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University of the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) Sustainable Development
University of the Highlands and Islands

BA (Hons) Sustainable Development

4 Years


Full time, Part time

Request application deadline

Sep 2024

EUR 6,960 / per year

Distance Learning, On-Campus


What is special about this course?

The world is facing the prospect of a climate emergency, with decision-makers grappling with how to understand and respond to the pressures on our environment and society. Sustainable Development, from the local to the global, is essential if society is to tackle the challenges faced. The necessary changes will impact on every facet of society, culture, and the economy; this is a critical moment to study sustainability.

On this BA (Hons) Sustainable Development degree you will learn the facts about climate change, explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and consider potential and emerging solutions such as the Green New Deals, the concept of ‘degrowth’, and the transition to wellbeing economies, leaving you ideally placed to influence, or indeed become, one of the decision-makers.

This degree also focuses on how communities can shape this more sustainable form of development, particularly rural communities. Most of our teaching team are located in the Western Isles, where 75% of people live on community-owned land, which sets the context for you to study community-based development, land reform, community empowerment, and community energy projects, which can all contribute to a more sustainable future.

To develop a critical understanding of the three pillars of sustainability (social, environmental, economic), you will study modules drawn from a range of social science disciplines, such as geography; economics; politics; sociology; and environmental studies, as well as developing practical skills in research and working with communities. The course takes a critical approach to examining the historical context of development whilst looking firmly to the future, drawing examples of change in action from around the globe.

You will benefit from collaborative discussions and activities with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and experiences, facilitated by tutors with many years of experience in delivering online education.

Special features

  • Delivered entirely online, by tutors with years of experience teaching at a distance, and can be studied from anywhere in the world, full or part-time to suit your circumstances
  • To ensure a high-quality student experience, numbers enrolled in the course are currently limited to a maximum of 25 students per year so you will receive a high level of support during your studies
  • All assessments on core programme modules are in the form of coursework
  • Recent graduates have careers in community economic development, managing rural development initiatives, working for UN agencies, and working on international renewable energy projects
  • There is an optional residential weekend each year, usually taking place in the Highlands and Islands, which will allow you to meet practitioners, staff, and other students in an informal setting
  • You may choose to leave after 6/12 modules with a CertHE/DipHE, while individual modules and groups of modules are available to study as continuing professional development (CPD) awards


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