Learn about soils, the variety of life they contain and how humans impact this fragile system, with this free online course.
Get an introduction to soil science
Soils are a fantastically complex environment, teeming with life and supporting our most fundamental environmental processes. However, they are increasingly under threat and our soil resource is a finite one.
Starting from what soil is and how soils form we will take a journey through the soil, not just learning about the basics of soil science but also about life in the soil.
Then we will look at why soil is so important and investigate the topic of soil security – a topic relevant to the past and present.
Finally we will learn about how and why soils are under threat both at a local and global scale. Throughout this course we will ask questions such as:
- What is soil made of?
- Why are soil microbes so important?
- How does the rise and fall of civilisations depend on soils?
- How is climate change impacting on soils?
You will also get the chance to get your hands dirty with a series of activities aiming to give you practical experience of assessing soil properties and conditions.
Understand soil from a physical, chemical and biological perspective
By the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of soil science from a physical, chemical and biological perspective.
You will have met researchers, who will tell you about cutting-edge soil science research at Lancaster University and elsewhere, and had an insight into how some of the threats to soils could be addressed in the future.
This course is open to anyone and is part of FutureLearn Choices – a collection of courses to bridge the gap between school and higher education, and help young adults choose the right degree or career.
This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in soils, biology, geography and environmental science. No prior knowledge is required but will be of particular interest to sixth formers and undergraduates studying these subjects.
Get a personalised, printed certificate
You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part.