• Deakin University

Introduction to Sustainability and Development

Discover the impact of human activity on our planet, and what we can do to ensure a sustainable future for everybody.

33,275 enrolled on this course

Introduction to Sustainability and Development
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • Digital upgradeFree
This course is part of the program Sustainability and Development, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action. Find out more.

Explore the relationship between humans and the environment

This online course explores why and how human activity impacts negatively on the environment, why this is important, and what we are trying to do about it.

  • What is sustainability and what is development?
  • What impact has human activity had on the environment?
  • What actions have we taken so far for sustainable development?
  • What actions may we need to take for a sustainable future?

This course is part of Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Study with Australia collection, with free upgrades and digital certificates until 31st July, 2020. Explore more courses from leading Australian education providers.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Have you ever felt bombarded by bad news? Climate change stories hit the headlines daily, from extreme weather events causing floods, fire, and drought, to the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef here in Australia. Other significant environmental issues range from the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the health issues associated with air pollution in places such as Lagos, Karachi, Beijing, and of course, even in Los Angeles. It’s clear that human impact on the planet is immense, and in some cases, it is irreversible. However, it’s only half the story. Sustainable development is about what we have done, but it’s also about what we can do as individuals, as communities, and as nations to change the path of human development.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds In this course, you’ll learn about sustainable development in terms of decisions we can make today to positively affect the future. We will learn about development. We’ll learn about sustainability and sustainable development. We’ll look at the different ways in which sustainable development can be understood. We’ll investigate the impact that we as humans have had on our environment. We’ll explore the ways in which the future may be different if we act now in the present. We’re expecting people from all over the world with very diverse perspectives. This should make for a fascinating two weeks of study I’m looking forward to working with you on this FutureLearn course.

What topics will you cover?

The key topics addressed in this course on sustainability in contemporary international and community development, include:

  • Diverse understandings of sustainability and development
  • Changing planetary conditions and the growing human population
  • What the future might look like, and the potential for technology to save us

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Critically review diverse perspectives of sustainable development
  • Investigate how interactions between human development and environmental life support systems are/have been managed in real-world cases
  • Identify the characteristics and be able to differentiate between development, sustainability and sustainable development

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those who have an interest in our planet and a sustainable future.

Who will you learn with?

Max Kelly has over 15 year’s experience teaching and researching issues in sustainability and development. Max has experience across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Helen M Dalton believes in furthering intercultural thinking, assisting students connect theory to the real-world environment, and encouraging participatory and inclusive development.

Who developed the course?

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established1974
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • World rankingTop 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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What's different about this course?

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

How do degrees work on FutureLearn?

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from Deakin University

Which program and degree is this course part of?

This course is part of the program Sustainability and Development, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action.

What's included?

Deakin University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: