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Use this search only if you have an exact code for a Program, Plan, or Course, e.g. 3400, ACCTA13502, ACCT1501 or ACCT*.
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Conservation Biology - 8745

Program Summary

Contact: School of BEES
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Typical Duration: 1 Years
Typical UOC Per Semester: 24
Min UOC Per Semester: 6
Max UOC Per Semester: 24
Min UOC For Award: 48
Master of Conservation Biology

Program Description

This professional Masters programme offers a unique programme of study. Conservation biology is rapidly becoming an area of key importance, particularly as the impacts of climate change become known. Human impacts, loss of biodiversity and a growing awareness of environmental change link the fields of conservation, ecology and biodiversity. The Master of Conservation Biology (MConBio) is designed both for international students and for New Zealand and Australian students who wish to gain a broad understanding of conservation biology. It is an ideal qualification for those seeking employment in a wide range of government, conservation and resource management agencies worldwide. It also prepares students for graduate research studies.

The programme is offered jointly by Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand’s capital city and The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and draws on scientific expertise from Australia and New Zealand. Together, the two countries have an extensive range of terrestrial and marine environments that enable a comprehensive study of the important issues in conservation. Examples of best conservation practice being applied differently in these two countries, known internationally for their contributions to conservation, make informative case studies.

Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The program explores the processes of conservation biology and looks at practical problems and solutions in examples from Australia and New Zealand. Skills in experimental design, collection and analysis of data and presentation of research results will be gained by students in conservation, ecology and biodiversity. Students completing the course will be well equipped to make a valuable contribution to the conservation of the natural environment of their home or chosen country.

The University of NSW component of the program aims to:
  1. provide postgraduate students with an understanding of conservation across a diversity of systems (terrestrial, marine and freshwater);
  2. develop skills in postgraduate students in both scholarly inquiry, and the critique of science and management;
  3. develop analytical skills so students can more effectively understand ecological research, and draw on this research to achieve conservation outcomes in the real world; and
  4. develop students overall ability to communicate through a range of media.

Program Structure

The MConBio program consists of two separate five-month study blocks, taken at each university. The degree can be completed in a minimum of one calendar year, or extended to a maximum of two years if taken part time or with a gap between blocks. The New Zealand component is taught January-June and the Australian component July-December. Students may enter the program at the beginning of either period. The degree will be conferred by the university at which the student commenced the program.

At UNSW, students undertake two compulsory courses (12 units of credit) and electives (12 units of credit). These can be taken in any order, full-time or part-time. In the other half of the program, at Victoria University, students take an equivalent number of units.

Compulsory Courses

Elective Courses
OR any two of the following 6 units of credit courses:
1   For more information on these special topics programs please contact School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences
2   Enrolment in this course is subject to availability and approval by Head of Institute of Environmental Studies
3   IEST5001 is a prerequisite for this course

Academic Rules

The degree of Master of Conservation Biology by formal coursework may be awarded by the Council to a candidate who has satisfactorily completed a program of advanced study. The criteria for students enrolling in the program is as follows:

  1. A candidate for the degree shall:
      (a) have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor of four full-time years duration (or the part-time equivalent) from the University of New South Wales or a qualification considered equivalent from another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Postgraduate Coursework Education Committee of the Faculty (hereinafter referred to as the Committee), or
      (b)(i) have been awarded an appropriate degree of Bachelor of three full-time years duration (or the part-time equivalent) from the University of New South Wales or a qualification considered equivalent from another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Committee and
        (ii) have undertaken appropriate postgraduate studies of a full-time year's duration (or the part-time equivalent) at the University of New South Wales or studies considered equivalent from another university or tertiary institution at a level acceptable to the Committee.

  2. An applicant who submits evidence of such other academic or professional attainments as may be approved by the Committee may be permitted to enrol for the degree.

  3. If the Committee is not satisfied with the qualifications submitted by an applicant the Committee may require the applicant to undergo such assessment or carry out such work as the Committee may prescribe, before permitting enrolment.

Enrolment and Progression
  1. An application to enrol as a candidate for the degree shall be made on the prescribed form which shall be lodged with the Registrar at least two calendar months before the commencement of the session in which enrolment is to begin.
  2. A candidate for the degree shall be required to undertake such formal courses including the submission of a report on a project, and pass such assessment as prescribed. The project shall be under the supervision of an academic staff member and shall be assessed by two examiners (for a major project).
  3. The progress of a candidate shall be reviewed at least once a year by the Committee and as a result of its review the Committee may cancel enrolment or take such other action as it considers appropriate.
  4. No candidate shall be awarded the degree until the lapse of two academic sessions from the date of enrolment in the case of a full-time candidate and four sessions in the case of a part-time candidate. The maximum period of candidature shall be four academic sessions from the date of enrolment for a full-time candidate, eight sessions for a part-time candidate, and ten sessions for an external candidate. In special cases an extension of these times may be granted by the Committee.


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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.