Trees are a part of our everyday lives, indeed we cannot live without them. Christmas trees, tropical rainforests, local community woodlands, ancient trees and woods, the blazing leaf colours of autumn, woodland conservation, global warming and mistletoe growing on apple trees and willows are just some examples of the ways in which woodlands and trees are so important to us all, for enjoyment, livelihood and survival.
The forest is a place for everyone. From the quite woods to the wild sounds of birds and animals the forest is more than just a lot of trees in one place. Forestry is about establishing and managing woodlands and forests in temperate and tropical climates. As there are different kinds of forests all over the world there are opportunities to study quite a wide range of subjects. Production forestry is the growing of high-quality trees for timber for manufacturing into products such as paper, cardboard, particle board and environmentally friendly fuel, agroforestry is concerned with the interactions of farming and forest systems and biodiversity, amenity, urban and community forestry concentrates on the planting and managing trees and woodlands in and around built-up areas throughout the world.
Example areas of study
Specialist Forestry courses at degree level are fairly broad in their core subjects, but give opportunities to specialise through optional modules, or to keep to a more general approach. Forestry is also central to other courses such as arboriculture, forest conservation, forest sciences, and sustainable woodland management. The following list will give you an idea of the subjects you may be able to study. Check with all your preferred courses to find out exactly what you would study before you submit your application.
- Tree biology and wood anatomy
- Forest ecology, management and planning
- Forest measurement
- Forestry practice
- Ecological and environmental modelling
- Plant biology, ecology and taxonomy
- Environmental management and conservation
- Natural resource economics
- Forest pests and management
- Forest harvesting and timber marketing
- Forest inventory and yield regulation
- Wood science
- Soil science
- Applied forest economics
- Land management
- Natural resource assessment
- Forest products and timber harvesting
- Tropical forestry
- Rural development forestry
- Research skills and research practice
- Climate and water resources
Some career possibilities
Opportunities may arise in forestry-related work in state, private and local government sectors and in non-governmental organisations, working in, for example, urban, environmental or social forestry, timber processing, forest management (UK and abroad), field ecology and environmental management. Postgraduate research and further study leading to higher degrees is another option.
What do I need to get on an honours degree course?
The entry requirements for forestry courses do vary so you will need to check with university and colleges themselves to find out precisely what grades and qualifications you will need. However the list below will give you an overview of the entry requirements.
- UCAS Tariff: 160 - 340 points including a relevant science subject and sometimes mathematics
- A-level: CC - AAB-BBB including a relevant science subject and sometimes mathematics
- SQA Highers: BBBB including a science and sometimes mathematics
- SQA Advanced Highers: CC-AA including a relevant science subject and sometimes mathematics
- Irish Leaving Certificates: 205 points
- HNC/HND: in a relevant subject. You may be able to enter a degree at year two or three
- BTEC National Diploma: DDM in a relevant science subject
For your application or interview, evidence of the following could be useful:
- Work experience/work shadowing, for example with the Forestry Commission or the National Trust, in your local community woodland
- Keen interest in, and knowledge of, trees, woodlands, the ecology of woodlands and environmental issues
- Enjoyment of working outside in all weathers
- Further information on forestry is available from The Forestry Commission, Royal Forestry Society and the Commonwealth Forestry Association
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
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