Field Courses

Launch Your Career In Conservation

Each year we run month-long courses in tropical ecology and conservation for students at advanced undergraduate or early postgraduate level who have a keen interest, but little experience, in tropical biology.

Our courses provide practical training and experience in the tropics with an emphasis on building skills and understanding. They provide a valuable foundation on which to build a career in conservation, research and sustainable natural resource management.

We run our courses in collaboration with conservation and research institutions in Africa and South East Asia, ensuring they cover priority topics that are relevant.

Field Course Student

“Within just one month, I feel that I learnt more than during my four years at university.”

conservation field training in Africa

Hands On Dynamic

Learn by doing in stunning sites, selected for their relevance to current conservation issues. We expose participants to the challenges of meeting the needs of local people while safeguarding the natural resources they rely on.
conservation field training in Africa

Learning From Experts

Unrivalled teaching from international experts provides practical training and experience in the tropics with an emphasis on building skills and understanding.
conservation field training in Africa

Links For A Lifetime

On every course, participants represent at least 15 countries, from the host region and beyond, ensuring a rich cultural experience, and laying foundations for a lasting conservation community that spans the globe.
Field course outdoor class led by the Tropical Biology Association
The Course

How It Works

  • Taught at Masters level, TBA courses highlight up-to-date concepts and emerging issues.
  • Fieldwork demonstrates how current theories are approached and how research techniques are applied in practice.
  • All participants design and undertake their own fully supervised research project, working with a partner. Many publish their first scientific paper based on these student projects.
African conservation fieldwork sample collection
What You Gain

Skills For Life

  • Essential practical skills for your scientific career.
  • Confidence in research project design and presentation.
  • Insight into conservation approaches and successes in high biodiversity areas.
  • A global network of future collaborators – and friends for life!
  • Participants from European universities gain 10 ECTS points on completing the course.

Application Information

How and When To Apply

All applications must be made via our online application form and be supported by two confidential references (which must be completed and returned via this downloadable reference form).

You can only attend one course, but you may apply in successive years if not selected.

Here is a link to a PDF version of the SurveyMonkey TBA Field Course application form – please use this as a guide to help you consider your responses to the questions. You could then pre-write these and copy and paste the answers across when you login to apply.

Who Should Apply

Courses are designed for early career scientists, with teaching pitched at post-graduate level. Applicants must hold a biological degree by the course start date – or have completed at least 3 years of a biological degree course.

More Information

You can read the course guides and have a look at our course timetables via the current Field Courses page. If you still have questions, contact the Course Coordinators: for applicants from Africa and Madagascar; or for applicants from South East Asia and all other countries.

Field course outdoor class led by the Tropical Biology Association
Fees & Scholarships

African and South East Asian Applicants

A limited number of full or partial scholarships are available to successful African applicants (for courses in Africa) and those from South East Asian countries (for our Borneo course). Scholarships contribute to course costs which include course fees or tuition, national travel, accommodation and subsistence costs as well as the costs of international travel to and from the rendezvous location.

Priority for places will be given to outstanding applicants but we will also take into consideration those who can raise full or part of their participation costs (i.e. course fees and travel costs). We would strongly encourage you to look for funding from grants, foundations or your organisation, and we will be willing to provide letter of support towards your applications. 

African conservation fieldwork sample collection
Fees & Scholarships

All Other Applications

Participants from TBA member organisations pay a reduced rate of £900. This covers internal transport to and from the field site, accommodation, subsistence and course fees. It does not include your airfares, insurance and visa costs.

The course fee for participants from non-members is £1200. If your institution is not currently a member, why not ask them to join? Applicants from member organisations also receive priority for course places

All successful European and UK applicants can apply for a British Ecology Society scholarship (approximately £200). See Course Guide for details