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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Learn more about the environment and conservation with this distance learning course.
Packed with information to help you to develop a foundation for managing conservation of different environments.
It reviews basic ecology and environmental problems such as pollution and land degradation before considering varying aspects of conservation

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Raise Your Awareness and Understanding of Conservation and Environmental Management   
  • Explore work opportunities, get a job or start a business
  • Apply what you learn in your own daily life - be a more responsible citizen!
  • Use this course as a credit toward one of our certificates or diplomas
  • Enrol anytime, study at your own pace from anywhere


There are 8 lessons as follows:

1. An Introduction To Ecology

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Conservation; Use of Resources, ecological value, economic value, genetic diversity 
  • Overkill
  • Urbanisation
  • Basic Ecology
  • The Ecosystem
  • Constituents for the Ecosystem
  • Ecological Concepts
  • The Web of Life; climate, producers, consumers, decomposers The Food Web
  • Habitat and Niche
  • Humans in the Environment
  • Energy Flow
  • Imbalances
  • The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
  • Climate Change
  • El Nino
  • International Efforts to Counter Climate Change; IPCC, UNFCC, Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Summit, Worldwatch Institute, etc
  • Terminology

2. A Perspective On Environmental Problems

  • History of Conservation
  • Natural Resources; Renewable, Non Renewable
  • Goals of Conservation
  • History from Industrial Revolution to WWII
  • WW2 and Post War Period
  • International Conservation
  • Deforestation
  • Loss of Agricultural Land
  • Loss of Biodiversity Endangered Water Supplies
  • Exhaustion of Non Renewable Resources
  • Political and Economic Issues of Conservation
  • Environmental Damage in Free Economies
  • Pollution in Planned Economies Supply of Resources
  • Limits to Growth

3. Pollution and Industry Effects On The Environment

  • Nature and Scope of Pollution
  • Industrial Pollution
  • Types of Pollutants
  • Effects of Pollution
  • Nuclear Pollution
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • Asbestos Fibre
  • Urbanisation
  • Energy Alternatives
  • Deforestation
  • Nuclear Energy, Hydro Power, Solar Energy, Wind, Waste Power

4. Water and Soil

  • Introduction
  • Dams
  • River Catchments
  • Wetlands
  • Water Pollution
  • Recycling
  • Desalination
  • Water Environments
  • The Hydrological Cycle; Infiltration, Rainfall, Evaporation, Effective Rainfall, etc
  • Water and Plant Growth
  • Keeping Water Clean
  • Sewerage Treatment
  • Soil; pH, texture, structure
  • Land and Soil Degradation;
  • Loss of soil fertility
  • Erosion
  • Salinity
  • Soil compaction
  • Soil acidification
  • Build up of dangerous chemicals

5. Vegetation Conservation and Management

  • Value of Trees
  • Commercial Value of Trees
  • Rainforests
  • Forest Systems and Biomass
  • Forest Conservation
  • Trees and the Environment
  • Environmental consequences of Deforestation
  • Afforestation
  • Classification of Forests
  • Desertification
  • Acid Rain
  • Environmental Weeds
  • Strategies for Preservation of Native Grasslands

6. Animal Conservation and Management

  • The Human Animal
  • Urbanisation
  • Wildlife
  • Threatened Species
  • Invasive Species
  • Wildlife Management; approaches, preservation, conservation, goals
  • Wildlife Habitats
  • Water Management for Wildlife
  • Wildlife Surveys

7. Marine Conservation and Management 

  • Estuaries
  • Fisheries; stock management, assessment, biomass, stock management methods
  • Conservation of Sandy Shores

8. The Future

  • Tourism and the Environment
  • Ecotourism
  • Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)
  • Framework for ESD

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.

What you will do in this Course

Here are some examples of what you may do:

  • Describe ecological processes and associated sustainable management techniques.
  • Investigate a specific environmental problem and provide possible solutions.
  • Evaluate the relationship between industry and pollution.
  • Discuss principles of water and soil management.
  • Select a specific type of plant that is endangered or an environmental problem and submit a case study.
  • Explain animal conservation strategies, including protection legislation, breeding programs and habitat conservation.
  • Discuss a specific issue that applies to marine conservation.
  • Develop profiles of three different conservation and/or environment lobby group organisations and procedures used in promoting their cause.


Ecological Concepts

Knowing the basic components of an ecosystem leads to learning of the basic ecological concepts. Different authors might list concepts in different ways, however, the following are basic, universally accepted and essential to any ecosystem:

The sun is the source of all energy.

All energy in any organisms originally came from the sun. Other energies in the environment also originated from the sun (eg. wind, tides, water cycle, light, etc). The sun warms the earth, and provides energy for photosynthesis in plants. The synthesis of carbon compounds through photosynthesis converts sunlight energy into chemical energy that directly, or indirectly, provides food for almost all other organisms.

Everything is connected to everything else.

All living things interact with other things (both living and not living) in their environment. The climate affects the living things in an area. The plants influence the insect population and the insects eat the fish ... and on it goes.

