Upskilling 

Systems Thinking: Climate Change & Sustainable Decision Making Microcredential

Climate change is the biggest global challenge to the foundations of our society and the health of our planet since humans have inhabited the Earth. There is no part of the planet that is not touched in some way by climate change and there is no part of society that has not been touched by the global Covid pandemic. These global challenges have highlighted the way society, economy, and environment are interconnected.

  • Teaching start: April
  • Microcredential: 10 weeks
    Time commitment: 8-10 hours per week
    Course cost: £799

Why this course

  • This course will explore tools and theories that help you create solutions for a sustainable future by shifting your mindset away from looking at individual, siloed, components of a system in isolation and shifting toward understanding how these components interrelate and interconnect.
  • This course is focused on developing personal and professional skills that will enable you to make practical and positive change, both in your personal life and within your workplace. By the end of the course you will have been introduced to a variety of decision-making tools that will enable you to

The course is intended for a wide range of learners who want to learn skills and understanding of the complexities of making decisions in post-pandemic world in the context of the climate emergency and sustainable/just transition.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Describe what systems thinking is, why it is relevant to climate change and sustainability.
  • Evaluate the potential value and contribution of systems thinking in supporting ESG and CSR [a systems approach will naturally leverage pro-environmental orientation of individuals within organisations to act toward their strengths and interests]
  • Explore different ways in which systems thinking can be applied in practice by individuals and organisations to support problem-solving, decision-making and organisational learning
  • Evaluate case studies of system orientated responses to climate change
  • Apply a set of ‘synergistic analytic skills’ including: Systems mapping to enable problem framing and scoping; Scenario thinking to support individuals to explore plausible futures
  • Understand that due to the complexity and dynamic nature of systems, intuitive decision-making does not always lead to expected outcomes.

Course structure

The course is asynchronous, but there is a weekly opportunity to join an optional, live Q&A session with your instructors. The course brings together academic theory, case studies, and encourages you to think about the real-world application of these in practice.

The assessments will draw on practical application of tools related to real world case studies that leverage the learners’ own experiences. Peer-to-peer discussion through asynchronous forums/discussion groups. A final assessment will be a report exploring how one of the various critical theories of change explored in the course can be applied at the community or organisational level.

Course alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all courses as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a course. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Skills learned in this course will be directly applicable to a wide range of workplaces and will be desirable to companies/organisations trying to make the changes needed for the transition to net zero and responsive to new policies and regulations that will drive the need for change.

Entry requirements

Participants should have a first degree or equivalent and an IELTS score of at least 6.5. No previous experience in climate change, sustainability, or systems thinking is required. This course is specially designed for those new to the discipline.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

How to apply

Registration for this coure is not yet open.

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