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Life Below Water: Conservation, Current Issues, Possible Solutions

Explore the human impact on underwater biodiversity, ecosystems, and animals, and solutions for preserving life below water.

1,845 enrolled on this course

Life Below Water: Conservation, Current Issues, Possible Solutions

1,845 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Develop knowledge and research skills in marine conservation

It is widely accepted that the phenomenal biodiversity within underwater ecosystems and habitats has been very negatively affected by human interaction.

The exact nature and course of the damage, and what can be done about it, are not as clearly understood. This four-week course by the University of the Sunshine Coast aims to change that.

You’ll develop research and analytic skills, gaining insights into how to measure and minimise human impact on marine life. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to preserve underwater biodiversity and better protect aquatic animals.

Explore marine biodiversity and aquatic ecology

On this course, you’ll take a deep dive into the ecosystems found below the water’s surface. You’ll also be introduced to the form, function, and evolution of aquatic animals.

As you learn what types of species exist, and how they have adapted to survive, you’ll gain greater insights into how to ensure animal conservation in these environments.

Gain a deeper understanding of the environmental impact of humans

In addition to natural aquatic ecology you’ll examine how human behaviour exacerbates climate change, and the effects that climate change has on underwater fauna and flora.

With an understanding of the threats to marine life, you’ll then take a look at new developments in marine science, and how this is leading to solutions to human impact.

Enjoy world-class education with the University of the Sunshine Coast

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the specialists at the University of the Sunshine Coast and learn from ecology experts to help develop your skills, confidence, and knowledge in marine conservation.

The University has ranked 3rd Place on The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for life underwater, and 5th on life on land.

What topics will you cover?

Over the duration of the course, you’ll look at the following subjects:

  • Biodiversity and ecology
  • Form, function, and evolution in marine animals
  • Human impacts and climate change
  • Cutting-edge research and possible conservation solutions

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify common groups of aquatic species, including marine mammals, reptiles, fish and seabirds
  • Discuss common problems facing species in aquatic environments, including climate change, urbanisation, and fisheries exploitation
  • Explain key aspects of the morphology, behaviour and ecology of species in aquatic environments, including crocodile movement, diving mammals, and shark reproduction
  • Investigate the advanced techniques and technology which are used to study and solve conservation issues by scientists.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in the ecology and conservation of aquatic animals. The knowledge gained can be used to pursue opportunities outside environmentalism, in diverse fields such as business, education, finance, and eco-tourism.

Who will you learn with?

I am interested in the relationship between form, function and ecology of living and extinct animals.

I am a marine scientist that specialises in marine animal conservation and human impacts on the marine environment. I am passionate about bridging the gap between science and the general public.

Who developed the course?

University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast is a modern higher education institution located in Queensland, Australia. USC programs include a strong focus on the core skills needed in the future workplace.

  • Established

  • Location

    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 600Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 13 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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