The GWCT and university education

Students in the fieldThe Research and Advisory Departments of the GWCT have a long-running association with teaching in UK universities. Although we are not a higher education institute (HEI) and therefore cannot award a degree to students, we can and do supervise students at three levels in the University system.


Each year we accept placement or sandwich students to come and work with us for a year. BSc students take a year out between the end of their second year and the beginning of their third year to work in “industry”, gain work experience and get a feel for working 9 to 5. We take about 14 students each year who work in our various departments, studying birds, insects, mammals and their management. We currently host students from the universities of Cardiff, Nottingham Trent, Plymouth (2), West of England and York.

For more details contact Julie Ewald or visit our undergraduate placements page.

Masters students

We provide half-day seminars (up to four hours) at the university plus field visits as appropriate. Seminars are tailored and prepared in consultation with the course tutors and mostly take place between October and March each academic year. Seminars are based on our science and present real conservation case studies of gamebird management, farmland ecology and the impacts of pesticides. The students have the opportunity to meet and engage with scientists and experienced practitioners personally involved in research projects, practical land management and conservation. They get access to real-life case studies of conservation working over large tracts of land.

Whilst the first two semesters are taught, masters students also have to spend the final semester (April-September) engaged on a research project. So each year we also produce up to 20 research protocols suitable for such projects. MSc students come and work with us, undertake their projects and are supervised by senior GWCT researchers. Our track record with masters students conducting their research projects with us is excellent. Students working with us rarely fail to achieve distinctions for their projects.

We maintain a list of masters research projects currently available. In recent years we have hosted projects from students from the universities of Leeds, Reading, Cardiff, Southampton and Imperial College, London.

For more details see our job opportunities page.

PhD students

We also supervise PhD students and currently have ten students at universities from Exeter to Nottingham, Queen Mary London to Sussex, studying with us.

We either act as CASE partners on Research Council grants; contribute 50% costs to a studentship, matched by the university; or even fund 100% of the costs ourselves. The first GWCT PhD was defended in 1980. We will soon see the defence of our 100th!

For more details contact Professor Nick Sotherton.

Agricultural universities and colleges

Our advisory staff give lectures to students at the county-based agricultural colleges and at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester and Harper Adams University in Shropshire. The college lectures are focused on game and wildlife management and include practical courses on snaring, use of rodenticides, etc.

For more details contact Lizzie Herring on

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