild populations and develop an enhanced understanding of the protocols and management techniques implemented, in order to successfully rehabilitate and return mammals to the wild. Real-world case studies will be utilised throughout to allow opportunities for you to problem-solve and critically review active projects.

Coursework: 100%

Management of Birds for Conservation

This module aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of the techniques and processes performed by ex situ bird collection staff that play a role in either in situ conservation translocations or rescue and rehabilitation activities. Focus will be given to the rearing methods for young birds that have been bred for release and specific attention will be paid to bird behavioural ecology and its impact on the rearing and release techniques implemented. Industry specific databases will be accessed in order to enhance knowledge of population management. Visits to field sites and interaction with subject specialists will provide opportunities to assess and learn from active projects. You will develop knowledge and skills in the release methods utilised to support reintroductions and learn how to effectively monitor, post release, in order to assess the transition from captivity to the wild. Visits to rescue and rehabilitation centres will demonstrate techniques for managing and releasing wild-caught birds, as well as introduce husbandry techniques for injured animals. A portfolio-based assessment will provide you with an opportunity to reflect upon these practices and review their effectiveness.

Coursework: 100%

Management of Ectotherms for Conservation

This module aims to provide you with advanced knowledge of ex situ conservation practices for ectothermic animals. You will be introduced to practical and theoretical topics on methods of rearing and preparing young for release and taxon-specific supportive measures implemented post release. You will learn to utilise Species 360 in order to access species-specific data providing you with comprehensive knowledge of the behaviour and management of captive populations. The role of wildlife rescue centres in rehabilitation, release and supporting wild populations will also be studied. You will learn the techniques for capture, handling, marking and post-release monitoring and critically evaluate their effectiveness in practice. A wide range of terrestrial, marine and freshwater species will be covered and you will be assessed through a write up of an in-depth critique of a conservation case study. A range of formative in class activities will prepare you for this assessment.

Coursework: 100%

Research Project

The research project gives you an opportunity to conduct an original project on a relevant zoological/ conservation topic, in considerable depth. The focus will be negotiated in your area of interest but could take the form of a traditional dissertation, literature review or a reflective report (e.g., to accompany campaign materials or interpretation signs). Key is that it will enable you to demonstrate critical thinking, as well as proficiency in important skills such as initiative, effective communication, problem solving and time management. Improvement of these skills will be supported by sessions on key elements of project development. This module is undertaken on a relatively self-directed basis with supervisory meetings with an appropriate specialist.

Coursework: Individual, presentation 25%

Coursework: Individual, dissertation/major project (6000 words or equivalent) 75%

Course Video
Deborah Berry
Programme Lead for BSc Zoological Management and Conservation
*Programme subject to validation by the University of Gloucestershire
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Top-up Degree
Full-time Duration:
1 Year
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
2 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

For direct entry onto a Level 6 (Top Up) course, you will need to have achieved a level 5 qualification e.g. HND, Level 5 Diploma or Foundation Degree in a related subject.

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Course info last updated:
December 5, 2022
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