Education for sustainable development
Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a vision of education which gives students the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to become socially responsible global citizens and shape a sustainable future.
ESD covers the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic issues. At the University, we use the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for our ESD activities and we have mapped our academic contribution to each of the Goals. These Goals act as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.
We have established a Working Group which aims to contribute to the advancement of higher educational curriculum and informal learning opportunities that will integrate learning for sustainability into, professional, academic and personal practice through partnership, innovation and the sharing of information. The Education for Sustainable Development Working Group feeds into the University's Education Committee and the Social and Environmental Impact Steering Group.
If you would like to find out more about the ESD, please get in touch.
Teaching sustainability within our courses
We believe that the development of sustainable development curricula, innovative learning and teaching practices are essential components in the discovery of solutions to global challenges and are necessary for preparing our students as members of a global community.
In the 2021/22 NUS Skills Survey, 77% of our students said that they want sustainable development to be incorporated into courses so we aim to ensure all our students have the opportunity to have sustainability-related learning in their courses, as part of the University’s Climate Change Strategy.
All undergraduate programmes have been asked to identify existing sustainability teaching, as part of the University's curriculum transformation project and the programme approval process. Academics have identified core and optional modules that have intended learning outcomes that align to one or more of the 17 SDGs.
Top 5 Sustainability Development Goals which most commonly feature in our modules are:
- Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
- Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Goal 9: Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
- Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
- Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
This work has identified that 100% of our undergraduate courses (2020/21 entry) have teaching aligned to the SDGs so the majority of our undergraduate students are learning about sustainable development as part of their courses. Each undergraduate course webpage provides which SDGs are included in the course's teaching. Along with the curriculum, there are extra-curricular opportunities and real life projects that students can get involved in to extend and enrich their sustainability knowledge and skills.
Sustainability in your course
The Sustainability in your course documents were created to provide a visual representation of the SDG content in each course.
College of Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering
College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities
- American Studies (PDF, 793kb)
- Ancient History and Archaeology (PDF, 795kb)
- Management (PDF, 794kb)
- Criminology (PDF, 792kb)
- English (PDF, 793kb)
- History (PDF, 798kb)
- History of Art and Film Studies (PDF, 795kb)
- Law (PDF, 800kb)
- Media and Communication (PDF, 795kb)
- Modern Languages (PDF, 801kb)
- Politics and International Relations (PDF, 798kb)
- Sociology (PDF, 791kb)
- Accounting and Finance (PDF, 777kb)
- Economics (PDF, 780kb)
Change for the Better
As Citizens of Change, we have a huge obligation to address climate change by reducing our negative environmental impact and investing in positive social change. We actively encourage all our staff, students and visitors to do their bit by making sustainable choices everyday. To help achieve this, the University has a number of resources and initiatives available including our Sustainable Development Goals, carbon literacy training, low carbon work places and greener labs.