Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

  • Delivery:
    Distance learning
  • Credits:

This course aims to enhance your understanding of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the benefits the ecosystem provides. You will examine the scientific principles relating to the provision of ecosystem of services, their linkage with ecosystem function and the relationships with biodiversity.

The course helps you to understand the distribution of beneficiaries; different approaches to valuation; potential links with the green economy, and how the production of ecosystem services can be measured and mapped. Key ecosystem services that will be considered include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services, such as flood & disease control; cultural services, such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling.

See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

23 January 2023


Distance learning/online


10 weeks

Entry requirements:

This course is open to anyone with a relevant undergraduate degree. Alternatively, non-graduates / professionals with significant and relevant work experience, who can also demonstrate an ability to both complete and benefit from the course will be considered

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above.

Course details

​You will develop a critical understanding of the role of biodiversity and ecosystems in supporting human livelihoods and their contribution to sustainable development. The concept of ecosystem services has developed rapidly in the last decade and is now being widely incorporated into policy, as well as being the focus of a major international research effort. The aim will be to expose you to current thinking in this rapidly developing field, with particular focus on those areas of current controversy and debate.

Throughout the duration of this course, these topics will be covered:

  • Introduction - Global biodiversity
  • Extinction crisis
  • Ecosystem collapse
  • Biodiversity & ecosystem function
  • Ecosystem services
  • Valuing nature
  • Scenarios of future change
  • Sustainable use and protected areas
  • Ecological restoration
  • Linking with the green economy.

Academic assessment (optional)

In addition to the short course itself you have the option of undertaking further study and completing an academic assessment (an additional fee applies). On successful completion of this assessment you will gain 20 academic credits at postgraduate level (Level 7).

If you choose to take the academic assessment option for this course, it will take roughly four months to complete (from your enrolment through to the submission deadline for your assessment). There is an additional fee of £200 for the Master's level assessment.

Fees and funding

The fee for this unit/short course: £600.00.

Additional fee: £200 if you wish to take the academic assessment.

With this type of course (ie. a short course) you will find that the cost of studying is already broken down into smaller, more manageable amounts (in comparison to a full degree, whether at postgraduate or undergraduate levels).

Additional funding help may sometimes be received from your employer given the relevance to your chosen career, if you are a previous student of BU you will receive a discount on your course fees, but other funding options are limited and postgraduate loans will not be available when studying individual CPD units.

See our fees and funding section for more information. 

How to apply

If you have any further questions about the course and for information on how to apply, please email [email protected].

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.