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BSc (Hons) Sustainable Futures (progression year)

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East Coast College (Lowestoft)


One year full-time.

Two years part-time.

Next intake for this course is September 2022.

Typical Offer: 

Foundation degree. 

The course is suitable for anyone with an enquiring mind wishing to play a part in creating sustainable futures for nature and humanity alike.


The BSc (Hons) Sustainable Futures course provides a level 6 progression route from relevant level 5 study and as such, it is a multidisciplinary course that reflects the needs of our time. The recent global pandemic has provided an insight into what can happen environmentally if human activity is reduced within it. It is now clear that we are equally a vulnerable species and that nature can and does bite back: but also that the natural world can recover given time, and that a slower more mindful pace of life can be both fulfilling and sustainable. This course delivers the knowledge and skills that will be vital to create a more sustainable future for humanity and nature by exploring rewilding, carbon management, zoonotic diseases and data analysis and geographic information systems (GIS). These disciplines will enable the student to enter a wide range of career pathways, providing them with cutting edge knowledge and vocational analytical skillsets. The course is suitable for anyone with an enquiring mind wishing to play a part in creating sustainable futures for nature and humanity alike.

Course modules


The dissertation provides the opportunity to develop an area of personal scientific interest arising from individual or course-based experiences. The dissertation will be a research-focused study, which will centre on the generation and testing of a hypothesis. It will enable students to utilise practical, intellectual and decision-making skills in new and different situations. The dissertation provides a mechanism for the development of autonomy and self-direction whilst undertaking a problem-solving approach to a research topic

Rewilding for a Sustainable Future

This module explores rewilding; the most modern, dynamic and perhaps controversial of ecological restoration strategies lauded by many as the way forward to large-scale ecological recovery, future proof ecological resilience, economic stability and also as a vehicle for the enhancement of human wellbeing. Students will study and critically evaluate this method in all its forms; from its diverse theoretical basis to practical applications, whilst exploring and reviewing small and large scale implementations both global and local, many of which are in the early stages in the Eastern region. The module also explores the role rewilding has to play in future land use, sustainability, ecological resilience, ecotourism potential and furthermore the impact on the physical and emotional welfare of the human species. The module links to numerous level 4 and 5 modules from our Foundation degree pathways, but is stand-alone in its content and focus enabling a student from outside these pathways to access the material with confidence.

Applied Data Science and GIS

Data Science and GIS (Geographic information science/systems) is a very high growth area. The ability to collect, store, manage, clean, analyse and visualise both numeric and spatial data is a highly sought after skillset across nearly all employment sectors, but is especially useful to wildlife, conservation environment and sustainability science and industries. This is a predominantly practical module utilising two leading free open source software packages namely; PythonTM (data science) and QGIS® (GIS). Skills gained in this module can be utilised across all others on the programme and will be invaluable in the understanding and evaluation of scientific and professional literature. Furthermore, it will enable students to complete strong data/spatial analysis and visualisation in the dissertation module. This University of Suffolk Form Number CP/20/006 Course Proposal Form – Website Information Page 2 of 3 Version 1.0 Template owner: Registry Services module covers all aspects of statistical analysis necessary for level 6, but delivers it in a numeracy friendly format. The module adds to the repertoire of skills learned at level 4 and 5 in our Foundation degree pathways yet works from the ground up using different aspects of programming and GIS enabling a student from outside these pathways to access the material with confidence.


Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts – Zoonoses are diseases that can cross the species gap. Approximately 60% of emerging human pathogens are zoonoses. Climate change, human population increase and the degradation of the natural environment have played a significant role in the transmission of zoonoses and these diseases have had wide-ranging impacts upon human populations across the millennia. Students will explore the causes, transmission pathways, environmental, social and economic impacts and implications of zoonoses, beginning with the historical, and moving forward with particular emphasis on the far reaching and ongoing impacts of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Large amounts of unprecedented data have been and will continue to be gathered relating to the impacts of COVID 19 for example the reduction of global CO2 emissions, wildlife infiltrating previously ‘non wild’ areas and the impact on human well-being both positive and negative. Students will have the opportunity to analyse, evaluate and critique cutting edge scientific research, literature and data from multiple disciplines, which will form a strong critical and evaluative skill base and supportive framework for all other modules. The module will also emphasis the difference and potential underlying causes of the misinformation dissemination of scientific research by media corporations and social commentators.

Carbon Management for a Sustainable Future

The global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2019 was 409.8 parts per million (a new record high). Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. There is now little dispute that these rising levels of CO2 (and other atmospheric gasses) have an anthropogenic source. Carbon reduction is now a global priority written into the legislation of most countries. CO2 and the associated climate shift have far-reaching impacts on human health, environment, wildlife and economics. Students will study these impacts and the mitigation strategies (present and future) implemented to reduce emissions. The discipline of carbon management is a highly sought after vocational skill across all sectors from agriculture to management. Students will learn how to perform carbon footprint plans (CFP) and carbon reduction plans, and gain skills in online delivery of professional science based webinars.

Career opportunities

The combination of areas of study provide students with a range of potential career paths. With the demand for sound data analysis skills have tripled over the past 5 years (Royal Society, 2019) the concentration on development of mastery of GIS skillsets will equip students with skills likely to be in high demand within the conservation/ecology sector. As Rewilding moves to the front of the preferred approaches for many conservation organisations (and is at the foundation of the UK Government’s agricultural funding proposals post-Brexit) a concentration of this will stand students in good stead as they move into a sector expected to provide thousands of jobs over the coming years, either through conservation organisations and NGOs, or in the freelance world. The concentration on carbon management and zoonoses opens opportunities for students seeking employment in a range of areas with sustainability/future resilience at their core, with zoonoses study particularly relevant to those proceeding in areas requiring management of livestock, wildlife and the wider natural world.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a 
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information) 
  • Full-time International tuition fee: £14,598 p.a 

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements

Facilities and Resources

Further expertise will be provided through The Otter Trust, whose reserves will be accessible free of charge for site visits and case-study analysis. Computer rooms loaded with QGIS and PythonTM will be required but this is free open source so no cost involved. Students will be offered access to a field trip to a reserve in The Gambia (approx. £800pp); however, this is optional as a professional experience, with no assessed activity relying on participation.