Change neon sign

Create new ideas and strategies and see how they could be applied in the real world

Module details

  • Offered to 1st years
  • Tuesdays 16.00-18.00
  • 8 weeks (autumn term only)
  • Non-credit only
How to enrol

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals provide us with a framework to organise our thinking and action around major global issues. But how effective are these goals at promoting change? How are issues conceptualised and communicated? How are communities engaged in enacting change for themselves and others?

This module will give you the opportunity to focus on a global issue that interests you, along with a team of like-minded students. As well as your own area of detailed study, you will have access and be able to inspire and encourage the progress of other teams by reviewing their work and finding out about the issues that they have been studying. For each global issue, we will have students focusing on global progress, use of data and innovating for change. This means our work will build into a greater collaborative project with multiple dimensions.

Although you will contribute individually to your projects, you will also be working in a student team with a co-learner to help your progress and keep you on track during the course. Our co-learners are PhD students with an interest in global issues and skill development. During the module we will help you to consider what skills are needed to tackle global issues and help you to set goals and work on these skills for yourself.

This is an active learning module with continuous assessment. This helps to minimise hard deadlines and encourages you to work a little at a time throughout the course. We will engage in many practical large and small team activities to develop an understanding of the complexity of global issues. There will be many opportunities to receive feedback – both from the co-learners and the module leaders.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Write a suitably focussed problem definition
  • Perform library research to identify innovations that are in development to address the problem
  • Understand the process of developing, testing, implementing and evaluating potential innovations
  • Analyse the range of innovations identified to understand progress made, challenges remaining and relevant next steps
  • Situate your own findings in a wider research context
  • Show a developed understanding based on your own work
  • Work collaboratively with other students to contribute to a wider project
  • Make predictions about how the situation might change in the future

Indicative core content

You will work both in your course cohort and in teams alongside those in ‘Gloabl Challenges: Collecting and Understanding Data’ and ‘Global Challenges: Analysing Global Progress’ to develop an in depth understanding of a single global challenge. 

In this highly interactive module, you will undertake several big collaborative tasks to develop your understanding of global issues and help you to develop the thinking, problem solving and creativity skills necessary to tackle these issues. In addition, you will focus on a small area of study with a team of students from the different streams of the module to present an overview of a particular global issue. Your role will be to provide some input into existing innovations being implemented in your challenge area, and to suggest areas for future innovation.


  • Module Performance (40%) - a continuous assessment of your critical engagement with the module content and process
  • Wiki (40%) - documentation of your research, analysis and conclusions, produced in small groups in class time
  • Group Presentation (20%) - a short presentation of your research findings

Key information

  • ECTS value: 0
  • Requirements: You must be prepared to attend all classes and to spend about an hour a week preparing for each session
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 4 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]