Study ecology; enhance a career in applied biology or horticulture; or develop a foundation for further studies.

Course Code: BEN101
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to explain interactions that occurs in ecological systems at a basic level.


This subject has 7 lessons as follows:

1. Ecosystems & Populations
Components of an ecosystem, Biomes, Detrital & grazing webs, trophic levels, energy flows etc

2. The Development Of Life
Lifespans, Natural selection, Genetics, Understanding arguments for and against theory of evolution, etc

3. Animals, Parasites & Endangered Species
Comparative anatomy, how animals fit in ecosystems, animals in the human community, parasites, etc

4. Fungi, Tundra, Rainforests & Marshlands
Physiology, anatomy, classification and ecology of fungi; Location, the climate, the plant and animal life
related to different systems including tundra, marshes and rainforests.

5. Mountains, Rivers & Deserts
Formation ecology and importance of mountains (including erosion, volcanoes etc), formation & types of rivers, catchments, dams, deserts and their ecology, etc.

6. Shallow Waters
Shore lines, coral reefs, intermediate reefs, estuaries, sandy shores, etc.

7. Ecological Problems
The Greenhouse Effect, The Ozone Layer, Poisons & Waste Materials

Duration:  100 hours


  • Observe an ecosystem in your local area.  Identify the inhabitants of the ecosystem and their location in the food web of that system.
  • Compare the similarities and differences between the detrital web and the grazing web
  • Discuss what scientific discoveries the Theory of Evolution, both past and present, is based on.
  • List and explain the four arguments of evolution.
  • Define Natural Selection.
  • Discuss how genetics are related to evolution.
  • Go to an ecological environment (as natural and un-human interfered as possible) and observe the plants and relationships that exist. 
  • Visit a local stream or river. Observe the condition of the stream, particularly the presence of indigenous vegetation and its affect on stream bank condition. Also look for evidence of human activity on the condition of the stream or river
  • Discuss, in your own words, the theories which have been advanced in the past regarding the formation of coral reefs


  • keep your skills fresh - employers are looking for people who have relevant skills and knowledge. This course can help with that.
  • join networking sites to meet people already working in the field such as Ecologists.
  • get experience - volunteer your time with organisations in the field. This will look very good on your resume and give you something to discuss in the interview




Open learning environment school -Online courses, certificates and education in biology, sustainability, ecology, marine studies, water, earth, animal, wilderness management, and environmental science.


You may also be other Environmental Courses we offer including:

Environmental Assessment

Nature Park Management I

Nature Park Management II

Environmental Studies

Plant Ecology

Wildlife Management

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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

Bob James (Horticulturist)

Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry.
He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Maste

Barbara Seguel

Teacher and Researcher, Biologist, Aquaculture expert.
Barbara has a B.Sc. and M.Sc in Aquaculture Engineering.
Over the past decade, Barbara has worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and is now settled in Australia. She has co authored severa

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