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Who should apply, and why


Candidates from a range of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the MSc/MPhil in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (BCM) provided that they can demonstrate academic excellence and a passion for the social, economic and political challenges posed by contemporary environmental change.

Who should apply?

We accept candidates from a range of backgrounds: these include natural / environmental, science, physical science, economics, politics, law, humanities. The cross-disciplinary nature of the programme means that some aspects of the course will be more challenging than others. For example, someone with a law background will find the modules on 'Conservation Biogeography' quite challenging, but the 'International Environmental Frameworks and Policy' course will be fairly familiar, with perhaps some new perspectives on the role of conservation conventions in directing conservation practice.

The three key criteria for admission to the course are:

  1. academic excellence in your first or second degree;
  2. demonstrable motivation to work in the field of conservation; and
  3. proven ability to write and speak English to an acceptable standard.

To register for our course, you will be required to prove your written and spoken English language abilities. If you do not already have these qualifications, please see the University of Oxford's Graduate admission English language requirements for information on the minimum English scores accepted by the University.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.

You can find out more about the School of Geography and the Environment's equality, diversity and inclusion inititiaties on this website and more about the University of Oxford’s stance and policies on equality, diversity and inclusion on the University’s website.

Graduate destinations

BCM has graduated over 500 students since its' creation in 2003. Our network of alumni is active throughout the world: graduates of the programme are enjoying careers in research, policy, management and activism in the public, private and third sectors.

The aim of the course is to train future leaders, managers and policy makers 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 - judicial reform, political economy, religion, spatial planning, poverty alleviation, human and institutional capacity, agriculture, and population growth, 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. Examples include policy positions in government departments (e.g. UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), management positions in global conservation NGOs such as Conservation International and WWF, environmental and conservation consultancies, and international bodies such as IUCN. A significant number of students use the course as a gateway to start DPhil/PhD research and several past students are doing doctorates within the department.

Read some of our student reflections.

How to apply

For more information on making an application, please see the University's admissions website:

You should also consult the University's Application Guide for information on entry requirements and selection criteria.