Sustainable Development Applications

Key information

Start date:
To be confirmed

Contact details:


This module can be taken as standalone or as part of building up to a certificate, diploma or master’s degree. You can take up to three standalone modules before deciding whether you want to work towards any of these.

If you do decide to build up to a qualification, then you will need to complete and pass the following amount of modules within a five year period: four modules for a certificate; eight modules for a diploma; eight modules and a dissertation for a degree. Please note that certain modules will be compulsory depending on the degree you opt to take.

If you would like to gain a qualification then you will need to register onto one of our master's courses:

Module overview

This module provides an introduction to sustainable development for people primarily concerned with industrial ecology.

It can also offer a consolidation and deepening of understanding for those focusing on sustainable development and corporate environmental management, who have taken the Foundations of Sustainable Development module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic issues in implementing and managing sustainable development
  • Understand challenges and emerging solutions in public and private sector organisations
  • Understand issues in the integration of sustainable development in national and local development policies and plans
  • Engage in debates about the practical implementation and management of sustainable development policies and plans in business and governance.

Course content

Content includes the following:

  • Summary of foundational issues in sustainable development: Origins, Brundtland, I=PAT equation, sustainable development strategies and contested ideas
  • Measuring sustainable development (Indicators, sustainable livelihood approach, remote sensing)
  • Sustainable production and consumption: Sustainable development in relation to industrial ecology, concept and practice of the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) in fishery management
  • Case studies of sustainable development challenges, policies and management in mining, production of consumer goods, retailing, finance, health services
  • Case studies of sustainable development and sustainable livelihood approach in the global south
  • Case study of sustainable development communications
  • Communication and leadership issues in management for sustainable development
  • Issues in implementation of sustainable development policies
  • Analysis of key texts and discussion of films offering case studies.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Pre-course study involving the analysis of a sustainability report
  • Lectures from module team and various guest lecturers from the public, private and ‘third’ sectors
  • Group exercises
  • Audio and video presentations.


  • A 1,000 word individual critical review of a corporate sustainability report or similar document from a public agency, prior to starting the module
  • A 3,000 word essay from a list of supplied topics, to be completed over the four-week period following this module.

Please note: If you are taking this as a standalone module, then you are not required to complete the 3,000 word post-module essay, however, this will mean that you won't gain any credits for completing the module and so won't be able to work towards a qualification if you later decide to do so.

Course leader

Subhes Bhattacharyya profile image

Professor Subhes Bhattacharyya

Professor of Net Zero Carbon Energy Systems

Reading list

You will be required to do some reading prior to the module starting, take a look at the reading list.

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM067.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements if you are taking this as a standalone module.

For those wanting to build up to a qualification, please refer to the MSc course pages for entry requirements.

Fees and funding

Fees are to be confirmed

How to apply

Applications are currently closed, but please register your interest with the Head of Centre for Environment and Sustainability, Professor Richard Murphy, at

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Professor Richard Murphy Head of Centre for Environment and Sustainability

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH