• University of Glasgow

Uniting for a Sustainable Future: An Introduction to Global Sustainability

How do we create a sustainable future? Discover the path to global sustainability and how to take sustainable steps in your life.

527 enrolled on this course

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Uniting for a Sustainable Future: An Introduction to Global Sustainability

527 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Understand the importance of sustainable development

Sustainability is a difficult issue spanning many disciplines. To tackle its complexity, we must take a collaborative approach to understand how to approach sustainability on a global scale.

On this three-week course, you’ll uncover a cross-disciplinary perspective on sustainability. You’ll explore human impacts on the environment as well as examining the global challenges humans face.

You’ll delve into concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, including the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as defined by the UN, to understand the importance of working towards a sustainable future.

Explore sustainable solutions to global challenges

You’ll explore the critical obstacles to achieving global sustainability, before examining how we can overcome them.

You’ll learn how you can use sustainable solutions to tackle a range of global challenges such as population, poverty, climate change, inequality, and more.

Learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle

Throughout the course, you’ll explore examples of sustainability to help you learn how to apply sustainability principles to different areas of your life, which could also lead to inspiring change in those around you.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to live more sustainably as well as an understanding of how to work together to respond to global challenges.

What topics will you cover?

  • Concepts of sustainability and sustainable development including SDGs
  • Human impacts on the global environment
  • Social equity and economic development
  • Global challenges (Population, Poverty, Ecosystems, Climate Change, Energy, Water, Environmental, Inequality, Pollution and waste etc.)
  • Examples of Sustainability (i.e. examples of sustainability in technology; fashion; transportation; food and agriculture; workplace etc.)

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explain concepts of sustainability and sustainable development
  • Reflect on social equity and economic development
  • Explore human impacts on the global environment
  • Investigate global challenges (Population, Poverty, Ecosystems, Climate Change, Energy, Water, Environmental, Inequality, Pollution and waste etc.)
  • Evaluate sustainable solutions to global challenges
  • Apply sustainability principles into day-to-day life

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in sustainability.

It is best suited for beginners who want more of an understanding of sustainability principles.

Who will you learn with?

Prof. Kelum Gamage is a Full Professor in the James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow and the Co-Director of the Centre for Educational Development and Innovation.

Dr Stephen Parker is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Glasgow. He is a sociologist with interests in equitable access to higher education, social justice, policy & critical social theory.

I am a lecturer in accounting based in Adam Smith Business School. My research looks at social issues and phenomena that involves means and tools of accounting, and mechanisms of accountability.

Dr Ria Dunkley is a Senior Lecturer in Geography, Environment & Sustainability within the School of Education & Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Ahmad Taha is a Lecturer at the James Watt shool of Engineering, University of Glasgow. His expertise is in embedded systems, electronics, IoT, energy management, and healthcare technologies.

Gordon is the eLearning & Innovation Officer for the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow, advising on Technology Enhanced Learning & Teaching, and leading on Digital Innovation strategy.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

Ways to learn

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 10 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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