Research course

Education for Sustainability

Open University · Department of Education

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent).

Months of entry


Course content

Education for Sustainable Development (more recently Education for Sustainability), an initiative which aims for every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future, is widely recognised as essential within education systems in general and in higher education in particular, yet this does not necessarily translate into fundamental changes in policy and practice within and by universities. UNESCO has been the lead agency for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014), and in 2015 led work on the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 4: ‘to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. One of the stated targets is: ‘By 2030, ensure all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development’, firmly placing sustainability as both a means and an end within education.

Within this area we research both the internal and external practices of universities and the impacts that their formal, non-formal and informal educational systems have on staff, students or other people they engage with as learners, co-workers or suppliers.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
      part time
      72 months
      • MPhil
        full time
        15 months
          part time
          24 months

          Course contact details

          Professor Andy Lane

          +44(0)1908 655799