Free sustainable development course

We're launching a completely free online course aimed at providing businesses with the practical skills needed to develop a sustainable development strategy.

The course is being offered by Bath through the FutureLearn platform - the UK’s leading organisation for the provision of MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses.

FutureLearn offers free courses on a wide range of subjects, delivered by leading UK and international institutions.

Our course, titled ‘Make an impact: Sustainability for Professionals’ will explore a variety of topics, including the key drivers for sustainability, the use of standards, the importance of stakeholder engagement, governance and codes of conduct, and the role of innovation. The course will share ideas from University of Bath researchers and from industry professionals.

Dr Emma Patterson, lead educator for the course, said: “There is a revolution taking place in the higher education sector. Not only is the on-campus playing field changing with new tuition fee structures and increased international competition, the growth of the MOOC is changing the way people of all ages access academic knowledge.

“Free courses like ours are opening up the doors of universities to students from all backgrounds, requiring very few, if any, qualifications to get involved, and allowing students to determine the pace and times at which they will study. Obviously there is a fantastic opportunity here for businesses to tap into these courses to contribute to the professional development of their staff, and to their business activities.”

To sign up to ‘Make an impact: Sustainability for Professionals’, students require no previous knowledge of the subject, and can dip in and out of sessions as they wish. There is no formal certification, but Emma stresses that this isn't the objective of this type of course.

She said: “This course will cover a number of different topics which students will be able to use to create their own sustainable development strategy for their organisation. Students will leave this course with practical knowledge that they can apply within their own business.”

A wide range of free courses are now available through platforms like FutureLearn in the UK, and edX or Coursera in the USA. Many offer access to the newest research and thinking coming out of the world’s leading universities, and nearly all are completely free of charge. The first course we offered from Bath, called 'Inside Cancer', was extremely well received by over 7000 global participants.

‘Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals’ starts on 17 March and is six weeks long. Early sign-up is encouraged to ensure you receive all pre-course communication. For more information see

Make an Impact: Sustainability for Professionals


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We are one of the UK's leading universities with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. Our Mission is to deliver world class research and teaching, educating our graduates to become future leaders and innovators, and benefiting the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence. Our courses are innovative and interdisciplinary and we have an outstanding record of graduate employment.