33 minute read  written by  . Published on June 27, 2018

In 2015, the United Nations came together to adopt Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering topics such as health, inequality, climate change, and more. Since their adoption, the SDGs have served as a platform for organizing global, national, local, and individual action.

With the help of SDG Academy, a free online education platform from the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Class Central has pulled together a giant list of courses that will teach you about the SDGs. The SDG Academy alone has produced 20 courses on cross-cutting issues related to the SDGs –  such as human rights, resilience, and environmental security. This list also includes courses sourced from various other MOOC platforms, all organized by which goal they address. Overall, SDG Academy helped us to identify more than 100 courses on sustainable development from global universities including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and MIT.

Whether you’re interested in poverty reduction, human rights, food security, public health, education, or any other sustainable development topic, these courses will help you join efforts to achieve prosperity for both people and planet.

SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 2: No Hunger
SDG 3: Goods Health and Well-being
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 14: Life Below Water
SDG 15: Life on Land
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals
Cross-Cutting the SDGs


SDG 1: No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

The Challenges of Global Poverty
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

This is a course for people who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty. Is extreme poverty a thing of the past? What is economic life like when living under a dollar per day? Are the poor always hungry? How do we make schools work for poor citizens? How do we deal with the disease burden? Is microfinance invaluable or overrated? Learn what economists have to say about these and other questions.

From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development
University of Oxford via edX

How can poor societies become prosperous and overcome obstacles to do so? Professor Sir Paul Collier is one of the world’s leading scholars on this question, and in this economics course you will have the opportunity to learn from him directly.

Improving Children’s Lives: Reducing Child Poverty and Inequality Around the World
University of York via FutureLearn

Why do some countries do better than others in giving their children a good start to life? Can governments improve children’s lives by learning from the best performing countries? This course explores these questions using a combination of articles, videos, animations, articles, interactive data visualisations, discussions, and research “bites”.

SDG 2: No Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Feeding a Hungry Planet: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Sustainability
SDG Academy

This course explores the key challenges to ensuring a healthy and sustainable diet for our growing world population, as well as the central role of agriculture in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Starting with a historical overview of the past 50 years of agricultural development, the course highlights key technological advancements and interventions to produce more and better quality food while simultaneously achieving social and environmental goals.

Sustainable Food Systems: A Mediterranean Perspective
SDG Academy

The Mediterranean region is one of the most biodiverse in the world, home to a complex and intricate patchwork of cultures, climates, and cuisines. This course discusses the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector in the Mediterranean basin. It summarizes global-to-local challenges related to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); outlines the history and culture of agriculture ; explains agricultural data with a focus on rural development models and value creation; explores EU policy frameworks and international agreements related to food and agriculture in the Mediterranean; and highlights emerging opportunities in the sector.

Sustainable Food Security: Food Access
Wageningen University via edX

Learn the basics of food access decision-making. In other words, who decides what ends up on your plate. Spoiler alert: it’s not just you!

Sustainable Food Security: Crop Production
Wageningen University via edX

Learn the basics of crop production and find out how to feed the future world population without depleting our planet’s resources!

Sustainable Soil Management: Soil for Life
Wageningen University via edX

Learn why soil is so important, how it’s being threatened and what we can do to protect this natural resource so vital to our lives.

Feeding the World
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

This course explores the concepts driving current food production science (population growth, urbanization, emerging affluence, resource constraints, and underlying biological limits) with a focus on livestock production. Each of the major food animal species (dairy, swine, beef, and poultry) will be covered in terms of their universal life cycles, constraints to production and emerging societal issues.

Global Food Security: Addressing the Challenge
Lancaster University via FutureLearn

How we will feed an extra two billion people by the middle of this century? Focusing both on UK agriculture and on food supply chains in other parts of the world, this course examines how food has shaped our environmental and social landscapes.

Systems Science and Obesity
Johns Hopkins University via Coursera

Systems science has been instrumental in breaking new scientific ground in diverse fields such as meteorology, engineering and decision analysis. However, it is just beginning to impact public health. This course introduces basic tools in systems science to better understand the obesity epidemic in human populations. Learn how a systems approach can be applied to other non-communicable diseases both nationally and internationally.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Global Public Health
SDG Academy

This course covers the basic tenets of public health and the importance of social determinants, the global burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and the appropriate public health responses. Learn about the importance of health systems in promoting the health of populations, and the different methods employed around the world to achieve universality in access to health services.

