Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Forestry MSc by Distance Learning


Course facts

  • Name: Forestry
  • Qualification: MSc by Distance Learning
  • Duration: MSc: 3 years; Diploma: 2 years; Certificate: 1 year; Module: 15 weeks


Bangor University has been teaching forestry for over 110 years and since 2000, it has offered a range of exciting and innovative part-time distance learning forestry courses. The MSc forestry (distance learning) course has an excellent reputation for producing high quality, adaptable and professional graduates. Many of our alumni have successfully used the course to help them change careers, gain promotion, develop their business and/or simply satisfy their curiosity for trees and forests. The course is designed to provide students with training in the management of forest resources, understanding of the scientific, academic and practical principles which underpin forest management and forest ecosystem function and the interrelationships between government, industry and communities’ forests and associated land-use.


The course, fully accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters, provides students with detailed knowledge and expertise of direct relevance to the modern forest manager and those working in associated disciplines. The course is designed to be of specific interest to:

  • Individuals seeking academically-based education in forestry;
  • Individuals seeking a career in the management of trees and forests;
  • Individuals wishing to undertake further study while employed in the forestry, or a related, profession.

Teaching and learning for each module is supported by a guided reading handbook plus various learning materials hosted on our ‘virtual learning environment’, such as online lectures and seminars, e-books, journal articles, scientific reports, podcasts, and discussion forums.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

Programme Modules

Core Module

  • Silviculture considers the principles of silviculture, including species selection according to site conditions, artificial and natural regeneration of woodlands and interventions. The module also includes the management of mixed forest stands and the silviculture of forests in transition (transformation, conversion).

Compulsory Module

  • Forestry Study Tour is a week-long study tour of important and interesting field sites usually in England and/or Wales. Each year the tour focusses on an issue of contemporary relevance. You will meet and discuss with practicing foresters and land managers in conservation organisations, research institutes and public agencies. The residential nature of the study tour means that full-time and part-time students can fully immerse themselves in the subject for a week. Assessment is through a post study tour write-up and reflection. 

Optional Modules

  • Forest Ecosystems. The purpose of this module is to present the occurrence and ecology of different forest types. Emphasis will be placed on forest biota and soils, nutrient cycling, hydrology, pollution, climate change and forest health. 
  • Natural Resource Management gives students a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to managing natural resources (such as forests), as well as a practical grounding in the ways in which natural resource managers (including foresters) can draw on different kinds of knowledge sources.
  • Forest Management Planning develops an understanding of the forest management planning process, and its use in the sustainable management of rural resources. Students develop management plans for real-world forestry situations which involves setting management objectives, considering landscape features, devising appropriate monitoring and evaluation techniques and quantifying the costs of management operations. Students are required to attend a week-long residential in Bangor during the spring of their 2nd year of study to complete this module.
  • 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.
  • Urban Forestry develops an understanding of the principles and practice of urban forestry around the world. It provides an historical overview of the relationships between trees and cities and its importance as an emerging field of study. It further covers how different disciplines relate to urban forestry and looks at future scenarios of retrofitting the old as well as designing future cities.
  • Social Issues in Forest Management. The purpose of the module is to consider the ways in which social, cultural, economic and political factors can influence the shape and scope of forest management systems and how these may affect the livelihoods of communities living in or close to forests.
  • Sustainable Use of Non-Timber Forest Products gives 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). Due consideration will be given to production systems for ‘wild’ products which arise without human intervention and products derived from cultivation of products in forests and from trees outside forests.
  • Forest History, Policy and Management explores how the needs and values of society in relation to woodlands and forests change over time and how these changes influence their structure, management and composition. This module will question many common misconceptions about forestry and will provide students with a much broader and deeper understanding of this vast subject.
  • Agroforestry Systems and Practice is designed to give students in-depth perspectives of the fascinating interface between forestry and agriculture. The module is international in outlook and considers temperate and tropical regions.

Dissertation (If studying towards the MSc)

Execution and written presentation of a suitable scientific project which is devised by the student and an individual academic supervisor and validated by the Programme Director. A suitable project entails a worthwhile scientific question, of direct relevance to the degree, established within the context of current knowledge and concepts that allows the formulation and testing of one or more hypotheses. This typically involves up to 12 months part-time work, typically including: 2–3 months to prepare a research proposal, 2–3 months for data collection in the field, laboratory or computer; 2–3 months for data analysis; and 2–3 months for writing-up.

Professional Accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF).

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Forestry Modules page.

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Forestry Modules page.

Entry Requirements

Generally a 2(i) undergraduate Honours degree in a relevant science or technology subject is required, such as biology, horticulture, agriculture, law, economics, engineering, environmental science. Applications from mature students who do not have higher education qualifications but 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 also be considered.

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

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email


How to Apply

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here. For further guidance click here

Need help applying? International students please contact:

International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When to apply

The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer (e.g. taking an IELTS Test to meet the English Language requirement). If you are making an application for one of our professional courses, which has limited place availability, you are advised to contact the academic school for advice on the final dates for applications.

Careers and Employability

The part-time nature of this course enables students to build their career alongside other work or personal commitments. Current students and recent graduates have secured jobs as commercial forest managers, forest surveyors, ecological consultants, forestry finance advisors and business start-ups. Careers prospects also include promotion for those already in the forestry or related professions. 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.

Research / 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

Further information

Next steps