This award-winning course combines the expertise of anthropologists and biologists to examine primate conservation biology in a broad context, with particular emphasis on the relationships between humans, and wildlife in forest and woodland environments.
The destruction of forests often brings irreversible loss of soil, fresh water and renewable reserves of food and fuel, as well as the loss of innumerable species of animals and plants. Changes to the local climate and global effects of forest clearance are becoming increasingly apparent. Dealing with current issues, including the clearing of forest for growing oil palm and other crops and the mining of coltan (used to charge mobile phones), the rampant pet trade, and the bushmeat crisis, may seem beyond our control. What can be done to alter these trends?
The MSc in Primate Conservation provides an international and multidisciplinary forum to help understand the issues and promote effective action. Whether working in the lab, with local conservation groups (including zoos and NGOs), or in the field, you will find yourself in a collaborative and supportive environment, working with international scholars in primate conservation and gaining first-hand experience to enact positive change.
In 2008, the MSc in Primate Conservation was formally awarded the highly prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Excellence in Higher Education. This award was given in particular recognition to our commitment to training a new generation of primate conservationists.
Staff expertise is matched to each aspect of the course, with regular input from visiting speakers with first-hand experience in primate conservation. Six permanent members of staff are on campus. In addition, visiting lecturers provide their expertise for modules and for project supervision. The course is supported by a course co-ordinator and an admissions administrator, together with experienced postgraduate researchers who help with part-time teaching. There are also two external advisers.
The Department of Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes has a long-established reputation for high quality and innovation in teaching and learning, with a strong link between staff research and classroom teaching. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 70% of research activity in Anthropology was judged to be of international quality, with 5% of this ‘world-leading’ in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
The programme gives students access to a range of specialist facilities including:
Tess Lemmon Memorial Library of the Primate Society of Great Britain
Equipment lending service for field work
Wet lab for analysis of hormones and other biological material
Collection of primate skeletal material
Specialist sound laboratory for acoustical analyses of primate vocalisations.
Students also enjoy strong links with all of the University of Oxford’s museums and libraries and each year visit Oxford’s Museum of Natural History to learn curation techniques, assisting the vertebrate collection manager with identification, skeleton cleaning and the design of the primate display.