Health and Society
Harvard University via edX

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major social variables—social class, race, gender, poverty, income distribution, social networks/support, community cohesion, the work and neighborhood environment—that affect population health.

An Introduction to Global Health
University of Copenhagen via Coursera

This course will provide you with an overview of the most important health challenges facing the world today.

Global Health Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective
Harvard University via edX

Four physician-anthropologists – Paul Farmer, Arthur Kleinman, Anne Becker, and Salmaan Keshavjee – draw on experience working in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Americas to investigate the field of global health, how global health problems are defined and constructed, and how global health interventions play out in both expected and unexpected ways.

Childbirth: A Global Perspective
Emory University via Coursera

This course will review challenges for maternal and newborn health in the developing world, where a great many women and babies are suffering from complications during pregnancy, childbirth, and the days following birth. Through lectures, case studies and readings, course participants will learn about delivery challenges for maternal and newborn health services and how to utilize community-based strategies to improve the health and survival of mothers and babies.

Healthy Aging in 6 Steps
Delft University of Technology via edX

This course will teach you to make healthy choices and adjustments to your lifestyle and environment to help you live a healthier, happier and longer life.

Caring for Vulnerable Children
University of Strathclyde via FutureLearn

Learn about risk and vulnerability among children, how children grow and develop, and how we can provide them with meaningful relationships and secure attachments. The knowledge you gain from this course may prompt you to explore or extend a career in child care or social work services.

SDG 4: Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

The Best Start in Life: Early Childhood Development for Sustainable Development
SDG Academy

Children are the common basis for all dimensions of sustainable development. Beyond mere survival, children have a right to thrive, develop to their full potential, and live in a sustainable world. This course draws from research in neuroscience, psychology, economics, anthropology and program implementation and evaluation in order to discuss Early Childhood Development and explore its role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Education for All: Disability, Diversity, and Inclusion
University of Cape Town via FutureLearn

Millions of children around the world are excluded from access to education because of a disability – robbing them of their potential and diminishing our society. On this course you will learn about inclusive education, understanding what barriers there are to learning and how to challenge them.

The Right to Education: Breaking Down the Barriers
University of Glasgow via Future Learn

Does education for all, really mean all? What are the barriers to participating in education? How do you include “all” in the classroom? This course will answer these and other questions, and help you join the movement to get children the world over into education.

Teaching for Change: An African Philosophical Approach
Stellenbosch University via Future Learn

African philosophy of education has emerged as an educational challenge for many involved in contemporary education. In this course you’ll learn more about this philosophy, why it’s being examined, how it potentially responds to teaching and learning and what can be done to improve education in a just manner.

SDG 5: Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Exclusion
SDG Academy

Learn about the establishment of human rights and their linkages to many other global issues in sustainable development. Learners in this course discuss and debate the complex intersection of politics, gender, social norms, economics and power that have shaped – and will continue to shape – human rights worldwide.

International Women’s Health and Human Rights
Stanford University via Coursera

This course focuses on women’s health and human rights issues from infancy through old age. Topics include education, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, violence against women, women in war and refugee settings, women’s economic empowerment, sex work and sex trafficking, aging and end of life.

Understanding Violence Against Women: Myths and Realities
University of Strathclyde via FutureLearn

In this course you will learn about the roots of violence against women, the principles of gender inequality at its centre and most importantly, how to challenge entrenched attitudes that impact women the world over.

Confronting Gender Based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers
Johns Hopkins University via Coursera

This course introduces participants from the healthcare sector to gender based violence (GBV), including global epidemiology of GBV; health outcomes; seminal research; and clinical best practices for GBV prevention, support, and management.

Gender-Based Violence in the Context of Migration
European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation

Drawing from expertise and examples at the global and regional level, this course provides participants with multiple perspectives and examples of practices in a field that is at the crossroads of gender, migration and human rights studies. Addressing the root causes of forced and economic migration and ensuring that the human rights of women and girls are protected throughout the migration process are essential steps towards a stronger recognition of their equal dignity.

