Online course in Nature & Environment

Sustainability, Society and You

Join us for an introduction to the major global issue of sustainability and discover how you can have a real impact on our future.

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 5 hours
  • Certificate Available

Why join the course?

Sustainability is one of the big global issues of our time. It is crucial that we all play our part in protecting our world for current and future generations. This course provides you with the knowledge and skills to do this by investigating sustainability from multiple angles and exploring what small steps you can take to have a real impact upon all our futures.

This course provides an introduction to the values and principles associated with sustainability and will equip you with some of the knowledge and understanding required to make sustainable decisions in your personal and professional life.

The course is led by Dr Sarah Speight, archaeologist, educator and The University of Nottingham’s academic lead on Sustainability. It features contributions from academics across a variety of disciplines, supported by expert facilitators.


  1. Introducing sustainability
  2. Big issues for our world
  3. Sustainability and society
  4. Past, present and future; learning for sustainability
  5. Seeking sustainable solutions
  6. Sustainability and you

Through videos, readings and discussions, you will explore different perspectives on sustainability including:

  • economic
  • political
  • social and cultural
  • historical
  • arts
  • engineering
  • business
  • learning
  • geography
  • personal perspectives

You will be encouraged to look at your own behaviours and undertake activities such as blogging, sourcing images and carrying out a waste audit. We encourage course participants to find, produce, share and discuss resources on sustainability.

If you are interested in the topic of sustainability and can’t wait until the course starts, then why not download some of our free eBooks to help you read around the topic and be ready to join the discussion. Extracts from these books are used throughout the course.

Creative Commons resources

This course has been put together using material generated by The University of Nottingham, in combination with material from third-party ‘Creative Commons’ licensed sources. The principle of sustainability has been upheld throughout the production of the course through the re-use of this openly licensed material. In turn, The University of Nottingham content within this course and the course structure is being made openly available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence . This means you are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and to make derivative works as long as you: attribute the authors of the work; don’t use the work for commercial purposes; and if you alter, transform, or build upon the work, you distribute the resulting work under a licence identical to this one.

In addition to the University of Nottingham content, you will see a variety of third-party resources that are available under a variety of Creative Commons licences. You are free to use these too, just make sure you follow the rules of the licence that you see alongside the particular resource that you want to use.

We would very much like to thank all of the individuals and organisations whose Creative Commons resources are included, or have been adapted, as part of this course. You are champions of sustainability in our eyes.

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When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Who is the course for?

Who will you learn with?

Sarah Speight

Sarah Speight

Sarah is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Nottingham. An archaeologist by background, Sarah has been the university's academic lead for 'education for sustainability' since 2011.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.