Sustainable Development and Social Change BA (Hons)

This course is in clearing with spaces available

This course is in Clearing with Spaces Available


Course options

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UCAS code: L9L4 112 UCAS points
  • BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change , home applicant, full time

    • Home Applicant
    • Full time, 3 years
    • Pound 9250 per year
  • BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change , home applicant, part time

    • Home Applicant
    • Part time
    • pro-rata full time fee
  • BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change , international applicant, full time

    • International Applicant
    • Full time, 1 year
    • Pound 14820 per year

Degree with foundation year

UCAS code: L900 64 UCAS points
  • BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change , home applicant, full time

    • Home Applicant
    • Full time, 4 years
    • Pound 9250 per year
  • BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change , international applicant, full time

    • International Applicant
    • Full time, 1 year
    • Pound 14820 per year

What makes this course different

  • Research-active teachers

    All of our teaching team are research active. We bring this into our teaching and involve our students.

  • Highly rated by our students

    100% of students surveyed on this course responded positively to questions on "Academic Support" in the 2023 National Student Survey. (National Student Survey 2023, Results published 10 August 2023)

    Read full NSS survey results
  • 1st and only course in the UK

    This is the only course in the UK where you can study sustainable development and social change.

Course modules

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Exploring Communities as Social Scientists

Researching Changing Communities

Reimagining the Work of a Social Scientist

Crime, Justice and Surveillance

Reading the Body Psychosocially

Introduction to Digital Sociology

Globalisation and Society

Becoming an Activist (Mental Wealth)

Introduction to Sustainable Development

Global Political Economy

Digital Sociology and the 4th Industrial Revolution

The Mess We Are In (And How We Got Here)

International Relations

Space, Bodies and Power

Mental Wealth 2: Social Enterprise

Research Methods

Inequalities and Social Change

Environmental Justice

Global Governance

Human Mobility and Forced Migration

We will help you arrange your third-year work placement in an NGO. It will provide you with invaluable experience in the field, whether it's at the Vitality project in Bangladesh or working for the St Francis Hospice in the UK. You'll develop the skills that NGOs look for in people. Our students have also undertaken placements relating to money mentoring and finance in Africa, the education of street children in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the health needs of Syrian refugees in Greece.

Mental Wealth 3: Placement Reflections

Applied Research Project in Social Sciences

African Politics and Development

Conflict Intervention and Development

Gender, Power and Politics

Critical and Global Perspectives on Education

Constructions of 'Race' in Culture and Politics

Gender Studies

Culture, Media and Politics

Psychological Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

NOTE: Modules are subject to change. For those studying part time courses the modules may vary.

Download course specification

Your future career

Our students go on to do amazing things. Some have become leaders in large and small NGOs, such as Action Against Hunger, Plan International or Stop the Traffik. Others have set up their own NGOs or social enterprises, such as Paws and Pause. They also go on to work in UK government departments, such as the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and with international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Lots of our graduates move into work with communities in London, for example, at the London Community Foundation. Many go on to further study including translation studies, human rights, refugee studies, and international social policy.

Industry links

We work closely throughout our course with professionals working in the field of sustainable development and humanitarian response. Many of these are organisations with whom our teaching team have worked as researchers. Our partners include:

  • Arab Women’s Centre for Research and Training, Tunisia 
  • ATD Fourth World 
  • Care4Calais 
  • Computer Aid 
  • Embrace the Middle East 
  • Goonj, India 
  • Islamic Relief Worldwide 
  • Jordanian Women’s Union 
  • Morgan Sindall 
  • Newham Renewal Programme 
  • Newham Sparks 
  • Otra Cosa Network, Peru 
  • World Vision

Graduate employers

Our graduates have gone on to jobs with organisations such as SEE International, TFS, British Red Cross, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, TikTok, Refugee Council, HCA UK, and Barons Court Project.

Job roles

Typical roles which our graduates have gone on to do include social housing officer, curriculum manager, supporter engagement, operations director, EDI officer programme manager, project officer, communications executive, head of development, case manager/worker and digital fundraising officer.

