Climate Education

A free online course to help you understand the climate crisis and what you can do.

In 2020, UWE Bristol committed to tackling climate change in our Strategy 2030. As part of that commitment, we are preparing students to meet the challenges of present and future climate change.

Climate Education course

Climate Education is a free online course for all UWE Bristol students, available through Blackboard (log in required). You will need to click 'enrol' from the start page to access the course content.

Course aims

The Climate Education course aims to:

  • empower you to choose to take action on helping to prevent, mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • see the connection to the choices and future career paths you may take.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • explain climate change causes, impacts and actions
  • communicate persuasively on one or more aspects of the climate crisis and related issues
  • plan and undertake meaningful action based on a personal response to what you have learnt.

Access Blackboard (log in required)

Course structure

The course is divided into nine self-contained units. Each unit requires about one hour of student engagement.

  1. Introduction
  2. Why is climate change happening?
  3. What are the consequences of climate change?
  4. What does a sustainable and just future look like?
  5. What are governments and the international community doing?
  6. What is happening locally and at UWE Bristol?
  7. What can I do if climate change makes me feel scared or anxious?
  8. How can I get others to listen and act?
  9. How can I take action in my own life and work?

Assessment and certification

Each unit has a short assessment of multiple-choice questions. If you want to complete the full course, you can take a final self-led project and, once submitted and assessed, you will be invited to an awards ceremony to receive your course certificate.

The need for climate education

We are in the midst of a climate and environmental emergency where the capability of the planet to support our demands upon it is increasingly problematic.

UWE Bristol’s students will live their life course in a time of profound climate and environmental change. According to actuary tables, a student leaving a UK university this year can expect to live at least another 60 years.

Students increasingly expect their higher education experience to prepare them for the challenges they will encounter in their life course and to help them cope with rising levels of anxiety about the climate crisis.

A recent report from Students Organising for Sustainability United Kingdom (SOS-UK) found that 12% of HE and FE students who responded to a survey reported they experience negative emotions linked to climate change and it interferes with their everyday lives and wellbeing. A larger proportion (60%) said that while not disruptive, they worry about what the world will be like in the future because of climate change.

About the Climate Education course

Student campaign

In 2022, Adam and Harry, two students from the College of Business and Law (CBL), began a campaign arguing for all students at UWE Bristol to have climate education as part of their UWE Bristol experience. The Students’ Union at UWE (SU) supported the campaign and, after listening to the quality of the students’ arguments, the Vice Chancellor agreed to the development of the Climate Education course.

Developing the course

A team of academic staff from UWE Bristol's three colleges, staff from professional services and from the Digital Learning Service developed the course. Importantly, the two CBL students and representatives of the SU were an integral part of the development team. A real example of Team UWE Bristol.

Next steps

The course is the first part of the University’s response to the student campaign. We intend to evaluate the course throughout the academic year 2023/24 in order to inform the creation of a 10-credit module for the next academic year.

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