Biodiversity and Conservation (M.Sc. / P.Grad.Dip.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time
16 Places


Course Overview

Biodiversity is the diversity of all life on earth and is currently being lost at an increasing rate. Biodiversity provides us with food, clothing, fuels, construction materials, medicines, and a range of ecosystem services. We ourselves are part of the biodiversity of this planet: we must understand and conserve biodiversity to secure a sustainable future for humanity.

Is This Course For Me?

This course will provide in-depth training and experience for those looking to further their career in various aspects of biodiversity and its conservation, for students wishing to pursue further postgraduate research in this area, and for professionals already working in conservation biology wishing to obtain relevant qualifications.

Career Opportunities

The programme provides in-depth training and experience for those looking to further their career in biodiversity and its conservation, including in a range of international non- governmental organisations (NGOs), government departments and environmental consultancies. Graduates can also pursue further postgraduate research in this area.

Course Structure

The course will be taught through a variety of methods: lectures, practicals, field-based learning, guided reading and discussion groups and web-based methods. A variety of assessment procedures will also be adopted – essay writing, oral presentations, web-based tests, examinations and assessment of dissertations. The approach will be to develop, progressively, a high degree of independent thinking and academic excellence in students completing the course, providing a smooth transition for those entering both directly from undergraduate degrees, and for those entering the course from industry.

Students will undertake individual research projects, both desk-based and experimental. A highlight of the course will be the residential spring field course based in South Africa, focusing on practical aspects of biodiversity conservation (the cost of this course is not included in the course fees).

Students may omit the individual research project to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma, those wishing to obtain the the degree of Masters in Science must complete a four-month individual research project.

Course Content

Students take a variety of theoretical, practical and project modules. 

Theoretical modules include: Introduction to Biodiversity; Introduction to Conservation Biology; Practical Environmental  Assessment; Human Interactions with Biodiversity; Impacts of Environmental Change on Biodiversity.

Practical skills modules include: Data Handling and Analysis; Taxonomy; Practical Conservation Skills; and Overseas Field Course.

Project modules include: Individual Desk Study; Project Planning; and an Individual Research Project. 

Following successful completion of the taught part of the course, students embark on a closely supervised research project of approximately three months in duration, intended to expand the skills and knowledge base acquired in earlier modules.

Click here for further information on modules/subject.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

16 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Dr Nicholas Payne

Closing Date

28th June 2024

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Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold at least an upper second-class (2.1) Honours degree — or an equivalent qualification — in a science subject that includes significant components of botany, zoology or a relevant life science. Candidates with relevant, and significant, experience as professional practitioners in biodiversity management or policy may be accepted with lower qualifications.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees


To apply, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 4972070

Dr. Nicholas Payne (Course Director)


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

Register Your Interest

I learned so much from the highly knowledgeable professors and also from my fellow students. During the two-week module in South Africa, we were exposed to various management teams and regimes for wildlife reserves. After that, two of my peers and I completed our theses at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Due to the guidance and support from the faculty at Trinity, I am now pursuing a Ph.D. at Harvard University where I am studying the effects of anthropogenic climate change on temperate forest communities. This programme opened so many doors for me into the world of conservation and ecology. It was one of the best career choices I have made.

Catherine Chamberlain