An innovative, hands-on program that balances theory and practice.

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

The key strength of the program is its emphasis on a holistic approach, providing training that combines the research and theory of the biophysical sciences with skills for effective collaboration with communities in restoration work.

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

This 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).

Program outcomes

Upon completion of the program, you will have developed knowledge in the following areas:

  • designing restoration projects that consider a broad range of subject areas and include consideration of human factors
  • using scientifically rigorous approaches to restoration projects
  • reading and analyzing technical reports and scientific publications
  • introducing students to the decision makers and policies governing restoration work
  • presenting ideas clearly electronically, orally and in writing
  • use of current mapping technologies
  • solving problems encountered in implementing restoration projects
  • working in partnership with other professionals and stakeholders
  • developing competency in the types of equipment and procedures used to sample the natural environment
  • including traditional ecological knowledge in restoration planning
  • incorporating social and scientific knowledge in restoration planning

Admission and completion requirements

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.

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.

Completion requirements

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.

Career options

Some of our grads have pursued 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
  • Graduate Student
  • Restoration Specialist
  • Environmental Project Coordinator



Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $120.00
Six required courses ($636.76 per course) $3,820.56
Six elective courses ($636.76 per course) $3,820.56
Estimated Total $7,761.12*
Fees listed in this section are only an estimate. Total program fees will vary depending on course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Application dates

Starting in
January 2017
Accepting Applications
Delivery Style
/ Online and on-campus
Apply by
Dec. 15, 2016
Apply online Contact us for more info

How to apply

  1. Contact us ( 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.