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Sustainable Curriculum for students

We know that students’ choice of University is increasingly influenced by how institutions address sustainability challenges, and that employers are increasingly looking for environmental and climate literacy in their recruitment.

The Leeds Sustainable Curriculum strives to be sector leading in our approach to Education for Sustainable Development.

The programme will ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn about and engage with sustainability during your time at the University of Leeds, whatever your programme or level of study.

Student engagement and opportunities

As a student, there are a number of ways in which you can benefit from the Sustainable Curriculum programme, and these will grow as the programme develops further. These include:

Inductions and self-led learning

As part of your student inductions, a new 'Introduction to Sustainability' induction unit has been developed to ensure all students arriving at the University of Leeds have an understanding of the importance of sustainability and can make the most of the opportunities available through the Sustainable Curriculum.

Further self-led learning opportunities can be found in our student induction resources, and include a new Climate Action training course developed by LUBS, and free sustainability courses provided by the University on Future Learn.

You can also find out more about how you can reduce your own environmental impact whilst at university.

Sustainability in your modules and programmes

The university has 369 modules focused on sustainability, and over 10,000 modules that include sustainability themes. These include the Creating Sustainable Futures Discovery modules which are available to students on a wide range of programmes. In addition, new sustainability focused programmes are being developed such as the MSc Climate Futures course launched in 2022.

A focus area for the Sustainable Curriculum programme is embedding sustainability within existing modules and programmes. This ensures that you will learn about sustainability in the context of your degree. Work is underway to map sustainability across our curriculum including through projects carried out by Student Sustainability Architects.

We also work with teaching staff to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to confidently embed sustainability in your learning experience, sharing best practice and creating new collaborations as the programme develops.

Sustainability in projects and dissertations

All students have the opportunity to incorporate sustainability into their projects and dissertations. For inspiration, check out our list of student research project ideas or previous student research from our Student Sustainability Research Conference.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals cover 17 areas ranging from climate action and biodiversity, through to education, gender equality and partnerships, so you might be surprised to find how many topics can be linked to sustainable development. Explore how sustainability relates to your dissertation topic in our annual student dissertation survey.

We are also expanding our Living Labs programme, an approach to research that brings together partners to use our campus, community and wider city region as a test bed. Funding is available for independent student research projects as well as opportunities to contribute to or work alongside existing Living Lab programmes including those for net zero and biodiversity.

Opportunities to engage in sustainability outside of your course

The Sustainable Curriculum programme highlights and expands opportunities to develop hands on experience working in sustainability or applying sustainability skills. Examples of these opportunities include volunteering on campus or in the local community, paid project roles with the Sustainability Service, internships and placements, careers support and sustainable careers workshops, and the opportunity to gain experience presenting your own research at our annual Student Sustainability Research Conference.

Get Involved

As well as engaging with the opportunities provided by the Sustainable Curriculum programme, you can also contribute to the development of the programme itself.

  • Keep up to date on the latest news and progress on the Climate Plan Sharepoint hub (University of Leeds login required)
  • Look out for our Sustainable Curriculum events throughout the year
  • Speak to your LUU Student Executive (who represent students on the Sustainable Curriculum Working Group) about how you can contribute your views and feedback to the Sustainable Curriculum programme
  • Share your perspective at our Leeds University Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (LUNSHE). This group of primarily staff meet monthly to share insight on approaches to Education for Sustainable Development.
  • Share a case study on how sustainability features within your course.
  • Consider becoming one of our Student Sustainability Architects - paid part time roles working on sustainability projects including those within the Sustainable Curriculum programme team.


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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on the Leeds sustainable curriculum is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.