Glenealy IT Centre

Biodiversity And The Natural Environment

QQI accredited biodiversity course

The components in this biodiversity course include QQI minor awards in Biodiversity and the Natural Environment (5N2553) and Horticultural Science (4N0682).  

Biodiversity course in Wicklow Outline of person in field with birds and plants depicting course

Course aim

This course is delivered via blended learning. The overall aim of the biodiversity course is to enable learners to acquire the knowledge, skills and competence to value the natural environment as a sustainable resource, with a particular focus on organic and environmentally sensitive techniques relevant to the Wicklow area.

Course content

Biodiversity and the Natural Environment

  • Understanding environmental terminology
  • The effects of human activities on the environment 
  • The role of biodiversity and common threats at genetic, specific and ecosystem levels
  • The main provisions of the Wildlife Act
  • Use of the tools necessary to describe a habitat
  • Prepare an environmental survey of a complex site 
  • Implement procedures to create and maintain a safe working environment 

Horticultural Science:

  • Identification of plant parts
  • Functions of roots, stems, buds, leaves, flowers, fruit and seed
  • Basic living processes of plants
  • Soil properties
  • Movement of water, nutrients, and air in soil
  • Major and minor nutrients required for plant growth
  • The main elements of climate and weather and how they affect horticultural production
  • The role of environmental protection, ecosystems and biodiversity in sustainable horticultural practice
  • Calculating amounts, areas, rates and volumes for basic horticultural tasks

Click here to read more about Biodiversity and the Natural Environment 5N2553.

Click here to read more about QQI Horticultural Science 4N0682. 


These subjects are worth 25 credits which can be counted towards the full QQI Level 5 Major in Organic Horticulture course, which is run here at Glenealy IT Centre, should participants wish to progress with further studies.

Blended learning

This biodiversity course is a blend of classroom based lectures, practical hands on skills, online learning and support, demonstrations and field trips. Students will be given digital skills training on how to use the online elements of this course. Please click here to find out more about blended learning at Glenealy IT Centre.

Dates & times

Part-time 12 weeks, 18 hours per week. Days and times to be confirmed, subject to the ongoing Covid 19 situation.

Cost & funding

Fully funded by Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB). Subject to criteria, please enquire for further details.