Education for Sustainable Development

As a University, our greatest contribution to sustainability solutions comes from the students we nurture to become the researchers and business leaders of the future.

Economics students in lecture theatre

We take the responsibility of preparing students for the world of work seriously. Regardless of their course, our students need to understand the challenges and opportunities sustainability provides. We're committed to providing a rounded education, ensuring that all of our graduates leave Sheffield with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in their chosen profession.


What is Education for Sustainable Development?

Our aspiration is to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, values and attributes needed to work and live in a way that will bring about solutions to the urgent environmental, economic and social challenges that we face. We're working to embed Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into the Sheffield student experience, both within the formal curriculum and in their wider student experience while at Sheffield.

ESD takes a holistic definition of sustainability, as set out by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to make sustainability relevant to all students, no matter what subject they study, and help to produce conscious and informed global graduates. While it can include measures to combat the climate emergency, depending on degree subject, it might also include: climate justice, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, sustainable consumption, human rights, social equality and responsible citizenship. 

Progressing ESD

As part of our sustainability strategy and our Programme Level Approach, Education for Sustainable Development is beginning to be embedded in our curriculum. Many courses from departments across the University already have modules related to sustainability. We are also looking at how all courses can develop and train students more effectively in the types of skills that will be required for the jobs of the future. 

Our sustainability strategy

We have set the principles and direction for our Year 1 sustainability strategy.