Find out about how we are embedding sustainability in our students’ education.

Our commitment

Sustainability is being embedded into all our programmes as a core graduate attribute. This will be achieved through a student-centred, enriching learning environment, with an emphasis on practice-based learning. The University’s Education Strategy 2021-2024 stresses that Surrey graduates will be educated to think critically and make a real impact on society.

Sustainable development

Surrey students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work and live in a way that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

They will be nurtured as future leaders in sustainable thinking, empowered to make informed decisions and responsible actions that promote the wellbeing of present and future generations.

Sustainable development education is overseen by Richard Murphy, Director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability.

Supporting our teachers

Progress reporting

Progress is reported to the Environment and Sustainability Steering Group chaired by Professor Bob Nichol. The group reports to the University's Executive Board and Estates Building Executive Committee as appropriate.


All taught courses go through a rigorous validation process and are checked that sustainability and other core graduate attributes are embedded. Workshops are provided to inspire and guide course leaders on how the attributes can be embedded.

Learning opportunities

We have integrated various opportunities within our University for staff and students to learn about sustainable development.


Starting September 2023, we launched a new undergraduate course, Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons), which allows students to address sustainability challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management provides training for their students in our Lakeside Restaurant and Coffee Shop, where students on hospitality courses learn how to embed sustainability in line with Lakeside's commitment to sustainability.

We work with our accrediting body, the Engineering Council, to ensure our engineering programmes meet the six principles of sustainability that all Chartered Engineers sign up to.


We run continuing professional development modules for masters students, research students and individuals from businesses.

The Global Graduate Award in Sustainability is an extracurricular module open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students free of charge, which offers the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of a wide range of issues affecting the sustainability of our planet.

Wind turbines on a hill at sunset

Sustainability research

Surrey's Institute for Sustainability is a pan-University sustainability research network, providing both staff and students the opportunity to collaborate, inspire and make significant change.