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Identifying sustainability in the curriculum

Sustainability is everywhere! 

Shifting students’ perceptions

Students want their courses to address sustainability, and the University of Bath has made ‘Citizenship and Sustainability’ one of its key principles for curriculum development. However, initial evidence collected at the University suggests that students may have a limited conceptualisation of sustainability, focused around the environment, leading to claims that sustainability is absent from particular courses. Yet, sustainability extends far beyond environmental issues and is relevant to all disciplines.

This workshop challenges students to reconsider their understanding of sustainability and to recognise its vast scope. Subsequently, students are better able to identify sustainability concepts already embedded within their course, as well as contribute to curriculum design discussions in terms of embedding sustainability.

How sustainable is your curriculum? You, and your students, might be surprised by how many opportunities are already embedded within it!

  • This work has now been published: Angus-Cole KL, Eaton R and Dawes M. The design and delivery of a workshop to support curriculum development, education for sustainability and students as partners: Sustainability in your curriculum – identify, improve, inspire! [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. Emerald Open Res 2020, 2:60 (https://doi.org/10.35241/emeraldopenres.13878.1)

Workshop information

Help you engage your students with the curriculum principle of Citizenship and Sustainability.

Enable your students to identify where Citizenship and Sustainability already exist within your course.

Enable you and your students to identify where Citizenship and Sustainability might be further embedded.

Running the workshop

The workshop has been designed as an ‘off the shelf’ resource, ready for you to use.

Resources/equipment needed: Workshop PowerPoint, support resource, and guide (see below); presentation equipment

Running time: 45-60 minutes

Participants: the workshop can be used with staff and/or students, and is generally suited to a group size of 10+

Format: participants should be seated in small groups (4-6) to enable discussion and sharing of ideas


The workshop and accompanying resources were created by Matthew Dawes, CLT Student Engagement Ambassador, with support from staff in the CLT. You are free to use the workshop resources under the terms of the Creative Commons: Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. The data citation for the resources is:

Angus-Cole, K., Eaton, R., Dawes, M., 2020. Dataset for The design and delivery of a workshop to support curriculum development, education for sustainability and students as partners: Sustainability in your curriculum – identify, improve, inspire! Bath: University of Bath Research Data Archive. https://doi.org/10.15125/BATH-00901

Powerpoint presentation slides

Group task worksheet [print in advance]

Group task collage [print in advance]

Workshop plan/guide

Workshop in action

In June 2019, staff from the Centre for Learning & Teaching had the opportunity to showcase the workshop at the EAUC Influence! Conference in Manchester.

On behalf of the EAUC, we would like to say a very big thank you for joining us…it was one of the best attended sessions of the conference.

And here’s what some of the participants said:

Great short session. Useful teaching tool, modelled well within the session and included time for discussion about the tool also.

Great interactive session demonstrating the journey students go on.

Questions and feedback

Please get in touch if you have any questions about using this workshop.

If you have used the workshop, we’d love to hear from you. Did it work well? How did your students engage with the ideas? What opportunities to see sustainability within your course did you identify? Please let us know your thoughts and feedback: curriculumdev@bath.ac.uk

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