University of Galway recognises the importance of increasing sustainability knowledge among all campus users, including students, staff and community partners. We are working towards an internationally-acclaimed sustainability curriculum that is relevant to the needs of society and responsive to change.

The NUI Galway Strategy 2020-2025: Shared Vision, Shaped by Values commits to using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for developing the next generation of students, researchers and innovators for tackling society’s evolving sustainable development challenges. The strategy contains a firm commitment to embed sustainability across our learning, research and the student experience so that our entire campus community can gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become sustainability role models and leaders.

daffodils in front of the engineering building

Photo by Prof Chaosheng Zhang

Your Quick Guide to SDGs in our Prospectus

17 SDG 700pix

If you have a passion for sustainability, then grow it in Galway. University of Galway offers a wide range of courses – at undergraduate and postgraduate levels – with a specific focus on sustainable development.

  Click here to find a Quick Guide to the SDGs in our Prospectus

University of Galway "Green Modules"

University of Galway currently offers 303 modules covering environmental and/or sustainability issues, spanning all colleges and crossing disciplines as diverse as geography and engineering. We will continue to provide teaching and learning programmes that respond to societal needs and that educate students who will be valued for their world readiness. By offering courses covering sustainability issues, we can equip our students to lead society to a sustainable future. Read more here in the Sustainability Course Inventory 2021

University of Galway Introduction to Sustainability Module

In Academic Year 2020/2021 University of Galway introduced a new module entitled 'Introduction to Sustainability' to provide students with a broad overview of key topics relating to environmental, social and economic sustainability. The module is a collaboration across disciplines, schools and colleges and explores the interconnectedness of the SDGs in addressing global challenges. The Introduction to Sustainability module was launched in 2020 to a cohort of students and will eventually become an Institution wide module.

Teaching delivery methods

The University is committed to developing programme delivery methods that incorporate project-based and field-based learning, service learning and problem solving. We aim to complement teaching and learning activities through external engagement with employers, alumni, mentors, practitioners and community partners.

Through our sustainability work, we will forage partnerships with the Community Knowledge InitiativeCampus Engage and others to harness the power of community-university partnerships to promote the principles and practices of sustainability in education.

SDG Keyword Scanning Tool 

There is no easy method for measuring how much Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) a curriculum currently contains. A research group at the University of Galway developed a tool which aims to address this problem. This spreadsheet can take curriculum material (module learning outcomes) and scan the text for the presence of keywords related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This creates an “ESD baseline” from which universities can begin creating an ESD implementation roadmap. Using the tool to label modules as supportive of or focussed on certain SDGs can spark the conversation on campus as to what the SDGs are and how we can best educate them. 
A version of the tool is downloadable here: SDG Keyword Scanner - Code & Guide
The two accompanying Excel spreadsheets can be accessed here: