Over 4000 different species of beetles occur in Britain. Their huge diversity in form, behaviour and ecology make them a fascinating group to study and observe but also can make them seem daunting to beginners.

Find out about the lifestyle and varied forms of one of the UK’s most numerous and varied groups of invertebrates. The course will arm beginners with the underpinning knowledge of beetle biology, ecology, behaviour and basic collection methods to embark on their beetle journey.

  • 4-week online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours per week.
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • Learners will benefit from having access to a 10X hand lens to get the most out of this course.
  • Please note that this course is NOT a species identification course and will only go as far as categorising British beetles by their behaviours.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

What topics are covered in this course?

  • BTL001 Beetle Biology will begin with an introduction to what makes a beetle and look at the internal and external features of beetles as a group, their diversity and learn about their life cycles.
  • BTL002 Beetle Ecology will explore the basic ecological functions of beetles and their interactions with their natural environments. This week also features the first of two practical assignments, where learners are asked to explore their local environments and begin to think about the groups of beetles that may be found there.
  • BTL003 Beetle Behaviour discuss some notable behaviours which beetles display and their function. We look at feeding-related behaviours of both adults and larvae, survival strategies and courtship rituals.
  • BTL004 Finding Beetles will start to bring together the knowledge gained in the last three weeks to help them locate and observe beetles. Learners will look at types of beetle habitat, look at basic collection methods and develop the skills needed to collect and handle beetle specimens without harming them. Learners will also begin to learn and practice the formation of observations to start to build the foundations for the formation of basic identification skills. This topic ends with the last of our practical assignments, to find and make observations of a live beetle specimen.

Course fees

Regular Price: £60   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee (Online)’

Subsidised Price: £20   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students.Available to UK residents only.   Select ‘Attendee Discounted (Online)’

Live virtual classroom session dates and times

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course:

  • Week 1: Tuesday 20th July 2021,  7:00pm - 7:45pm
  • Week 2: Tuesday 27th July 2021,  7:00pm - 7:45pm
  • Week 3: Tuesday 3rd August 2021,  7:00pm - 7:45pm
  • Week 4: Tuesday 10th August 2021, 7:00pm - 7:45pm

The live webinars will be recorded for those that cannot make the session.

Want to know more about this course?

Why not check out our Discovering Beetles Online blog post?

Example Timetable

Week 1: Beetle Biology

  • Self-study material: available from 13/07/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 18/07/2021
  • Week 1 Live Webinar: 20/07/2021 7:00pm

Week 2: Beetle Ecology

  • Self-study material: available from 24/07/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 25/03/2021
  • Week 2 Live Webinar: 27/7/2021 (7:00pm)

Week 3: Beetle Behaviour

  • Self-study material: available from 27/07/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00 pm on 01/08/2021
  • Week 3 Live Webinar: 03/08/2021 (7:00pm)

Week 4: Finding Beetles

  • Self-study material: available from 03/08/2021
  • Assignments due: 6:00pm on 08/08/2021
  • Week 4 Live Webinar: 10/08/2021 (7:00pm)

The final deadline to complete any outstanding assignments and self-study components is 17/08/2021.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.

Before You Attend

Once you've signed up to the course you'll receive an e-mail with access to the virtual learning platform (Moodle) a week before the first webinar.

Log on as soon as you can to familiarise yourself with the platform and course materials, and be sure to complete the first activities before the first webinar.

Webinars are delivered through Zoom, so you don't need to download any additional software to attend - just click the link just before the meeting is due to start and it will open in your web browser.

Learners will benefit from having access to a 10X hand lens to get the most out of this course.

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