BSc (Hons) Wildlife and Countryside Management (Top-up)




Royal Agricultural University Campus


1 year full time (or 2 years part time)

Academic Year

30 September 2024 to 30 May 2025

Interested in roles such as a Biodiversity Officer, Ecological Consultant, or Countryside Manager? These are just some of the routes open to you after this course, designed with organisations directly involved in conservation.

Graduates have gone on to work at nationally-recognised organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.

Course overview

Understanding both the big picture, along with the detail will help you become an effective manager of wildlife and the countryside, covering issues from climate change, ecosystem services to protected species surveys. This course brings together academic knowledge and research skills to inform sustainable management of wildlife and the countryside.

Industry experience

A key part of your studies will be the research project where you showcase your specialist knowledge and research skills. Previous topics have spanned a wide choice of habitats, species and countryside issues. Your learning will be directed by research-active lecturers and industry experts. The course has been designed with input from employers to maximise your employability prospects and career development after graduation.

Course content

You will study three core modules and complete a Research Project. You will also choose two elective modules, tailoring your degree to your interests.

You will learn through lectures, seminars, projects, visits and demonstrations. Modules are mainly assessed through coursework with occasional timed assessment for some subject matter. Where possible, coursework reflects the expectations of industry and can therefore include things like professional practice reports, case study evaluations, grant applications, oral presentations, team activities, alongside the more traditional academic literature reviews and essays, academic posters etc. A key element of the top-up degree is the Honours Dissertation in which the You will propose a research idea, develop a hypothesis and experimental design, before generating new information, helping to progress your wider knowledge and understanding.    


Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and societies activities.


All full-time academic programmes at the RAU are constructed using a selection of modules, each of which requires engagement with a variety of learning activities. Successful completion of module assessments will result in the award of credits, and students are required to achieve a total of 120 credits. Part-time students are required to achieve a 60 credits per year over two years.

Each module represents a value of 15 credits or multiples thereof. Each 15-credit module represents a minimum of 150 hours of student learning, effort and assessment. To achieve the award of BSc Honours in Wildlife and Countryside Management, a student must achieve a minimum of 120 credits. For this BSc (Hons) Top Up course, your grade is calculated entirely on this course's modules.  

The modules available for this degree are shown below. They may change for your year of study as we regularly review our module offerings to ensure they’re informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Core modules

  • 3098 Countryside & Environmental Management: Review and evaluate the scale and rates of change in the countryside/land management sector
  • 3223 Ecological Consultancy: Evaluate the roles and responsibilities of an ‘ecological consultant’ in relation to professional and regulatory frameworks and expectations
  • 3300 Research Project / Dissertation: Develop a detailed research proposal that presents a well-developed research aim supported by clear research objectives
  • 3333 Wildlife Behaviour & Evolution: Understand the basic principles of animal evolution

Plus two electives selected from the following:

  • 3080 Heritage Property: Understand the key concepts behind heritage decisions including statements of significance and conservation management planning
  • 3090 Forestry and Woodland Management: Explore the significance of forestry in climate mitigation, timber production and farm diversification
  • 3329 Climate Chance and Natural Resource Challenges: Understand the impact that climate change has on natural resources like water, soil and biodiversity internationally
  • 3330 Technology and Agroecological Innovations: Explore the role of technology, innovation and agroecology in addressing sustainability challenges on farms and throughout the supply chain
  • 3332 Specialist Study (Shell module): Undertake a self-directed study within the chosen specialist area
  • 3337 Sustainable Farm Management: Create a farm system in accordance with a specific agricultural approach

If you’ve already secured employment, you may elect to follow the Improving Personal Professional Practice module thus reducing the time required to attend campus-based modules.

The availability of electives to individual students will be dependent on timetabling considerations and on sufficient students electing to take part.

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

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Careers and graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers with nationally-recognised organisations and in roles such as:
  • Conservation / biodiversity officer
  • Ecological consultant / surveyor
  • Reserve ranger
  • Agri-environment manager
  • Habitat and landscape project officer
  • Land restoration manager

"The RAU was perfect for me. I was able to take modules which were directly related to my current work as an Ecologist."

Martin Smith, Graduate

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Entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A foundation degree or an HND award in a related subject, achieving 240 credits overall and gained in the last five years
  • GCSE: no specific English and Mathematics requirements

Flexible entry

The University welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. A wide range of qualifications and experience are accepted in order to join University degree programmes. The University always considers evidence of personal, professional (APL) and educational experience, (APEL), which show an ability to meet the demands of their intended programme of study.

Further information

Read more general information about our entry requirements.

International students will also need to achieve IELTS Academic or equivalent at the appropriate level for your programme of study. English language requirements for international students.

For any further help, please contact our admissions team:  

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Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing modules, re-sit fees or coursework resubmission). Any costs associated with work placements will be the student's responsibility. 

2024-25 Applicants

For the academic year 2024-25 the tuition fees for this course are: 

  UK International
Full-time £9,250 per year £15,300 per year

For part-time study, please contact for further information.

Please also refer to the funding your time at university page.

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

If you are an Irish national you can check if you meet the requirements for Home Fees. Please visit the UKCISA website and consult the pdf guide “England HE – who pays Home Fees”. First check category ‘3 years in Republic of Ireland/UK/Islands, settled in UK’ or ‘Brexit temporary offer for courses starting before 2028: Irish citizens with residence in Europe or overseas territories’. You will possibly need to be fee assessed when you submit an application for study to the RAU.


The University offers a wide range of generous fee waivers and bursaries. To find out more about the these, please visit the bursaries, awards and scholarships page.

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Ready to take the plunge? Apply now

Applications to study at the Royal Agricultural University must be made through the UCAS system. This applies to all undergraduate courses.

Applications should be made by the UCAS deadline to ensure we are able to offer you a place on your first choice course. However, if you have missed the deadline please contact as there are usually places available.

If you would like to apply during UCAS Extra or Clearing, please check that we have places available.

Applicants wishing to study on a course on a part-time basis will need to apply directly to the RAU.

Please contact to discuss your requirements and obtain an application form.