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This beginner fungi course is a starting guide to the skills and knowledge required to begin identifying UK fungi in the field.

Looking at habitat, substrate and how the fungus interacts with its surroundings is an important skill needed when observing fungi in the field.

This is the perfect course for beginners looking to learn more about the fungi around them and start to identify fungi groups. You will learn valuable observational field skills; what to look for, what to record and how to record it. This engaging online course will provide a combination of video content, self-led reading and field-based activities allowing you to hone in and apply your knowledge. The course will cover the variety of habitats in which you can find fungi, the diversity of fruiting bodies, and key features to look for, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of fungi.

This is a 2-week online course covering 2 topics, for which you will complete a variety of self-led online study content, activities, assignments and live Zoom sessions. Time commitment is approximately 2-3 hours a week and an E-certificate is provided upon completion. Understand how our online courses are delivered

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Rangers, Early career ecologists.

Knowledge Level

Beginner. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

Recommended Devices

It is recommended that you access your course through a PC or laptop. Please be aware that there will be reduced functionality if you decide to access the course through a tablet or smartphone. The Field Studies Council is unable to email content directly to you.

This course will cover:

    • Field Identification Skills
    • Fungi Field skills: Field notes, understanding habitat, and field equipment

This is not a species indentification course

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    • Understand key morphological features to begin a fungus identification
    • Record useful field notes and use the correct equipment to safely collect fungi
    • Share this knowledge with friends, family, and fellow volunteers

This is a training course from the Field Studies Council, including online course materials, expert tuition and a flexible learning style. After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning about fungi with further relevant courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The Field Studies Council offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the learning style that suits you best.

Please note that bookings will close at 9 am on 1st July to allow for all participants to be enrolled to the online platform – bookings will not be taken after this time.*

* Bookings will close sooner if course capacity is reached

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills. Our online portal gives you time to study at your own pace and fit the lessons around your own schedule.

  • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Each individual needs to place their own order to ensure we can sign you up to the learning platform and give you access to resources.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses.

  • Discounted rates
  • Privately run courses for your group
  • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Click here to find out more!

Tutor: Ali McKernan

Ali works in a large primary school in Manchester, and has been teaching fungi and celebrating UK Fungus Day with them for a few years, including log inoculation and growing oyster mushrooms on used coffee grounds. Ali is also a member of the North West Fungus Group and passionate about introducing fungi to the next generation (in fact, anyone at all), recently embracing social media and becoming known as 'The Fungi Guy'. He makes short 'beginner's guides' on YouTube that are fun and accessible by all. Ali has recently written for the Wildlife Trusts children's magazine and through his outreach role hopes to introduce this remarkable kingdom to even more young people!

Live Webinar Information

The webinars will take place on the following dates at 6:00pm (BST):

  • Wedneday 13th July at 6:00 – 6:45pm
  • Wednesday 20th July at 6:00- 6:45pm

Please note - webinars will be recorded and uploaded to the virtual learning platform for learners unable to attend.

Example Timetable


Week 1: Field Identification Skills
Self-study material available: 06/07/2022
Week 1 live webinar: 13/07/2022 at 6:00 pm

Week 2: Fungi Field skills: Field notes, understanding habitat and field equipment
Self-study material available: 13/07/2022
Week 2 live webinar: 20/07/2022 at 6:00 pm

The final deadline to complete any outstanding activities and self-study components is 03/08/2022

Time commitment: This course will require approximately 2-3 hours of your time each week. This includes covering course materials on our Moodle learning platform and the Zoom session.

What's Included

The course has been carefully created to help you continue to build on your knowledge as the course progresses. With content crafted to the online Moodle Platform and bespoke to the Field Studies Council.

The course includes:

    • 45-minute interactive Zoom workshops to connect with the tutor and other participants
    • Expert tuition for which the Field Studies Council is renowned
    • Activities to work on independently in advance of each Zoom workshop
    • Course completion certificate

Once registered, you will follow well-illustrated, user-friendly ’books’ to pick up knowledge. Quizzes and skill-checks will give you instant feedback on your learning. Forums give students the chance to interact with each other as well as a place to share work.

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be at your fingertips. In choosing a Field Studies Council course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

Before You Attend

Accessing Your Course

  • Once you sign up you’ll receive an email at least 24 hours in advance of the course opening with details of how to access our easy-to-use platform, Moodle.
  • Moodle can be accessed through a browser or an app.
  • Webinars are via Zoom so you won’t need any new software to attend

Recommended Devices

It is recommended that you access your course through a PC or laptop. Please be aware that there will be reduced functionality if you decide to access the course through a tablet or smartphone. The Field Studies Council is unable to email content directly to you.

Sorry this course has ended