Advanced Sustainable Development: Sustainability in Policy and Practice (014GA)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Delivered by a member of staff who advices the UN on climate technology policy, this module introduces you to contemporary sustainability concepts and policy applications at a more advanced level than in years 1 and 2.

You will be introduced to a range of advanced concepts in contemporary sustainability thinking, helping you to develop the conceptual and practical skills necessary to engage with the rapidly changing global sustainability agenda (as defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and other policy agendas focusing on sustainability and climate change).

You’ll explore how there are no single answers to what sustainability is and how to achieve it. You’ll examine how who you are, your values and material interests impact on your understanding of what is and isn’t sustainable. You’ll see how these values and interests play out at the highest levels of international policy making.

The module is based on the work of the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technical and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre – a partnership between the University of Sussex and the Institute of Development Studies, representing some of the most cutting edge thinking on sustainability in the world today.



33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


25%: Coursework (Report)
75%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: