Sustainable Futures Online

How secure is your dinner? Is climate change inevitable? Can we power the world using clean energy? Join this free extra-curricular online course to learn more about sustainable development!

Sustainable Futures

What is Sustainable Futures Online?

Sustainable Futures Online is a short course which introduces Sustainable Development through five units.

The first introductory unit covers a brief history of sustainable development and its importance. There follow units on limits to the Earth’s resources, energy and climate change, the security of food supply and a look at the collapse of past societies and what this might teach us.

On the way we look at topics such as planetary boundaries, that is, the extent to which we can safely exploit the environment, at the various impacts of climate change and attempts to mitigate and adapt to them; we survey the interrelated global problems that arise from an increasing population and continuing economic growth, and discuss sustainable agriculture, geo-engineering and much more.

Register here

How is the Course Delivered?

The course is delivered by a suite of short online lectures and activities.

The course will be supported by an open format Blackboard forum where students can discuss the issues raised by the proposed topics for reflection throughout the course. A fortnightly scheduled discussion on Blackboard will enable participants to come together with a staff member to talk about the course content.

Who is it For?

The course is available for current students (campus-based and distance-learning) and staff from the University of Leicester.It is aimed at an introductory undergraduate level and assumes no prior knowledge of the subject. For students wishing to learn more there are number of extensions including suggested further reading.


The unit titles are:

  • Introduction to Sustainable Development
  • One Earth
  • Energy and Climate
  • Feeding the World
  • Are we doomed?

Recognition for the Course?

Completing the course can be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement report.

Students who complete the introductory unit and any two other units and synoptic written opinion piece can have the course accredited on their Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).

Response from Students

The online course is based on an existing award winning campus based course. Students who took the campus base course have said:

The course made me reflect on my future aspirations and helped focus my goals in working in sustainability.
It has really broadened my view about sustainable development and encouraged [me] to deepen knowledge.

When does the Course Run?

This course runs from 10th February to 1st May for the 2019/20 academic year.

You can view the lectures and undertake the activities at your own pace. Each unit contains about one hour of lecture material with associated reading and assessment.

How do I Register?

To register, please fill out the registration form here.

Contact Hannah Sellers for more information.

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