Diploma in Ecology and Society | Free Online Course | Alison

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Diploma In Ecology and Society

In this free online course, learn about the ecology of human societies, and human interaction with the environment.

Free Course
How the world is facing an ecological crisis is described in this free online course in ecology and society. Experts from around the world state that if humanity does not act to protect the natural environment, the result will be catastrophic for human society. This course is designed to raise awareness about these global issues while analyzing how societies interact with the environment at a social and cultural level.
  • Duration

    15-20 Hours
  • Certification

  • Mobile Friendly

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This diploma course in Ecology and Society explains the need for society to work together to protect Earth’s fragile ecosystems. Unlike other species inhabiting the planet, human societies are not driven by instinct. Instead, human behaviour is learned as we interact with our environment. During this course, you will first learn about the environmental movement that flourished during the 1960s and which gave birth to modern-day environmentalism. It was this early movement that pushed world governments to start creating laws that protect the environment.

Next, you will learn about the meaning of ‘culture’ and you will be introduced to the concept of ‘cultural ecology’, which is the study of human adaptations to both social and physical environments. As you study how human societies and their cultural relationship with the environment has evolved throughout history, you will be introduced to the concept of ‘human ecology’, which emerged as scientists became more and more aware of the negative impact the activities of modern societies have on the environment.

You will be taught about ecological anthropology, a field of study that developed from the approach of cultural ecology, and provided a conceptual framework more suitable for scientific inquiry than the cultural-ecological approach. You will also learn about the concept of nature as you study the nature-culture divide, a debate that tries to determine if culture is a product of nature, or if nature is a construct of culture. Finally, you will learn about cosmology or the way native communities have conceptualized and interact with Nature in order to understand how modern societies can develop solutions that lead to a sustainable use of our natural resources. If you are passionate about the environment and are fervent in wanting to see a change, this course will interest you.

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Introduction to Ecology and Society

Cultural Ecology

Human Ecology

Ecology and Society - First Assessment

Ecological Anthropology

Culture and Nature

Conceptions of Nature and Boundaries of Culture

Ecology and Society - Second Assessment

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will be able to: 

  • Explain the relationship between ecology and human society
  • Summarize the development of environmentalism from the 1960s to the present
  • Define cultural ecology, human ecology, environmental determinism and environmental possibilism
  • Recall different models of human ecology
  • Relate studies of different indigenous communities
  • Explain the nature-culture divide
  • Analyze the relationship between nature and culture
  • Describe historical materialism in Marxist Ideology
  • Define totemic and animistic systems
  • Analyze human evolutionary ecology
  • Summarize the debate between formalism and substantivism in economic anthropology
  • Discuss how reason and nature serve as agents of selection


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Diploma is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Diplomas for completed Diploma courses:

Digital Diploma - a downloadable Diploma in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
Diploma - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Diploma, posted to you with FREE shipping
Framed Diploma - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Diploma in a stylish frame, posted to you with FREE shipping

All Diplomas are available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Diplomas, please visit our FAQs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Diploma, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Diploma pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.


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