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Water in a Thirsty World
Open2Study

In this course you will take the journey of water – how it began, and its availability today in light of global warming and urbanization. Explore examples from around the world, learn about a vast range of technologies like desalination, and see what is involved in sustainable thinking and decision making about water.

Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems: the Nexus between Water, Energy and Food
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona) via Coursera

In this course you will become familiar with the ideas of the water-energy-food nexus and transdisciplinary thinking. You will learn to see your community or country as a complex social-ecological system and to describe its water, energy and food metabolism in the form of a pattern, as well as to map the categories of social actors.

International Water Law
University of Geneva via Coursera

This course provides the necessary background to understand and examine the regulation applicable to transboundary freshwaters, especially rivers, lakes and aquifers. It presents the principles and legal standards that govern the use, sharing, management and protection of these resources.

Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries Part 1: Understanding Complex Problems
University of Manchester via Coursera

This course explores what can be done to solve the complex problem that half a billion people worldwide do not have improved water supplies and two billion do not have improved sanitation. Develop the skills you need to address this major global challenge of the 21st century.

Introduction to Drinking Water Treatment
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn about urban water services, focusing on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment.

Introduction to the Treatment of Urban Sewage
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn about urban water services, focusing on basic sewage treatment technologies.

Water Resources Management and Policy
University of Geneva via Coursera

Develop an understanding of the problems related to water management. This course looks at water management in detail through the analysis of the different types of rights and obligations.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Assure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Politics and Economics of International Energy
Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris via Coursera

The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. Learn about renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and EU energy policy.

Global Energy and Climate Policy
SOAS University of London via Coursera

This course offers an introduction to the theoretical and practical understanding of how energy and climate change policies are designed, shaped, advocated and implemented. As energy markets go truly global, domestic energy policies are becoming more and more entangled with wider issues of international governance.

Our Energy Future
University of California, San Diego via Coursera

This course is designed to introduce students to the issues of energy in the 21st century – including food and fuels – which are inseparably linked – and will discuss energy production and utilization from the biology, engineering, economics, climate science, and social science perspectives.

Wind Resources for Renewable Energies
Ecole Polytechnique via Coursera

Learn about basic meteorology, the specific dynamics of turbulent boundary layers and some standard techniques to estimate wind resources regardless of the type of turbine used or the level of efficiency achieved. Get hands-on experience applying what you have learned about wind resource assessment to real data sets.

Solar Energy
Delft University of Technology via edX

Discover the power of solar energy and learn how to design a complete photovoltaic system.

Sustainable Energy
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn how to make the transition to 100% renewable energy from wind, solar and biomass for electricity, heat and fuels for a sustainable future.

Solar Energy Engineering MicroMasters
Delft University of Technology via edX

Master the technical knowledge required to start or further your career in solar energy.

Catalytic Conversions for Biobased Chemicals and Products
Wageningen University via edX

Design new (bio)catalytic conversion routes that allow you to use biobased feedstocks to their highest potential as building blocks for chemicals, materials and fuels.

Energy Principles and Renewable Energy
University of Queensland via edX

This course provides a foundation for understanding the basics of everything related to energy and the challenges associated with transitioning to a sustainable energy future.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Macroeconomics for a Sustainable Development
SDG Academy

Unemployment. Inflation. Protectionism. Economic bubble. Debt. Fiscal deficit. These are not just terms in an economics textbook; these are real-life challenges that are dominating the media and that carry major societal implications. Explore the different macroeconomic “pathologies” at play in the modern day global economy, drawing from the lessons and experiences of the past and incorporating the significant biophysical pressures facing the planet today.

Global Trends for Business and Society
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Learn to analyze rapidly changing global trends, their effects on consumer and labor markets, financial systems, and geopolitical relationships among countries all over the world. Through real-world case studies, both historical and contemporary, you’ll examine how changes within one society affect others.

Global History of Capitalism
Princeton University via edX

By looking at capitalism through a global lens, this course investigates multiple types of explanations and impacts on local, national, regional and global levels. Students will examine a range of different topics deeply connected to the evolution of capitalism; including labor relations, migration, commodities, consumption, finance, war, imperialism, development, energy, and the environment.

