University offers free sustainable development course for businesses

The course is being offered 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.

The University of Bath 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.”