Environmental Studies

Learn the foundations of environmental science and how to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.

Course CodeVEN100
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method

I am studying from...

Enable Javascript to automatically update prices.

All prices in Australian Dollars.

Click on Enrol Now to See Our Payment Plans Available. No Obligation.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!

  • Learn - What is Climate Change? What is Global Warning?
  • Explore practical ways to live a more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle
  • Lay a foundation for further learning formally or informally (This course can earn you credits for longer study programs if you wish)
  • Self paced, 100 hour course

Learn about this and a lot more through this introductory course designed to provide you with a better understanding of the physical surroundings of the world we live in. By studying the environment you should increase your awareness and understanding of the world, you should begin to notice things in your surroundings which you didn't notice before, and you will increase your appreciation of the complexities and intricacies of the natural and man made world which you live in.

Student's comment: C. Cadena - Environmental Studies
The course was a valuable learning experience... "because it made me aware of environmental information I didn't know"... 'I didn't study for a career improvement, but to learn and implement the information on a daily basis".

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Living Things
    • Classification of plants and animals
    • identifying living organisms
    • using identification keys
  2. Basic Ecology
    • Populations
    • communities
    • ecosystems
    • constituents of ecosystem
    • the ecosphere
    • the web of life
    • habitats and niches
    • humans in the environment.
  3. Global Environmental Systems
    • The Earth’s structure
    • the atmosphere
    • climatic systems
    • Gaia theory
    • the carbon dioxide cycle
    • El Nino.
  4. Environmental Problems
    • Deforestation
    • loss of agricultural land
    • loss of biological diversity
    • loss of water
    • loss of non renewable resources
    • environmental weeds
    • the Greenhouse Effect
    • Ozone depletion
    • ozone as a Greenhouse gas
  5. Conservation
    • The definition and goals of conservation
    • the history of conservation
    • natural resources (renewable and non renewable).
  6. Acting Locally: Thinking Globally
    • Humans and water
    • how to minimize water usage
    • energy use in the home
    • reducing household waste
    • domestic transport and its affect on pollution
    • building materials and their environmental impact.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • To understand the binomial system of classifying living things
  • To understand the use of keys to identify living things
  • To grasp the basics of ecology (the relationships between living organisms and their environment)
  • To have a basic grounding in Earth Science and an understanding of global environmental systems
  • To understand the Earth’s major environmental problems and how they have come about
  • To gain an understanding of conservation and its importance to individuals and the world
  • To learn a range of ways to reduce the environmental impact of ones’ actions at home and globally

What You Will Do

  • Classify a range of living organisms in your locality
  • Identify the genus and species names of plants in a nursery
  • Compose a food web for your local area
  • Carry out basic research into the weather in your area and what affects it
  • Carry out in depth research into at least one major environmental problem
  • Contact three conservation organisations to determine the issues they deal with
  • Survey a building to determine the types of building materials used
  • Design an environmentally friendly house

Tips for Saving Water

The watering requirements of your plants can be minimised in the following ways:

  • By choosing plant species and varieties that best suit the local climate 
  • By maintaining a well balanced fertile soil (appropriate to the plants selected)
  • By watering in the cool of the day
  • By using micro irrigation systems e.g. trickle systems where possible. These are much more efficient in their use of water. 
  • By slow thorough watering. A thorough deep watering once or twice a week will be more effective than light watering every day or two. 
  • By avoiding spraying water on windy days.
  • By considering soil type when selecting a watering system. 
  • Clay soils hold water well and will distribute it horizontally, so a drip system is suitable. Water runs quickly through sandy soil and a micro spray, which distributes water over a broader area than a trickle system would be more suitable. 
  • By reducing excess evaporation. This can be achieved by keeping bare soil covered. Mulches, as well as reducing weed growth will reduce evaporation. Compact groundcovers will slow evaporation from the soil but they will use a lot of water themselves. Larger plants will shade the soil and limit evaporation but they can make getting water to the soil in the first place rather tricky. 
  • Rainwater tanks are a useful method of gaining extra water. The use of tanks in the city may require permission from your local government authority. Unfortunately some local Governments will not allow them at all, and some may require that they be of only a limited size and out of public sight. But if you can get one it can help save water and it will collect fresh rain water to drink. In some cities, however, it is not recommended to use rainwater for the household if there is any likelihood of pollutants being present in the rain water or collected off your roof.
  • By covering swimming pools and directing storm water into them (subject to the conditions set out in the point above. Have the pool surrounds sloping back a little towards the pool so that any splashed water will run back into it.


Tips for Saving Energy

  • Use energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind and water power.
  • Use natural gas in preference to electricity, or use electricity generated by renewable means
    (hydro-thermal, geothermal, wind, or solar).
  • Conserve energy around the house:
  1. install insulation,
  2. seal gaps to minimise heat loss or gain,
  3. use curtains, blinds, awnings, etc. to reduce heat loss in winter, and heat gain in summer,
  4. use energy efficient appliances (many larger appliances will have an energy efficiency rating on them),
  5. don’t heat or cool rooms that are not in use (e.g. spare bedrooms),
  6. turn off lights and appliances that are not being used,
  7. turn the thermostat down in winter and up in summer by a few degrees,
  8. put on warmer clothing in winter instead of turning thermostats up,
  9. insulate hot water tanks and pipes, and turn down the water heater thermostat.



There are a vast number of environmental problems in the world. Whilst one person single handed may not be able to reverse the greenhouse effect or other large problems, we are often able to vote at elections, and we are able to modify our own domestic habits to minimise the environmental damage caused. If enough people change their way of thinking and their way of living, then global change is possible. Whilst we may act locally, we can think globally about the consequences of our actions

Need assistance?

Start Now!


Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability. Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop
Maggi Brown

Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture
Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,
Martin Powdrill

25 years working in Telecommunications, IT, Organisational Development, and Energy Conservation & Efficiency, prior to setting up his own Permaculture consulting business. Martin has a Bsc (Hons) Applied Science (Resources Option), MSc Computer Studies, P
Marine Animals
With colour photos splashed throughout, this Marine Animals e-book is designed to provide a guide for some of the more common animals found in marine ecosystems around the world. Learn about the creatures hidden by the other 70% of the earth's surface. Ex
Organic Gardening
For decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
A good cross section of of common weeds are illustrated and reviewed. These are plants that occur in many parts of the world, and some are not always weeds.
What to Plant Where
A great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees an