Natural Environments

Environmental conservation and environmental science provides an opportunity to study the impacts of human and natural processes on the environment and to learn how to manage it more sustainably into the future.

We look at environmental issues and natural processes from global to local scales and from thousands of years of change, to current impacts. You learn through fieldwork, lab work and active discussion.

Sustainability is a strong focus across all of our programmes, integrated into module teaching. 

Undergraduate BSc | HND

Environmental Conservation

Foundation Year

Certificate of Higher Education in STEM

Postgraduate MSc

MSc Environmental Conservation & Management

Studying in Swansea is not just about academic excellence although this is extremely important. It's about the whole expertience of living as a student in the area - the excellent night life, great shopping, friendly locals, low crime levels, stunning scenary, amazing beaches and excellent road and rail links. 

Come to an open day or book yourself onto one of our Taster Days and see for yourself. 

Swansea Open Day

STEM Taster Day

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David offers modern and exciting programmes in a location that is second to none. Located by the sea, Swansea is Wales’ premier waterfront city and with the Gower Peninsula and the Brecon Beacons on our doorstep, what better place to work outdoors.

The programme team is committed to offering a varied and stimulating learning experience to help you realise your career potential. Examples are:

  • Practical habitat management fieldtrips
  • Water quality and river/channel geometry
  • Waste and Travel Projects for the City and County of Swansea, Wales.
  • Invasive species mapping and monitoring
  • Tree planting and soil testing as part of a land reclamation project at the World Heritage Site, Blaenavon.
  • Mammal tracking – such as the Pine Marten recovery project (species reintroduction)
  • Porpoise spotting and data collection projects
  • Dune management and scenic assessment
  • Environment Week and Student Environment Society – volunteering opportunities.
  • Coastal and rocky shore surveys investigating the impacts of climate change.
  • Woodland / bioblitz surveys (Learning how to identify species in the field)
  • Creation of sustainability plans for the city

Outside work experience is positively encouraged and supported. There is an optional ‘Year-in Industry’.

Our Environmental Conservation programmes cover a broad range of topics that can lead to a huge number of careers. Here is a list of our recent graduates new job roles:

  • Bat Survey Officer
  • Business Development Manager at Hydro Industries
  • Cetacean Research Officer in Costa Rica
  • Community and Nature Conservation Ranger at National Trust
  • Conservation Manager at RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre
  • Data Analyst at PHS Group
  • Data Support Technician at Veolia
  • Ecologist at Jacobs UK Ltd
  • Energy Officer at Neath Port Talbot Council
  • Environmental author
  • Environmental Officer at Natural England
  • Environmental Specialist at EcoVigour
  • Environmental Technician at Rockwool
  • Environmental Technician, Water Treatment, Oxfordshire
  • Evaluation & Monitoring Officer at Down to Earth
  • Fisheries Technical Officer at Natural Resources Wales
  • Flood and Water Officer at Welsh Local Government Association
  • Flood Risk Technical Assistant at Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Consultant
  • IT Infrastructure Analyst at Coastal Housing Group
  • PhD Researcher
  • Press Officer at the Met Office
  • Production team on Springwatch and Learning Assistant at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • Project Manager at Hydro Industries Ltd
  • Researcher for Nutopia 
  • Rural Development Manager at Neath Port Talbot
  • Senior Ecologist at AECOM
  • Senior Ecologist at South Wales Trunk Road Agent, Neath
  • Sustainability Officer at UWTSD
  • Team Manager of Commercial & Domestic Recycling, City & County of Swansea
  • Waste Water Asset Telemetry Technician at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
  • Water Quality Permitting Officer at Cardiff

Our Natural Environment programmes enable students to focus on areas that they are interested in for their final year project. Topics are wide ranging and our students are able to carry out important research in conservation, habitat management, renewable energy, pollution and more. Our students are guided through the research process by tutors and are supported throughout their project. Have a look at our dissertation lists to see the wide range of topics our students have chosen to investigate in recent years. 

