Contact FutureLearn for Support Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.
Online course

Achieving Sustainable Development

Explore the challenges of sustainable development. See the impact of UN Sustainable Development Goals on real people.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Achieving Sustainable Development

Upgrade - $59
+ shipping
?

Consider the impact that UN Sustainable Development Goals could have

Governments of the world have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a UN initiative for international development. They are targets for improving the world by 2030, including: health, environment, education, and security. But will they have an impact on the lives of people?

On this course you will critically consider key SDGs including peace, healthcare, sustainable cities, and water and sanitation. You will examine the ways in which development really can be sustainable, its impact on communities, and how it can make a difference to real lives.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsThe greatest challenges facing our globalised world today include protecting human rights, overcoming poverty, disease, and exclusion, and helping nations to achieve self-determination. But today, we also face challenges that previous generations didn't have to consider, the need to support a livable earth and the mass migration of people across borders. The extreme connectedness of our modern world means we cannot fail to recognise the significance of these global issues on the lives of individuals and to fully appreciate their impact on human dignity. In September 2015, the governments of the world signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, a universal UN framework for global development. In December of the same year, they also signed global agreements on climate change.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsIn doing so, governments renewed their commitment to the eradication of poverty and hunger while also addressing patterns of unsustainable consumption of our natural resources. The goals are universal and global in their reach, a transformative change that recognises that all countries, North and South, are really unfinished products, continuously evolving in an effort to achieve the well-being, flourishing, and prosperity of their peoples. Together, these 17 goals and actions on climate change have set over 160 targets for improving our world by 2030-- in areas such as health, environment, education, and security.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsNow, citizens, scholars, and human beings everywhere who want a different world and a better future must find a way to make good on these pledges, to turn those words into actions, and determine if those actions can have an impact on the lives of real people. What is impact? What does it look like? How do we measure it? What will the impact of the goals be on peacekeepers in Colombia, women seeking employment in Uganda, or health workers in Ireland? Together, over the next four weeks with researchers from Trinity College Dublin, we invite you to critically examine these key goals-- peace, health care, our environment, and economic equality.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsWe will examine how these link together and how they can make a difference to our lives. Effectively tackling challenges that are interrelated in our everyday experience-- such as climate change, peace, equality, and health-- will be explored through case studies. We will discuss the importance of sustainable development goals from the perspectives of people living and working around the world, focusing on the lives of people living in poverty. This course is for anyone interested in the future of our world and how we can improve it.

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 secondsWe invite you to join us at TIDI, Trinity's International Development Initiative, with researchers from peace studies, medicine, engineering, and economics, to explore concepts at the heart of sustainable global development, and to reflect on what it means to take on and attempt to solve these challenges. Together, we will share our understanding of how to make the sustainable development goals a reality.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1 - Critically explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework
  • Week 1 - Understand the challenges to SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” through case studies from Kosovo, Korea, Colombia and Sri Lanka.
  • Week 2 - Examine why SDG 3 “Good Health and Wellbeing” is critical for achieving sustainable development.
  • Week 3 - Introducing the challenges to SDG6 “Clean water and sanitation” and SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”.
  • Week 4 - Understand how the impact of sustainable development can be measured.

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify and analyse some of the root causes of underdevelopment from a multidisciplinary perspective
  • Investigate case studies of sustainable development challenges including conflict resolution in Sri Lanka, HIV healthcare in Uganda, and sanitation in India
  • Reflect on the challenges to achieving sustainable development
  • Discuss why and how violence and conflict hinder sustainable development
  • Explain why sanitation is key to sustainability and ensuring good health
  • Explore the challenges to achieving adequate healthcare for all
  • Measure the impact of development though a Ugandan case study
  • Discuss the challenges to achieving sustainable development through five key areas; peace, healthcare, water and sanitation, gender, and sustainable cities

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in the future of our world, and how we can improve it. It might be of specific interest to students all over the world who are planning to live and work in developing countries, and to development stakeholders including people in NGOs, governments and communities.

Who will you learn with?

Carol Newman

Professor in Economics at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and
Chair of the Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI)

Gillian Wylie

Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Laurence Gill

Professor in Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. My research interests involve studying the fate and transport of both air and water-borne pollutants in the natural & built environment.

Martina Hennessy

Associate Professor in Medical Education at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at St. James' Hospital in Dublin. I am also Lead Academic on the NOURISH Project.

Federico Cugurullo

Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at the Geography Department, Trinity College Dublin.

I explore how smart and eco-city projects are cultivated and implemented around the world

Martina Kirchberger

I am the Ussher Assistant Professor in Development Economics at Trinity College Dublin. My research focuses on urban, labor and public economics. Most of my work employs big spatial datasets.

Sarah Glavey

I manage global health research projects at Trinity College Dublin, including NOURISH. My research interests centre around organisational development and leadership for improving public services.

Ross McManus

I am a Professor in Molecular Medicine in Trinity College. My main research interest is in the genomics of complex diseases and I am Director of the Molecular Medicine postgraduate programme.

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s highest ranked university. It promotes a diverse, interdisciplinary environment to nurture ground-breaking research, innovation, and creativity.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $59 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

Image access mobile

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs