Social Responsibility and Sustainability


We are working with partners across the University to better integrate social responsibility and sustainability issues into our teaching.

'Learning and teaching' sign at workshop

Learning for sustainability

The University’s Strategic Plan 2012-16 expresses a clear commitment to address teaching as a focus for action on social responsibility and sustainability.

Regional centre of expertise

Based at the University, Learning for Sustainability Scotland is one of the United Nations University Regional Centres of Expertise for Education for Sustainable Development.

These are networks of formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver learning for sustainability to local and regional communities.

Case study: Participation in Policy and Planning MSc module

A good example of of social responsibility and sustainability issues being built into teaching comes from the MSc course 'Participation in Policy and Planning'. Students undertake a group exercise looking at a real sustainability problem and work together to try and solve it, gaining first-hand experience of participatory process design.

In 2016 the class worked with the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership, Sustrans and Edinburgh World heritage to carry out a practical project to increase walking on the Royal mile.

Read more about the 2016 "Increasing Walking on the Royal Mile" project

In 2015 the class looked at how higher education bodies in Edinburgh could get more students cycling.


Watch a video about the project

Read more about the course



Existing courses

Many programmes and individual courses at the University already include or focus on social responsibility and sustainability issues.