Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Living Planet with Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

Train in ecology, evolution and conservation concepts and study their applications to biodiversity.

Train in ecology, evolution and conservation concepts and study their applications to biodiversity

Build your appreciation of ecological and evolutionary models and their use in guiding population dynamics

Carry out a five-month project and specialise in an area of research interest

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £15,150 Home

    • £30,600 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • Silwood Park

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 in a science subject

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Deepen your understanding of key concepts in ecology, evolution and conservation on this interdisciplinary Master's course.

You'll receive broad research training that examines fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to evolutionary ecology, conservation and biodiversity science.

Based at Silwood Park – a centre of excellence for ecological research – you'll explore a range of interdisciplinary topics guided by leading researchers in their field.

You'll benefit from their own research insights and model systems to understand the fundamental scientific principles that underpin the study topics.

External conservation specialists will also highlight the key issues involved with applying science to practical conservation.

At the beginning of the course you will have the option to choose between focussing on developing your computational or improve your field skills in Silwood and in other areas of the UK. A research project forms the major component of this course.

Over five months, you'll apply research techniques from the course to a topic of your choice.

MSc Living Planet programme

Our MSc Living Planet course will equip you to tackle the great environmental challenges facing the world, providing training on the transferrable research skills you’ll need to develop science-based understanding and interventions. All our MSc Living Planet streams are available in full-time or part-time modes.

You may wish to consider if another stream is right for you according to your career aims and background:

MRes Living Planet course

We also offer an MRes in Living Planet course with the following streams:


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You'll complete the following core modules:

  • Statistics in R
  • Introduction to Ecological and Evolutionary Data Science
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Conservation

You'll receive extensive training in research skills on an extended five-month project. 

This will see you apply the quantitative and analytical techniques obtained from the taught element of the course.

Projects are arranged in discussion with academic staff after the start of the programme, allowing you to explore options before committing to a topic. 

Your work will be assessed by a thesis, oral examination (viva) and presentation.

Many projects are based in a lab or in the field with academics at Silwood, but some projects can be taken in partnership with external organisations.

Previous partner organisations have included the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Natural History Museum, the Institute of Zoology, and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

You'll choose one of the following optional modules:

  • Silwood Field Course and Basic Computing
  • Biological Computing Bootcamp

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures, practicals and fieldwork
  • Independent study

  • 10% Lectures, practicals and fieldwork
  • 90% Independent study

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
  • Seminars and formal presentations
  • People collaborating and completing practical work.
    Practical classes
  • Field work
  • Workshops
  • A group of people interacting
    Group work
  • Computer-based work
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Recorded lectures available online
    Lecture recordings
  • Individual research project
  • A person studying independently
    Independent study
  • Work placement opportunity

Assessment methods

  • Person completing coursework
  • A person completing a written exam
  • Projects

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Tuition fees

Home fee

2024 entry


Overseas fee

2024 entry


How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Hand holding a branch of three leaves

Develop the essential core knowledge and skills for a conservation or biodiversity science career.

Magnifying glass over a research paper

Gain a clear insight into your own research interests from among current research topics.

Graduate Cap above rolled Degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research.

Man standing under a sign pointing different directions

Life Sciences graduates from Imperial are highly sought after in a variety of employment sectors.

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These include business and consultancy, health and social work, banking/finance, education, and manufacturing.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications