Peter Cowley - MSc Conservation Biology
Name: Peter Cowley
Postgraduate degree: MSc Conservation Biology
What made you choose to study this course at Derby?
When I chose to have a change of career I moved with my family back to Derbyshire, and Derby was an ideal place to study to capitalise on volunteering and employment opportunities in the area. I did voluntary work with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and a local environmental consultancy during my studies, and this provided further input into my studies. The Conservation Biology Master’s course was perfect for me because it offered a combination of modules incorporating academic, vocational and practical skills, as well as providing a valuable background of environmental law and legislation.
Did you continue to study in your previous field, or did you study for a career change?
I chose the Master’s course specifically to kick-start a career change, although it offered a natural progression of my interests and experience in biology and life sciences.
What are you doing now?
I am a Consultant Ecologist with the Derby-based branch of an Environmental Consultancy, carrying out ecological surveys for habitats and protected species, and specialising in aquatic species.
How do you feel studying your course at Derby helped you in your career?
I would not have had sufficient experience and knowledge to make a successful career change if I had not completed the Master’s course, and it allowed me to choose my areas of specialism at an early stage to focus on these throughout the transition.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective postgraduate student at Derby, what would it be?
I enjoyed studying full time and managed to fit in voluntary work at the same time, although I would recommend taking the opportunity to study part time to combine your studies with either paid work or voluntary work, or both.