Forced and Precarious Labor in the Global Economy: Slavery by Another Name?
University of the Witwatersrand via edX

Led by some of the world’s leading authorities in the field, this course provides an introduction to the role of forced and precarious labor in the global economy. Drawing upon examples from across the world, the course specifically focuses on supply chain work, migrant work, and sex work.

Fair Wage Strategies in a Global Economy
Global Labour University via Iversity

Billions of workers around the world have no regular income or do not even earn a wage sufficient to live a decent life. This course offers a mix of video lectures and interviews, readings, online resources and exercises to gain both knowledge and practical skills to understand the landscape of wage setting.

Economic Growth and Distributive Justice Part 1: The Role of the State
Tel Aviv University via Coursera

Economic Growth and Distributive Justice Part 2: Maximize Social Wellbeing

Tel Aviv University via Coursera

If you really care about the big questions in the economies and societies of the 21st century, such as inequality of income or wealth, and its correlation with economic growth, this set of courses is meant for you. The knowledge you gain can truly change your outlook on our world.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Becoming a Changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation
University of Cape Town via Coursera

Whether you are already familiar with the field of social innovation or social entrepreneurship, working for an organization that wants to increase its social impact, or just starting out, this course will take you on a journey of exploring the complex problems that surround us and how to start thinking about solutions.

Creativity, Innovation, and Change
Pennsylvania State University via Coursera

Creativity, innovation, and change require a unique mindset and collection of mental tools. In this course you will learn about four key variables that define and describe creative diversity, including your creative style and your creative level.

Greening the Economy: Lessons from Scandinavia
Lund University via Coursera

How can we live a good life on one planet with over seven billion people? This course explores greening the economy on four levels – individual, business, city, and nation.

How Green is that Product? An Introduction to Life Cycle Environmental Assessment
Northwestern University via Coursera

Paper or plastic? Local or imported food? Which is better for the environment? To answer these questions, one must take a holistic systems view using a quantitative approach known as life cycle assessment. The course provides an introduction to LCA methods and applications, including a hands-on modeling project.

The Next Generation of Infrastructure
Delft University of Technology via edX

Explore the challenges and complexity of both global and local infrastructure (IT/Telecom, Energy, Water and Transportation) and how to make the best decisions to improve it.

Industrial Biotechnology
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn the basics of sustainable processing for biobased products to further understand their impact on global sustainability.

Innovation and Design for Global Grand Challenges
Duke University via Coursera

This course will inspire you to rethink assumptions to address global challenges in conservation and development, and introduce you to new models and approaches that harness technological, behavioral, and financial innovation. Learn the tools, models, and approaches to address global grand challenges in conservation and development and to create and execute new solutions.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Exclusion
SDG Academy

Learn about the establishment of human rights and their linkages to many other global issues in sustainable development. The course joins legal frameworks and societal contexts to explore the barriers that prevent rights from becoming a reality.  Students discuss and debate the complex intersection of politics, gender, social norms, economics and power that have shaped – and will continue to shape – human rights worldwide.

Improving Children’s Lives: Reducing Child Poverty and Inequality Around the World
University of York via FutureLearn

Why do some countries do better than others in giving their children a good start to life? Can governments improve children’s lives by learning from the best performing countries? This course explores these questions using a combination of articles, videos, animations, articles, interactive data visualisations, discussions, and research “bites”.

Global Inequality
Wellesley College via edX

This sociology course introduces core concepts of class, gender, and racial inequality, and an approach to studying complex forms of inequality called intersectionality. Featuring interviews with top scholars and discussion of the full-length award winning documentary, China Blue, which follows the life of a young seventeen-year-old worker from Sichuan province, to a Chinese jeans factory, this course will transform your perspective on yourself and others.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

Sustainable Cities
SDG Academy

This course explores what Sustainable cities are about. It examines how urban sustainability can be delivered: how cities function as systems of systems; how we can increase urban productivity and reduce urban poverty and inequality, enable urban inclusion and safety; provide universal basic services, housing and infrastructure; protect the urban environment, reduce risk and vulnerability.

