Online course in Nature & Environment

Introduction to Ecosystems

Gain an understanding of the natural world, how the web of life works, with illustrations from around the world.

Introduction to Ecosystems

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Certificate Available

Why join the course?

If we don’t grasp why ecosystems function, it becomes harder to determine possible reasons for when they don’t, and makes it difficult to identify possible environmental threats to humans. In this course you will discover how organisms are linked together by complex interrelationships, how such links are studied and how the physical properties of a particular habitat interact with the organisms that inhabit it. Using case studies, you will come to learn how knowledge of ecosystems leads to understanding of their individual importance, and how they can be preserved.

All Open University science courses presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.


You can use the hashtag #FLeco14 to join and contribute to Twitter conversations about this course.

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Who is the course for?

This course is intended for those with an interest in natural history, conservation or the environment and does not require any previous experience of studying these subjects.

Who will you learn with?

David Robinson

David Robinson

I am a zoologist specialising in acoustic behaviour and evolutionary biology, now researching insect ecology and ultrasonic communication.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.

$49.00