"DESMAN 2011 changed my life, not only professionally but also personally" - DESMAN course participant, 2011


This 12 week course is designed to equip conservation professionals with a complete range of skills to maximise their effectiveness at managing or participating in conservation projects. You will learn the latest theory and practise of endangered species recovery, and gain a wide variety of skills in facilitation, management and leadership.


Where will you be based?

The course is based at the Durrell Conservation Academy, at the headquarters of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in Jersey, British Channel Islands.


What topics will be covered?

The taught component of the course includes the following main topics:

  • biodiversity and drivers of species decline

  • conservation planning and priority setting

  • the role of zoos and captive breeding

  • principles of animal husbandry

  • conservation medicine and wildlife disease 

  • small population biology and genetics

  • in-situ conservation techniques

  • management and leadership skills

  • facilitation and team skills

  • GIS for conservation managers

  • captive and field research skills

  • education and community conservation

  • fundraising and financial management


Training facilities

We have purpose built learning facilities including a lecture theatre, a reference library containing over 11,000 volumes and subscriptions to over 60 journals, a computer lab, and on-site accommodation. Durrell’s neighbouring animal collection provides the opportunity to gain first-hand experience on our animal, veterinary and education departments.


Teaching staff & guest lecturers

In addition to Durrell’s own expert staff, you will be taught by a wide variety of highly respected international experts brought in to give greater insight into specialist topics.


Practical work

You will learn useful skills such as population monitoring techniques, field sample collection, and practical GIS skills. You will also get the opportunity to work with Durrell’s animal and veterinary departments, learning practical aspects of care and maintenance of animals in a captive environment.


Course assessment

You will be assessed through the following:

  • written examination

  • practical work assessment

  • written project proposal and presentation

  • written funding proposal and presentation

The course is officially validated by the University of Kent. There is also an additional optional leadership certificate accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.


How to apply

To be eligible, you must:

  • be employed in the field of conservation or in teaching conservation-related topics at graduate or postgraduate level, or working towards such employment;
  • if employed, have the support of your employer and confirmation that, should you be selected, you will be returning to your place of employment after training;
  • be sufficiently fluent in English to follow technical presentations, read scientific papers, and write short proposals.


Please note that this is an intensive course with a considerable workload. We have a limited number of partial scholarships available for this course. Further information about these is provided during the selection process.


Application deadline: 18th October 2019

Download leaflet.

For further information please click here.

To apply, please download the application form available here.