MSc in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health

How is the programme assessed?

Assessment in the first and second year will be based upon written and online work.

Written assessment

Formal summative written assessment will usually constitute 60% of the student’s grade for both core and elective courses. These written assessments will not only test your understanding and assimilation of the taught course content but will also focus on supporting and furthering a variety of translational skills such as presentation and scientific writing.

Online assessment

Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities including discussions of set assignments such as a journal club, group work or real time simulation exercises. Students may also be required to keep an online reflective personal portfolio. The performance in these activities will usually constitute 40% of their overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme. Progression on the programme is dependent on satisfactory performance at each level of award.

Written reflective element (usually a dissertation)

The degree of MSc will be awarded following successful submission and examination of the written reflective element of this programme. This is an assignment of 10-15,000 words. The University of Edinburgh's postgraduate common marking scheme will be used (assessment of dissertation component).

See the University's guidance on the Common Marking Scheme


Candidates gain the given number of credits required for a degree award incrementally in each academic year. Credits required are as set out in the Scottish Qualifications Framework and incorporated into University’s Curriculum Framework. Progression on the programme is dependent on satisfactory performance at each level of award.

Students may choose to graduate after one year with a Postgraduate Certificate in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health (60 credit points comprising two compulsory 20 credit courses plus two 10 credit compulsory courses). It is also anticipated that some students will wish to exit the programme at the completion of the taught components and prior to the written reflective element (120 credits entitle the candidate to a PG Diploma).