Free Online Course on Concepts in Sustainable Development: An Introduction to the Key Issues

Free Online Course on Concepts in Sustainable Development: An Introduction to the Key Issues
Certificate fee scholarship is available for this course.

Institution: University of Leicester
Start Date: January 15, 2018

The University of Leicester is glad to announce you a free online course name as “Concepts in Sustainable Development: An Introduction to the Key Issues”. In this course, you will study the conceptual foundations of sustainable development, and discuss the issues around sustainability as a complex problem. You will explore some of the key issues in sustainability, tackling the big questions with examples from around the world. This course will start on January 15, 2018.

Course Summary

  •  Duration: 6 weeks
  • Commitment: 3 hours per week
  • Subject: Environmental Studies
  • Institution: University of Leicester
  • Languages: English
  • Price: Free
  • Session: Starts on January 15, 2018
  • Requirement: Anyone
  • Certificate Available: Yes

Who Developed the Course

  • About University: The University of Leicester is a leading research-led university with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching. It was named University of the Year of 2008 by the Times Higher Education when the judges described Leicester as “elite without being elitist.” Leicester is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom. The University is most famous for the invention of Genetic Fingerprinting and for the discovery of the remains of King Richard III.
  • Mission of University: The University of Leicester Provides information and genetics education resources for higher education, colleges, schools, health professionals and the general public. Encourages collaboration in the development, evaluation, and sharing of genetics education resources.

Target Audience 

This course is open to anyone interested in exploring the general technical and social issues around the concept of sustainability and sustainable development. The course explores the theoretical basis of sustainability from the natural sciences, political and economic perspective. This course is aimed at learners who wish to engage with the challenges and potential solutions to sustainability at a conceptual level.

Where Could This Lead You

  • Importance of the Subject in Today’s Scenario: Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The goal of which is to achieve balance/harmony between environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and socio-political.
  • Your Career Option: After completing this course successfully you may build your career in the following fields:
  1. Research Assistant/ Research Analyst
  2. Environmental Operations Intern
  3. Business Development Officer

Get Extra Benefits

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $59 you’ll get:

  • Unlimited Access: Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course. If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  1. Take the course at your own pace
  2. Refer to the material at any point in future
  • Access to tests: When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course. To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.
  1. Validate your learning
  2. Ensure you have mastered the material
  3. Qualify for a certificate
  • Certificate of Achievement: Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course. To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.
  1. Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  2. Celebrate your hard work
  3. Display on your LinkedIn or CV
  4. Includes free shipping

How to Join This Course

Course Format

  • Week 1: Sustainable development and complexity
  • Week 2: The economy and ecology as a metabolic system
  • Week 3: Economic growth and inequality
  • Week 4: The importance of geography, history and culture and the impact of human activity on the environment
  • Week 5: The problem of collective action
  • Week 6: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to learn:

  • Explain what is meant by a complex system and its relevance to sustainability
  • Evaluate the Brundtland definition of sustainable development
  • Explain how economy and ecology work together as one system
  • Summarise the prospects for a circular economy
  • Identify the effects of the agricultural and industrial revolutions
  • Identify and discuss the practical and moral issues around inequality
  • Evaluate the difficulty in assigning causation in complex systems
  • Discuss the implications of past actions for current generations
  • Define what is meant by the term ‘tragedy of the commons’
  • Explain what is meant by globalization, and its implication for sustainability
  • Discuss the major problems of sustainability and the prospects for solutions
  • Discuss the range of views on approaches to development

Who Will You Learn With

Derek Raine:  Derek Raine MBE is an emeritus professor of interdisciplinary science at the University of Leicester and the recipient of several awards for novel approaches to science teaching in higher education.

Suggested Reading

You can read these books:

  • Understanding Sustainable Development by-John Blewitt
  • An Introduction to Sustainable Development by-Peter Rogers


  • Importance of Course: At the end of this free online course, you will understand the complex system and its relevance to sustainability. You will learn the major problems of sustainability and the prospects for solutions.
  • Importance of Certificate: By the Certificate of Achievement you will be able to prove your success when applying for jobs or courses. You can display it on your LinkedIn or CV.

Detailed Information

For more information about the course, you may visit the given link:

Apply Now


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