Cities and the Challenge of Sustainable Development
SDG Academy

This mini-series is a companion piece to the SDG Academy’s full-length Sustainable Cities course and also serves as a brief introduction to the topic of urban sustainable development and the SDGs.

Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities
SDG Academy

Learn concepts at the core of contemporary research and debate on global sustainability. This course will expand and update your ‘conceptual toolbox’ in matters of global sustainability.

Cities Are Back in Town: Urban Sociology for a Globalizing Urban World
Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris via Coursera

Urbanization is reaching a new peak in the contemporary world with the rise of megacities. Researchers try to make sense of these large urban areas using a variety of concepts. The class will review debates and present social science models of cities to analyse and compare contemporary developments.

Designing Cities
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Each module in Designing Cities focuses on a different aspect of city design including: How Today’s City Evolved; The Ideas That Shape Cities; Tools for Designing Cities; Making Cities Sustainable; Cities in the Information Age; Preserving Older Cities; Designing New Cities, Districts and Neighborhoods; The Challenges of Informal Cities and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods; and Visionary Cities.

Sustainable Urban Development: Discover Advanced Metropolitan Solutions
Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University via edX

Learn why cities are key in resolving global urbanization and sustainability challenges and how you can engineer tomorrow’s cities today.

Rethink the City: New Approaches to Global and Local Urban Challenges
Delft University of Technology via edX

How do you plan future cities? Explore alternative theories and innovative solutions for urban challenges in the global south.

Co-Creating Sustainable Cities
Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University via edX

Learn how citizen’s co-creation is key in making cities worldwide more sustainable.

Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects
Wageningen University via edX

Gain the skills and knowledge to drive sustainability in the largest industry worldwide: tourism! Understand the scope next to social and environmental implications of growth in this exciting field of study.

Rethink the City: New Approaches to Global and Local Urban Challenges
Delft University via edX

Learn about today’s urban challenges focusing on developing countries, referred to as the Global South. Through a combination of short theoretical lessons, presentation of case studies, testimonies from practitioners and practical assignments you will learn how to develop a critical perspective about your own urban environment and how to translate this knowledge into analytical tools and innovative urban solutions.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Natural Resources for Sustainable Development
SDG Academy

This course outlines the various complex and interrelated aspects of natural resource governance, including: understanding the governance and industry fundamentals; developing and implementing robust and transparent legal frameworks; designing fiscal regimes to capture a fair share of the revenues; managing environmental risks; engaging with communities; leveraging investments for infrastructure and business linkages; and managing revenues for economic diversification and development, among others.

Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities
SDG Academy

Learn concepts at the core of contemporary research and debate on global sustainability. This course will expand and update your ‘conceptual toolbox’ in matters of global sustainability.

Responsible Innovation
Delft University of Technology via edX

Responsible Innovation – exploring the interface of ethics, society and technological innovations.

Circular Economy: An introduction
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn how to contribute to a sustainable economic system by implementing novel business and design approaches.

Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn how to apply the principles of the circular economy to sustainable packaging systems.

Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn about waste management and its key role in saving critical raw materials.

Engineering Design for a Circular Economy
Delft University of Technology via edX

Discover and develop sustainable design and engineering methods to improve the reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling of products for a circular economy.

Global Resource Politics: the Past, Present and Future of Oil, Gas and Shale
Hanyang University via FutureLearn

The goal of this free online course is to examine the numerous critical energy challenges we are facing, and the complex interaction between the economics and politics of global energy markets. You will acquire an understanding of energy security and energy policy in today’s highly politicised, volatile energy markets.

SDG 13: Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate Change Science and Negotiations
SDG Academy

Scientists have pointed out that a rise in mean surface temperature of 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels will put the Earth in dangerous, uncharted territory. Yet we currently are on a path toward an increase of 4º or more this century. Fortunately, solutions exist to deeply decarbonize the global energy systems, and put the world on a 2°C pathway. During this course, you will learn about these solutions and how they can be applied in different national contexts, based on the results from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global initiative to show how countries can transition to a low carbon economy by 2050, and how the world can stay within the 2°C limit.

Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities
SDG Academy

Learn concepts at the core of contemporary research and debate on global sustainability. This course will expand and update your ‘conceptual toolbox’ in matters of global sustainability.

Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet
SDG Academy

Learn the science behind reducing global greenhouse gas emission, what businesses and government can do to decarbonize the economy, the role of agriculture in reducing emissions, how satellites are being used to identify high-emissions areas, and the actions communities and individuals can take to make climate action a reality.

Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries
University of Cape Town via Coursera

This course challenges you to consider how one might lift societies out of poverty while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This course covers topics such as facilitation process techniques, energy modeling, scenario building, innovation and policy making. You will have the opportunity to respond to these topics with ideas and reflection from your own context. Whether you are a climate change practitioner, work in development or are simply curious about how climate mitigation is understood, this course will give you insights into the complexity of how countries from the South pursue development goals while addressing climate mitigation.

Introduction to Water and Climate
Delft University of Technology via edX

Explore how climate change, water availability, and engineering innovation are key challenges for our planet.

Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action
University of Michigan via Coursera

Are you concerned about climate change? Would you like to learn how to address and respond to this challenge? If so, this course is for you.

Building with Nature
Delft University of Technology via edX

Learn how to use ecological and engineering design principles to develop more effective and sustainable hydraulic infrastructure.

Global Warming Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

Global Warming Science teaches you about the risks and uncertainties of future climate change by examining the science behind the earth’s climate. You will be able to answer such questions as, “What is the Greenhouse Effect?” and “How and why has earth’s climate changed through geologic history?”

SDG 14: Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development

One Planet-One Ocean
SDG Academy

This ten-week course presents the challenges and opportunities facing oceans today. The course brings in some of the world’s leading experts on ocean science to present the issues and potential solutions grounded in rigorous scientific research.

Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities
SDG Academy

Learn concepts at the core of contemporary research and debate on global sustainability. This course will expand and update your ‘conceptual toolbox’ in matters of global sustainability.

Marine and Antarctic Science
Open2Study

This course will introduce you to the fascinating world of our oceans. You will learn about marine life and key features of the ocean system. You will also explore some of the stressors on marine systems caused by human activity. Finally, this course will cover how society might sensibly approach managing those threats into the future.

Contemporary Issues in Ocean Governance
Open2Study

This course considers the nature of how the world’s oceans are regulated. It will go through how ocean governance has evolved through time and how it actually works. In addition, there will be a focus on particular issues such as piracy, maritime security and environmental protection for the oceans.

Oceanography: a key to better understand our world
University of Barcelona and Fundaciò Navagaciò Oceànica Barcelona via Coursera

In this course the student will learn about the foundations of the science of oceanography. You’ll learn about the classification and formation of the ocean floor, how current sea satellite analysis systems work, the chemistry of the oceans and the processes that led to its formation.

Exploring Our Oceans
University of Southampton via FutureLearn

Discover how you can play a part in the safe-keeping of the future of our oceansWhat lies in the half of our world covered by water more than two miles deep? How are our everyday lives connected to the ocean depths, and what challenges and opportunities does this previously hidden realm hold for our future? By taking this course, you will see how the deep ocean is no longer out of reach, and join a global debate about the future of our “blue planet”.

Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
University of Queensland via edX

Develop the skills and knowledge needed to help preserve tropical coastal ecosystems. This course will introduce you to the incredible plants and animals that create these unique ecosystems. You will go on to explore the challenges these ecosystems are facing such as overfishing, coastal pollution, ocean warming and acidification, then learn about some techniques being used to tackle these problems.

SDG 15: Life on Land

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

From the Ground Up: Managing and Preserving our Terrestrial Ecosystems
SDG Academy

Learn about the impacts of deforestation, climate change and more, with a particular focus on the human activities that affect these ecosystems. In studying the interplay of local communities dependent on these natural resources, you will emerge with a deep understanding of how to ensure the long-term health of our global ecosystems.

Ecosystem Services: a Method for Sustainable Development
University of Geneva via Coursera

Ecosystem services are a way of thinking about – and evaluating – the goods and services provided by nature that contribute to the well-being of humans. This course covers scientific (technical), economic, and socio-political dimensions of the concept through a mix of theory, case-studies, interviews with specialists and a serious-game.

