Barn owl in flight. Photo William Stewart

Alliance with Taronga delivers conservation degrees at Sydney

5 November 2018
Two great institutions unite for educational excellence
With extinction rates accelerating across the world, the need for scientists dedicated to conservation has never been greater. Now students can pursue their dreams with a world-class education dedicated to wildlife preservation.

A landmark alliance between two great Sydney institutions

The University of Sydney and Taronga Conservation Society Australia today announce a historic education alliance – the first of its kind in Australia – which reflects a shared commitment to excellence in higher education, scientific discovery and practical wildlife conservation.

From the start of 2019, students will be able to study two new degrees – undergraduate students can enrol in a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation) and postgraduate students can enrol in a Master of Education (Taronga Conservation Education).

The degrees, which will be undertaken at the University’s main Camperdown campus, will include contact hours at the brand-new world-class Taronga Institute of Science & Learning, a purpose-built research and education centre on site at Taronga Zoo Sydney, opened last month by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence said the alliance provides an exciting new pathway for people who want to study conservation in action and support the diversity of animal life on the planet.

"These authentic learning experiences will create a clear connection between theory and practice," he said.

"Our strong focus is to help equip students with the skills required by industry, immerse them in new environments and expose them to evolving ways of thinking and working collaboratively."

Director and CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Cameron Kerr, said the alliance would help further Australia’s reputation as a global contributor to conservation science.

"Taronga is home to the largest zoo-based conservation science team in Australia and has been running education programs for more than 40 years, so it’s fantastic to now combine our shared interests in conservation and education with the University of Sydney," he said.

"We believe education is a key preventative measure and is fundamental to stopping further degradation of our natural environment."

"This alliance between Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the University of Sydney is another great example of how NSW is a leading centre in global wildlife conservation. This partnership will mean future generations will be equipped with the skills necessary to combat environmental challenges currently at play," said NSW Environment Minister, the Hon. Gabrielle Upton MP.

The alliance also provides the possibility for future postgraduate qualifications for students with suitable undergraduate qualifications. 

Feather-tail glider at Taronga Zoo.

Feather-tail glider at Taronga Zoo. 

About the degrees

Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation)

This undergraduate course will provide highly applicable and sought-after skills for a wide range of careers, from animal health to conservation.

The degree forms part of Sydney’s new curriculum, which includes a fourth year for combined degrees with the new Bachelor of Advanced Studies, facilitating cross-disciplinary approaches and real-world experiences.

Admissions criteria: Guaranteed entry is an ATAR (or equivalent) of 85, and includes the University’s Mathematics prerequisite.

Masters of Education (Taronga Conservation Education)

This masters specialisation is designed to equip primary and secondary school teachers, other education professionals and administrators, researchers and policymakers with the skills they need to design environmental education programs relevant to real-world professional contexts.

A unique offering in conservation education, this course will particularly appeal to practising teachers with an interest in conservation and sustainability, and professionals already working in wildlife and habitat conservation and the growing sustainability sector.

Admissions criteria: Entry is dependent on prior study or recognised professional experience.