List of Free Environmental Studies Courses and Training Programs

See our list of the top free online environmental studies courses. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.

Free Online Environmental Studies Class List

Ecology and Environment at African Virtual University

This undergraduate-level course is structured around 5 different units with 4 distinct learning activities per unit. There are introductory lessons devoted to teaching ecological terminology and explaining how environmental scientists classify organisms. The course also covers how human activities directly affect the environment and takes a detailed look at deforestation and biodiversity. African ecology is an important focus of this course. Different course materials are downloadable in QuickTime format, YouTube, Microsoft Word and PDF files.

Environmental Chemistry at African Virtual University

Some of the topics covered by the curriculum include the overuse of natural resources, acid rain, climate change and the effect of atmospheric pollutants on the environment. Students learn how chemical compounds react in natural environments and polluted ones. The course includes both video and text files of lectures and notes.

Environmental Health at Johns Hopkins University

Students can analyze how pollutants and environmental contamination contribute to human health problems. The course also takes a look at emerging issues in environmental health. The course is structured around 9 lectures that are downloadable from the course website. The course also has required readings assigned, but users need to obtain those materials on their own.

Environmental Philosophy at University of Notre Dame

This course includes studies in value theory, ecology, thermodynamics and environmental history. The course website has links to lecture videos that cover topics ranging from entropy in the biosphere to economic growth. The course syllabus includes some free supplementary reading materials and a free downloadable textbook.

Environmental Politics and Policy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This undergraduate course includes case studies that tackle diverse subjects like endangered species protection, toxic waste cleanup and disputes between politics and science. Course lectures are downloadable as PDF files, and users can access a list of course assignments that can help them master the course materials. Some of the course readings are also downloadable, while others must be obtained independently.

Environment and Sustainable Development at United Nations University

This is a doctoral-level course structured around 10 lectures that cover topics like management and innovation, environmental degradation and societal transformations. These lectures are collected on the site as downloadable slides. The course site also includes a reading list, though few of the readings are available for download.

Introducing the Environment: Ecology and Ecosystems at The Open University

The curriculum covers identification and scientific naming of organisms. It discusses interrelationships among members of ecosystems as well as ecological health. Each topic area includes text and images in addition to intended learning outcomes.

Managing Coastal Environments at The Open University

This course focuses on the coast of the United Kingdom, taking a specific look at the Blackwater estuary on the Essex coast. This area is used as an isolated example of the way in which the environment can be studied and why environmental inquiries are so crucial. Conservation and sustainability are incorporated into the lessons. This course includes video, text and graphical content on each subject area.

Tropical Ecology and Conservation at Tufts University

This ecology course is designed for both undergraduate and graduate students. It covers topics like climate variation, ecosystems and biological interactions, available as downloadable lecture slides and written lectures. Only a selection of all lectures is available. Additionally, students can find a sample research proposal that can help them learn how to design their own.

Vulnerability to Environmental Change at University of Cape Town

This course serves as an introduction to the topic of vulnerability and focuses on three distinct approaches to the subject. These include risk and hazard, political economy and ecology, and ecological resilience. The course is presented in a series of 6 PowerPoint presentations and also recommends readings for further research.

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