International postgraduate master degree program

The planning and managing of conservation areas involves many different legal, administrative and technical aspects – the demand for highly skilled experts is growing. The Carinthian University of Applied Sciences has launched an international postgraduate master degree program dealing with these inter- and transdisciplinary challenges.

Managers of conservation areas

The aim of this program is to promote biodiversity conservation and regional sustainable development in Europe and worldwide by educating and training (future) managers of conservation areas. The MCA program focuses on skills which enable and empower to:

  • manage conservation areas effectively;
  • use new ways of communication;
  • deal with stakeholders in a better way;

Graduates of this program work as managers of conservation areas, national parks, biosphere reserves or world heritage sites. They develop and support community- managed sites and indigenous protected areas or shape the future of international organizations. Graduates may also work in the consulting, planning and scientific sector.


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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

"Exceptional learning experiences." The study programme "Management of Conservation Areas" has started under the auspices of UNESCO.

The Austrian UNESCO Ambassador Claudia Reinprecht and the Austrian UNESCO Secretary General Patrizia Jankovic, among others, personally welcome the…

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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

MCA evening reception gives an outlook on the future occupational fields of students

On September 28th the public kick-off event “MCA Evening Reception” took place at the Villach Campus. The event offered the MCA students an insight…

Kooperation der FH Kärnten mit dem Nationalpark Hohe Tauer
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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

Nationalpark Hohe Tauern und FH Kärnten besiegeln Kooperation

PARTNERMELDUNG: Landesrätin Sara Schaar

zuständig für: Umwelt, Energie, Naturschutz | Nationalparks

Goldene Unke
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Management of Conservation Areas MSc

Award “der Goldenen Unke” - Competition for innovative, nature-oriented and nature-conserving projects

Carinthia. The Goldene Unke was awarded and the most nature-oriented and nature-conserving construction project was honoured.

Information & Contact


If you have any questions feel free to contact:

Mag.a Alexandra Liegl 
Head of Center For Further Education

+43 5 90500 4311

Qualification awarded
Master of Science (MSc) 

ECTS Credits

€ 12.900,-

Duration of study
4 terms

Mode of study

Language of instruction


Next course start: Winter semester 2023

    Learning Target & Content

    After completing the MSc Program the manager and decision makers of conservation areas will be able to fully promote and understand biodiversity conservation and its contribution to sustainable development. The knowledge will be applicable worldwide and hence will have a strong focus on development cooperation.

    Participants will gain:

    • a comprehensive understanding of the aims and roles of conservation areas with regards to the conservation of biodiversity and (integrated) regional development;
    • a detailed knowledge of the full range of tools available for the management of conservation areas;
    • the ability to analyze and solve problems encountered when establishing, planning or managing conservation areas, including the implementation of inter- and transdisciplinary dialogues with all stakeholder groups;
    • hard and soft skills to create mutual benefits for nature conservation on the one hand and the local population on the other hand, particularly in peripheral regions as well as in developing countries.

    The technical components of the program have a focus on terrestrial, in particular mountainous ecoregions.

    Besides the core team (Carinthian University of Applied Sciences and E.C.O.), lecturers are around 30 internationally recognised experts. They represent the broad portfolio of different backgrounds, ranging from theoretical (science) to practical knowledge (park managers, consultants, international organizations). Innovative teaching and training formats support the development of relevant competencies. Interactive settings give way to peer-to-peer learning and allow for individual interaction with trainers and lecturers. An international advisory board supports the program in terms of quality control and gives access to most recent research, technologies and trends.

    Organisation & Dates

    • Next Start: September 2023

    The duration of the university certificate program for 2021 is 4 terms (2 years) and 19 courses. The total work load of the program is 120 ECTS. Hence, substantial components of the training are provided by e-learning. Presence courses will be held in different venues, for instance in seminar facilities of different parks and conservation areas in Central Europe.

