Wildlife and Conservation Management HNC

Course code 244D

What is special about this course?

Land use impacts and human activity have put pressure on the world’s environments. Do you want to help Scotland lead the way against climate change and transition to a net zero economy?  
This course will help you to become multi skilled, have a broad understanding of nature and climate issues and prepare you to pivot towards to the large range of employment opportunities in the fast-growing and dynamic green economy. The learning will encompass important activities such as peatland restoration, habitat monitoring, conservation, land management and sustainable wildlife management.

You might want to embrace this learning experience to get into new employment or develop new workplace skills to use in your current employed role. Either way our curriculum team are a leading force in contemporary land-based education, and they will guide you through the most direct route to achieve your goals.

You’ll gain: 

  • Experience of using wildlife management techniques in a work-based setting Knowledge and understanding of a broad range of UK species, habitats and their management 
  • Understanding of the role of public engagement in land use planning and conservation of biological diversity 
  • Understanding the physical landscape, the processes which created it and the effects on the distribution of habitats
  • Access to a network of wildlife management professionals throughout Scotland  
  • The ability to work and study in a flexible way from anywhere in Scotland

Special features

  • This course is suitable to study part-time particularly if you are employed in the environment sector or you can undertake an industry placement as part of the course
  • The course team has strong links to organisations and businesses operating in this sector which creates extensive learning and networking opportunities for students
  • Most aspects of the course can be studied from anywhere in the UK with an internet connection
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in study trips in Scotland, providing an opportunity to gain unique insights into current challenges facing conservation and wildlife managers
  • You can study full-time or part-time to suit your personal circumstances and lifestyle
  • Delivered by a team with many years of experience in conservation and wildlife management and online learning and teaching
  • Individual modules can be studied as a CPD option


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 1 Scottish Higher at grade C or above OR
  • 1 A level at grade D or above
  • PLUS National 5 passes at C or above  in subjects such as Trees in the environment, Investigating animal wildlife, Wildlife conservation, and The physical landscape of Scotland; or equivalent GCSEs, NCs, or NQs in a relevant subject
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements or with relevant experience are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis

Year 1 - HNC

You will study the following core modules:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Ecology and ecosystems
  • Environmental awareness
  • Geology and geomorphology
  • Rural land use
  • Wildlife and conservation management graded unit 1

You will also study between 4 and 5 of the following optional modules:

  • Animal care: wildlife
  • Classification and identification of organisms
  • Planning and development: an introduction
  • Sustainable deer management
  • Wildlife management
  • Work placement

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video-conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There will be opportunities to undertake work placement and meet face-to-face for lectures and study trips

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 14 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 7 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): up to 4 years

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Online

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


Students may be able to apply to the UHI Scholarship Fund.  For all the information and how to apply please use the following link Funding - Scholarships, Bursaries, Awards and Discretionary Funds - UHI Scholarship Fund

UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Students will have the opportunity to take part in study trips and the UHI Integrated Land Use Conference during the course. UHI works with partners to subsidise the cost of travel and accommodation for students participating in these activities. However, students may incur some travel and accommodation expenses with these trips. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in the broader wildlife and conservation management sector, for example as:

  • Biodiversity project officer
  • Conservation advisor
  • Environmental field centre assistant 
  • Land use manager
  • National park office
  • Wildlife conservation assistant (ie NatureScot, RSPB)
  • Wildlife management officer 

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from HNC Wildlife Management and Conservation to courses such as:

  • HND Environmental Management
  • HND Wildlife Management and Conservation

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

UHI is committed to putting our students in the best position to develop their workplace skills. This course will allow those in rural and island areas to best respond to evolving nature and climate crises, sustaining and securing the future of these communities.

Charlie Main is a lecturer for the HNC Wildlife and Conservation Management.

Apply for Wildlife and Conservation Management HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.