Free Online Course on Sustainable Soil Management: Soil for life

Free Online Course on Sustainable Soil Management Soil for life
Certificate fee scholarship is available for this course.

Institution: Wageningen University
Start Date: At your own pace

The Wageningen University & Research Centre is introducing a free online course named as “Sustainable Soil Management: Soil for life”. This introductory environmental studies course will explore the importance of soil to life on earth, the issues, processes and societal challenges underlying soil degradation – and what can be done to ensure sustainable soil management for the future.  You can enroll in this course at your own pace.

Course Summary

  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Commitment: 7-9 hours per module
  • Subject: Environmental Studies
  • Institution:  Wageningen University
  • Languages: English
  • Price: Free
  • Session: At your own pace
  • Requirement: Basic: secondary school completed
  • Certificate Available: Yes

Who Developed the Course 

Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, is the only university in the Netherlands that specifically focuses on the theme ‘healthy food and living environment’.

Target Audience

  •  Applicants must have completed basic: secondary school.

Where Could This Lead You

  • Your Career Option: There are lots of interesting career options you can consider after completing the course:
  1. Senior Operations Officer
  2. Senior Research Assistant
  3. Co-operative Department – Infrastructure Management Expert

Get Extra Benefits

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain ($49USD)

  • Official and Verified: Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution’s logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects
  • Easily Shareable: Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn
  • Proven Motivator: Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

How to Join This Course

You can register yourself at here. 

Course Format

  • Module 1: Soil formation, functions, and threats
    This is an introduction to the MOOC, introducing you to why soils are so important and the major issues/threats related to soil. After this module, you’ll be able to name key soil functions and the roles that soils play as well as some of the leading soil degradation issues around the world.
  • Module 2: Soil water processes
    This module will explain the importance of soil water processes for soil functions and services. It will teach you about fundamental soil water processes and factors involved. You will show you the causes, consequences, and concerns of reduced soil wettability, compaction and soil sealing, and the potential for avoiding and correcting them.
  • Module 3: Dynamics of soil fertility
    This module is about the dynamics of soil fertility and importance of soil organic matter. This module will teach you what determines soil fertility, which nutrients are needed for the growth of plants, and summarize the processes that cause a loss of soil fertility and the effects of that.
  • Module 4: Loss of soil biodiversity
    You will show you the main groups of soil organisms and how they interact. This module will explain the relationship between soil biodiversity and soil functions, and summarize the processes that cause a loss of soil biodiversity and their effects.
  • Module 5: Water erosion
    This module will explain the processes involved in water erosion, the causes of water erosion and its effects on soil functions. You will share with you the measures and strategies to prevent and resolve water erosion.
  • Module 6: Wind erosion
    This module will explain the processes involved in wind erosion, the causes of wind erosion and its effects on soil functions. You will share with you the measures and strategies to prevent and resolve wind erosion. This is an elective module you need to elect at least two to be able to earn a certificate.
  • Module 7: Soil pollution
    In this module, you’ll make a distinction between point pollution and diffuse pollution. You will explain the main sources of soil pollution, how different pollutants behave in the soil and why it’s important to know about the natural background levels of heavy metals in soils. This module will share with you how soil properties affect pollutants and also explain the concept and importance of bioavailability of heavy metals in soil.
  • Module 8: Soil salinization
    You’ll explain the process of salinization, the causes of salinization and the effects on soil functions. This module will show you the value of the Leaching Requirement equation for managing soil salinization. Finally, you will share with you measures and strategies to prevent and resolve salinization.
  • Module 9: Achieving sustainable soil management
    You will introduce you to the factors that influence farmers’ decisions about farming practices. This module will teach you how to execute a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and a multi-criteria analysis (MCA).
  • Module 10: Final exam
    Module 10 contains the final exam and concludes this MOOC. While studying the previous modules you have learned a lot about the issues, processes and societal challenges underlying soil health, soil degradation, and sustainable soil management.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Why soils and sustainable soil management are so important to life on earth
  • How soils form, their functions and basics of soil degradation
  • Threats to and caring for: Soil water relations, soil fertility, and soil biodiversity
  • Effects of and solutions for Soil erosion, soil pollution, and soil salinization
  • Socio-economic and policy aspects of sustainable soil management
  • How you can help protect this critical natural resource

Who Will You Learn With

  • Dr. Coen J. Ritsema: Professor at Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr. Ir. Michel Riksen: Assistant professor in the Soil Physics and Land Management group (SLM) of Wageningen University & Research
  • Dr. Jerry Maroulis:  Lecturer at Wageningen University & Research in the Soil Physics and Land Management (SLM) Group


  • Importance of Course: After completing the course you will understand why soil is so important, how it’s being threatened and what we can do to protect this natural resource so vital to our lives.
  • Importance of Certificate: By the Certificate of Achievement you will be able to prove your success when applying for jobs or courses. You can display it on your LinkedIn or CV.

Detailed Information

For more information about the course, you may visit the Website,


Apply Now


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