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MPhil Conservation Leadership

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

11 Months
 Start month

 Tuition fee

23808 GBP
9468 GBP
9468 GBP

Application fee

International 50 GBP
National 50 GBP
Department of Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100

World University Ranking

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About this course

The MPhil in Conservation Leadership aims to train students to address the challenges of biodiversity conservation in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner, by focusing on an understanding of the root causes of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss. The goal is not only to develop conservationists with greater awareness of the complex drivers of biodiversity loss, but to develop the ability to act and lead effectively. This includes the development of professional management and leadership skills including strategic planning, finance and accounting, HR management/planning, innovation, entrepreneurship and the management of change. The course fosters and develops the leadership of its students by promoting their capacity to understand the links among the drivers of biodiversity loss, and to think creatively about conservation solutions across organizational and political boundaries and economic sectors, and by developing their confidence and maturity of judgment.

The course has two taught elements: (i) course work modules; and (ii) professional placement.

 Learning Outcomes
To foster and develop leadership skills including strategic planning, finance and accounting, and HR management/planning, innovation, entrepreneurship and the management of change.
To train students to address the challenges of biodiversity conservation in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner, by focusing on an understanding of the root causes of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss


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Eligibility Criteria

Expected Academic Standard

  • Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree.
  • If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.
  • At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent and three to five years relevant postgraduate work experience.

IELTS: 7.5 ( 7 in each section)

TOEFL: 110 ( 25 in each section)


Score: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment.

Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element)

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Course Modules

The MPhil degree in Conservation Leadership is a full-time, 11-month, Masters course aimed at graduates of leadership potential with usually at least three to five years of relevant professional experience, either in employment or in a voluntary capacity. The unique features of this course are its delivery by a partnership between several university departments and conservation organisations based around Cambridge, and its focus on issues of management and leadership. Consequently, the course aims to deliver a world-class and interdisciplinary education in Conservation Leadership that is not available elsewhere.

Formal coursework (6 core modules) is concentrated in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, from October to March, and students follow six substantive modules spread over these two terms. Assessed course work relating to these modules is completed by the start of the Easter Term. The taught elements of the course offer: (i) inter-disciplinarity across the social and biological sciences; (ii) integration with management and leadership skills; and (iii) an emphasis on practice through engagement with conservation professionals.

Professional placements start to be developed during the first two terms in collaboration with their supervisors. Students work on a specific project which addresses a carefully defined conservation leadership challenge. The professional placement is undertaken over the Easter Term from April to June, and Summer, from July to August, and an assessed Placement Report is submitted at the end of this period.

The Placements on this MPhil aim (i) to give students the opportunity to develop applied conservation leadership skills, (ii) to put into practice some of the ideas and methods learned during the taught component of the course, and (iii) to allow students to follow their personal interests by carrying out an in-depth piece of work on an issue or problem that particularly interests them.

Students can either select their placement from a list of ideas provided by the CCI partner organisations and circulated in the Michaelmas term, or develop their own ideas and approach potential supervisors directly. Placements can be within a University department or a conservation organisation, and can include fieldwork away from Cambridge. Students will be expected to make a presentation on their proposed work to a forum during the Lent Term, and to produce a detailed logframe for their placement during the Easter Term.

Written feedback on submitted work by the student's supervisor and the placement report establishment.

Placement report of not more than 10,000 words.  (40% of the marks)

4 essays (4,000 words each)
2 coursework (project) submissions.
Practical assessment
1 group presentation and associated essay

A discretionary oral examination on any or all of the assessed components of the MPhil

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How to Apply

You should thoroughly research your prospective course, its requirements, deadlines and course costs before you think about completing and submitting the online application form.

Having fully researched the course you are interested in, make sure you now have the relevant information you need to apply:

  • Course name
  • Application and funding deadlines
  • The relevant required supporting documents (e.g. transcripts, CV, etc.) in pdf format to upload.
  • Email addresses for your academic referees. You should ensure you have theirconsent before you apply.
  • A choice of up to two colleges to consider your application.
  • Apply Online using the GRADSAF

When you have completed the necessary preparation, and you are ready to begin your online application, you should take note of the following important information.

  • There is an application charge of (GBP Sterling) £50 per application. You can make the payment by providing your credit card details to our secure server when you submit the online application.
  • Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentationwhich can be uploaded via your self service account after you submit the online application form.
  • You will need to submit a separate application, with separate supporting documents, for each course you wish you to apply for.

Upload Supporting Documentation

Once you have submitted your application, you will be given access to your Self-Service Account. You will have 14 days from submission of your application to upload all mandatory documents.

Please check your course's entry to see what supporting documents you will be required to submit. These will also be listed on your self-service account once you have submitted your application. For more information on what the specific requirements of each document are, and how to submit them, please see the section on Supporting Documentation.

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