How does Bath Spa equip its students with a sustainable and environmental mindset?
It’s no news that we are in the midst of an environmental crisis. With the impending threat of climate change, issues of sustainability and our environment are no longer a realm relegated only to scientists, biologists and geographers - these are challenges faced by us all.
As a Green Focus University, it's important for us to foster a globally-aware and ethically-conscious mindset in all our students. So whatever subject you're interested in, we'll provide you with a range of opportunities to get involved in addressing environmental issues and thinking about sustainable development.
“Whatever you're studying at Bath Spa, you have the opportunity to take Open Modules in sustainability,” says Professor Kate Rigby, the Director of our Research Centre for Environmental Humanities who lectures on the first year Open Module in Sustainability and Working Life. These modules are open to you whether you study an environmentally based degree or not. As Kate again notes,
“For example, if you're studying English Literature, you can take a module on Literature and Environment, where you look at the way that people are represented as relating to other species and the environment across a whole range of literary texts.”
In the past, students have looked at speculative fiction, and the way that these texts help us to imagine alternative futures, in the face of climate change and water scarcity.
If you're interested in religious studies, philosophy and ethics, there's a specialist module on Religion and Ecology, where students have done projects on Hinduism and Animal Rights or Buddhism and Deforestation, or Christianity and Climate Change.
“These modules are designed to really looking at the way in which these aspects of our culture — our literary traditions, our religious traditions, our philosophical ideas and cultural assumptions — how they shape the way we perceive the natural world and relate to it,” says Kate.
Students can also get involved in exciting environmental projects and field trips. Outside the classroom, Bath Spa supports a number of student-led initiatives — for example, some of our students are growing their own food sustainably on the University allotment.
Our Geography students can take a field trip to North India, where they work to help educate and rebuild a community that's vulnerable to flooding. Meanwhile, our Biology students have been involved in an ongoing ecological restoration project, which is looking at how to increase biodiversity in former industrial sites, specifically the Quarries of the Mendip Hills.
“So in a whole range of areas of study, you have the opportunity to look at questions of environmental concern,” says Kate.
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Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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