World in our hands

Work in teams to explore major issues facing the world today

In this module, you have the opportunity to investigate a global challenge of your choice. What global challenges are the most pressing at the moment? How can we understand them and innovate to improve them? In this highly interactive module, you will undertake collaborative tasks to develop your understanding of global issues. You will attend dedicated workshops on the topics of collecting and understanding data, innovating for change and analysing global progress, and apply your learning to produce a team wiki that presents your research.

You will be given 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 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.

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:

  • Identify potential research topics related to Global Challenges
  • Analyse a Global Challenge to identify relevant data, opportunities for change and innovations
  • Collaborate effectively with other students whilst working in a team
  • Present your research on a wiki in an appropriately engaging and academic format
  • Discuss your research verbally, highlighting key points
  • Reflect on your personal strengths and challenges with respect to learning 

Indicative core content

In this module, you are introduced to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and you will investigate a global challenge of your choice. You will work collaboratively with your fellow students to identify potential research topics and explore them both as a group and individually. You will attend dedicated workshops on the topics of collecting and understanding data, innovating for change and analysing global progress. You will apply your learning from the workshops to your research project and produce a wiki that presents your research.

Learning and teaching approach

The learning and teaching approach provides you with significant freedom and choice to explore relevant contemporary Global Challenges. After considering an overview of Global Challenges facing the world today, you will be supported to engage in your own research, both individually and collaboratively within a team. Each team will be allocated a post-graduate researcher to guide and mentor them on their projects. You will be assisted in developing your own study skills and knowledge surrounding the research of a topic of your own choosing. There will also be considerable opportunity for peer work and sharing of findings.

You will receive ongoing formative feedback during the module and then receive written summative feedback with your final grade at the end of the module.


  • Coursework - Wiki - Documentation of your research, analysis and findings (40%)
  • Practical - Course performance - self-assessments, moderated by staff (40%)
  • Practical - Presentation of Research Findings (short 1-minute informal presentation and discussion) (20%)

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. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌

What happens in this module?

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 course 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.

What you will learn: 

  • How a broad range of global issues are facing the world today
  • How to use tools to improve use of data, innovation and progress related to sustainable development
  • How to work collaboratively to research a contemporary global issue
  • How your own skillset surrounding the study of Global Challenges can be enhanced

What you will do: 

  • Familiarise yourself with a range of global issues facing the world today
  • Choose a global issue to research further in teams using allocated tools and supported by staff
  • Share your findings with other students, verbally and using a Wiki
"The course was well-explained and enjoyable."