Global Graduate Award in Sustainability

Why choose this course? | What you will study | Course facts | Course detailsEligibility | Fees and funding | Apply | Contact | Frequently asked questions | Programme regulations | Disclaimer

Why choose this course?

Our Global Graduate Award in Sustainability will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of challenges affecting the sustainability of our planet and some of the promising solutions. 

This free course, open to all Surrey students, is the perfect way to complement your studies, enhance your employability and improve your understanding of the world we live in.

Upon successful completion of the course, students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes will be awarded 15 co-curricular credits. Students on postgraduate research courses will receive a certificate.

What you will study

Our Global Graduate Award (GGA) in Sustainability provides students with insights into a wide range of issues that are encompassed within sustainability. These are often thought of as the three pillars of sustainability:

  • Environmental issues
    These include the impacts of our consumption and production systems on the Earth, how to deal with climate disruption; loss of biodiversity, and how to manage vital resources (water, food and energy) sustainably.
  • Economic issues
    These include how economic instruments such as taxes and subsidies can be used to encourage more sustainable practices, the dilemma of economic growth, and how and why companies engage in corporate responsibility strategies.
  • Social issues
    These include the sociology and psychology of sustainability, how our lifestyles can change, and sustainable tourism. Through these, students are introduced to how individuals and society as a whole might move towards more sustainable behaviours.

All topics are applied to a case study family. On successful completion of this course you will be able to explain and apply the concept of sustainability and breadth of issues it encompasses, and how sustainability underpins every aspect of the economy and people’s lives.

Course facts

  • FHEQ level: L (Global Graduate Award)
  • Number of credits: 15
  • Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
  • Module availability: semesters 1 and 2

Course details




Classes take place on Wednesday afternoons between 1pm and 2:30pm.


The course consists of 16 lecture/discussion sessions, each lasting one and a half hours, and four sessions in which films will be shown and discussed. You’ll have a further session devoted to group work.


Module coordinator: Professor Angela Druckman

Surrey’s Global Graduate Award in Sustainability is delivered by specialists from the University of Surrey and beyond.


This course is assessed as a module. The final mark is based on an assessed individual assignment (70 per cent) and a group video (30 per cent).

The individual assignment consists of 10 short essays (250 words maximum) - it will be your chance to apply the sustainability concepts that you have learnt about to a case study family. The group video will give you an opportunity to critique an environmental documentary film.

Contact hours

You will attend a class on Wednesdays between 1-2:30pm. You will also be expected to set aside time outside contact hours for completing assignments and independent study.



The Global Graduate Award in Sustainability module is available to all students of the University with a valid university username and password.

Selection process

It is not possible to guarantee every student a place on this course. We will inform you by email whether you have been successful in securing a place.

Fees and funding


This course is free of charge.

Additional costs

Throughout the duration of your studies it is likely that you will incur additional costs related to your course.


How to apply

Apply for a place on this course through our online portal.

Online registration opens on Monday 24 September at 9am and closes on Friday 28 September at 5pm.

Admissions information

Before submitting your application:

  • Check your confirmed timetable against the GGA timetable to avoid clashes
  • Read the programme regulations carefully and make sure you are aware of what to expect with regards to attendance, assessment, and commitment
  • We recommend you apply as soon as you have received confirmation of your timetable. There is usually no undergraduate teaching on Wednesdays, after 12 noon
  • You can only take one GGA module per academic year but you will be able to rank your top two course options during the application process. Every effort will be made to allocate you to your preferred choice
  • Your application will initially show as pending. Please be patient as it might take time for your application to be processed. You can expect to receive an answer by Friday 5 October, 12 noon.


Frequently asked questions

How many Global Graduate Award (GGA) modules can I take each year?

You can take one Global Graduate Award (GGA) module per year.

My application is pending. What does that mean?

Pending application either means that we have not yet had a chance to process your application, or the class is full and you’ve been placed on the waiting list. (If you don’t want to remain on the waiting list, please cancel your application.)

I applied several days ago. Why have I not heard from you?

Please be patient, we’ve probably not been able to process your application yet.

I don’t yet have my timetable/URN. Can I still apply?

Please wait for your timetable. There’s usually no undergraduate teaching on Wednesdays from 12 noon, but please check with your School/Department whether any other activity (eg, lab sessions) are planned.

How much study time will the GGA Sustainability involve?

You should devote the same amount of time to the GGA Sustainability module as to any other 15 credit module.

How do I register?

Apply for a place on this course through our online portal.

Programme regulations

Please read the programme regulations carefully before submitting your application.

  1. You must ensure that your selected course does not clash with your Semester 1 timetable or other commitments before applying for a course.
  2. You must ensure that, to the best of your knowledge, you are able to attend for the whole duration of the course.
  3. Upon successful completion of the GGA module, students who are enrolled on taught programmes are awarded 15 co-curricular credits. The module and the mark achieved will be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). Students on research degree programmes who complete the module successfully will receive a certificate.  
  4. You can withdraw from the course within the first week of GGA teaching. If you wish to withdraw, it is your responsibility to withdraw your application electronically by logging onto your GGA student record.  If you fail to withdraw the module will appear in your HEAR and be noted as a non-completion.
  5. If you have a timetable clash in Semester 2, you will be withdrawn from the module, and the module will be removed from SITS and HEAR.  Please note that clashes with extracurricular activities cannot be taken into consideration.
  6. To pass the course successfully, you must achieve an aggregate mark of 40%. 
  7. Assessment is by two assignments: individual assignment (70 per cent) and group video (30 per cent):
    - For the individual assignment students must submit 10 short essays (250 words maximum). These essays should be written soon after each week’s lecture session and should present highlights learnt that week. Of these, two will be selected by the Module Leader for marking.
    - If 10 essays are not submitted  overall the student will be awarded zero marks for the individual assignment.
    - Students who have not submitted at least 10 essays as part of the individual assignment will not be included in groups for the group video work, and therefore will be awarded zero for the group video.
  8. You must observe the deadlines for coursework. Late submission will be penalised in accordance with the University regulations.
  9. If you are are unable to submit on time due to extenuating circumstances, you must submit a request for the recognition of extenuating circumstances in accordance with the University regulations.
  10. If you fail your GGA module, you can retake the components failed at the next available opportunity, provided you are still registered as a student on the same degree programme at the time of the re-sit. 
  11. Please note that all re-sits are capped at 40%.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. 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 more.