BSc Dissertations:

  • A Behavioural study on Ursus Arctos at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, with Particular reference to the presence of stereotypic behaviour (2012)
  • A Review of and solutions to anthropogenic impacts on Caretta caretta nesting populations in Kefalonia (2012)
  • A study to determine the Level of Biodiversity res-establishment on remediated ex-mineland in Varteg, South East Wales
  • After floodwater recedes: How do extreme floods affect climate change scepticism? (2015)
  • An evaluation of wildlife casualty data (2008)              
  • An investigation into spatial and temporal jellyfish medusa strandings in Pembrokeshire (2008)
  • Assessment of translocation methods for common lizards (2010)
  • Attitudes towards cycling as a sustainable mode of recreational & commuter transport with Swansea (2009)
  • Benefits associated with City Farms: Swansea Community Farm (2010)
  • Captivity of Grey Wolves (Canis lupus) (2014)
  • Carbon capture of peat bogs in upland areas (2014)
  • Carmel NNR: A review of the ecological implication of Ash dieback and creation of woodland tree suitability to replace ash (F.Excelsior)  (2016)
  • Climate change impacts on rocky shores (2010)
  • Coastal Access vs Erosion (2010)
  • Community Agriculture in Uganda (2014)                     
  • Encouraging natural succession as a cost-effective tool for reclaiming minespoil (2016)
  • Habitat Management for Butterfly species at Kenfig National Nature Reserve (2012)
  • Habitat Management of Penrose SSI/NNR in Cornwall (2014)
  • Identification of potential impacts affecting Common Toad populations (2012) 
  • Influence of Photography on Environment (2014)
  • Kite surfer coastal conflict and risk mitigation strategies (2010)
  • Positive and Negative Impacts of keeping Orcas in captivity (2007)
  • Potential impact of noise on harbour porpoises in Swansea (2011)
  • Public environmental perception and attitudes to the Fishing Industry and its Sustainability (2016)

MSc Dissertations:

  • An examination of the potential negative effects of tidal barrages on migratory fish with particular reference to the proposed Severn Barrage (2009)
  • An investigation into the role of soil contamination on forestation at a reclaimed coal mine site (2010)
  • Grassland management (2012)
  • Grey wolves as climate buffers (2012)
  • Population density, structure and substrate preference of the invasive non-native mollusc, Crepidula fornicate along the Gower coats, with particular reference to the Mumbles foreshore (2012)
  • Practical conservation for positive mental health (2011)         
  • Public Participation Rates in Kerbisde Recycling: A Comparative analysis in Swansea (2012)
  • Relationship between Oystercatcher & Climate Change (2014)
  • Residency patterns of Phocoena phocoena around Gower and Swansea (2010)
  • The Influence of artificial lighting on bat species of the Gower Peninsular (2011)

Staff Research

Recognised for international research expertise in, coastal and marine management, environmental change, ecological monitoring and land remediation, waste, sustainability and GIS. Published various books, academic journal articles and presented at international conferences including Vancouver, Alexandria, Venice, Brisbane and Vietnam. 

Our links with outside organisations are extensive providing you with opportunities to gain practical experience working on live projects. These projects will provide valuable employability skills. Guest lecturers will provide an insight into current challenges and opportunities facing the environment.

Core skills will prepare you for a career in environmental management. Some recent graduate jobs have included:

Senior Ecologists, Environmental Technicians for water treatment companies, Local Authority Waste & Recycling officers, Biodiversity Officers for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England, Rural Development Officers, Data Analysts, Community & Nature Conservation Ranger for the National Trust, Water Quality Permitting Officers, Flood Defence Managers, Fisheries Technical Officers, Energy Consultants and Sustainability Officers.

The overriding focus of our courses is to provide you with the practical knowledge and skills needed for a career in environmental management.

Elanor Alun is a part-time BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David who absolutely loves trees (maybe more than people). During Elanor's studies she was a volunteer warden at Kilvey Community Woodlands and was the Green Impact intern for the Students' Union. Elanor has been employed as a Conservation Manager at the RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre since the beginning of the final year.  

Why did you choose to study Environmental Conservation?

I have always been into the environment, my parents raised me to be a semi-feral, nature child. It was an easy jump when it came to choosing something to study at university, but I think, increasingly, we are more aware that it has become quite an important issue. I thought I could sign up, do something I really, really love and hopefully also help the world in some way. 

What is the best thing about the programme?

The great thing about this Environmental Conservation course is that it gives you a very broad covering of all different topics so you really get to choose which areas you want to go into. In my particular case, we did habitat management which has been invaluable but also at the more practical end. You learn practical skills, monitoring the environment and the environmental effects of activities, and how you survey to find out what your site is actually doing, so you have a base line to work from. 

We also covered modules on environmental law and governments and how you actually manage something in a more practical kind of sense and that has been really useful.

All the lecturers know who you are and if you have and problems you can absolutely go to them and they help as much as they can. It’s a much cosier environment, a much more supportive environment, and that means a lot. 

