Help local and regional organisations and businesses achieve their sustainability goals. Work with students from a range of disciplines on 'live' real world sustainability problems.

As part of a multidisciplinary team, you will have the opportunity to work with local and regional organisations, government, community groups, charities or businesses to help them find a solution to or better understand a real-life sustainability problem that matters to them. Problems will focus on a wide range of topics including, environmental quality and biodiversity; awareness raising and education; sustainable business, policy and regulation; and heritage and culture.

Your team will be supported throughout its project by dedicated training, a project facilitator and by having access to a team of experts from across the university who are available to provide advice.

Further information about the module

Contact us

Sustainability at York

Work with real clients

Help local and regional organisations achieve their sustainability goals

Collaborate with other students

Work in a dynamic group with students from different disciplines

A module for everyone

The module is open to students from all subject backgrounds

Project-based approach

Work on 'live' projects that can be used to enhance your CV and future career

An interdisciplinary module

The Sustainability Clinic is part of our suite of York Interdisciplinary Modules (YIMs) and is available to choose as an elective module in 2024/25. Students from all Departments/Schools across the University have an opportunity to take part (subject to timetabling availability/department constraints).

This module is a collaboration between the Environmental Sustainability at York (ESAY), Careers and Placements, the Baroness Hale Law Clinic and York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI).

Past clinic projects

In 2021 and 2022, the University of York ran two Sustainability Clinic pilot schemes. Here are some of the projects that our student teams took on as part of these pilots.

Sustainability action plans

Students worked in teams to create sustainability action plans using a sustainability audit tool for a variety of local organisations, including: Supersonic Gym, The Potions Cauldron, Rural Arts, and Park House Barns.

Biodiversity surveying

Students worked as a team to conduct baseline biodiversity surveys for Friends of Rowntree Park. They learned valuable surveying and project management skills along with developing a better understanding of the importance of biodiversity.

Climate change resources

Students worked with the PGCE Science Team to create a set of up-to-date climate change resources for school teachers to use, including subjects on temperature, water availability, and the composition of atmospheric gases.

Circular economy research

Students worked as a team to provide the Recycle Project with valuable new insights to attract more customers. They also developed an understanding of circular economy principles and sustainability.

Case study: Friends of Rowntree Park

In 2021, our student teams worked with the Friends of Rowntree Park to find out how the pollinator project in Rowntree Park was contributing to the pollinator population. They were also tasked with creating a method that would be simple enough for the general public to recreate in their own gardens.

The project allowed students to gain key skills in conducting surveys, project management and working as a team with external partners. 

"Friends of Rowntree Park feel really privileged to have a band of skilful and knowledgeable students collaborating with us. Volunteers’ efforts to improve our green space are infinitely more likely to succeed with this kind of project." Stu Small, Friends of Rowntree Park

As an undergraduate student in 2022, I believe it is my responsibility to make any effort I can to help move my community to a more sustainable future

Ananya, Department of Politics and International Relations

As an Environment and Geography student, I would like to help to bring the environment to the forefront of organisations and to increase sustainability to ensure the natural earth is preserved and more irreversible damage is not done...

Lucy, Department of Environment and Geography

How to register

The Sustainability Clinic is part of our suite of sustainability-related York Interdisciplinary Modules (YIMs) available in 2024/25. This module is available for 3rd Year undergraduate students in semesters 1 and 2, and postgraduate students in semester 2.

Students should apply to take YIMs using the usual electives process in their Department/ School.  Students should contact the module conveners listed on the module catalogue with any questions about the module and with any questions about the process.

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