Everything must fit how and where it lives.

'Adaption' is the key word of this concept! (ie: Unless a species adapts to a situation, it will not survive). A principle related to this concept is the 'Dam Law'. The Dam Law states.... 'die, adapt or move'.

Everything is going somewhere and becoming something else.

We can never really throw it away. An ecosystem is dynamic; in a constant state of change. In death there is no waste matter ... it is continually recycled among biotic or abiotic components. Rocks are worn down into soil, soil is used by plants, changed, moved and leached by the forces of the environment etc.

All action has a consequence.

For every action there is a reaction. For every event there is a consequence. There is a delicate balance of nature between producers and consumers which allows both to exist. If this interrelationship becomes and remains unbalanced, one and/or both members of the interrelationship will die.

Career Tips

Qualifications are essential for furthering your career in Conservation and Environmental Management, however there are many other things you can do to get ahead. These include:

* experience tips - unpaid or paid, experience is highly valued by future employers.

* networking tips - become a member of relevant environmental networking groups and join website groups related to your field.

* membership - become a member of relevant groups in your field eg. the Mammal Society or Bird Observer Clubs. This is another way to demonstrate your commitment to your career.


ACS Student Comments


"I am finding it interesting and educational - it covers the primary facts and then encourages you to learn the details through the assignments and contacting numerous organisations involved in environmental issues". Jasmine Dungey - Conservation and Environmental Management course.

" I have never found the staff at any other learning institution as supportive as the staff at ACS. This gives one a lot of peace of mind and confidence to go on - at every squeak from my side, you guys have always been there, immediately to sort me out. The feedback on my lessons has always been really good and meaningful and an important source of my learning. Thanks!..."

Caring for the Earth

Viewed from some distant observation platform, such as the moon, which is 384,000 kilometres away from earth, the earth looks exceptionally beautiful. However, a traveller from some distant planet would know that the crew of space ship earth is already far too large, and expanding at an alarming rate. The breathing system and the water supplies are becoming polluted. Waste materials of every kind are causing pollution, and threatening the operation of nature itself. The threat to the existence of life on the planet is steadily growing. Therefore each member of the crew must realise that the elements of the earth are exhaustible and they will not last forever. Therefore, it is necessary for each and every person to take an active part in conservation and the reduction of waste.

While humans have incredible creative abilities, unfortunately they also have incredible destructive abilities, with many humans thinking that the resources of the planet are there to be plundered for their own good. Conservation is not only concerned with the basic support of human life, but also with the quality of life. Human activities can profoundly change the face of our planet, and can irreparably damage or destroy natural resources upon which human well-being and survival depend.

There are many conservationists, however, who see this idea of conservation as being extremely self-centred, that in fact humans are only just one species on this planet, and that the resources of the planet are not the 'property' of humans, but to all organisms on this planet. Any management and use of the natural resources of the planet must therefore take into consideration the needs (i.e. food, water, shelter, etc.) of not just humans, but other organisms as well. This idea can be carried further, in that many conservationists see that such regard for the needs of other organisms is not only desirable from a moral point of view, but beneficial, even necessary in the long term for human survival on this planet.

Do you want to care for the Earth? Would you like to learn more about conservation and the environment? Then why not get started?


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Meet some of our academics

Alison Pearce (animal)B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Masters Degree in Ecotourism. P.G.Cert. Ed. (Science). Alison's first job was in 1982 as a stockwoman, working with pigs in Yorkshire. Within a few years she of that she was working for the University of Western Australia as a Research Technician and instructor with their school of Agricultural Science.In 1989 she moved to Melbourne University as Unit Manager and Instructor in Animal Husbandry. By the mid 1990's she moved back to England to work in Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing at Cambridgeshire College of Agriculture. Throughout her career, Alison has developed and delivered courses in veterinary nursing and animal sciences for vocational colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Australia. She has built a high level of expertise and an outstanding international reputation as an expert in animal sciences.
Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.

Check out our eBooks

Growing & Knowing GrassesThe Growing & Knowing Grasses ebook will provide you with everything that you need to know about grass. Get to all about the botany of grasses, how to identify them, how to cultivate grasses, the different uses for grasses and also includes a detailed illustrated encyclopedia of grasses and grass-like plants.
Landscaping & Gardening in the ShadeLandscaping and Gardening in the Shade will involve many considerations including buildings, plants and care of plants.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
Farm ManagementThe Farm Management ebook is a valuable piece of equipment for any farming student or current farmer. Improve your farm management skills or learn new skills and techniques. The topics covered within this Farm Management ebook include 1/ Scope and nature of the farm industry, 2/ The farm site, 3/ Production systems, 4/ Managing livestock, 5/ Managing pasture, 6/ Managing crops, 7/ Managing equipment and materials, 8/ Computer applications, 9/ Farm structures and buildings, 10/ Financial management, 11/ Marketing, 12/ Farm planning, 13/ Staff management, 14/ Water management and 15/ Diversification.