The BSc (Hons) Natural History and Media combines the study of photography, film-making and digital production with the philosophy of natural history and research in the natural world.
You’ll gain practical, scientific skills that are vital to ecology and conservation, with specialist skills in photography, film-making and digital production.
Your experiences will take you from the laboratory, to out in the field, and into the digital production suite. You’ll study different organisms, their environment and conservation, and document species using digital production skills.
When you study Natural History and Media, you will cover subjects that range from biodiversity, evolutionary genetics, zoology, wildlife tracking, ecology, and core values relating to natural history. Field work experience is a key component of this course and you can develop your field skills in the UK and overseas.
This course is subject to validation.
The Natural History and Media course is delivered full or part time. You will be taught via a combination of lectures, practicals and fieldwork.
Students receive on average 18 contact hours per week, and will be expected to do a total of 200 hours of independent study per module.
Our Natural History and Media degree has three bespoke digital production and media modules. Students will gain significant hands-on experience of using both traditional and emerging media technologies as well as skills that will allow them to enter the research sector of media production.
The course also offers numerous transferable skills including GIS, numeracy and statistics, data handling and interpretation. The alignment of the course for CIEEM accreditation ensures that students develop key skills in ecology which will enhance graduate employment prospects in the ecological sector.
You will be assessed using a range of approaches depending on your module choice and year of study.
A number of modules are assessed through a combination of examination and associated assignments, while all the digital and media modules are continuously assessed through assignments.
Your assignments can range from laboratory write-ups, open book tests, structured essays, oral presentations and field reports through to a photographic portfolio and field note books.
In your final year you will write a dissertation, worth two modules, based on a topic that you pick from a list of subjects or a topic of your choice which is developed in conjunction with your project supervisor.
The BSc Natural History course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and we would aim to achieve accreditation for this programme. Course content has been aligned with CIEEM requirements for accreditation.
The optional work-based learning module enables you to take a placement for up to four weeks, either in the UK or in some of the world’s exciting wildlife locations.
The Natural History degree is practically oriented and you will have opportunities to further develop practical skills by attending residential field courses. Current residential fieldwork destinations include Pembrokeshire, Portugal/Spain, Iceland and Botswana (optional). Additional costs may apply to field courses.
The Natural History Field Expedition module to Botswana is undertaken in a camp established to train wildlife trackers. As part of this optional module you will study the wildlife and ecology of the Mashatu region and develop your tracking skills. Please note, the exact locations of all overseas field trips may vary each year and are based on the area’s suitability.
This Natural History course has modules with significant fieldwork elements, which come with certain physical demands. If you have a disability that is likely to be affected by physical demands, please get in touch with Dr Amelia Grass as soon as possible.
As well as making use of the great outdoors, our natural history students work in modern laboratories and classrooms. The Upper Glyntaff buildings comprise two distinct parts. Our new George Knox laboratories are part of a £15m investment in science, meaning you will be taught in new and well-equipped spaces. These join the Grade II-listed Alfred Russell Wallace building, which is also used for teaching.
We also have a state-of-the-art media room with access to a range of media equipment including Canon 700D and 550D DSLR kits; Sony a7 kits; telephoto lenses and macro lenses; camouflage hides and fieldcraft equipment.
Natural History is a broad subject and you will be taught by experts in the different subject areas. However because staff are all based in one school and on one site, your teaching team are easy to get to know. We encourage an open door policy so that you can speak to any lecturer whenever they are available.
Key staff include:
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
BCC - CDD (excludes General Studies)
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level- excludes General Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points from Higher Levels to include Geography grade 5 or Mathematics grade 5. (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Science or Maths and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
UK and EU students
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Recent graduates of our Natural History degree have gone on to work for environmental consultancies; Natural Resources Wales; Environment Agency and Government agencies and NGOs and in eco-tourism. We would expect graduates to progress into careers in the wildlife photography and natural history film-making sectors.