Sustainable Development

What are we going to do about the problems of today such as climate change, loss of species and habitats, and persistent poverty, hunger and conflict? This course introduces students to the basic concept and discourse of sustainable development and offers opportunities to discuss several ‘real life’ examples of sustainable development in practice. 

Subject content

The course mirrors our interdisciplinary undergraduate programme, with contributions from a wide range of disciplines – geography, international relations, sociology, economics, management – and students will be lectured on a broad range of topics. 

Topic examples

  • History of the Environmental Movement.
  • Sustainable Consumption and Behaviour Change.
  • Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss.
  • Political Economy and Environmental Economics.
  • Affordable and Clean Energy.
  • Addressing Poverty, Inequality and Migration. 
  • Governance, Partnership, and the Sustainable Development Goals   

These examples are merely a sample and are based on previous years. Topics may change based on the curriculum chosen by the department in any given year. 

Academic skills

Aside from the study of specific content, students will learn to improve their academic writing, learning to shape arguments and developing an academic writing style, whilst also improving their subject-specific vocabulary.  

Learning experience

Students will experience a mixture of lectures, seminars, group work and independent study on this course. Lecture content is taught by staff of the University of St Andrews. 

Additional information

This is an interactive course, involving tutorials and fieldtrips, and students will have the opportunity to work in small groups, prepare and present a team poster on a sustainable development topic of their choice. 

Course outcomes

From this course, students will be well-appointed with academic skills and critical thinking to successfully transition into higher education. 

Students will receive an official certificate from the University of St Andrews to confirm their successful completion of the course.