Ecology Summer Study Abroad in Scotland

Ecology Summer Program 2018: 

May 20 – June 16, 2018

16 Spots Total

Summer 2019 Dates: COMING SOON 

Landscapes, Wildlife and Habitats

Here’s an opportunity to study environmental management and conservation theories and practices in rural Scotland – a country well known for its natural beauty and cultural and natural heritage.

Additional Program Details

Program Info


Adelante is continuing to collaborate with the prestigious Scottish Rural College Oatridge Campus – specializing in animal care, agriculture and land-based studies, and for Summer 2018 we will again be offering this 4 week summer program. The campus is on one of the largest college estates, based in the rolling hills just outside the country’s vibrant capital, Edinburgh.

The big bonus of this summer study abroad program is that it is not simply a classroom based course – the many included field trips make it a very hands-on learning experience. Through this exciting program you will initially explore the range of habitats and wildlife found in the heart of Scotland, before venturing out to explore other areas of the country and its ecology and wildlife management.

This new four-week summer program is available for students in environmental sciences and ecology, as well as any students with an interest in conservation and land management issues. Students will enroll in two courses,Conservation Skills, and Habitat Management. The achievement of these two units will give you 6 hours of US credit, fully transferable, towards your degree at your home University or College (see your own college advisor for confirmation). Official college transcripts will be given on completion of the program.

As an international student and resident on the college estate you will investigate a diverse range of habitats from freshwater streams to inland cliffs, woodlands and grasslands, and you will learn how to manage some of these habitats. You will learn to recognize and map the plant and animal species living in each habitat and understand the ecological processes that link these species together.

Once you know the theory of habitat management you will have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice. Your specialist lecturers will teach you the conservation skills required to undertake practical habitat management tasks. These skills could include coppicing, tree felling, meadow management or control of invasive species (and visitors!). Highly trained staff will be on hand at all times to help you develop these skills.

This course includes a substantial number of site visits to experience ecology in the field, talk with site managers, undertake field investigations and gain experience in a number of practical management techniques. The course is approximately 70% field based and 30% classroom based.

During your stay in Scotland you will visit a wide range of natural heritage sites such as the Isle of MayLoch Lomond  and The Trossachs National Park. You will hear from experts in the field (ecologists, geologists, habitat and reserve managers) about how they manage their specific habitats. You may even have the opportunity to use your conservation skills at some of these unique natural sites.

Scotland  has a massive cultural heritage to explore. Your days off could be spent visiting one of Scotland’s awe inspiring castles, one of the many traditional whisky distilleries, golf courses or areas of wilderness.

By the end of your stay in Scotland you will have seen, done and learned more than you can imagine. This is one of the best places to study abroad this Summer!

What’s Included

What’s Included in Program

•Pre-departure orientation and counseling
•Airport pickup and orientation on arrival in Scotland
•College tuition for 2 classes worth a total of 6 US credits
•Your own private room and bathroom in college accommodation. Free wireless internet available.
•Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided during the week, breakfast and dinner at the weekend.
•Access to computers in university Resource Centre. Laptops can also be borrowed on a weekly basis.
•College staff on-site will be available to assist students with individual requests, trecking in the Highlands or other activities and in-country travel.
•Excursions to local natural heritage sites eg. Loch Lomond, the Isle of May, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, William Wallace Monument and more.
•Sealed college transcripts on completion

Course Descriptions

Ecology Summer Study Abroad Program Courses

The units you will undertake are Habitat Management and Conservation Skills. The two courses included are 90 – 100 hours of instruction. Successful completion of the two courses will give you 6 hours of US credit, fully transferable, towards your degree at your home University or College (see your own college advisor for confirmation).

Habitat Management  (Unit code: F3SM 35)

This Unit introduces candidates to the principles of habitat management, the use of data from survey or monitoring and to help formulate objectives and to assess the success of management projects. The Unit also introduces management planning and the drafting of realistic management proposals.

On completion of the Unit the candidate should be able to:

  • Explain the objectives and scientific principles of habitat management.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of management projects.
  • Produce management proposals.

Recommended prior knowledge and skills: Access to this Unit is at the discretion of the centre. However it would be beneficial if the candidate had competence in surveying and the principles of ecology.

Conservation Skills  (Unit code: F431 34)

The Unit seeks to broaden the view of activities that the phrase ‘conservation skills’ covers and develops an understanding of the many different situations in which these skills are needed. This Unit is intended to provide a broad overview of the range of practical conservation skills which are required within the sector to achieve a wide range of conservation objectives. This Unit highlights traditional conservation skills, often viewed as the construction and maintenance skills, but also introduces many other practical conservation skills such as a range of survey techniques, the interpersonal skills necessary to successfully facilitate community projects and the overall requirement of project management skills.

On completion of the Unit the candidate should be able to:

  • Describe a range of conservation skills.
  • Plan and contribute to a small scale conservation project.
  • Evaluate a small scale conservation project.

Recommended prior knowledge and skills: There are no recommended prior knowledge or skills required for undertaking this Unit.

Certification is awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Sample Itinerary



Tour facilities

Tour of College Estate and Binnie Craig


Habitat Management – Principles

Conservation Skills – Techniques Local Site Visit

Welcome to Scotland Night

Wednesday       Day visit to explore West Lothian ecological sites

Cultural Visit: Linlithgow Palace


Day visit to discuss habitat management at wetland site

Cultural visit: Loch Leven Castle


Visit to Prehistoric Site – Cairnpapple.

Site management from a habitat/people management perspective.


Tour:  Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, ascent of Conic Hill,

Boat trip to Inchailloch Island Nature Reserve (Activities for all levels of fitness)

Sunday                 FREE DAY

Online Reviews

Why Study Abroad in Scotland?

“I’m having a great time here in Scotland! Everyone here has been extremely friendly. Life in Scotland is definitely different, but I love how ‘down-to-earth’ and nice everyone is here!

I’ve also started my research project on monitoring badger setts across campus. I love how the program is very ‘hands-on’ and I can work at my own pace under supervision. I feel like I can learn a lot more actually seeing what I’m studying, rather than just looking at pictures in a classroom!”

-Brad H. (Ecology Study Program, 2016)

Read more program review on Go Abroad and Abroad 101

Application Process

Click on the button at the top of the page to apply for this program now!

Late applications are accepted on a case by case basis and are subject to a $250 late fee.

Program Fee

Summer Ecological Conservation Program: $4,895

Program Syllabus

Participating Universities