Reading List

Pre-course reading 

Pre-course reading recommendations are provided below to help you prepare in advance of arriving on the MSc Conservation Science and Practice course in October.  Most of the books suggested are intended to provide an overview or introduction to basic principles in key disciplines. You DO NOT have to read all of them, since some subject areas are likely to be familiar to you already, depending on your first degree/background.  

We suggest choosing one or two books that best supplement your existing skill set – so, if you’ve never done any statistics or ecology before, then read one of the simple statistics or ecology introductory books. Unless you’ve never done any of these subjects before, you shouldn’t need to read all of them. Most of these books are relatively low cost to acquire and often available as e-books as well (e.g. in the region of £10-20).  Links to the publishers are provided, but you may be able to find them at lower cost elsewhere. 



This book is brand new, so we haven’t had the chance to read it ourselves yet. If you read it, please let us know what you think! 

David Macdonald (2023), Biodiversity Conservation: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, RRP £8.99 

These two books are a little more academic and are key items on the course reading list so we expect you’ll read them during the course at some point.  

William J. Sutherland (Ed.) (2022), Transforming Conservation: A Practical Guide to Evidence and Decision Making, Open Book Publishers, Free E-Book 

Craig Groves, Edward T. Game (2016), Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healther Planet, Roberts and Co., ~£30. 



Tony Juniper (2019), The Ecology Book: big ideas simply explained, DK publishers, Paperback RRP e-book £6.99 

Aulay MacKenzie, Andy S. Ball and Sonia Virdee (2001) BIOS Instant Notes in Ecology (2nd edition), CRC Press/Taylor and Francis, RRP £21.99 Paperback 


Conservation social science 

As a more specialist discipline, there aren’t as many accessible books in this area and so this suggestion is a bit more academic and more expensive than the rest on this list. It’s freely available through Imperial’s library as physical copies and as an e-book (once you’re registered at Imperial). So, there’s no expectation that you purchase it yourself; however, if you’re particularly interested in these topics you may want to consider making the investment. 

Daniel C. Miller, Ivan R. Scales, Michael B. Mascia (Ed.s) (2023) Conservation Social Science: Understanding People, Conserving Biodiversity, Wiley, RRP £67.50. Ebook available free through IC Library 


Statistics/quantitative skills 

Rowntree, D (2018) Statistics without Tears: An Introduction for Non-Mathematicians, Penguin Paperback, RRP £9.99. 

Spiegelhalter, D (2019) The Art of Statistics. Learning from Data. Pelican, RRP: £16.99