FdSc Ecology & Conservation

Set on a stunning 400-acre estate, yet in easy reach of the M4 and M25, BCA offers a wide range of on-campus habitats and ease of access to many more. Your studies will include study the relationships between organisms, their environment and each other in order to gain sound ecological and conservation knowledge, backed by practical skills and experience of hands-on conservation management.

On-campus conservation work

This 2-year FdSc programme also takes full advantage of BCA’s outstanding Animal Centre, which houses around 1,200 individual animals from more than 100 species, includes a British Wildlife section and is one of only a handful of educational establishments to be awarded a Zoo Licence accredited by the British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums (BIAZA).

Our experienced team will support you in gaining the skills, knowledge and qualities required to forge a career in ecology and conservation as the interdisciplinary nature of our programme allows you to not only gain academic knowledge but also practical skills in surveying, identification and data handling.

You will explore the principles of ex-situ conservation, animal health and animal behaviour, providing you with a broad skill set to take into the ecology and conservation profession or further study.

Awarding body: The Royal Agricultural University (Subject to Validation)


Available Course

  • Foundation Degree in Ecology & Conservation

    About the course

    The FdSc Conservation & Ecology is a two-year foundation degree course designed to prepare students for employment within industry or academic progression to Honours Degree and beyond. It encompasses a range of modules which develop the knowledge and practical and academic skills required to pursue careers associated with Conservation & Ecology.

    The course has been carefully developed to allow students to gain first-hand experience of diverse habitat types, thus acquiring a broad range of knowledge and techniques for surveying, identification and data handling. Theoretical learning is applied in a practical setting, maximising student learning potential and experience.

    Our students find this approach improves recall and inspires further reading and understanding, plus it meets the requirements of employers and other HE providers who are increasingly seeking students with both theoretical knowledge and practical ability.

    Students will be equipped for progression into careers such as field ecologist, research assistant, community engagement, ranger, database officer or other positions within ecological consultancies, advisory bodies and conservation organisations.

    Further information on potential careers is given throughout the course, and industry visits and work experience placements are aimed at widening the network of potential employers students encounter within their duration of study at BCA.

    UCAS Course code


    Awarding Body

    Royal Agricultural University

    Teaching and Assessment

    Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, visits to – and speakers from – industry, practical sessions and individual tutorials. Assessment methods vary from module to module and include reports, assignments, essays, presentations, exams, research  and a portfolio of evidence.

    Course content

    Core Modules

    Year 1 (Level 4):

    • Animal Behaviour (30 credits)
    • Applied Anatomy & Physiology (30 credits)
    • Citizen Science (15 credits)
    • Ecology (30 credits)
    • Management of Animal Collections (15 credits)

    Year 2 (Level 5):

    • Animal Health & Nutrition (30 credits)
    • Applied Statistics (15 credits)
    • Identification Skills (30 credits)
    • Practical Conservation (15 credits)
    • Workplace Experience (15 credits)

    Plus one elective module from:

    • Field Trip (15 credits)
    • Breeding & Genetics (15 credits)

    Academic Progression Opportunities

    Students who achieve the FdSc in Conservation & Ecology will be eligible to apply for top-up courses, usually a further year of full-time study, to achieve a full undergraduate degree.

    Course fees and other costs

    Fees due for payment on enrolment are:

    • Course fee: £6,000 per year of study
    • Facilities fee: currently £95 per year of study (reviewed annually)

    Successful applicants will be required to purchase appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to include overalls, boots and a BCA polo shirt and overalls. A minimum budget of £100 should be set aside for this.

    A recommended reading list will be provided.

    Is an interview required?


    Is fee remission available?


    How do I apply?

    Apply online through UCAS: www.ucas.com with course code C297

    Entry Requirements

    Five GCSEs at A*– C (including English, Mathematics and Science). PLUS 2 A Levels in relevant subjects or 4 AS levels in relevant subjects OR BTEC/C&G Level 3 Extended Diploma in a related subject, with grades MMM.

    Course Duration

    2 Years