A hands-on program that balances theory and practice.

This innovative program balances theory and practice across all dimensions of ecological restoration. The key strength of the Restoration of Natural Systems (RNS) Diploma is its emphasis on a holistic approach, providing online learning and hands-on training that combines the research and theory of the biophysical sciences with skills for effective collaboration with communities in restoration work. View more ecological restoration programs here.

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Program description

This dynamic, interdisciplinary credit program provides comprehensive knowledge and skills to those interested in the rapidly emerging field of ecological restoration. Learn about the most current restoration practices from experienced and knowledgeable instructors, surrounded by peers that share your passion for the natural world.

This RNS program is supported by a unique partnership between the School of Environmental Studies and the Division of Continuing Studies, resulting in expertly designed courses that are current, comprehensive and delivered with attention to the needs of adult learners. Achieve your goals at your own pace with online and on campus course options and flexible program completion timelines.

The RNS Program has received both the Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (2001) and the Ecostar Award for Environmental Education from the Capital Regional District (2005).

The program can be taken part-time or full-time.

Program partners

The University of Victoria logo

Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Environmental Studies

View our Advisory Committee

Program features

  • A holistic approach to ecological restoration
  • Flexible program completion timelines
  • Combination of on-campus intensive and online course formats
  • Courses instructed by restoration professionals
  • Different perspectives come together as part of a shared vision
  • A recognized university credential for professionals

Program outcomes

By the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Design and evaluate restoration projects in a broad range of subject areas
  • Use scientifically rigorous approaches to restoration projects
  • Interpret technical reports and scientific publications
  • Identify and understand the decisions and policies governing restoration work
  • Apply research methodologies to restoration projects
  • Use current mapping and sampling technologies
  • Solve problems encountered in implementing restoration projects including dispute resolution, conducting consultative processes, and building consensus
  • Understand issues of national and international restoration
  • Take human impacts into consideration when analyzing and designing restoration projects
  • Incorporate traditional ecological knowledge in restoration planning where appropriate
  • Communicate knowledge about restoration projects to the wider public

Who is this program for?

The Restoration of Natural Systems program will appeal to those who:

  • are interested in a career in environmental conservation and restoration
  • want specific information relevant to their environmental or planning work
  • want to complement their current degree program

Career options

Some of our learners pursue careers in the following roles:
  • Private Industry Environmental Consultant or Restoration Specialist
  • Municipal, Regional, Provincial or National Parks Employee
  • Provincial Government Employee (e.g. Ministry of Environment)
  • Environmental Non-Government Organization or Not-For-Profit Society General Employee
  • Restoration Specialist
  • Environmental Project Coordinator



Additional program information

Courses & fees

Students must complete 12 credit courses (18.0 credit units) in order to obtain their diploma: six core (required) courses and six electives. 

With prior permission from the Academic Administrator, students may take up to four of these electives from outside of the program. Courses considered for transfer into the program should be at the third- or fourth-year undergraduate level and should focus on a topic related to the field of restoration.

Diploma students also have the option of a one- or two-term co-op placement. More information about co-op placements can be found on the UVic Environmental Studies Co-op page

Please see the individual course pages for descriptions and scheduling information.

Courses open for registration

Program planning

A different selection of courses are offered every term. To see our upcoming offerings, please view our anticipated course schedule. To assist in your program planning, you can also view all course descriptions

Graduation information

For students that have completed the program, graduation forms are available: Application to graduate

Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $120.00
Six required courses ($670.00 per course for domestic students; contact us for International tuition fee estimate) $3,960.00
Six elective courses ($670 per course for Canadian students; contact us for International tuition fee estimate) $3,960.00
Estimated Total $8,040.00*
Fees listed in this section are an estimate. Total program fees may vary depending on delivery format, course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Application information

Admission requirements

The credit program is offered at the third- and fourth-year undergraduate level. You should have a minimum of two years of post-secondary studies or an equivalent preparation developed through work and life experience.

A first year ecology or biology course is recommended. If you require a biology upgrade course, we offer a low-cost online self-study option: ER099 Biology and Natural History, which is open for registration at any time.

You should also have a demonstrated interest in the environmental field, indicated by courses taken, positions held, volunteer work or hobbies.

Applicants who speak English as a second language must meet the University of Victoria's English language proficiency requirements before applying to the program.

How to apply

  1. Contact us (ecorestoration@uvic.ca) if you want to discuss your education and experience prior to submitting your application.
  2. Click the APPLY ONLINE button. You will be asked to create an account if you are new to Continuing Studies. Please fill out the application form carefully: incomplete applications will result in increased processing times. Note that you will be asked to provide a credit card number to pay the $120 application fee.
  3. Upon acceptance into the program you will receive an acceptance letter, information about how to register for courses, an updated course schedule and information about how to apply to UVic.

Application dates

Starting in
January 2020
Not Currently Accepting
Apply by
Dates TBD
Contact us for more info
Starting in
May 2020
Accepting Applications
Apply by
March 31, 2020
Apply online Contact us for more info
Starting in
September 2020
Accepting Applications
Apply by
July 15, 2020
Apply online Contact us for more info