Course provided by Future Learn

Study type: Online

Starts: Anytime

Price: Free


Discover applications of biological energy, from human energy to photosynthesis

On this course, you’ll learn what energy actually is and how living things acquire and convert it.

You’ll find out how biological energy is stored and released in fossil fuels and what advances in agriculture mean for feeding the world’s growing population.

As you explore biological energy in industry, you’ll consider the ways science can help us to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as well as ways we might use and learn from plants to provide energy in the future.

You’ll also discover the concept of ‘energy overload’ and how it is threatening our bodies’ energy balance today.

What topics will you cover?

  1. Introduction to energy: How living things use energy; A brief history of thermodynamics; Enthalpy, entropy and free energy
  2. Human energy: Humans as chemotrophs; Chemical energy from food; Mitochondria; ion gradients and ATP
  3. Photosynthesis: Green plants and autotrophic bacteria; Solar energy to food; Oxygenation and evolution
  4. Industrial energy: Fossil fuels; Biomass; Artificial photosynthesis

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for young learners who have studied at least GCSE science (chemistry, biology, or physics) and are interested in pursuing the connections between these subjects.

It will be of particular interest to those looking to study the life sciences at university level.

The course is also suitable for those who are simply interested in how living things store and use energy.

Who developed the course?

Royal Holloway, University of London

Queen Victoria presided over the grand opening of Royal Holloway in 1886. Since then the College has continued to grow in size and status to become one of the top research-led institutions in the UK.