    According to the new time schedule students now only meet one time per semester in Austria for several days of presence, the exact dates being:

    • Term 1: 20 September – 8 October 2021, 2 days off
    • Term 2: 28 February – 18 March 2022, 2 days off
    • Term 3: 31 October – 18 November 2022, 2 days off
    • Term 4: 3 July – 15 July 2023

      The scientific director Michael Jungmeier (jungmeier[at]e-c-o[dot]at) has taken the overall responsibility for the scientific and pedagogic quality of the program. The administrative director Alexandra Liegl and her staff answer to all organizational matters. Program coordinator Susanne Glatz-Jorde is the contact point for lecturers, applicants, participants and graduates (glatz-jorde[at]e-c-o[dot]at). She is supported by a network of regional contact points:

      • Andean region: Martin Schachner (
      • Amazonian region: Erica de Oliveira Coutinho (
      • Balkan region: Ana Strbenac (
      • Baltic region: Meldra Langenfelde (
      • Caucasus region (Armenia, Georgia): Arpine Jenderedjian (
      • Danube Carpathian region: Bohdan Prots (
      • East-Africa: Ayele Kebede Gebreyes (
      • Himalaya-Hindukush-Region: Sunita Chaudhary (
      • Russia and Central Asia (CIS, Azerbaidschan): Elena Smirnova (
      • Scandinavian region: Åsa Svensson (
      • South-East Asia and Pacifics: Ludi Apin (
      • South Asia: Muhammad Shariful Islam (

      The program is supported by three boards:

      • Scientific board (Chair: Prof. Franz Rauch, University of Klagenfurt)
      • Austrian experience Pool (Chair: Peter Rupitsch, National Park Hohe Tauern)
      • Institutional advisory board (Chair: Andrej Sovinc, Ph. D., IUCN WCPA Regional Vice-Chair Europe)

      Please get in contact with Susanne and her team any time. Please learn more about program, the team, our lecturers and trainers and members of the adivsiory board at our homepages: and



      Applicants have to prove an excellent academic and professional record and hence shall have:

      • a relevant academic degree (university, college or equivalent)
      • a very good command of English
      • and a demonstrable interest in contributing professionally to the sector.

      The application procedure is based on submission of documents (application form plus supporting materials, a full CV, a letter of motivation and two reference letters) and a subsequent oral interview (personal, skype).

      International applicants:

      International applicants have to provide translated and legalized copies of their documents in German or English. More information can be found here:

      Advisory Boards

      The programme is being counselled by 3 different Advisory Boards. A continuous flow of information and exchange within this network provides the programme management with up-to-date knowledge and access to current trends and discourses in nature conservation.

      The Institutional Board of the MCA’s function is to give access to most recent developments, decisions and policies of relevant international institutions. Amongst others, members are representatives of the IUCN/WCPA, the Ramsar Convention, the Europarc Federation, the ALPARC Network, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Agence Française pour la Biodiversité, the KfW German Development Bank, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the FAOSEC (FAO) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT)

      The Scientific Board is securing the excellency of scientific methods and pedagogic approaches, as well as to give access to most recent concepts and theories, empiric work and research results. It consists of scientists and researchers from Europe’s centres of excellence in environmental studies and from most renowned Universities.

      The Austrian experience pool is an open forum that gives access to exemplary Austrian parks, best practice, show cases, model projects but also conflicts and problems that can be visited, discussed and analysed by the program´s participants. Possibilities for seminar works, master thesis and internships arise out of the fluent exchange. The board is chaired by Mag. Peter Rupitsch, director on National Park Hohe Tauern (Carinthia/Austria).



      Dr. Michael Jungmeier
      Scientific director

      E.C.O. Institut für Ökologie

      Lakeside B07 b, 2. OG
      9020 Klagenfurt

      Susanne Glatz-Jorde
      Program coordinator

      E.C.O. Institut für Ökologie

      Lakeside B07 b, 2. OG
      9020 Klagenfurt

      Mag.a Alexandra Liegl 
      Head of Center For Further Education

      +43 5 90500 4311

      Melina Hierländer
      WBZ Lehrgangsadministration

      +43 5 90500 4305

      Hauptplatz 12
      9560 Feldkirchen