MSc Zoo Conservation Biology

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MSc Zoo
Conservation Biology
Duration: one year full time

Successful management of animal
collections for the purpose of education,
conservation, and wildlife research
depends upon professionals who possess a
wide range of scientific knowledge and
technical skills. Breeding programmes for        WHY STUDY ZOO CONSERVATION
endangered species are international in          BIOLOGY?
scope, so conservation biologists must be
able to deal with problems not only at the       Employees in zoos and wildlife               This programme offers an opportunity to
level of a social group within a particular      conservation organisations are now           science graduates and experienced zoo
zoological collection but also at the level of   required to have a deep understanding        staff to develop the specific scientific
a species globally.                              of the needs of animals in terms of          understanding and technical skills
                                                 behaviour, ecology, welfare, housing,        required to build careers in zoos and
This programme provides an opportunity           nutrition and health.                        wildlife conservation.
to specialise in a vital area of wildlife
conservation. Students will develop the
necessary knowledge and skills to be able
to manage zoological collections
effectively, ensuring that the needs of the      PROGRAMME LEADER
animals and the species that they                AND TEAM
represent are understood and satisfied.
                                                 • Dr John Eddison is Programme Leader.         between conservation and animal
The university has an excellent reputation         Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethology, he      behaviour. Her main research interests
for teaching provision with a flourishing          has interests in the behaviour and           are communication and mate choice,
multinational research community.                  welfare of captive animals as well as        and the welfare of captive birds.
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has an             the ethical issues of animal                 Dr Amy Plowman (Head of Field
international reputation, and is involved in       management.                                  Conservation and Research, WWCT)
research projects based at both the zoo                                                         leads the department that is
itself and also in Zimbabwe, Kenya and           • Dr Vicky Melfi is Senior Research            responsible for zoo-based research
Nigeria. The formal link between the               Officer at the Whitley Wildlife              and in situ conservation projects
University of Plymouth and Paignton Zoo            Conservation Trust (WWCT, which              around the world. Her main research
provides an exciting environment in which          includes Paignton Zoo Environmental          interests are in the conservation
students can develop as conservation               Park). She has worked in zoos for more       ecology of duikers and nutrition of zoo
biologists.                                        than 15 years, specialising in the study     animals. Dr David Price, Lecturer in
                                                   and improvement of animal welfare            Genetics, is interested in the
                                                   through the implementation of                application of population genetics to
                                                   environmental enrichment and                 both the management of captive and
                                                   husbandry training.                          natural populations from a
                                                                                                conservation perspective. He is
                                                 • Other core members of the team are           particularly interested in freshwater
                                                   Dr Sarah Collins, Lecturer in Animal         fish endemic to Mexico where he has
                                                   Behaviour and Welfare. She is                lectured on fish husbandry and
                                                   particularly interested in the interface     conservation.
KEY                                             CAREER         ENTRY
FEATURES                                        OPPORTUNITIES/ REQUIREMENTS
• Joint development between the                 AFTER YOUR     A good honours degree or equivalent
  University of Plymouth and Paignton Zoo       MASTERS DEGREE in a relevant discipline. Candidates
  Environmental Park                                                                                 with experience in a relevant area are
                                                Employees in zoos and wildlife
  (                                                                          also invited to apply. Candidates for
                                                conservation organisations are now
• Opportunities for both science graduates      required to have a deep understanding                whom English is not their first
  and experienced zoo staff.                    of the needs of animals in terms of                  language are expected to
• Provides a sound basis for career             behaviour, ecology, welfare, housing,                demonstrate proficiency.
  development in zoos and wildlife              nutrition and health.
  conservation.                                 This MSc programme offers a range of
                                                relevant experiences that will enable
                                                you to progress to careers in a variety
                                                of areas, including a conservation
                                                biologist, zoo curator or zoo research
The programme comprises a taught                    ME CONT                           a nd
section lasting from October to May          PROGRAM        also
                                                                           e research
                                                                 develop th ills that are
                                                                      ation sk                                                            ou for
(worth 120 masters level credits).
                                                            LES                                  communic                    prepare y
Students who successfully complete the       C ORE MODU                 ION  : The               ne e de d   in order to .
                                                          ONSERVAT s of animal                                  arch proje
taught modules go on to undertake a          ANIMAL C            problem                          your rese
three month research project (worth 60        princi ples and             mined     from
                                                            on are exa                                               ANAGEME
                                                                                                                                  NT: A
masters level credits). Students who          conservati               ives, inclu
                                                                                                      USINESS M ach to business
                                                           perspect                                 B
satisfactorily complete the 120 taught         different             al conserv
                                                                                                    practical a
                                                                                                                   ppro                 llowed,
                                                        cs, practic                                                         zoos is fo
credits but chose not to undertake a           geneti                      iques.                    mana   gement in
                                                              and techn                                            case stud
                                                                                                                                ies in
