Learn how policy engagement is used to tackle environmental and social challenges. Work in multi-disciplinary student groups and use engagement to solve challenges faced in developed and developing countries.

Our planet is facing urgent, planetary and life-threatening challenges: climate change, wildfires, droughts and floods, air, water and land pollution, extended biodiversity loss.

The science-policy interface has always been the space where theory turns into action. This space is now more important than ever as time is running out for humanity to solve those critical challenges that are affecting both environmental and human health.

The module

In this module, you are presented with a series of environmental and social challenges and will focus on policy engagement to solve challenges faced in developed and developing countries.

Working in multi-disciplinary student groups, you will use evidence, research and science as a way of communicating with different audiences in order to achieve the biggest and most effective impact.

Find out more about this module


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Sustainability at York


Learn about policy engagement

Understand how policy engagement is used to create environmental and social change

Collaborate with other students

Bring knowledge from your own discipline to the team and work together to solve a contemporary challenge

Hear from the experts

Enjoy teaching from SEI-Y, a leading research-policy institute in sustainability

A module for everyone

The module is open to students from all subject backgrounds

An interdisciplinary module

Sustainability and Policy is part of our suite of York Interdisciplinary Modules (YIMs) and is available to choose as a 20-credit elective module in 2023/24. Students from all Departments/Schools across the University have an opportunity to take part.

This module is being offered by the Stockholm Environment Institute at York (SEI-Y).

SEI is an international non-profit research and policy organisation that tackles environment and development challenges. Based within the Environment and Geography Department at the University of York, SEI-Y aims to develop solutions for a sustainable future by connecting science and decision-making.

Example projects

Working with students from different disciplines, your group will be presented with a case study. You will use your extensive research to produce a report that is targeted at a specific audience, such as a local government or an NGO.

EU policy on single-use plastics

You are a research institute and have been commissioned by the government of Greece to identify key limitations, challenges and interventions in implementing the EU policy to ban single use plastics.

Sustainable shipping

You are an NGO with a focus on sustainable shipping and you want to produce a report for the private sector identifying the key environmental challenges related to sustainable shipping and provide key solutions to these challenges.

Urban air pollution levels

You are a citizen science initiative that is engaging with the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and you want to put forward a report focusing on air pollution levels, impacts and key interventions to address those in your city.

Rural sanitation solutions

You are an NGO working with the government of a developing country to develop rural sanitation solutions. You will produce a report that considers what existing interventions exist, how effective they are, and what new approaches might be considered in the future.

How to register

Sustainability and Policy is part of our suite of sustainability-related York Interdisciplinary Modules (YIMs) available in 2023/24. This module is available for 3rd Year undergraduate students, and will run in semester 2.

You can apply for this module using the usual electives system. As with other electives, you will need to seek approval to take a YIM from your Department and School.

We also note that it may not always be possible to grant your request to undertake an elective module because of timetabling or other constraints.

Contact us

Sustainability at York