University of Primorska Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies
SI | EN

Conservation Biology

print
The more you know about a species, the more you understand about how better to help protect them.
Alan Clark

General information

Name of the programme: Conservation Biology
Type of programme: academic, 1st Bologna cycle
Degree awarded: "diplomirani varstveni biolog (UN)" equiv. to B.Sc. in Conservation Biology
Duration: 3 years (6 semesters)
ECTS-credits: 180
Programme structure: 26 courses (5 electives), practical training (6 ECTS) and final project paper (6 ECTS)
Mode of study: full-time
Language of study: Slovene

Programme coordinatortop

Assoc. Prof. Elena Bužan, PhD

For information regarding application, enrolment and other administrative procedures please contact Student Services.

About the programmetop

At the beginning of the 3rd millenium, modern technologies in the natural sciences face a unique challenge – they have to fulfil the demands of a rapidly developing society while helping to conserve the balance of nature. In particular, they must address continual consumption and the decay of Earth’s biodiversity.  The science of conservation biology enables us to understand the interdisciplinary linking of classic biological areas and their applications in diverse fields. The boundaries typically found between natural scientists such as biologists, chemists and physicists are disappearing and thus certain tools in bioinformatics are becoming invaluable.

Our competitive programme was shaped by the idea of this new specialist, who masters all the fields mentioned above. The programme unites all necessary disciplines related to classical biology, molecular biology, chemistry and especially bioinformatics. Students can reinforce their natural science fundamentals with practical experience in industry and business. This assures that they will be prepared for employment and quickly integrate into work enviroments. The programme is innovative and adaptable, and will provide a wide range of natural science proficiencies.

Educational and professional goalstop

To produce experts who:

  • Are capable of preparing strategies and finding creative, interdisciplinary solutions for problems which arise in nature.
  • Will develop a critical understanding of human interference in nature, which will, in turn, enable them to strategically approach environmental problems with a sense of responsibility to nature.
  • Are capable of solving advanced problems with respect to biodiversity and conservation biology, especially in cases dealing with the Mediterranean.
  • Know how to estimate the importance and role of various species in ecosystems and determine organisms' and ecosystems' tolerances to harmful effects of humans.
  • Are able to provide advice regarding environmental conditions that will enable particular species and ecosystems to coexist with humans.
  • Are acquainted with technical terminology in the field of conservation biology and are capable of communicating in foreign languages.

Course structuretop

During their studies, students must complete a total of 26 courses (21 compulsory and 5 electives), pass the internship, and prepare a final project.

All courses are awarded 3, 6 or 9 ECTS-credits. One ECTS-credit encompasses 30 hours of student work. In addition to the student’s presence (at lectures, seminars, in-class and laboratory practical work), this also includes independent work (literature study, preparation for examinations, assignments, seminar and project work, etc.). The courses require a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 hours of a student’s presence (contact hours).

The student may select 2 out of 5 elective courses from study programmes provided by other institutions of higher education in Slovenia and internationally. The courses selected may fall within the fields of the Natural Sciences (in particular Biology and Chemistry), Conservation Biology, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Short descriptions of courses are available HERE.

Table 1: Structure of the study programme
Year of study  Study obligation Number  ECTS-credits (ECTS)
ECTS ECTS/Year of study
1. Compulsory Course 9 54 60
Internal Elective Course 1 6
2. Compulsory Course 6 42 60
Internal Elective Course 1 6
External Elective Course 1 6
Practical Training 1 6
3. Compulsory Course 6 42 60
Internal Elective Course 1 6
External Elective Course 1 6
Seminar - Final Project Paper 1 6
 
Table 2: First year of study (60 ECTS-credits)
No. Courses ECTS Forms of contact hours
L T SE LW FW Total
1. General Botany 6 30 - - 60 - 90
2. General Zoology 9 45 - - 75 - 120
3. General and Inorganic Chemistry 6 30 - - 60 - 90
4. Mathematics 6 30 - - 30 - 60
5. Introduction to Computer Science 6 30 45 - - - 75
6. Basic Physics with Biophysics 6 30 - - 30 - 60
7. Plant Physiology 6 30 - - 30 - 60
8. Animal Physiology 6 30 - - 45 - 75
9. Introduction to Microbiology 3 15 - - 15 - 30
10. Internal Elective course I 6            
 
