Ecology/Env Sci/Wildlife Conservation+Watch
Hey, so I'm looking into uni courses relating to ecology, environmental science, wildlife conservation etc, but there are so many to choose from I don't even know where to start. Recently I've been looking at Bournemouth, Aberystwyth, Reading, Sussex and a few others universities for these types of courses. Any good/bad things about any of these courses or universities that can help at all? X
Bournemouth’s Ecology and Wildlife Conservation course looks really fun and interesting with lots of opportunities for work/study abroad for trips and fieldwork (which personally is exactly what i was looking for). They have a great natural environment and surroundings for ecology and environment science courses like the New Forest, Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast etc. and some really enthusiastic staff I’ve talked to at the virtual open day. However their Life & Environmental Sciences Dept. is really small (only 5 courses) in comparison to its other departments and those of other universities (like reading or exeter). In a way this makes you doubt whether it’s the best place for the best possible education in this area, especially since it’s not as well known a university and not very prestigious (not a Russel group etc.). Bournemouth has a strong emphasis on work experience, careers and placements, so if you’d prefer a more hands-on practical approach, out there in the real world of conservation and ecology then it might be the choice for you! They have some incredible trips and placement opportunities! (There is also a similar Masters course for this degree)
Exeter is the other main uni I’ve been looking at, and it’s much bigger, a LOT more well known globally and part of the Russel group. Of course this isn’t the main point when choosing a uni but it definitely helps, especially in the future and when you think about all the opportunities they could provide (after all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know). They have an enormous Biosciences dept. with separate courses on ecology, ecology and conservation, wildlife management etc. as well as separate dept. for environmental science, geography and more! It’s a much wider range and they have some world-ranking staff and research projects, as well as amazing facilities. Like Bournemouth it has some amazing natural surroundings based in Devon & Cornwall, and a lot of links with local wildlife & conservation organisations/institutions. However, it looks like more of their fieldwork and placements take place in the Uk and not as much abroad as Bournemouth. Exeter is definitely more academic and if you want a guaranteed world class education in this field it’s a great choice (though naturally their entry grades are higher than Bournemouth’s)
Overall I would say Bournemouth as a university has less emphasis on Life Sciences whereas Exeter has a very advanced and passionate department of Ecology & conservation that would give an impressive start to your future. However, Bournemouth generally seems a lot more fun and inviting for undergraduates and seems to give more opportunity for practical experience, whereas Exeter can seem a bit... ‘boring’ in the sense that it’s more study based, but it’s definitely still an exciting university! You could always do an honours at Bournemouth and go for a Masters at somewhere more impressive, like Exeter or wherever you’re thinking of going.
Sorry I can’t give much on other unis but hope this helps! good luck! x
I am a current student here at Aberystwyth student and I am really enjoying studying here.
Aberystwyth is a beautiful area and a great place to study the courses you are interested in as we are set in Cardigan Bay and surrounded by a range of habitats including marine, moorland, mountain and grassland, making for some great fieldwork opportunities!
BSc Ecology, BSc Environmental Sciences and BSc Wildlife conservation here at Aberystwyth. All the courses are taught via a mixture of tutorials, case studies, laboratory practicals and fieldwork for research purposes.
Aberystwyth is Top 10 in the UK for the subject of Geography & Environmental Science (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019) and in Top 15 in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Experience for the subject of Biological Sciences (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019).
Please let me know if you have any further questions, I am more than happy to help 😊