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Sustainability summer short course

Sustainability is a topic that gets to the heart of how we rebuild our world for the future. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this course will look at both the research and actions that can be taken as it explores the greatest challenge facing our world.

Showcasing the world-leading teaching, research and strategy on sustainability that St Andrews has to offer, this course will be of particular interest to people involved in sustainability. Allowing you to hear from leading academics and practitioners through lectures and conversations in a way not often publicly available, this course will challenge you to think beyond the traditional topics of sustainability.

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Herring Shoal with St Andrews Cathedral in the background. Copyright Tom Ashton, Xelect.

Course information

The sustainability summer short course will explore the concept of 'sustainability' across five interactive lectures, allowing you to explore the topic from different perspectives. These will include biology, earth sciences, people, policy, economics and ethics. Through the course, you will develop a deep and critical understanding of the factors associated with creating a sustainable future.

This course will challenge you to think beyond the traditional concepts of sustainability and to critically reflect on how your individual practices and collective actions contribute to the challenge and the solutions.

Five online lectures will be delivered throughout July and August 2021, immediately followed by the opportunity to ask questions of our world-leading speakers. The first four lectures will be delivered by University of St Andrews academics, selected from an array of disciplines, who will provide a holistic perspective on sustainability-related challenges and solutions. Our fifth and final speaker will be a recipient of the prestigious St Andrews Prize for the Environment, who will provide a personal and motivational example of how sustainability can bring real change to communities.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • appreciate the significance of the theme to global, local and personal communities, and how actions to address the theme can offer maximum societal benefit
  • discuss the theme from a range of different perspectives and share these perspectives with your communities
  • reflect on how the themes of the course have influenced your working practices and employment
  • contribute to academic discussions on the theme and place your individual perspective within the need for collective action.

Contact us

For any enquiries about this programme, please contact the Global Office by emailing


Apply for the summer short course

There are three packages available on the sustainability summer short course, each offering a different level of involvement from joining the lectures for general interest through to a certified completion of the course.