Gain skills and knowledge to work or start a business in environmental industries. Extensive online 600 hour certificate course.

Course Code: VEN002
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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A Substantial Environmental Certificate
Learning about the environment, it's components (living and non living), and the way those components interact; is a starting point to work in many different industries, from horticulture and agriculture, to conservation and sustainability.
Through this study program sets you on a course to understanding the world you live in, and exploring opportunities to become involved in the management of the environment.
Enrol and commence Study any time and work at your own pace; with support from an international team of expert tutors.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the CERTIFICATE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES .
 BOTANY I - Plant Physiology And Taxonomy BSC104
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 7 modules.

Note that each module in the CERTIFICATE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

The environment simply means the physical surroundings.  The places where we live and go are our environment.  There are good environments and there are bad environments.  Some places are better to be in than others. They may be healthier or more enjoyable. Environments are composed of living things and non living things.  The earth, buildings, plants, insects, the weather conditions and people are all parts of the environment.  The most important thing to remember about an environment is that each thing which is in an environment has a relationship to all other parts of the environment. If you change or take away the insects, for example, then everything else in the environment, like man, plants, soil, weather, etc, is affected in some way.  The same applies no matter what you change or take away.
Brief outlines of "Some" of the modules
Note -To obtain this certificate you must satisfactorily complete all assignments and pass an exam in six  modules.

Introduction to Ecology (BEN101)
  1. Ecosystems and Populations
  2. The Development of Life
  3. Animals, Parasites and Endangered Species
  4. Fungi, Tundra, Rainforests and Marshlands
  5. Mountains, Rivers and Deserts
  6. Shallow Waters
  7. Ecological Problems
Wildlife Management (BEN205)
  1. Introduction
  2. Wildlife Ecology
  3. Wildlife Habitats
  4. Population Dynamics
  5. Carrying Capacity
  6. Wildlife Censuses
  7. Wildlife Management Techniques
  8. Wildlife Management Law and Administration

Conservation and Environmental Management (BEN201)

  1. Introduction
  2. A Perspective on Environmental Problems
  3. Pollution and Industry Effects on the Environment
  4. Water and Soil
  5. Vegetation Conservation and Management
  6. Animal Conservation and Management
  7. Marine Conservation and Management
  8. The Future


Environmental Assessment (BEN 301)
  1. Introduction
  2. Overview of Environmental Assessment
  3. International Environmental Law
  4. Domestic Environmental Law
  5. Types of Environmental Assessments
  6. The Design and Process of Environmental Assessment
  7. Writing Environmental Reports
  8. Research Project
Trees for Rehabilitation (BHT205)
  1. Approaches to Land Rehabilitation
  2. Ecology of Soils and Plant Health
  3. Introduction to Seed Propagation Techniques
  4. Propagation and Nursery Stock
  5. Dealing with Chemical Problems
  6. Physical Plant Effects on Degraded Sites
  7. Plant Establishment Programs
  8. Hostile Environments
  9. Plant Establishment Care
  10. Rehabilitating Degraded Sites

Botany I (Plant Physiology and Taxonomy) (BSC104)

  1. Taxonomic Classification of Plants
  2. Cells and Tissues
  3. Specific Vegetative Parts of a Plant
  4. Flowers and Fruit
  5. Seed and the Developing Embryo
  6. Photosynthesis and Growing Plants
  7. Respiration
  8. The Role of Water
  9. Movement of Water and Assimilation through a Plant
  10. The Effects of Tropism and Other Growth Movements


Earth Science (BEN204)
  1. Structure and Forces
  2. Rocks and Minerals
  3. Surface Changes
  4. The Oceans
  5. Air and Weather
  6. The Greenhouse Effect
  7. Global Weather Patterns
  8. Geological Time
  9. Modern Environmental Issues

Other Study Options

ACS courses are created as 100 hour building blocks of study. There are over 500 of these "modules" to choose from. In the field of horticulture we offer more choice and flexibility than you are likely to find anywhere.

  • Any 100 hour study program can be taken alone, as a complete course of study by itself.
  • Alternatively, these 100 hour programs can be combined together to create a qualification.
  • If you complete a shorter qualification, like a certificate; you can upgrade to achieve a higher qualification, like a diploma, by simply adding more modules or building blocks of study to the shorter qualification.
  • You can enrol at any time of year, you can work as fast or slow as you want, and study from anywhere.

ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.

Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).

Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.

Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.

While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always strived to make it's courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.

When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.

The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.



There are many points that need to be considered when you are looking for work and having a qualification is just one of them:

Are you studying the right course? A good course will help you to not only gain knowledge in the field of study it will also help you to experience actual situations that you may encounter in the work place. This is called ‘Experiential Learning’ many courses concentrate on ‘Competency Based Learning’ – just ticking you off against a known list of tasks. Experiential or Problem Based Learning will help you to develop those problem solving skills that are much sought after in employees by commerce and industry.

Are your studies broad enough? In horticulture for example to narrow your focus on one industry sector also narrows your opportunities. A Certificate in Horticulture (core units) will give you those under-pinning horticulture skills that are needed in many horticultural industry sectors but also in environmental jobs - so many courses lack the plant knowledge and skills needed to help ensure environmental sustainability. You can then use these basic skills to specialise in Nature Park Management. Should you however want to change sectors later you can still do so because of those basic horticultural skills you acquired by undertaking those fundamental core units are relevant to all industry sectors in horticulture.

Are you lifting your profile? No matter what job we are in or hope to get into, networking is the best way to get your name out there and be noticed. Join online social media groups such as linked-in to establish a profile. Make sure you keep it up to date and list your educational and work experience, you would be surprised how many job offers come through these types of networks. Network with industry – attend seminars, industry exhibitions, garden shows etc. and make yourself known; someone may remember you later!

Are your communication skills good? We all remember a good communicator. Communication is not just about being able to hold a conversation with someone though, it also includes writing and technology skills. Today it is essential for everyone to have basic computer skills, good telephone techniques, a respectful way of speaking with others and knowing what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour in the workplace.

Are you well-presented? In some horticultural jobs it is almost impossible not to get dirty! Flower growing or crop growing or landscaping is all dirty work. However when presenting yourself for jobs you should be dressed in clean appropriate attire for the job interview you are attending. When you front up for work in the morning do so in clean clothes – it is too easy to think that you’ll get dirty anyway. A tidily presented person will stand out and be more likely to get ahead in their jobs than one who turns up at work in yesterday’s dirty clothes. If you are running your own business good presentation also evokes a feeling of confidence both from you to the customer and from the customer towards you.

Have you chosen the right school? Not all education providers are equal – some will push you through your course just to get you to the end. Others require you to study within set time frames and others give you little support. Many are more about getting that government funding than they are about educating their students.


  • We are independent: we do not rely on nor apply for government funding - we are a self-funded school – so we are less caught up in bureaucracy and more into educating our students.
  • We allow our students to take their time - when you enrol your course starts - not at a set time of the year. You can then work work your way through the course, with our support, putting in as little or as much time as you can. You can fit your studies around your work or your personal situation.
  • We support our students through their studies:  we encourage them to contact us and help us to help them, as soon as the smallest problems arise or if they need more information or clarification.
  • We want you to succeed!
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

Alternative Technology Association Member

Accredited ACS Global Partner

Member of the Permaculture Association

Member of Study Gold Coast

Recognised since 1999 by IARC

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

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

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

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