International>Global Opportunities>Global Sustainability Week

Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy: Global Sustainability Week - 9th to13th January 2023

Introduction and Overview

The Global Sustainability Week is your opportunity to learn more about the environmental challenges we face as a planet. Taught through a series of daily online lectures, group work, and individual study, this is an enhanced learning programme designed to help you make sense of the wider environmental context within which your current University scheme is located, and your future working life will take place. It seeks to enable you to ask critical questions about global responses to the environmental crisis, as well as assist you in making sense of policy and professional decision-making in the context of addressing these global challenges.


If you are interested in taking part in the first virtual Global Sustainability Week please complete the Global Opportunities Google form no later than 4th January 2023.


09:30-10:00Overview of the courseReview of the previous dayReview of the previous dayReview of the previous day

Online Lecture:

Introduce global environmental challenges

Terms of sustainability

Online lecture: Global policy to the environmental crisis

Focus on economic global response

Online lecture: Race to net zero – environmental emissions

Global and cultural perspectives

Exploring the concept of 'new enclosures'

Online lecture: Case studies exploring key issues concerning the global sustainability agenda


Break Break
11:15-11:30Introduce group activityIntroduce group activityIntroduce group activityFinalising group assessment
11:30-12:30Group activityGroup activityGroup activityGroup activity
AfternoonIndependent studyIndependent studyIndependent studyClosing remarks

On successful completion of the course, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • Understanding of the various factors impacting the global environment;
  • Understanding of sustainability and factors affecting it;
  • Understanding of the short and long-term impacts of climate change and broader environmental crisis;
  • Understanding of the effects of carbon emissions and the various policy options available to reduce these.


City & Guilds

Those students who successfully complete the course and prescribed coursework will be awarded a City and Guilds Level 2 Award in Sustainability and the Green Environment.


Daily Lectures

Daily online lectures will be given between 10am and 11am on Monday 9th January, Tuesday 10th January, Wednesday 11th January, and Thursday 12th January. Students will be expected to virtually attend each of these sessions on Teams as they will provide the key information that they will require to complete the course. You will not be required to participate in the lecture, nor to use your video or microphone facilities, but you will be required to complete a daily diary (see assessment below) based on the content of each lecture and any supplementary study you undertake each day.

Monday: 'Crisis? What Crisis?'

Following an introduction to the course aims and structure, and an overview of the assessment requirements necessary for the City and Guilds qualification, the first session will introduce the current global environmental challenges.

What do we understand by the term 'sustainability'? The term sustainability is frequently used, but rarely defined. In this lecture we will explore the term and provide an acceptable definition to help inform our understanding of the major issues outlined in the course.

Similarly, the 'environmental crisis' is often poorly understood, including by policy-makers. Often, used interchangeably with other terms such as 'climate change' or 'nature emergency', this lecture will demonstrate why it is important to understand the various factors impacting the global environmental crisis, which extend beyond both climate and nature, important those these factors are.

This lecture will also introduce students to some of the ways that global policy-makers have sought to address key issues of sustainability (including SDGs, COPs etc.).

Tuesday: An Economic 'Locked Room' Mystery

Following the introductory lecture on day one, this second lecture moves beyond definitions and begins to explore global policy responses to the environmental crisis. It asks whether we are failing to adequately achieve the necessary change, and, if so, in what ways.

With a particular focus on economics, the lecture suggests that there are some major limitations and contradictions in the global response, outlining so called 'lock-in' problems and 'frictions of distance' in the global economic order and frustrate environmental progress.

The lecture also provides a clear understanding of the term 'economic growth', and asks whether 'green growth' is actually possible. Please note, students do not need a background in economics for this course, and the definitions and examples given will be understood by those from a wide range of academic backgrounds (there will be no equations!).

Wednesday: The Race to 'Net Zero' – Environmental Olympics?

Continuing the discussion about policy responses to the environmental crisis from the previous day, this lecture will consider the social and cultural consequences of the so called race to 'net zero' environmental emissions.

It will consider global experiences and cultural understandings of sustainability drawn not just from 'western' perspectives, both also from the far wider range global cultural perspectives.

The lecture will also explore unequal rights to the environment experienced by different people (socio-economic, First Nations etc.). It will also introduce students to the concept of 'New Enclosures', seen by some as an unintended side effect of the race to net zero, and which might exacerbate environmental inequality.

Thursday: Case Studies      

The final lecture will outline two case studies that will help explore some of the key issues concerning the global sustainability agenda. The first case study is policy-focused, and explores issues concerning global food supply. The second case study is place-based and explores the experiences of a community in the island country of Vanuatu, located in the South Pacific Ocean.

The lecture will end with a final summary of the key issues explored throughout the week and a reminder of the coursework requirements necessary for the award of the City and Guilds qualification attached to the course.


  • You will be required to prepare a daily 'diary' entry for each of the four days, which provides a succinct summary of the key points you have learned on each day. 
  • In groups, you will be asked an to prepare a poster outlining some of the key issues impacting some of the key  global environmental crisis.
  • There will be an opportunity to present your group poster at an award ceremony in February 2023.


The cost to participate on the Global Sustainability Week will be funded by Global Opportunities!  If you are interested in taking part in the first virtual Global Sustainability Week please complete the Global Opportunities Google form no later than 4th January 2023.