Nitrogen: A Global Challenge - Air, Water, Soil

Human population is surging towards 10 billion, food, water, climate and energy security are at risk. Nitrogen could be our life raft.

The reason why I have included this course on my educational website is that online courses I thought via this platform are more technically oriented and it is prerequisite to have at least BSc in some technical field. Even then, one need to dive deeper into the environmental science to better understand interaction between different medai (air, water, soil) and other environmental components of the system.

This online course by University of Edinburgh is a great way to learn more about nitrogen in environment, in all three media, air, water and soil. Really unique and not too hard course to follow.

Summary of the course

Human population is surging towards 10 billion, food, water, climate and energy security are at risk. Nitrogen could be our life raft in this global 'perfect storm'. Get it right and it can help feed billions. Get it wrong and it will make things worse.

This innovative course, regardless of your background, will teach you core concepts about nitrogen and global change, allowing you to better understand the challenges and opportunities it represents. Key topics include food security, climate change, air pollution, water pollution, human health and more.


There are no prerequisites.


Week 1: Global Nitrogen Challenge

Introduction to nitrogen, its uses, and overview of its role in global food production, pollution and climate change

Week 2: Nitrogen and Agriculture

Introduction to the nitrogen cycle, history of nitrogen use for food production, interactions with climate change, future challenges for food security

Week 3: Nitrogen and Air Pollution

How nitrogen causes local and global air pollution, its impacts, trends and future challenges

Week 4: Nitrogen and Water

How nitrogen gets into our water, impacts on freshwater and the oceans, risks to ecosystems and human health

Week 5: Nitrogen Solutions

Improving nitrogen use in agriculture, smart food choices, tackling air and water pollution, integrated management

  • Learn about the global nitrogen challenge, how nitrogen has helped human civilization to develop, and how its misuse now threatens us
  • Discover how fundamental nitrogen is to agriculture and food security
  • Understand the role of nitrogen in air pollution and its impact on human health
  • Learn how nitrogen can pollute our water and the risks that then arise
  • Examine the solutions to the global challenges of nitrogen and how we can better manage this precious element

Your Instructor

The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh

This online course on Nitrogen: A Global Challenge was created through an international research collaboration across a number of research institutions in the UK and India.

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!