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The University of Southampton

BIOL6048 Wildlife Conservation: principles and disciplines

Module Overview

Students will recognise and demonstrate an understanding of conservation issues along a spectrum ranging from individual animals, through to populations (including conservation genetics), reintroductions, habitat restoration and anthropogenic sources of conflict. Based on case studies of ongoing conservation work this module highlights a solution-conscious approach to the challenges faced by the modern conservationist.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Expand and enhance knowledge of the underlying conceptual and theoretical framework required by conservation biologists • Understand the value and limitations of applying biological principles and disciplines to real-world conservation

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understand the context for, and challenges associated with, wildlife conservation in the 21st Century
  • Appreciate the value of an evidence-based approach to wildlife conservation
  • Determine and evaluate conservation project aims, approaches and outcomes
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate novel arguments and develop a well informed and confident position
  • Construct incisive questions about ongoing and developing projects
  • Manage your time and multiple literature resources to build a strong knowledge base
  • Apply a ‘Solution-conscious’ approach to planning conservation projects
  • Prepared to immerse yourself in current knowledge and stay up to date
  • Engage with others open-mindedly about emotive conservation issues


Students will learn about the scope of wildlife conservation as practised by Marwell Wildlife. The module reflects the specific specialisms within the team of conservation biologists ranging from: individual animal behaviour and welfare; breeding programme management; genetic management of small and closed populations; adaptation to human-dominated landscapes; reintroduction and post release monitoring; habitat restoration and ecology of threatened species; and the role of human communities in modern conservation. The focus throughout is on understanding the biological principles and disciplines that sit behind conservation work, with an emphasis on their translation into real-world projects.

Special Features

This module showcases the research expertise of Marwell Wildlife’s conservation biologists, providing students with appropriate knowledge and a forum for its critical evaluation. In addition, students will gain an invaluable insight into the difficulties faced by the modern conservationist, fostering a ‘solution-conscious’ approach to wildlife conservation. This module is classroom based where the learning needs of students will be considered on an individual basis.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Study time allocation [Contact time includes: Lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstration, practicals/workshops/fieldwork/external visits/work based learning] Formal Lectures will provide knowledge of wildlife conservation, from the individual to the ecosystem level as well as a theoretical and conceptual framework in which to place the knowledge. Seminars will allow evaluation and discussion of the topics, within the theoretical and conceptual framework. Students will be required to undertake independent study in order to engage in discussion.

Independent Study160
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Frankham, R. et al. Introduction to conservation genetics. 

Kleiman, D. et al. Wild mammals in captivity: principles and techniques. 

Hoglund, J. Evolutionary conservation genetics. 

Ausden, M. Habitat management for conservation. 

MacDonald, D. & Service, K. Key topics in conservation biology. 

Sodhi, N.S. (ed). Conservation biology for all. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%
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