The MSc. Environmental Studies course in Conservation Practice, jointly offered by ATREE and TDU, equips natural and social science students with interdisciplinary knowledge, perspectives, and skills to understand and address conservation challenges. This course is curated to create young environmental leaders whose interdisciplinary skills will add value to corporate social responsibility and sustainability offices, development and conservation NGOs, and government line departments dealing with environment and development portfolios. In academic institutions, these leaders will lend a practical edge.

The first batch of MSc. ES(Conservation Practice) poses after a field exercise at Doddaballapura| Photo by Anooja

Is Conservation Practice just another environmental course?  

No, it isn't. It is the environmental course that walks the interdisciplinary talk. Even as environment and ecology degrees in conventional and new liberal arts and science universities experiment with interdisciplinarity, they continue to be research-oriented.  Ahead of its time, but just in time, this programme focuses on conservation skilling backed by rigorous socio-ecological knowledge. What you study matters; but where you learn and practice matters more. This course offers students the novel opportunity to interact with faculty who have shunned disciplinary silos over two decades and mixed natural and social science theories and methods to generate conservation and sustainability knowledge for policy and practice stakeholders. 

ATREE is India’s pioneer in interdisciplinary conservation and sustainability studies and has consistently ranked in the top 20 environmental policy think tanks since 2014, by the University of Pennsylvania. ATREE has also received the 2019 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize in recognition of its contribution to participatory approaches in conservation and sustainability. The degree will be awarded by TDU, a Karnataka Government and UGC-recognised university in health and plant sciences. TDU is a National Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (GOI) and aims to transcend academic boundaries and engage with traditional knowledge. The Conservation Practice program is a product of this combination of ‘inter’ and ‘trans’ disciplinary pioneering, novelty and legacy.

The MSc Environmental Studies students pose after an interaction with
Annapurna Kamath (Managing Trustee, Satya Foundation) as part of their Sociology documentary project
| Photo by Aneree Dhebar

 What is practical about this interdisciplinary course?

The Conservation Practice Masters program offers undergraduates a novel, career-centric and practice-oriented post-graduation degree. The 80 credit program comprises 55 credits from three classroom semesters and 25 credits from one project semester. Our ‘classrooms’ are indoor and outdoor spaces on campuses, and in urban and rural field sites. Experiential and immersive group learning is a practical thread that runs through these three knowledge, perspectives and skills semesters. Student groups will pursue ‘mini projects’ or sectoral immersions in these semesters that apply or test concepts, frameworks and methods in the field. The final semester ‘project’ involves an internship with partner organizations, or fieldwork leading to a thesis.  For details on the courses offered, visit the Coursework tab.

Students exploring how people become environmental subjects in Periyar National Park| Photo by Sankaranarayanan R.

Is this the right course for me?

The Conservation Practice course transcends disciplinary boundaries.  It enables equitable and sustainable conservation solutions. The course offers an exceptional opportunity for students driven and dedicated to conservation and human wellbeing efforts as part of corporate institutions, NGOs,  government agencies, think tanks, and academia.  Students who are enthusiastic about tackling biodiversity loss, climate change, urban water quality or sustainable farming will particularly appreciate this program's practical proficiencies that combine academic expertise and vital field skills.

PhD Scholar Lakshmikantha NR interacts with students during their Water Resources field trip| Photo by Anooja

 What are the career opportunities?

The Conservation Practice program equips students for diverse careers in NGOs, social responsibility and sustainability offices, environment and sustainability branches of the government, environmental management and consulting organisations, and academia. Graduates of the program can thus be gainfully employed at private and public sector organisations that engage with conservation and sustainability. For more information on career opportunities for the Conservation Practices Master graduates, visit our careers page.

What is the application process?

We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. We value diversity, gender equity and the representation of minority communities; women and persons from underprivileged groups are especially encouraged to apply. We are also accepting applications from international students.

At a minimum, students must have secured an average of 55% in their bachelor’s degree done in a related field (details on our admissions page). To apply, you must include the following documents: academic transcripts of your bachelor’s degree, grade XII and X board mark sheets, your CV, other certificates or diplomas you would like to include, and a statement of purpose (SoP) written by you motivating why you would like to participate in the course.

Students need to write an entrance exam and attend a personal interview before the Admissions Committee if shortlisted.

You can find more details on the eligibility criteria and application process on our admissions page.

Applications for the first phase are now closed. We are now accepting applications for the second phase.

Stage Deadline
Last date to apply (Phase 2 applicants) 31st May, 2022
Entrance exam (Phase 1 and Phase 2) 9th June, 2022
Announcement of entrance Exam results
(Phase 1 and Phase 2)
13th June, 2022
Personal Interview (Phase 1 and Phase 2) 21st June - 24th June, 2022
Course Commencement 1st August, 2022

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us at masters@atree.org or admissions@tdu.edu.in.