Teaching and Learning

The vision for this plan is to develop an academic strategy which:

  • Embeds the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) (including environmental sustainability) in all courses through the People, Place and Society (PPS) strand
  • Gives all students access to cross-disciplinary projects, events and competitions which address the grand challenges arising from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including those relating to environmental sustainability
  • Facilitates the creation of specific degree programmes to cover climate change and sustainability

The University’s refreshed Academic Strategy embeds the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all courses (including environmental sustainability) and considerable progress has been made to date.

The Woodlands Forest School opened in 2023 – a facility which will work with local Primary Schools to give children access to the outdoors (specifically the University’s on-campus nature reserve) - is part of a pilot project with the Department for Education.

The Woodlands Forest School, which is set within a Carbon Neutral building as part of the Woodland Nursery and Forest School development, opened in 2023 and has started providing learning opportunities to local primary and secondary schools, further education institutions and community groups, including activities within the University’s nature reserve.  Children will learn about biodiversity and the importance of nurturing the environment. The University is taking part in a national pilot (of universities) with the Department for Education.

Carbon literacy training is being offered to all students as part of the Staffordshire EDGE programme – a cross cutting programme of skills for students.

This plan is lead by:

  • Nick Dearden, Director of Teaching and Learning

  • Jill Hanson, Head of Academic Projects


This plan encompasses all UN Sustainable Developments Goals (UN SDGs), specifically 13 Climate Action.


Targets and progress


UN Sustainable Developments Goals (UN SDGs) embedded in all courses


Progress status: AMBER

Embedding of the UN SDGs in all courses has started.

Operational priorities for 2023/24

  • A task and finish group has been created which has been named the Sustainability and Climate Change Education Group, which will be chaired by Professor Annabel Kiernan.  The group will look at how to accelerate Sustainability and Climate Change Education within the University including preparing students for ‘green jobs’ and equipping them with skills to support decarbonisation of the economy, whatever their future careers.  The first report will be issued in 2023-24.
  • Expanding the services and activities offered by the Woodlands Forest School
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021