South Devon College launches sustainability qualifications

South Devon College is launching three new qualifications for people who want to make a career in the field of sustainability

South Devon College launches eco qualifications

The college's new courses offer a diploma, a foundation degree and an apprenticeship.

South Devon College is offering of three new sustainability qualifications: Access to Higher Education: Global Studies and Sustainability Diploma, a Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Global Change, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, and a Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner apprenticeship

Access to HE is a one-year full time programme, starting in September, and it will give students a route into university level study.

'This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in studying global challenges, sustainability and how this impacts society, the economy and the environment,' explains programme co-ordinator, Hannah Davies. 'It’s for anyone passionate about sustainability and who wants to make a positive change.'

Students will study a range of topics including human geography, environmental crime, human rights and law.

The Foundation Degree (FdSc) Global Change, Social Responsibility and Sustainability will start at University Centre South Devon, part of South Devon College, in September 2024.

Both courses will be led by experts drawn from different disciplines across the College and University Centre. The location will also play an important part, with easy access to Dartmoor National Park and coastline giving students the opportunity for hands-on experience and field trips.

'There is a real need to develop a degree around sustainability to support government’s Net Zero goals. The courses are also well aligned with the values of South Devon College, as a sector leader in sustainability,' explains Dr Marie Hale, lecturer at University Centre South Devon, who add that 'we will be working closely with the National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, The National Park Authority and Schumacher College at Dartington.

It’s hoped the degree will attract students from a range of disciplines, including sociology, geography and the sciences who care deeply about the environment and the climate crisis we're facing around the world. 


A Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Practitioner apprenticeship is also being developed to run alongside the degree.

'We aim to enrol students who are already working in the sustainability sector on the apprenticeship route,' says Dr Hale.

Lecturer Kelly Smith says these qualifications will open up diverse career paths. 

'It’s much more about social responsibility and trying to make positive change through whatever means and looking at the mechanisms in place to do that, so graduates will be able to go on to work in a range of careers. These could include policy reform, business education, consultancy, humanitarian response, government, civil service, climate change or NGOs / charity organisations.

“These qualifications provide vital stepping stones for students interested in pursuing further study and/or a career in sustainability who may lack the financial means, time or desire to undertake a full undergraduate degree course.'