 Table 3: Second year of study (60 ECTS-credits)
No. Courses ECTS Forms of contact hours
L T SE LW FW Total
1. Biodiversity 6 30 15 15 - 15 75
2. Introduction to Genetics and Genomics 9 30 - 30 30 - 90
3. Statistics 6 30 - 45 - - 75
4. Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry 6 30 - - 60 - 90
5. Sistematic Zoology 9 45 - - 60 15 120
6. Systematic Botany and Geobotany 9 45 - - 45 30 120
7. Study Practise in Basic Research Methodology (3 weeks) 6 - - - - - -
8. Internal Elective course II 6 - - - - - -
9. External Elective course I 6 - - - - - -
 
  Table 4: Third year of study (60 ECTS-credits)
No. Courses ECTS Forms of contact hours
L T SE LW FW Total
1. Evolution Biology 6 30 30 15 - - 75
2. Applied Mathematics in Natural Science 6 30 45 - - - 75
3. Ecology 9 45 30 - - 30 105
4. Conservation Biology 9 45 30 15 - 30 120
5. Biogeography 6 30 - 15 - 30 75
6. Protected Areas and Sustainable Use 6 30 15 15 - 15 75
7. Internal Elective course III 6 - -   - - -
8. External Elective course II 6 - - - - - -
9. Seminar – Final Project Paper 6 - - - - - -
 
 Table 5: Internal elective courses
No. Courses ECTS Forms of contact hours
L T SE LW FW Total
1. Biodiversity and Ecology of the Mediterranean 6 30 30 - - 15 75
2. Marine Biodiversity 6 30 20 - - 25 75
3. Biology and Diversity of Vertebrates 6 30 - - 30 15 75
4. Biological Topics in English 6 30 45 - - - 75
5. Ecotoxicology 6 30 15 15 15 - 75
6. Geographical Information Science and Systems 6 30 45 - - - 75
7. Cryptogamic Botany 6 30 - - 25 20 75
8. Methodology and Communication in Biological Sciences 6 30 15 15 - - 60
9. Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Services 6 30 10 10 10 - 60
10. Environmental Monitoring 6 30 - - 15 15 60

The student may also select elective courses (internally elective courses) from the study programmes Bioinformatics and Mediterranean Agriculture.

Table 5: Internal elective courses from other study programmes
Study programme Courses
 Study programme MEDITERRANEAN AGRICULTURE Soil Science
Basics of Plant Production in the Mediterranean Area
Economics of Agriculture and Environment
 Study programme BIOINFORMATICS Basic Population Genetics
Evolution Genetics

 

Course structure and programme information for students enrolled in the academic years 2008/09 - 2017/18

In the academic year 2018/19 changes occurred in the study programme, which include also the change of the study programme's name from Biodiversity to Conservation Biology. In the beginning of this section you can find the course plan for students enrolled from the academic year 2018/19. Here you can find information regarding course structure, compulsory and elective courses, and also short description of courses for students enrolled for the first time in the study programme Biodiversity in the academic years 2008/09 - 2017/18:

Practical Trainingtop

In their 2nd year of study, students must undertake a 3-weeks-long practical training. The purpose of this training is to transfer theoretical knowledge into practice.

At the beginning of the academic year, after an initial meeting with the study programme coordinator, students choose the organization in which they would like to undertake their practical training.

Before starting practical training, students must submit the application for practical training in the Student Office, and at the end of their training they must submit a report.

UP FAMNIT has signed agreements for students of the study programme Biodiversity for practical training with organizations in Slovenia and agreements with organizations abroad. The list of organizations is available here.

Students should contact their preferred organization and arrange the practical training themselves. If students wish to perform their practical training in an organization with which UP FAMNIT has not yet signed an agreement, they must inquire whether the organization is ready to cooperate.  If the institution agrees to the cooperation, students must inform assist. Peter Glasnović (peter.glasnovic@famnit.upr.si), who will set up an agreement.

Forms for practical training:

Admission requirementstop

Admission to the first year of study shall be granted to applicants having:

  1. passed the matura examination; or            
  2. passed the vocational matura examination (poklicna matura) and a final examination in one matura subject; or
  3. successfully completed any four-year secondary-school programme before 1 June 1995.

In the case of enrolment limitations, applicants shall be selected on the basis of overall matura, vocational matura or final examination results (70%), and overall results in the 3rd and 4th year of secondary school (30%).

Admission may also be gained by an applicant having completed a comparable study programme abroad. Prior to enrolment, the applicant must apply for the recognition of completed education.

Continuation of studies according to the transfer criteriatop

Transfers between study programmes are possible on the basis of the Higher Education Act, Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes and in accordance with other provisions regulating this field.

