Education for Sustainable Development at Bristol

As a signatory of the Sustainable Development Goals Accord and member of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges, we’re committed to Supporting our students to engage in the challenges humanity faces. 

What we’re doing: 

Embedding discipline-relevant aspects of education for sustainable development into every degree program.  

We systematically work with every academic School assessing the baseline of content already included in degree programs, and work with academic staff to identify relevant additional content, where to include it, and a timeline for doing so. So far, we have worked with programs in 14 of the 31 academic schools in the University of Bristol, including Physics, Anthropology, Medicine, Innovation and Civil Engineering. Find out more about the delivery framework here ESD Delivery Framework (PDF, 75kB).  

Supporting the sharing of best practice through the Education for Sustainable Development Staff Network  

The ESD Network supports academic staff, organising workshops and events to network and explore new ideas. As part of this, we are encouraging use of the Climate Fresk Workshop as an educational tool, and have currently trained more than 25 Climate Fresk Facilitators. 

Providing formal extra-curricular ESD opportunities  

Our Bristol Futures Open Online Courses include Global Citizenship and Sustainable Futures, and form part of the Bristol PLUS Award scheme. The Sustainable Futures course was the winner of the 2019 UK and Ireland Green Gown Award for Next Generation Learning and Skills 

Training our staff in education for sustainable development  

We feature a module as part of the PGCAP continuing professional development scheme for academics. 

Supporting bottom-up educational initiatives with the Students Union  

We support a network of staff Student Sustainability Champions and offer funding through the Green Apple scheme. Recent examples of Green Apple projects include sustainable careers events in Life Sciences and Social Policy, and trips to rewilding projects. 

Leading in national and international conversations on education for sustainable development.  

The international network on Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures is co-ordinated from Bristol. Our academics have contributed to the QAA Guidance on Education for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Case Studies, and the COP26 Universities Network working paper on Mainstreaming Climate Education in UK Higher Education Institutions.  


1 in 5 Project Logo Undergraduate Projects and Dissertations

The University of Bristol is an active supporter of the 1 in 5 project, which engages students in the climate and ecological emergency through final year projects. We encourage all programmes to offer relevant projects, and support students who wish to focus their projects in this way.

We collect data on uptake across the university, and share examples of success with the national 1 in 5 project.

Recent project examples


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