Online Courses

Here is your opportunity to expand your knowledge about ecology and conservation from the comfort of your own home. IF THE ONLINE SHOP IS NOT WORKING PLEASE EMAIL for details. 

Here are our current online courses:
  • NEW! Bat Ecology and Surveying
  • Bats: Architectural Terms for Bat Workers
  • Bats: Health and Safety for Bat Workers
  • Bats: Surveying Buildings for Bats*
  • Bats: Introduction to Bats*
  • Bats: Activity Surveys – transects and emergence surveys*
  • Bats: Surveying Trees for Bats*
  • Badger Ecology and Surveying *
  • Beaver Ecology and Surveying*
  • Beginners Botany*~
  • NEW! Career Kick-Starter 6 step program
  • Dormouse Ecology and Surveying*
  • Grass ID *~
  • NEW! Great Crested Newt Ecology and Surveying
  • Habitat Management
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Invasive Species
  • Mammal ID
  • Reptile and Amphibian ID and surveying
  • Reptile Ecology and Surveying*
  • Otter Ecology and Surveying*
  • Phase 1 Habitat mapping
  • Surveying for Protected Species*
  • Woodland Management for Biodiversity
*These courses are in a different format with Sue Searle BSc PGDip, MCIEEM, Principal Ecologist taking you through the ‘classroom’ part of the course then she takes you out in the field to see things for yourself. These courses are delivered as video and have a course quiz at the end and you will gain a Certificate!
~ these courses will be available again in the spring when the plants are in flower again. 
All courses receive a Certificate on satisfactory completion of a quiz.

Introduction to Ecology - Self Study Course

SKU 00045
In stock
Product Details

We have designed this course to give you foundation knowledge of ecological principles and it covers a range of useful topics needed for ecology careers including consultancy and conservation. You will be guided to further reading and, where relevant, will get suitable web links to explore. At the end of each module are quiz questions for you to complete.

Course Outline:

  • Module 1 What is Ecology?
  • Module 2 Diversity and Classification
  • Module 3 Abiotic Interactions and World Ecosystems
  • Module 4 Biotic Interactions and Behavioural Ecology
  • Module 5 Evolution and Genetics
  • Module 6 Population Ecology
  • Module 7 Habitats and Communities
  • Module 8 Species and Habitat Conservation
  • Module 9 History of the British Countryside
  • Module 10 Surveying and Habitat Management

"I absolutely loved this course and am looking forward to doing some further courses soon!"

"Just to say thank you for the brilliant course. Enjoyed doing it and learnt a great deal. Feel I have now got a foot in the door of Ecology."

"Just thought I’d drop you a line to say how useful and interesting this course is!"

"Very good introductory course to learn general ecology ready for Certificate course"

"The course content was excellent and the topics covered were very informative. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of ecology would benefit immensely from taking this course. I would highly recommend it!"

"A thought provoking and enjoyable course."

"The course has been thoroughly informative and engaging, and I have enjoyed every minute of it."

"Thoroughly enjoyed this course, found it interesting and informative throughout; and have booked up for another. The quality and pace of the information is excellent, and Sue is always on hand for assistance or feedback. Highly recommended if you want do more than just read a book, but aren't needing a full-time course."

Other Details:

Who is the course aimed at?

  • People who want to pursue a career in ecological consultancy or conservation.
  • People who want a better understanding of ecological principles.
  • People interested in a career in ecology who have a degree in a non-relevant subject (e.g. Geography).
  • People who have a relevant degree but have not studied recently and need a refresher course.

Course format: The 10 self-study modules will be sent out via e-mail on a weekly basis from the time that you enrol (you can enrol at any time), so that you can read through the content in your own time. To further enhance your knowledge and learning experience there will be some directed reading for each module (it is essential you complete this to ensure you get the most out of the course), as well as some quiz questions so that you can test yourself. At the end there will be a short quiz which you will send to us to be marked and then you will be issued with a certificate of attendance.

Time commitment: The 10 self-study modules are sent out on a weekly basis and you are also given an additional 4 weeks to complete the course (although extra time can be given if requested). We advise students to allow 2-4 hours per week to complete each module and to read around the subject.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the course you will have an awareness of the scientific principles in ecology including biotic and abiotic factors affecting individuals and communities, genetics, speciation, population ecology, communities, ecosystems, conservation, landscape history in the UK, site surveying and habitat management for specific species. You will gain a wider knowledge on the subject that will help equip you for jobs in the conservation and ecology sectors.

Core text: Mackenzie, A., Ball, S. and Virdee, S.R. 2001 Instant Notes - Ecology, Bios
We strongly recommend that you purchase this as soon as you enrol.

Price: The course costs £137 (plus VAT). This does not include the price of the core text.

How to book: You can book on-line here. Alternatively, if you are a company, you request an invoice by emailing

Once you have booked, we will e-mail you to confirm that your booking has been received and you will then be able to start the course.

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All our online courses are individually priced.

If you require an invoice then please email otherwise please book online. We cannot take cheques or payments over the phone at this time.

To request an invoice please state:

  • company name and address
  • purchase order number (if applicable)
  • course title/date
  • delegate name.

This is what some of our students have said about our online courses:

‘The [habitat management] course is certainly paying off as I’m currently managing woodlands as part of the graduate development programme with the FC. I’m about to apply for the membership with the Institute of Chartered Foresters and thought of attaching this certificate!’

‘Thank you for the course, I found it very interesting and definitely improved my knowledge of the fundamentals of habitat management.’