• University of York

Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future

Discover how environmental research can inform how we respond to and solve the major global environmental issues of today.

Tackling Environmental Challenges for a Sustainable Future
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Explore sustainable solutions to environmental issues like changing glaciers

Our energy use is unsustainable, we’re producing waste plastic that’s endangering oceans, and large parts of the natural world are disappearing. We know our planet is facing huge environmental challenges, but what are we doing to solve them?

On this course, you’ll discover how the environment is studied and learn how research at the University of York is helping to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

The course will encourage you to reflect on the importance of a more sustainable future for our planet and will introduce you to the role the Sustainable Development Goals can play.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsUnderstanding the range of environmental problems facing us in the world today is of the utmost importance. In fact, it could be argued that getting to the bottom of the causes and consequences of these environmental changes, as well as coming up with solutions to them, are the most pressing issues facing the world today. Your interest in the world's environmental problems likely means that you feel the same way. In this four-week course we aim to show you some of the critical environmental issues that are the focus of attention at the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsEach week we're going to focus on a different topic, starting off with an exploration of changing glaciers, before moving on to look at how we protect our oceans, then how we can create opportunities for human development alongside environmental conservation, and finally examining the issues surrounding energy and society. Not only will you learn about the details of these fascinating and highly topical issues, but you will also learn about some innovative ways of tackling the problems and you will join our team and help in our efforts to come up with solutions!

What topics will you cover?

  • Changing glaciers
  • Protecting our oceans
  • The environment and development
  • Energy and Society

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore major environmental challenges and how we investigate them.
  • Evaluate the importance of interactions between people and the planet.
  • Investigate potential sustainable solutions to major environmental problems.
  • Reflect upon the need for a sustainable future and the role of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Who is the course for?

There has never been a more important time to study the environment. This course is designed for anyone interested in how research is informing our knowledge of global environmental issues and potential solutions.

The course will be particularly useful for final year school students who are considering studying an environmental course at university. It will also appeal to anyone with an interest and with a general understanding of issues surrounding environmental issues.

Who will you learn with?

David Rippin is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography and a glaciologist. His research focuses on understanding how glaciers move and how their behaviour is affected by climate change.

Bryce is a Senior Lecturer whose work has ranged across temperate and tropical seas. He specialises in improving the management of fisheries and studying the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.

Brett is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York and studies the fate and effects of emerging pollutants in the environment.

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

Join this course

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  • Access to this course for 6 weeks


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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
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