project are awarded a PgDip. Students           strategies                                           including                            ing, and
                                                                                    UR AN    D                     g, busin  ess plann
who satisfactorily complete the 120                                        HAVIO                      budgetin
                                                               NIMAL BE                      l
taught credits and the 60 research project       APPLIED A T: Aspects of anima                        staff issu
credits are awarded the MSc. Each module         MANAGEM                    u died that                                            undertake e
                                                               ent are st                                              ates also
in the programme is assessed                     managem                    tionships                    Sc candid                        ct of thre
                                                                 the rela                      d       M
                                                                                                                     l research
independently by a combination of in-             encompass logical concepts an                        individua                          bmit a
                                                  betwee    n etho                 d train ing,                        urati on and su
programme assessments and tests. Most
                                                                s, le arning an                         months' d
modules also have a summative end of               technique          ental enri
                                                                                   chment.              dissertati
                                                                                                                      o n.
module assessment. The project is                  and   environm
assessed by means of a written report.                                         M AND                                    ODULES
                                                                  ETABOLIS                     nd        OPTION M                O ZOO BIO
                                                    ANIMAL M                      ological a                       DUCTION T
                                                                   :T he physi                            INTRO                              y relevant
                                                    NUTRITION rinciples                                                        s of biolog oduced
                                                                  a lp                       n are         Basi  c principle                intr
                                                     biochemic                  al nutritio                                 rvation are
                                                                 ning anim                                 to  zoo conse
                                                     underpin                     provide a                              students
                                                                   in order to                 study for those                               but who
                                                      reviewed                    ch to the                                   experience                .
                                                                    ve  approa                  es.         profe   ssional                   education
                                                      comparati                   ge of speci                                   biological
                                                                     n in a ran                             lack   graduate            s aspe   cts of
                                                       of nutritio                                                         le include
                                                                                                  :          The mo du            ology, beh
                                                                     EALT   H AND                            geneti    cs, physi
                                                        ANIMAL H                           al health
                                                                           nts of anim uding                  and ecolo
                                                        The   requireme            died, in  cl
                                                                      re are stu
                                                         and welfa                    gnostic                                TION TO Z
                                                                       ve and dia                   cial       INTRODUC                         context
                                                         preventati                    cal and so                                   : The zoo
                                                                       d th  e physi                            ORGA    NISATION              experience
                                                          health, an                                                              hout z oo
                                                                       e nt.                                    for  those wit              g the  aims and
                                                          environm                                                            d, includin
                                                                                         ocuses on              introduce               zoos,
                                                                                       :F                                       odern
                                                           RESEARCH ys of thinking abou
                                                                                                        t        ethos of m zoo networks and
                                                                          w a                                     intern  ational
                                                           analytical          the resea
                                                                                            rch                                 ent.
                                                            pro blems and                    to be                 managem
                                                                         that are    likely
                                                            methods                              situ and
                                                                                   area of ex
                                                             releva  nt for the                 gy. You
                                                                                 ation biolo
                                                             in si tu conserv
          This programme aims to provide the essential knowledge to support scientists
           working in areas of captive breeding, management of exotic animal species,
                                    and wildlife conservation.

                    The programme is jointly delivered by staff of the university and
                                 Paignton Zoo Environmental Park.

    For further information contact:                                       The university is committed to
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    Drake Circus
    Plymouth                                                               Faculty of Science
    PL4 8AA                                                                Tel: +44 (0)1752 233093
    United Kingdom                                                         Email:

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This publication went to print in December 2007 – which may be more than one year before the start of your programme. Every effort has
been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. However, as our programme and services are regularly reviewed
and updated, some details may change.

                                 This publication is printed on 75% recycled
                                 materials with soya based dyes.