University of Leeds Free Online Course on Environmental Challenges

Join this online course hosted by the Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds to discover how War and conflict can severely disrupt the governance of the environment and the impact on both people and the environment.

In this three week course, we will explore how we have utilised the environment of the planet to the point where there are fundamental changes to its biogeochemical cycles. The course will start on November 27, 2017.

Course At Glance

Length: 2 weeks
Subject: Environmental Challenges
Institution: University of Leeds and Future learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Course starts on November 27, 2017

Providers’ Details

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching. The aim is to create a student experience that is second to none and as part of this, online learning is increasingly important, even to its full-time campus-based students. The MOOCs will allow the University to explore new and different ways to provide online education.

FutureLearn offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

About This Course

This course explores three basic principles when considering conflict in the natural environment:

  • The economics of the coming spaceship Earth
  • Scarcity and conflict
  • The environment as a weapon of war

Human conflict has both short and long term effects on the natural world. The environment is directly impacted by pollution and explosions; and can be used as a weapon of war through scorched earth military action, poisoning and defoliation. In the longer term, sustainable environmental management is disrupted when conflict destabilises social systems and people are denied access to natural resources.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts in English.  Applicants can get a verified certificate.

Learning Outcomes

We will explore how we have utilised the environment of the planet to the point where there are fundamental changes to its biogeochemical cycles. For example: climate change from greenhouse gas emissions; acidification of oceans; and soil erosion. As resources become scarcer, it might be expected that people come into conflict about access to natural resources.


No previous knowledge or experience is required, just an interest in environmental management and natural resource management.


Jon Lovett is Chair in Global Challenges in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and works on institutional economics.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof of learning on the course topic(s)).

Apply Now

Need Scholarship Help? Comment and Discuss.