What will I learn?

About the course

The MPhil in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management aims to provide a critical and conceptually sophisticated understanding of biodiversity science and the socio-economic, political, cultural and institutional contexts within which management and policy decisions are made.

The MPhil is a two year course. In the first year, you will undertake the coursework associated with the MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Management. The course content is rooted in our established strengths in conservation biogeography, governance and planning, in global change and in research design. The course design also responds to the rise of market-based conservation including engagements with enterprise and the transformative potential of new technologies.

The specific course objectives are to develop your abilities to.

  • critically engage with concepts and theory in biodiversity science and management from interdisciplinary perspectives
  • describe by whom and by what space and territory is designated and governed for conservation over time
  • critically assess the modes through which conservation builds and extends power and describe in detail the factors that explain the emergence and performance of different types of governance
  • appreciate the role of ethics, values and societal norms in producing culturally attuned and effective conservation interventions
  • evaluate the implications of emergent technologies for the future of biodiversity science and management
  • link hypothesis, theory, methods, data and field work to identify and develop advanced research questions and design.

The objectives are delivered through nine core modules. conservation landscapes, conservation biogeography, conservation governance, ecosystems, species responses to climate change, conservation and society, economics of the environment, professional research practice and research methods. Teaching for the core modules takes place through lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips and study days.


At the end of the first year you take the examinations associated with the MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management. The core modules are assessed by written examination, the two electives are each assessed through a 4,000-word essay.

You must pass the examinations taken at the end of the first year in order to proceed into the second year.

The research thesis is submitted at the end of the second year and accounts for half the marks for the degree. In addition, in the second year you will take a further elective course, assessed by a submitted essay.

Graduate destinations

The aim of the course is to train future leaders in biodiversity, conservation and natural resource management. Thus the course teaches conservation as a dynamic discipline integral to all the major areas of human concern - social and environmental governance, political economy, spatial planning, agriculture, population growth, livelihoods, human and institutional capacity, investment and markets, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.

Past graduates have gone on to obtain positions in a range of leading conservation and academic organisations and enterprises. Examples include policy positions in government departments, such as the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), management positions in global conservation NGOs, such as Conservation International and WWF, technical positions in sustainability consultancies, and expert roles in international bodies such as IUCN. A significant number of students also use the course as a gateway to start DPhil (PhD) research.

Which department am I in?

University of Oxford

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
£25,900.00 (US$ 35,648) per year
Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually.

This is a fixed fee
Start date

Expected October 2021


University of Oxford

University Offices,

Wellington Square,



OX1 2JD, England

Entry requirements

For international students

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications. a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any discipline. For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0. Applicants need to have an IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 per component; TOEFL iBT score of 110 with a minimum component score of 22 in listening, 24 in reading, 24 in writing and 25 in speaking.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.