School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography

Our courses

Tropical Forestry (MSc by Distance Learning)

The Tropical Forestry MSc represents a natural addition to our highly successful and well-respected MSc Forestry course and has been developed in collaboration with the prestigious University of Copenhagen.

The course provides part-time students from across the world with training in the management of forest resources, understanding of the scientific, academic and practical principles which underpin forest management, forest measurement and forest ecosystem function and the interrelationships between government, industry and communities’ forests and associated land-use.

The Tropical Forestry MSc is part-time and the full MSc is completed in three years. It builds on the existing links and strengths of the highly successful masters programmes: MSc Sustainable Forest Management (SUFONAMA) and MSc Sustainable Tropical Forestry (SUTROFOR). These programmes were developed by European Masters consortiums and funded by the EU Erasmus Mundus programme.

The Tropical Forestry MSc is primarily designed to allow students to undertake a Master of Science level course whilst they remain in full-time employment or pursue other interests. Teaching and learning is supported by a guided reading handbook plus various supplementary materials, such as books, journal articles, scientific reports, online lectures, podcasts, discussion forums and a ‘virtual learning environment’.

The Tropical Forestry MSc at Bangor is designed to develop participants' existing skills through a scheme of specialist advanced study. The course also enables students to develop their own research and professional interests within the context of specific course modules.  The course benefits hugely from advances in communication technology, allowing students to interact with each other and with academic staff on a regular basis.  The wide range of backgrounds, expertise, interests and skills amongst both the staff and students on the programme make for a hugely enriching learning experience.

Compulsory Modules:

  • Tropical forests, people and policies: This module takes a people-oriented approach to issues that all natural resources managers in developing countries should be familiar with. Emphasis is on the relationships between people and forest use and conservation in developing countries.
  • Participatory Forest Management: Emphasis is on the political and socio-economic aspects of participatory/community forestry as a means to promote rural development and conserve forest resources in an equitable manner.
  • Preparing Field Work in the Tropics: This module develops in-depth factual location specific knowledge relevant to tropical forestry issues.
  • Sustainable Tropical Forestry Summer School: Data collection and evaluation methods are applied in the field (two weeks at the end of July / beginning of August).
  • Agroforestry Systems and Practice: This module is designed to give students in-depth perspectives of the fascinating interface between forestry and agriculture. 
  • Forest Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring: The purpose of this module is to consider ways in which forest resources can be assessed and recorded for their growth and development to be monitored.  It will provide students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the specialist areas of mensuration, forest inventory and forest resource monitoring. 
  • Sustainable Use of Non-Timber Forest Products: The purpose of the module is to give students an understanding of the ways in which forests may be managed in ways which recognise the value and enterprise development potential of non-timber forest products (NTFP’s). 

Work-Placements/Links with Industry

The course is closely linked with all aspects of the forest industry, both in the UK and beyond. Students are encouraged to seek opportunities and make their own links that relate to their own area of interest and expertise and are supported in this process. Students on the course receive regular updates regarding the latest news, jobs, placements and other opportunities in the forestry sector. 

Career Prospects

The part-time nature of this course enables students to build their career alongside other work or personal commitments. There are excellent employment opportunities in the broad area of tropical forestry including national government, international organisations and consultancies. Many recent graduates on related courses have gone on to do PhD research. The part-time nature of the course opens up numerous opportunities for study, travel, scholarship and research and students are encouraged to take advantage of these.


Dr James Walmsley, Course Director 

Cherelle Jarvis, Course Administrator


+44 (0) 1248 382448 (Dr Walmsley)
+44 (0) 1248 382281 (Ms Jarvis)


Please visit the website here.


MSc/Pg Diploma/Pg Certificate (by Distance Learning)


Minimum duration: MSc: 3 years; Diploma: 2 years; Certificate: 1 year; Module: 15 weeks


A 2(i) undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant science or technology subject is required, such as forestry, biology, ecology, law, economics, environmental science, development studies. Applications from mature students without higher education qualifications but who have relevant work experience and who have worked for a minimum of 2 years in a position of responsibility and relevance to the degree will be considered.

IELTS: 6.5 (with no element below 6.0) is required.

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