We offer postgraduate courses for further specialisation and you can explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

Further study

If you want to continue your study we offer an MSc in International Relations, or you could specialise on our innovative MA Conflict, Displacement and Human Security programme.

Docklands Campus
My experience was awesome. Great lecturers, and a fantastic learning experience and I travelled to two countries to enhance my knowledge. You too can enjoy these practice-based teaching platforms. I now run an NGO and manage a core of 25 volunteers leveraging on my experience!"
Tokunbo Ifaturoti

Course graduate

How we support your career ambitions

We offer dedicated careers support, and further opportunities to thrive, such as volunteering and industry networking. Our courses are created in collaboration with employers and industry to ensure they accurately reflect the real-life practices of your future career and provide you with the essential skills needed. You can focus on building interpersonal skills through group work and benefit from our investment in the latest cutting-edge technologies and facilities.

Career Zone

This digital platform provides you with careers and employability resources, including: 

  • Jobs board for internships, placements, graduate opportunities, flexible part-time work 
  • Mentoring programmes for insight with industry experts 
  • 1-2-1 career coaching services
  • Careers workshops and employer events 
  • Learning pathways to gain new skills and industry insight

Mental Wealth programme

Our Professional Fitness and Mental Wealth programme which issues you with a Careers Passport to track the skills you've mastered. Some of these are externally validated by corporations like Amazon and Microsoft.

See more details

We are careers first

Our teaching methods and geographical location put us right up top:

  • Work-based projects
  • Networking and visits to leading organisations
  • Support in starting a new business
  • London on our doorstep

How you'll learn

You'll learn beyond the classroom by getting involved in the work of organisations such as the British Overseas NGO for Development (BOND). Four of our students recently attended their annual conference as volunteers and social media coordinators. Our students have also undertaken placements relating to money mentoring and finance in Africa, the education of street children in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the health needs of Syrian refugees in Greece.

    Guided independent study

    We encourage an educational experience that is active, social, collaborative, engaging and student-owned. You will have access to a variety of resources ensuring your learning experience goes beyond the classroom. 

    When not attending timetabled lectures you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, Microsoft Teams and Moodle. We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7.

    Academic support

    Students are supported with any academic or subject-related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, and former and current UEL students. 

    You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses. Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and a dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning. 

    UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs). Your overall workload consists of class and online tutor-led sessions, individual learning, and practical activities.

    Dedicated personal tutor

    You'll be taught by staff with relevant experience and practice to ensure you learn from real-life experience and research, including renowned experts in their field such as Dr Meera Tiwari, who helped 2005 graduate Firoz Patel found the charity Global Development Links while he was still on the course. Firoz Patel received an Honorary Doctorate for his work in the not-for-profit sector in 2016.

    If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, English, maths or statistics, our Academic Tutors offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help our students achieve their potential.


    Your overall workload consists of class tutor-led sessions and individual learning.

    Your timetable

    Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible.

    Class sizes

    The size of classes can vary depending on the nature of the course, module and activity. This can range from large groups in a lecture theatre setting, to smaller groups taking part in seminars and collaborative work.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment tasks are mainly spread across the year to make the workload manageable. Assessment methods include group work and individual work including essays, presentations, case studies, professional development and practical activities depending on the nature of the course. All grades count towards your module mark. More details will be included in the student handbook and module guides.


Campus and facilities

Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD


The banner below displays some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

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Statistics for BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change Degree, Full Time

Statistics for BA (Hons) Sustainable Development and Social Change Degree, Full Time

What our students and staff say

Group of people stand outside in front of water
As a student on the BA Sustainable Development with Social Change course I have learnt about a wide range of topics, from environmental studies to inequalities and social change.

My lecturers have provided support towards finding a placement over the summer, so I feel that I can depart from UEL as a graduate equipped with real-world work experiences.

Atefah Huq

BA Sustainable Development with Social Change student

Jodie, student, global development
I'm the co-founder of Paws and Pause, social enterprise. We're a doggy daycare that support people living with mental ill health to learn the skills they need to get back to work. At the University of East London I studied global development as I was looking to study a course that gave me the theory around politics, community, and also particularly UEL because I really loved the practical element of the NGO management that no other course was offering."


Course graduate