Urban Water-Innovations for Environmental Sustainability
The University of British Columbia via edX

In this interdisciplinary course you will learn about the water-related dimensions of environmentally sustainable urbanism. The course features Vancouver, one of the world’s leading cities for green design.

Forests and Livelihoods in Developing Countries
The University of British Columbia via edX

This interdisciplinary course explores the complex interactions between poverty, rural livelihoods, and forest resources in developing countries.  This course will engage you in developing a deeper understanding of the fundamental importance of forest resources in the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries.

Global Environmental Management
Technical University of Denmark via Coursera

Learn about the best environmental technologies for a sustainable development and how they are managed in various settings around the world. This course gives you an opportunity to learn about global trends that influence our environment and the living conditions and how different management systems and approaches that are used around the world to manage the environment.

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels

Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace
SDG Academy

This course provides an in-depth introduction to the multiple roles that natural resources and the environment play in the onset, escalation, and resolution of, and recovery from, violent conflicts. Many of the considerations and approaches in this course are also relevant to understanding and addressing social conflicts around natural resources and the environment.

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home
SDG Academy

Pope Francis – spiritual leader to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics – issued an encyclical called Laudato Si’: On Care of our Common Home. This encyclical is addressed not only to Catholics, but to all people of the world. In blunt terms, it draws attention to the nature of the grave ecological crisis that humanity has created, and it issues a moral clarion call for urgent action to protect the earth and its inhabitants from ruin. This short course provides an overview of the main themes and messages of Laudato Si’.

Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Exclusion
SDG Academy

Learn about the establishment of human rights and their linkages to many other global issues in sustainable development. Learners in this course discuss and debate the complex intersection of politics, gender, social norms, economics and power that have shaped – and will continue to shape – human rights worldwide.

SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

 

Foundations of Development Policy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

In this course, we will study the different facets of human development in topics such as education, health, gender, the family, land relations, risk, informal and formal norms, public policy, and institutions. At the same time, you will discover modern empirical methods in economics. Throughout the course, we will expose you to all facets of empirical projects, from experimental design and ethical issues, to data collection and data analysis.

The Changing Global Order
Leiden University via Coursera

How are international power relations changing and how can global peace and stability be maintained? This course familiarizes you with some main theories of international relations, shows how the global order is gradually changing and discusses how selected international and regional organizations contribute to the maintenance of global peace and security. You learn what research findings tell us in terms of the capacity of international organizations and actors to help prevent or stop violent conflict, what tools are used to negotiate agreements and how foundations for sustainable peace are best created.

Global Sociology
Wellesley College via edX

In this introductory sociology course, we will explore the concerns of an interconnected global world through classic sociological concepts. Through short lectures, interviews with prominent sociologists and everyday people around the world, you will learn to see your role in the scope of global history.

Courses cross-cutting the SDGs

The Age of Sustainable Development
SDG Academy

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, drawing on the most recent developments in the social, policy, and physical sciences. The course offers a broad overview of the key challenges and potential solutions to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.

Globalization: Past and Future
SDG Academy

In this free, four-part mini-course, Professor Jeffrey Sachs takes students on a historical and anthropological tour of six distinct waves of globalization and outlines the key factors that drove innovation, technology dispersal and development during these epochs. The course tells the story of a global humanity and asks the question: What lessons can we pull from history to help understand the tumultuous changes underway today?

Transforming the World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
SDG Academy

This mini-series presents and explains the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki-moon
Yonsei University via Coursera

This course is for people who want to learn about the latest development agenda the international community agreed to achieve by 2030. Structured around the five pillars of Agenda 2030 – people, prosperity, planet, peace and justice, and partnership, students will learn that these pillars are interconnected and need to be integrated in practical policy-making and operational activities for development, in both developed and developing country settings.

Political Economy of Institutions and Development
University of Leiden via Coursera

What makes some countries wealthier than others? Do we face cultural diversity or fragmentation? Does the type of governance affect economic development and social change or is it the other way around? These issues and many more will be examined in this course along with a wide library of sources and a biting criticism.

The Science and Practice of Sustainable Development
University of Queensland via edX

This course introduces the origin and key concepts of sustainability and how to apply those to sustainable development practice. Learn about planetary boundaries, urbanisation and growing inequality, to show how integral sustainable development is to our everyday existence.