There are an estimated 40,000 species of invertebrates found in the UK; however, many of these groups are under-recorded and overlooked despite the important ecosystem services that they provide.

This free course aims to introduce learners to the terrestrial insect orders found in the UK and the morphological features used to differentiate them. This course equips learners with the basic knowledge needed to begin their journey into the further study of the UK’s terrestrial invertebrate fauna.

  • 2 Module online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours per module.
  • Access to study content, activities and auto-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

This course is aimed at adults only and course attendees must be at least 18 years old in order to attend.

What topics are covered in this course?

TIN101: Invertebrate Taxonomy

  • An Introduction to Invertebrate Taxonomy
  • The Living Kingdoms
  • Class Systems
  • Commonly Encountered Terrestrial Invertebrate groups

TIN102: British Insect Orders

  • Subclasses and Non-insect Hexapods
  • The True Insect Orders

Course Fees

This introductory course has been made available to all at no cost through the BioLinks project. If you would like to contribute to the project you are welcome to donate on our donations page. All donated fees contribute financially towards supporting adult learning opportunities for a range of audiences with the FSC.

Already attended an online course with us?

Make sure your email address on your booking account, matches that on your Moodle course account to prevent account duplication.

Tutor Information

Dan Asaw

Dan is a keen educator and Coleopterist. He has experience working within education as a teaching assistant and loves the opportunity to share his experiences and knowledge with a range of audiences. Dan’s interest in invertebrates started at a young age and as a teenager he was already rearing praying mantids in his bedroom. From there, he began rearing exotic invertebrate disease vectors for scientific research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In his spare time, he has volunteered integrating UK beetles into the Natural History Museum Collection. He is often found digging through wood piles and utilising a variety of trapping methods to find and identify beetles. He is an active member of the Herts Invertebrate project and Hertfordshire Natural History Society, and has helped generate some significant county records in this capacity.

Keiron Derek Brown

Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

In his spare time, he is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain) and the Chair of the Ecology & Entomology section of the London Natural History Society. Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. The courses Keiron teaches include Discovering iRecord, Identifying Terrestrial Invertebrates with Microscopes and our various earthworm courses.

Example Timetable

This course is available until the 30th November 2022 and consists of the following:

  • Two topics, each with its own certificate of achievement
  • Auto-graded activities

Students are able to complete the content in their own time. The course should take a maximum of 10 hours to complete. The deadline for completing all content and activities is 30th November 2022.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Opportunities to attend this course

  • Thu 10, March 2022 09:00 - Wed 30, November 2022 14:00

    FSC Virtual
    Dan Asaw, Keiron Brown

How to login

Already attended an online course with ourselves?
Login into your Moodle account with your existing credentials and it will appear on your course dashboard automatically!

New to Field Studies Council online courses
1. After confirming your purchase in your basket, the course will show on your course bookings page.
2. Click on the course title 'Biolinks: Beginner's Guide to Terrestrial Invertebrates 2022'.
3. You will then be taken the the Field Studies Council Moodle login page.
Please note: This is different from the website used to make your booking and therefore uses a different username and password.

To generate your password
1. Go to the Moodle Login Page
2. Click on the 'forgotten username and password?

3. Type the email registered with (the one used by your Field Studies Council booking account) into the 'Search by email address' box and click search.

4. An email will appear in your inbox with a password reset link allowing you to login within 60 minutes.

Still having issues?
Contact us at [email protected]