United for Wildlife - free conservation courses

Study conservation using our free online courses, made by ZSL and United for Wildlife

Education is one of our main priorities at ZSL. From September 2016, ZSL as part of United for Wildlife have launched free online courses designed to empower the next generation of conservationists.

The courses have been developed by ZSL as part of United for Wildlife, supported by the other partners of the United for Wildlife collaboration. To date, there are over 18,000 users from globally who have signed up to take these free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

These are video-based courses, presented by experts from around the world of conservation. We offer Spanish, French, Mandarin and Hindi transcripts, building a global online learning hub. All of our courses are suitable for anyone interested in wildlife and the environment, and you do not need any pre-existing knowledge. You can take the courses at your own pace.

Introducing conservation

Introducing Conservation

Start learning with the first four courses in “Introducing conservation” to get familiar with basic concepts in conservation and receive your certificate when you complete all four of them with 100%. Then move onto the “Insights” courses to dive deeper into some of these conservation issues. 

Understanding conservation

Take this first course to find out why you should care about life on Earth. Find out what conservation means and take a look at the amazing variety of life that makes up biodiversity.

People and conservation

Why place people at the heart of conservation? Explore how effective conservation benefits people's lives.

Conservation innovation

What does conservation in action look like? Find out more about how conservationists work to solve problems, saving species and habitats.

Take action

Conservation starts with us and the way we live our lives. Whether it's through your lifestyle choices, volunteering your time or even an exciting career in conservation.

Sign up for Introducing Conservation


Species and Spaces

Species and Spaces

Take this first “Insights” course where you will learn how conservationists decide what to save. With limited resources, find out how effective conservation triage focuses time and money into saving species and spaces that are vital to preserving biodiversity and our planet as we know it. Find out more in this insight into prioritising species, prioritising spaces and discover how prioritisation can be turned into conservation action on the ground.

Sign up for Species and Spaces


African elephants

Worth More Alive

Why are certain species of wildlife traded? What is the illegal wildlife trade? Learn more about what the illegal wildlife trade is and find out what the impacts are on some of the world’s most iconic species. Explore what is being done to change global demand and some of the ways you can fight the illegal wildlife trade and stand up for wildlife.

Sign up for Worth more alive


Angel shark swimming above the ocean bed

Ocean Optimism 

Why is it important to preserve the ocean? How do we use the ocean and are human activities really impacting marine life? Find out about the importance of marine species and habitats, the impacts human activities have on them and the conservation approaches to tackle these marine threats. Take your next steps to becoming an ocean optimist and make a difference today!

Sign up for Ocean Optimism 


Scientific Expeditions

Scientific expeditions

What happens on scientific expeditions, who is involved and how do you plan them? Sign up for 'Scientific expeditions' to learn about their importance to conservation, different technologies used and how an effective leader can make all the difference. You can also learn all about ZSL’s EDGE expedition to Cuba!

Sign up for Scientific expeditions 


Project planning

What is a conservation project plan? Why is preparation essential for effective conservation projects? Learn the key steps in conservation project planning and design to improve conservation action on the ground.

Sign up for Project planning