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MPhil in Conservation Leadership

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Course aims


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 enhanced research skills and 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, and HR management/planning, innovation, entrepreneurship and the management of change. The course fosters and develops the leadership potential 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 judgement.

The MPhil in Conservation Leadership aims to admit around 20 students each year. The course is designed for graduates with specific knowledge and work experience in conservation, public policy, business strategy or the voluntary sector, anywhere in the world. The course is aimed at both experienced mature graduates with experience of conservation work in NGOs, government or the private sector, and highly-motivated younger graduates of leadership potential with at least three to five years of relevant experience.

The conservation organizations in CCI working with the University in the design and delivery of this course are BirdLife International, the British Trust for Ornithology, Fauna & Flora International, IUCN, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, TRAFFIC International, the Tropical Biology Association, and the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The course also benefits from interaction with the wider network of organizations represented by the Cambridge Conservation Forum.

Within the University, the Department of Geography shares teaching with five other departments within CCI comprising: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the Cambridge Judge Business School, Land Economy, Plant Sciences and Zoology.

The CCI partnership of University departments and practitioner organizations allow the course to offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective on the management and leadership challenges that conservation faces, and that is not available in any similar course offered elsewhere.