Explore your own sustainability footprint and design and test a range of sustainability innovations to limit your impact on the environment

Module details

  • Offered to 2nd Years
  • Mondays 16.00-18.00
  • 2-term module worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

Have you ever thought that you would be more sustainable if only you could... (fill in the blank) ? In this module, you have the opportunity to think critically about your own life and consider what sustainability means to you. That might be eating more thoughtfully, eliminating plastic, or conserving energy. Whatever the answer, it will be different for everyone.

Work alongside other students studying smart living and happiness to explore the concept of sustainability. Is sustainability all about energy and recycling, individual action, political will or something else entirely? What can you, as an individual, do in your life and community to live more sustainably? Through discussions, research and reflection you will develop your own personal theory of sustainability. You will then develop a range of ideas to improve your sustainability and test your favourite idea in the real world. This module will provide you with the foundations to evaluate sustainability in your life and provide you with the space and time to consider what is important to you.

This module will be delivered online making full use of our virtual classroom. Each session will be highly interactive including activities, discussion and close interaction with your peers and teachers. To understand more about how we teach online interactively, visit the Change Makers Online Learning page.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be better able to:

  • Understand the premise, benefits and challenges of sustainable living
  • Develop an individual analysis of your planetary footprint
  • Create a personalised brief – analysing your own life to identify opportunities to increase sustainable practice
  • Develop a rationale for assessing the needs, benefits and success of implementing such a change
  • Design and test a targeted sustainability initiative in your own life
  • Evaluate the impact of the initiative

Indicative core content

You will begin by investigating your own planetary footprint. You will then explore the idea of sustainable living on an individual level. You will develop a method of monitoring your own impact on the planet. 

You will then create your own briefs using video or photo diaries and rotate through a number of mini design and creativity exercises before picking one idea to develop, test and evaluate.


  • Practical: Planetary Footprint Poster (10%)
  • Coursework: Video/Photo Diary Brief and Analysis (30%)
  • Practical: Design Process Assessment (20%)
  • Practical: Final Design Portfolio (40%)

Key information

  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • Sufficient time will be set aside for all assessments to be completed in-class.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 5 course. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]‌.

My Journey

You can focus your project on any area of sustainability that you want to explore, but to give you some ideas of what students have tackled previously, take a look at these topics:

  • Minimalism as a way to increase sustainability
  • Zero waste production in daily living
  • Social interactions and sustainability – can sustainability practices be promoted socially
  • Urban composting
  • Activism and sustainability
  • Plant based diets
  • Influencing global sustainability practices

Project submissions can be really creative and can include any component you feel express your experience of completing the project. So far students have submitted:

  • Project reports and narratives
  • Video diaries
  • Short films
  • Podcasts
  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Posters
  • Handwritten journals
  • Hand made and digital artwork
  • Apps
"This module is essential in the current situation and had a profound influence on me. It leads to large amounts of reflection (and feeling bad about one’s behaviour) in the process."
"I like how much I have developed personally during this module, and also how much creativity I used in my final project"
"This module really is a journey – I started off thinking one thing and by the end I realized that there were lots of other ways to think about our goals in life"
"I learned how to ask for help, even when I wasn’t really sure what I needed"
"I loved how much communication went into every part of the module and final project"