Sustainable development short courses

Continuing Professional Development Awards content

Continuing Professional Development Awards

Understanding the principles of how to sustain our communities is vitally important. Study short CPD courses online to contribute to their future!

Rural and urban community activists, graduates, practitioners and professionals with a role in implementing sustainable development in our communities can:

  • Gain a unique and up-to-date short course qualification, online from home over a period of 18 months
  • Access the latest thinking and approaches to sustainable development
  • Develop key scientific knowledge and policy skills.

The following awards are available:

Sustainable Development Award

For those looking to learn about current thinking on sustainable development, climate change, global environmental issues, and globalisation, or how this affects sectors such as tourism or economic development, the Sustainable Development Award is the one for you. With fellow students from across Scotland and beyond, you can discuss the climate emergency, the need to move to a wellbeing economy and other solutions to tackle the issues our communities and wider world are facing.

Rural Community Development Award

Our Rural Community Development Award is ideal for those working in, or with aspirations to work in, community development in our rural communities. You can choose from a range of modules which will enhance your skills in working with communities and understanding community development, with options to focus on empowerment, sustainable development, economic development, energy and/or planning.

Sustainable Resource Management Award

Our Sustainable Resource Management Award would be of relevance to those with an interest in land use, resource management and sustainability, offering the opportunity to learn basic GIS (Geographical Information Systems), consider different sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, or explore wider issues such as environmental conservation or the links between climate, land and people.

Flexible online learning

For each Award you will choose three SCQF 20 credit modules from a suite of suggested modules – click on the award titles above for more details of the module titles and content.

All modules can be studied entirely online through our virtual learning environment (VLE) from anywhere with access to a PC, and they are assessed entirely by coursework with no exams.

Sharing experiences

The approach to learning is collaborative, inviting students to share their knowledge and experience from their own local context, and the modules consider sustainable development issues from local to national and international perspectives.

Our team have many years of experience in online learning and teaching, supporting students at a distance and building collaborative online communities among our students.

Start dates

Start dates are September and January, with completion of the award anticipated within 12-18 months.

For more information and to apply

The CPD awards are fully online. You should apply to Lews Castle College UHI where you will be enrolled and receive support.

For more information on the awards, contact the Programme leader, Dr Eilidh MacPhail: or call 01851 770 463

To apply: email Lews Castle College UHI Admissions team: or call 01851 770 202

Information is also available for the full BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development