Being the President of the Environmental Society was excellent fun! The big thing there is mass contact, beyond doing the degree it is useful if you know people in the outside world who can give you references. It is really useful to get used to arranging things, coming up with volunteering opportunities, and working with a group of people and making it fun for them. It’s learning useful management skills.  

What will you do next?

I am now a Conservation Manager, a position I got just before I started my final year because of doing the course. I manage 78 acres of grassland, wetland and an ancient woodland, for RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre at SA4 9WB, in the northern part of Swansea. 

What advice could you offer someone thinking about doing the course?

Do the course, easily one of the best decision I ever made. Don’t be afraid to try things out. When the opportunity arises to try out different volunteering and different areas – go for it because you don’t know, from the start to the end, what is really going to interest you. Loads of people started our course thinking, for example, that they really wanted to go into marine science, and by the end some of them were going into waste management, habitat management, all sorts – so try everything and do it because it is such, such good fun. 


Kate Denner graduated from BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation and is now working for not-for-profit organisation called ‘Down to Earth Project. 

Why did you choose Environmental Conservation?

It was something I was interested in originally. I went to school in the United States and studied Natural Resource Management. I’ve always been interested in the natural world. 

What was the best thing about the programme?

I loved our tutors, for me they were always available, you could ask questions, they gave good direction. They put me forward for publications twice, so opportunities like that. The class sizes weren’t huge, you weren’t just a number. It was also the other students on the course.

We spent a lot of time doing practical activities out on Gower. It’s an absolutely wonderful location, the sort of environment you take advantage of.

Tell me about your job.

I work for a not-for-profit organisation called ‘Down to Earth Project’. I started volunteering for them in the first year that I started my degree and then, four years ago, I got taken on on a part-time basis and three years ago, full-time. 

It’s about learning by doing, working with disadvantaged and disaffected young people and adults so that they can achieve accreditation through traditional skills and adventure activities. So it’s about building and restoring self-esteem and self-confidence so that they can go on to become an active part of the community. So they can go on to volunteer opportunities, work opportunities. 

Groups such as drug and alcohol addicts, looked-after children, we are currently working with dramatic brain injury patients.

There is a lot of diversity within the company, a lot of different programmes and activities offered – but the core, main line is learning about sustainability by actually practically doing it. 

We do a lot of sustainable building, earth building with cob and timber-framed structures. 

It’s a wonderful job. It’s a lot of fun, wonderful people work there, with wonderful people in the community. The community builds with us. We just built a new training centre on Cefn Bryn and it’s one of a kind, there is no place like it in the UK. The people on our programmes built it so they are learning the skills on how to do natural building while they are on the programme. It’s a good opportunity for them, as well as, us. 

What advice would you offer someone interested in Environmental Conservation?  

Yes, I’d go for it if you have that passion for the environment, if it is something that you’re interested in. 

It’s something I thought I knew a lot about coming into the course, especially as I am a mature student. I thought I had that knowledge and that experience behind me. But I realised there was so much that I didn't know, there was so much that I learned on the course. 

You would be able to apply it in all different areas, so I would say that if you have that interest in the natural world, you want to make that difference, definitely take the course − it would be so worth it. The staff here are wonderful and the environment, the location, you couldn't do better.  

Abi Lewis Hydro

Abi Lewis graduated from the BSc (Hons) and MSc Environmental Conservation student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and is now a business development manager for Hydro Industries. 

1. Why did you choose Environmental Conservation?

I was always interested in Environmental Science. I did it at college. I found out about the Environmental course here and I joined. 

2. What is the best thing about the programme?

It was fascinating to learn more about life science and also the environment. I learned everything from the chemistry and biology side of things to the science of the coastal environment. I learned a lot about water. 

The people, the teachers and lecturers. It wasn’t like I was in an institution just to learn – it was a fun environment, they made it fun for students. 

We went to Gower, Swansea Bay and Oxwich Bay. For the coastal geomorphology, we have some of the best coast in the world, so to be able to study that and go out into the local area and see it was fantastic.  

Swansea is my home town, so to be able to study a course I love in my home town was fantastic for me. I kept close to family and friends and also made new friends who I am still in contact with now. 

3. Tell me about your job.

Love my job. It’s absolutely fantastic. I am a business development manager for Hydro Industries. We do everything from waste water treatment, water purification, oil separation and mineral recovery. I get to travel across the globe with my job, which is fantastic. 

My degree definitely helped me, with the background of water, and also, when I am dealing with environmental catastrophes in the coastal zone, I can put that knowledge into play.