Professional course The Sustainable Organisation: Vision into practice

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Geography and Environmental Management
Five one-day sessions, scheduled over five continuous Fridays
Through interactive workshops, presentations and independent study
Programme leader
Dr Georgina Gough

Page last updated 2 April 2020


This course can count towards one of our postgraduate qualifications in Sustainable Development in Practice

The Department of Geography and Environmental Management offers a portfolio of short courses that focus on the urgent challenges faced by organisations, communities and government in effecting sustainable change in individual behaviour, business practice and wider society.

This course is suitable for professionals in an existing sustainability role who need to update their knowledge and skills, as well as career changers and recent graduates who are looking to differentiate their CV in the highly competitive sustainability sector.

This course focuses on organisations as the vehicles for attaining sustainability.There are two perspectives: contextual and strategic. The contextual perspective considers the pressures and opportunities facing the organisation, whether these are experienced through changing markets, through regulations or through aspirations. The strategic perspective reviews a range of frameworks and tools that organisations can use for guidance to contributing to a more sustainable future.

Entry requirements

Participants are expected to have a first degree at 2.2 level or above (or equivalent), or alternatively have industrial experience.

Overseas students need to have, in advance of application, either a valid student visa or evidence of residency status in the UK.

We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutor prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

Careers / Further study

This course forms one module of the MSc Sustainable Development in Practice. They may be taken separately or combined to build towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc Award if desired.

Please note that if your enrolment in this course is with the aim of completing a Sustainable Development in Practice Award, you will also need to complete the online booking form to be enrolled on the Sustainable Development in Practice Framework. Please see link under 'How to Apply'



Key topics covered include:

  • Sustainable organisations in a global context
  • Concepts and practices of organisational greening strategies, environmental management principles and sustainability politics
  • Strategic sustainability frameworks and tools for organisations
  • Externalities, business behaviour and pollution policies
  • The resource context: oil, pricing and backstop technology; renewable resources and issues of access
  • Valuation of environmental assets and assets beyond value
  • Carbon and ecological footprinting

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Be conversant with contemporary sociological and managementconcepts and debates around organisational behaviour, corporate sustainability and risk evaluation, and apply these critically to appraise the operation of businesses in the light of their stated social and environmental policies.
  • Analyse the contextual pressures deriving from resource scarcity and ecosystem degradation and assess how these impact on operations and strategy.
  • Employ various conceptual frameworks and project appraisal methods to assist strategy formulation and the design of metrics for assessing progress in strategy implementation.
  • Conceive the broad impact of new sustainable technologies across many business sectors in terms of efficiency enhancement and market openings.

Learning and Teaching

The courses are taught through a mixture of face-to-face and independent learning, comprising weekly lectures, workshops and group discussion. 

The pattern of contact sessions (five continuous Fridays, all day) is highly accessible for those who wish to study part-time.

This is a highly participative course. Delivery methods are primarily experiential and participant centred, engaging you in practical exercises, personal study, and critical reflection upon the relationship between theory and practice.

Study time

The course is structured around five contact days, which take place on consecutive weeks.

Students undertake a significant amount of directed and independent study between and after the contact sessions. To complete the course and assessment (if taken), we recommend students allocate approximately 150 hours including taught sessions and personal study time. This is only a guideline and will depend on the participants' motivation and learning abilities.


Participants who wish to receive credit for their learning can undertake the assessed project at the end of the course. On successful completion, the course credits may then be used towards one of our postgraduate qualifications in Sustainable Development in Practice

You may also use the credit towards one of UWE's postgraduate qualifications in Integrated Professional Development.

To achieve accreditation for this module, you will need to successfully complete an assessed project in which you critically apply a range of theoretical perspectives, analytical techniques and tools relevant to sustainable organisations.

Formative assessment will be carried out throughout the module by setting regular tasks for students that will assess their grasp of the material covered. Tasks will be reviewed as part of the sessions.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

This course runs once a year. The next module run is programmed for November 2020 and likely to follow the same delivery pattern: 5 sessions, scheduled over 5 continuous Fridays (10:00-17:00).

As an indication, the cost of this course was £625 UK/EU and £1083 for International participants in the last academic year, so there might be a small increase for 2020.

Exact course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in September 2020. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once dates are available.

Course Location

UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus. BS16 1QY

How to apply

How to apply

As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the module tutor to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport). For non UK students, this must be a copy of your passport

Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.

November 2020Enquire Now
SDiP Framework*

*If your enrolment in this course is with the aim of completing a Sustainable Development in Practice Award (SDiP Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc), you will also need to complete an online booking form for the framework.

Extra information

If you would like further information about this course or about the postgraduate qualifications in Sustainable Development in Practice, please contact the Programme Leader: Dr Georgina Gough /+44(0)117 32 87139.

For further information

  • Email: For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Programme Leader, Dr Georgina Gough ( For queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86927