Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Co-curricular pathways

Students interested in learning more about social responsibility and sustainability issues can participate in new co-curricular pathways, an innovative model which encourages active learning.

The pathways promote active student-led learning within and beyond students' main programmes of study, with opportunities for experiential learning on campus, in the community, and in businesses and other organisations, nationally and internationally. Students participating in the pathways will develop core competencies and graduate attributes.

The pathways have been constructed to link more firmly into world leading research programmes at the University of Edinburgh, promoting interdisciplinary research and learning, providing students across the University, no matter what their degree, the opportunity to learn more about social responsibility and sustainability issues.

Key stages

Each pathway has four key stages, which will be phased over a maximum three year period.

  1. Awareness raising: a series of events and workshops for students interested in learning more about social responsibility and sustainability issues
  2. Knowledge, skills development and mindset: a portfolio of courses building skills and knowledge which may be taken as electives within degree programmes (with permission from Personal Tutors) and opportunities to undertake SLICC project work. 
  3. Mentoring and placements: a programme of short-term placements and mentoring with involvement from a range of organisations and alumni.
  4. Capstone project: a group based project with community groups.

Students who participate in and complete the capstone project will be recognised at the University's Sustainability Awards Ceremony to be held in the second semester of each academic year. 


Five pathways have been developed for student participation in the academic year 2017-18.

  1. Social enterprise
  2. Sustainability
  3. Global citizenship
  4. Leadership through innovation
  5. Design for well-being

Stages 1 and 2 of the pathways are now open for 2017/18 and stages 3 and 4 will follow in 2018/19.

Further information

Please use the below contact details to direct any questions or expressions of interest in participating in the pathways.

Matthew Lawson

Programme Manager

Contact details


  • Matthew Lawson is currently Programme Manager in the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability having previously worked at Transition Edinburgh University. After completing his undergraduate degree in International Relations, Matthew got involved in a variety of community and environmental groups while studying for a Masters in Multi-level and Regional Politics. His research focused on climate change policy in Scotland. His current role includes responsibility for social responsibility and sustainability reporting, benchmarking, developing sector-wide and external partnerships, liaising with academic degree programmes and courses, as well as having oversight of the department’s outreach and student engagement activities. Matthew has worked for the University since 2011.