Date of release: Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Environmental Conservation MSc student Sam Bower on field placementThe University of Greenwich has landed a ‘first’ by being awarded professional accreditation for its Environmental Conservation MSc.

Students learn about a wealth of conservation issues during their studies through a blend of tuition and practical assignments. Topics range from land use and environmental management to the best ways to protect wild mammals such as dormice, barn owls and bats.

The prestigious award from CIEEM, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, is the first and only accreditation, or official stamp of quality, that the organisation has given to a postgraduate degree course.

Greenwich’s degree satisfies the high standards set by CIEEM for equipping students with the practical skills and depth of knowledge that will make them attractive to employers.

Recent research projects have included studies of lapwings and their invertebrate prey, the effect of street lighting on bats, and managing tourism in protected areas.

Some of Greenwich’s Environmental Conservation students recently presented their research to a national conference run by the Mammal Society. Student Sam Bower, for example, has been researching the best way to conserve dormice populations, concluding that raising the height of their nesting boxes in trees might be a solution.

Dr Debbie Bartlett is Programme Leader for the Environmental Conservation MSc, based within the university’s School of Science at the Medway Campus. She adds: “This is a tremendous accolade and will position students ahead of the game when it comes to applying for jobs. Students not only have fascinating work out in the field, but access to range of fantastic habitats in the Kent countryside.”

Sally Hayns, Chief Executive Officer for CIEEM, the chief professional body in its field, adds: “This course has demonstrated an excellent commitment to offering students a wide variety of relevant practical fieldwork activities, site visits and engagement with external speakers. It provides students with a good understanding of the range of work opportunities available to them.”

CIEEM has awarded just six university courses in the UK accredited degree or accredited degree pathway status.

As well as addressing the issue of skills shortage, the accreditation helps students make informed choices about what degrees are on offer in the areas of environment, ecology and conservation.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Environmental Conservation MSc student Sam Bower on field placement.