MSc / PG Diploma in Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development in the Caribbean
The online graduate degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean is a taught programme geared towards building and strengthening capacity in environmental management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean. The programme will be offered in two forms, Graduate Diploma and MSc and can be undertaken either on a full time or part time basis. Teaching on this programme will involve a blend of internet-based distance teaching and face-to-face training.
The main objective of this graduate degree is to supply the region with qualified professionals who have a comprehensive knowledge of the concepts and principles of a wide range of science and environmental management issues related to tropical biodiversity. Advanced practical skills in environmental monitoring, impact analysis, environmental management, data management and policy issues will be taught in this programme. In addition, a working knowledge and appreciation of the major disciplines within environmental science and a multidisciplinary overview of environmental data collection and analysis together with an acquired and improved range of transferable skills including group work, scientific research, data analysis, report writing and oral presentation, will be provided to learners in this programme. As such it will provide students with a set of skills that will allow them to advance their careers in the environmental management and biodiversity conservation fields within their government, public sector, NGOs and industrial organisations.
Candidates applying for admission are required to satisfy the relevant general regulations of the Faculty and the University’s Board for Graduate Studies and Research. The prerequisite for entry into the programme is a bachelor’s degree in one of the following disciplines: natural sciences, engineering, agricultural sciences, geography, education or an appropriate social science from an approved university, with at least lower second-class honours or a minimum GPA 2.0 (or equivalent qualification and work experience).
Students enrolled in the Diploma Programme will be required to complete the course in either 1 year (full time) or 2 years (part time). Students enrolled in the MSc Programme will be required to complete the degree in 1½ years (full time) or 3 years (part time).
Modes of Delivery
As a post-graduate Diploma/MSc level course, a variety of methods of delivery will be employed, which include face to-face interactions, virtual seminars, tutorials, field visits and a research project. This will be supported by distance learning and e-based course assignments as well as project and scenario based workshops, case studies and assignments in which group work and student centred learning approaches are adopted. Thus, increasing onus will be put on the student to take responsibility and control of their own learning. This will lead to the point of the final research project in which the student will be responsible for the development, management and reporting of a study with the supervisor acting as an advisor and facilitator. Additionally, the programme aims to maximize access by professionals working in government, NGO and commercial organization by supporting face-to-face sessions with distance learning, assignments etc. which students can undertake from their home.
A variety of course assessment techniques will be utilized throughout the programme.
A Research Project is a fundamental component of the MSc programme and this is reflected, not only in the credit weighting, but by the fact that the MSc runs for an extra 6 months so that the student may have the necessary time to complete the project to a high standard.
The aim of the research project is to allow the student to synthesize and articulate several aspects of the taught programme within a single themed research topic. In addition, it will provide the opportunity for further detailed skills training in specific aspects of environmental monitoring, assessment or management of tropical biodiversity. It will allow the student to pursue an individual study on a particular research topic or issue of interest to the student and will incorporate technical skills training specific to the individual student. As such, the research project will provide the opportunity to develop a specific set of practical and reporting skills that will be of use to the student in their future career.
Award of Diploma/Degree
In this joint Diploma/MSc, the main awarding University will be the University delivering the most teaching to the specific student. Thus, prospective students should note that their degree will be awarded based on the number of credits taught by the various partner institutions.
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