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Online courses delivering individual and community sustainability country wide

Study | Lifestyle

The University of Tasmania is helping people across Australia gain the skills and knowledge that they need in order to live more sustainably and make a difference.

Developed in 2018, the University of Tasmania’s Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate of Sustainable Living, are designed to provide people with a deeper and more evidence-based understanding of sustainability.

These unique, holistic, and award-winning courses are led by teaching staff from across the University and are already changing people’s lives.

“The important challenge for our world right now is becoming more sustainable,” Emily Flies, Unit Co-ordinator, Backyard Biodiversity, Diploma of Sustainable Living, said.

“We need people to be thinking about how to live sustainably and we need them to have the skills and knowledge to do so.”

The online course offerings were named joint winner of the Next Generation Learning and Skills category of the 2022 Green Gown Awards Australasia in recognition of their accessibility, broad impact, and the quality and breadth of content.

The courses – informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – include units on Backyard Biodiversity, the Science of Gardening, Living with Fire, Cultural Diversity, the Science of Climate Change, and Sustainable Design for Houses and Landscapes.

“My favourite thing about teaching backyard biodiversity is interacting with the incredible and inspiring students that we have in our class and knowing that I’m contributing to a more sustainable society,” Emily said.

“My hope is that it can expand.”

The Diploma and Undergraduate Certificate of Sustainable Living are both delivered online and can be studied either full-time or part-time from anywhere in Australia.

5,000+ students

Exceptional uptake in both regional and urban areas.

22 unique units

Informed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

15%↑ in student outdoor activity

Even small actions can have a big impact.

Both courses also offer a 100% HECS fee waiver to eligible students, meaning you could study in 2023 with no tuition fees to pay, making the course more accessible to more people who aspire to change the way they live.

“The courses in Sustainability have been a fantastic success in terms of their accessibility,” Diploma of Sustainable Living co-ordinator Greg Jordan said.

“The courses are so diverse because that lets people find their own best path to learning. The exciting future for the courses is the way that they’re still diversifiying.

“They’re fully online, which means that anyone can do it and it’s supported in a way that it’s actually functionally free.”

Diploma of Sustainable Living graduate Beth Rad said doing the course empowered her to make practical changes in her own life.

“I’m much more informed about the sustainability challenges that we’re facing as a country,” she said. “This is how you can make a change and also this is how you can communicate it to your wider community as well.”

“There’s been over 5000 students come through the diploma and if all of them are actually modifying their backyard to make it more diverse,” Emily said.

“That’s hundreds of houses in our cities and our towns, the cumulative effect of that can be massive. The hope is, even if it is contributing in a small way, if it does that for many people, it can have a big impact.”

These courses have made new contributions to education in sustainability by reaching all states of Australia with strong uptake in regional areas. The courses are also increasingly chosen by professionals. To maximise value to students, the courses are highly integrated and interdisciplinary; they address sustainability through the lenses of biology, ecology, geology, economics, climatology, governance, communication, ethics, health, sociology, and indigenous knowledge.

We've received remarkable support from the University community with, over 100 academic staff from 19 different Schools/Centres across the University being involved in developing the content and delivery of the units.

Our Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living and Diploma of Sustainable Living offer myriad ways to learn to change your lifestyle for the better and help others do the same.