I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been interested in studying sustainability in recent times.
Degradation of the environment, biodiversity loss and continuing climate change have been of concern for decards but it’s now at crisis levels.
Sustainability can mean a lot of things and different things to different people.
The question for many who are looking for a change of focus is, ‘what to do in sustainability?’.
It’s a broad field covering all industries. If you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), you’ll see there are 17 goals or global challenges we face.
As a global community, we are far from achieving these goals.
If you’re looking to study sustainability, you can undertake a general course or work towards specialisation in a particular area.
Personally, my plan is to study sustainability, climate change and green infrastructure.
This will give me a great foundation upon which to build and the opportunity to specialise in the future.
During the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak, I was able to study online at Macquarie University. I completed the Graduate Certificate of Environment and graduated with High Distinction.
This was a fantastic introduction to sustainability and pressing environmental issues.
I’m currently studying for a Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne and I’m sure the Master of Sustainability at the University of Sydney would be equally valuable.
Study Sustainability Online
If you’re interested in corporate sustainability, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership offers online sustainability courses.
Or if you’re interested in learning the basics of sustainable living, the University of Tasmania has an online diploma which I think would be worthwhile.
Outside of Australia, there are countless courses related to sustainability.
If you are looking for free online sustainability courses, the SDG Academy provides free educational resources via the edX platform.
I will continue to update this page with the sustainability courses I’m taking and my reviews of each course. Many of these courses are available for free online with websites like Future Learn, Coursera and GetSmarter.
Dates: July 2020 to December 2020
Grade: High Distinction
Climate Change, Energy and our Future
Natural Hazards, Disasters and their Management
Australian Environmental Futures
Urban Dynamics: Population, Housing and Regeneration
University of Bristol
Dates: June 2020 – July 2020
Short course via Future Learn.
Sustainable Futures discusses local and global sustainability issues along with interesting and innovative solutions to these problems. The course focuses on case studies with real world examples from academics, entrepreneurs, policy makers, business people, politicians and volunteers. This course is a great introduction to sustainable development as it covers a broad range of industries and initiatives.
Dates: May 2020 – July 2020
Short course via Coursera.
This is one of the most popular online courses available on the Coursera platform, particularly in the area of personal development. I’ve shared this course here as I consider wellbeing and happiness to be an essential part of social sustainability. Much of the information seems to be common sense but it’s interesting to see what you may or may not think is true, backed by scientific research. Some of the key points for achieving happiness or improving wellbeing include:
- regular meditation
- sleeping at least 7 hours per night
- exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times per week
- performing acts of kindness
- choosing experiential purchases over materialistic purchases
- savouring experiences / enjoying being in the moment
- connecting with others
It’s an interesting course, well worth the time to reinforce what we should be focusing on in our lives to improve our wellbeing and of those around us. Later weeks cover how to achieve the points discussed as it’s important to make changes into habits, it’s not enough to simply know what we should be doing.