Transferring between study programmes means a cessation of studies in the first study programme and the continuation of studies in the second study programme. The first study programme is the programme from which the student is transferring. The second study programme is the programme to which the student is transferring. Applications for transfers shall be considered on the grounds of the level of comparability between study programmes and those study requirements which students have already completed in their first study programme.

Access to Year 2 or Year 3 of the study programme of Conservation Biology on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is granted to students of a related first-cycle study programme or a pre-reform undergraduate study programme (adopted prior to 11 June 2004), provided that the following conditions have been met:

  • the student fulfils the requirements for admission to the study programme of Conservation Biology;
  • completion of the first study programme which the student is transferring from ensures the acquisition of comparable competencies as those envisaged by the study programme of Conservation Biology; and
  • other conditions in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes have also been met (a comparable course structure, course requirements completed).

Individual applications for transfer shall be considered by the relevant committee of UP FAMNIT. Apart from comparability between both fields of study, the committee shall also consider comparability between the study programmes, in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes.

Enrolment on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is also open to students of a related study programme abroad who have been, in the process of recognition of their studies abroad, legally granted the right to continue their educational training in the study programme of Conservation Biology.

In the case of limited enrolment, applicants shall be selected on the basis of the average grade obtained during the study programme they are transferring from.

Advancement requirementstop

For enrolment in the next study year it is necessary to collect at least 42 ECTS-credits from courses and exams in the current study year, and to fulfil all the study obligations (60 ECTS-credits) for the previous study year.

The Study Committee of the Faculty may permit a student who has not fulfilled all study obligations for the particular year to enrol in the next study year. The student is obliged to submit a formal written request to the Study Committee. Progression may be approved if a student could not fulfil the obligations for justifable reasons. Students may repeat a year only once during their study period.

Students shall be deemed to have completed their studies when they fulfil all the prescribed study requirements to a total of 180-credits. Students must obtain a positive assessment for the Final Project Paper completed within the frameword of the Seminar.

Graduate competenciestop

General competencies

  • Basic knowledge in the fields of biology and conservation biology, including the ability to identify organisms and their functioning at various taxonomic levels, as well as an understanding of the diversity and importance of living environments, and the importance of protecting biodiversity.
  • Familiarity with the technical terminology of this study field.
  • Proficient use of ICT (information and communications technology).
  • The ability for constructive cooperation and the ability to synthesize different skills and multidisciplinary approaches in solving theoretical and practical problems in the conservation of biodiversity; the ability to understand the importance of ecosystems services in the preservation of life.
  • Enhanced competence in communicating with the public for effective protection of the environment.

Subject-specific competencies

  • The capacity to apply a systematic and comprehensive approach to solving problems in the fields of nature and environmental conservation.
  • The ability to evaluate biodiversity at different levels, and to form effective strategies in nature and biology conservation.
  • Enhanced capacity to evaluate the quality of natural systems.
  • The ability to recognize sources of pollution and harmful substances, and the ability to predict their impact on nature and the environment.
  • Enhanced capacity to prepare strategies for biodiversity conservation and for the improvement of living environments.
  • The capacity to interpret information about nature conservation, and to supply this information to different target groups such as policy makers, landowners, school populations and farmers.

General and subject-specific competencies for students enrolled in the academic years 2008/09 - 2017/18

In the academic year 2018/19 changes occurred in the study programme, which include also the change of the study programme's name from Biodiversity to Conservation Biology. In the beginning of this section you can find the competencies for students enrolled from the academic year 2018/19. Here you can find information regarding general and subject-specific competencies for students enrolled for the first time in the study programme Biodiversity in the academic years 2008/09 - 2017/18:

Graduate employment opportunitiestop

Graduates are equipped for employment in both private and public sectors involved in environmental and nature conservation:

  • as experts and technical staff in administrations (for example, in ministries, inspection services, various institutes, municipal administrations);
  • as associates in scientific research institutions and public companies, chambers and agencies (for example, Slovenian Environmental Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia);
  • as supervisors in protected areas (for example, landscape, regional and national parks, nature reserves, other protected areas);
  • as expert staff in museums (including the Museum of Natural History and regional museums);
  • as organisers and expert staff in national and international non-governmental organisations (such as DOPPS and WWF);
  • as technical associates in routine and research laboratories;
  • in private companies involved in environmental and nature conservation;
  • in the area of service activities (ecotourism advisers);
  • in the areas of teaching and research.

During the three-year study programme, students will acquire the techniques and knowledge required in industry and commerce, and will therefore also be able to obtain employment in these sectors. With some entrepreneurial spirit and good ideas, they can also apply their knowledge and skills to launching their own enterprise or company.