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BASc Sociology and Global Sustainable Development

The BASc in Sociology and Global Sustainable Development is unique to Warwick University. It is a joint course that allows you to combine study of the topical subject of Global Sustainable Development (GSD), in depth at undergraduate level, with a study of a subject that you are passionate about - Sociology.

On this course you will learn how to use your passion for Sociology and apply it to answering the Big Questions of our time. You will benefit from learning at an institution which has a world-wide reputation for its expertise in Sociology and a unique cross-institutional approach to examining issues of global sustainable development; evidenced by the University’s ten interdisciplinary Global Research Priorities which are all related to different aspects of GSD.

Programme content

Our course has been designed to align closely with the United Nations’ Global Development Priorities and we encourage you to engage critically and creatively with the UN’s policies, its global initiatives and local interventions. To this end, the course is specifically constructed around the UN’s definition of Global Sustainable Development and the three pillars of sustainable development identified by the 2005 UN World Summit. This means that it relates directly to current thinking about the Big Questions of sustainability on the global agenda. This too is a unique feature of the Warwick course.

On this course, you examine Big Questions from the economic, social and environmental perspectives and you learn the methods and techniques employed by expert researchers in those fields. You learn how to evaluate evidence, draw conclusions from it, make critical judgements and develop solutions. Alongside this, you take Philosophy modules and learn how the discipline of Sociology approaches these questions and problems. You develop knowledge and expertise in the subject of Sociology which you will use to enrich your understanding of global sustainable development debates.

We ask challenging questions such as,

Is Social Justice achievable?
Is there enough food to sustain humanity?
How can we manage energy production and use fairly across the globe?
What economic and social factors influence work patterns and shape the labour force?
What role can business leaders and economists play in ensuring a sustainable future?
What is the real state of the planet and what would a sustainable future look like?
What role does the UN play in shaping our thinking and influencing global reactions towards global crisis?
How can we build a framework for a sustainable future?
Through this course we aim to produce critical and creative future thinkers who are global citizens and who think about issues in imaginative, socially responsible ways. This is a key strand in our Strategy.

You will have the opportunity to obtain practical experience of sustainable development through projects designed to make our campus more sustainable.

The course is designed to prepare you for careers in a variety of professions and sectors where you can make an impact upon how the world's most challenging issues are tackled. We are one of the most sought-after Universities amongst employers in the UK and internationally.

You will have the chance to experience a different culture by spending time studying abroad and to experience the working world through a work placement.

By studying this course you will be equipped with the knowledge and professional skills that you need to work and live in a way that safeguards environmental, social and economic well-being, both in the present and for future generations.

Further Information

About the course

Programme director:

David Beck

Course structure


Entry requirements

Prospectus listing




What is Global Sustainable Development?

The United Nations defines Global Sustainable Development as Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

It identifies three 'pillars' of sustainable development:

  • Economic development development which aims to ensure that countries produce operational profits allowing them to continue to function
  • Social development - development which aims to ensure that people experience good social well-being - i.e. they are content
  • Environmental development - development which aims to ensure that the world is living within the means of its natural resources i.e. that resources are used at a rate which does not irrevocably diminish them but at a pace that fosters their continual supply

By achieving a balance between the three pillars, a state of sustainability will result.Check out our FAQs for more information on sustainability and sustainable development.