Courses

We’ve curated a list of over 600 sustainability undergraduate and graduate courses so you don’t have to. Use our course finder tool to search and filter for the best sustainability learning opportunities at UBC.

Want to find the right courses to help you understand the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability? We’re here to help.

WANT TO ADD A COURSE?

We welcome suggestions for new additions to our course finder tool. Please get in touch today to update or add new courses.

ADD A COURSE

HOW IT WORKS

Use our course finder tool to search for keywords that appear in the course title and description. You can search multiple words (e.g. food systems) or parts of words (e.g. “sustain” will display sustainability and sustainable).

You can also filter by Faculty, subject or course year level. If you filter by subject, leave the Faculty filter set to "- Any -".

Note – some courses may not be offered this session or be accessible to all students. Please use the links to UBC’s Course Schedule to confirm if and when a course is offered, and if you meet the pre/co-requisites.

GEOB 407 Vegetation Dynamics: Disturbance, Climate and Human Impacts

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geographical Biogeosciences

Investigation of vegetation dynamics integrating theory and research to address contemporary issues of global environmental change. Students will conduct fieldwork and learn to analyze data and interpret results.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOB 407 Vegetation Dynamics: Disturbance, Climate and Human Impacts

GEOB 408 Snow and Ice Processes

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geographical Biogeosciences

Formation of snow and ice masses and their evolution including snowpacks, glaciers, and ice sheets. Relationships between snow, ice, and climate including glacier dynamics and avalanche forecasting. Weekend field trip.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOB 408 Snow and Ice Processes

GEOB 479 Research in Geographic Information Science

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geographical Biogeosciences

Students use GIS in primary research applications in conservation biology, crime analysis, and health geography; theoretical and practical aspects considered in a hands-on environment.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOB 479 Research in Geographic Information Science

GEOB 504A Topics in Climate Studies

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geographical Biogeosciences

SSC Course Schedule - GEOB 504A Topics in Climate Studies

GEOG 121 Geography, Environment and Globalization

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Human geography of the modern world with particular attention to human-environment relationships, urbanization, and regional growth; trade and communications; environment and war; environmental governance and sustainability.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 121 Geography, Environment and Globalization

GEOG 122 Geography, Modernity and Globalization

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The human geography of the modern world since 1945: global interdependence in economic geography, geopolitics, and cultural geography; consequences of modernization, including demography, urbanization and environmental effects; regional case studies; reactions to modernization.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 122 Geography, Modernity and Globalization

GEOG 211 The State of the Earth

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The demographic, economic, ecological, and technological factors that underlie current environmental challenges, considering their effects to date and their possible impact in the future.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 211 The State of the Earth

GEOG 220 Geopolitics

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Political geographic perspectives on todays interdependent world through three themes: borders, regions, and flows.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 220 Geopolitics

GEOG 250 Cities

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

An interdisciplinary introduction to the city in the context of contemporary globalization. Analysis of urban patterns and processes from the theoretical perspectives of various disciplines and methodologies.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 250 Cities

GEOG 290 Introduction to the Geography of Canada

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Selected topics in human geography focusing on the regional distribution of natural resources, population, urban systems, and economic activities.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 290 Introduction to the Geography of Canada

GEOG 310 Environment and Sustainability

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Concepts of environment, resources and sustainability; the roles of physical and human geography in understanding the interaction of humans and the environment; introduction to management of environment-resource systems.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 310 Environment and Sustainability

GEOG 311 Urban Environments

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The impact of urban development on the natural environment and vice versa. Study of the ecology and metabolism of cities and green urban design, using global and local case studies.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 311 Urban Environments

GEOG 312 Climate Change: Science and Society

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Climates over the geological, historical and instrument periods. Theories of climatic change. Monitoring and modelling the climate system. Impacts of change on environmental and socio-economic systems.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 312 Climate Change: Science and Society

GEOG 315 Human and Environmental Geography Field Course

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Engage in primary field-based research in British Columbia on important issues concerning intercultural understanding, engagement with local communities and sustainability. Focus will shift on a bi-annual basis in accordance with location and available community partners. Special fees and liability insurance are required. Third year standing is recommended.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 315 Human and Environmental Geography Field Course

GEOG 316 Geography of Natural Hazards

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The role of geophysical events, human ecology, environmental perception, world social and political order in explaining the risk of natural disasters. Assessment of acceptable risk, disaster relief and reconstruction and contrasts between developed and developing nations.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 316 Geography of Natural Hazards

GEOG 318 Sustainability in a Changing Environment

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Biophysical and human causes of short- and long-term environmental change at various spatial scales, including measurement, interpretation, and policy. See course listing.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 318 Sustainability in a Changing Environment

GEOG 319 Environmental Impact Assessment

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The principles, implementation, and role of environmental impact assessment in environmental management, in Canada and internationally.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 319 Environmental Impact Assessment

GEOG 321 Historical Geography of Urbanization: Cities, Space, and Power

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

From the origins of urbanism to the modern era.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 321 Historical Geography of Urbanization: Cities, Space, and Power

GEOG 328 Constructing Canada

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The construction of Canadian political space after Confederation, aboriginal-newcomer relations, regional development and conflict, industrialization, urbanization, and war.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 328 Constructing Canada

GEOG 345 Theory and Practice in Human Geography

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

A consideration of major intellectual issues and debates in the development of contemporary human geography, in relation to developments in other fields and changes in politics, culture and society.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 345 Theory and Practice in Human Geography

GEOG 350 Urban Worlds

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

City systems and theories of urban location; internal spatial structure of the city; commercial and industrial location; social areas; neighbourhood and land use change; urban trends and public policy.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 350 Urban Worlds

GEOG 352 Urbanization in the Global South

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Urbanization in the developing countries of Latin America, Africa, and Asia; the role of cities in the development process and the features and problems of rapid urbanization.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 352 Urbanization in the Global South

GEOG 353 Geographies of Migration and Settlement

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

International regimes regulating migration, changes in global demographics, immigration policies of nation states, international migration patterns, settlement policies and outcomes.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 353 Geographies of Migration and Settlement

GEOG 357 Introduction to Social Geography

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The development of social and behavioural geography, focusing on how places, landscapes, and enviromments both reflect and shape social life.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 357 Introduction to Social Geography

GEOG 361 Introduction to Economic Geography

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

History and methods of economic geography. Location of resource industries, manufacturing, and service activities with emphasis on British Columbia in its North American and world setting. Recommended for students with no previous exposure to Economic Geography, before taking other courses in the 36x and 46x series.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 361 Introduction to Economic Geography

GEOG 362 Geography of Economic Development

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Geographical approaches to economic development; models of economic development and spatial change; influences on spatial economic change; case studies from the developed, third, and socialist worlds.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 362 Geography of Economic Development

GEOG 410 Environment and Society

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Geographical analysis of society-environment relations. Relates resource management to environmental politics, political economy, and sustainable development. Perspectives drawn from political ecology and political economy, environmental history and environmental philosophy.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 410 Environment and Society

GEOG 412 Water Management: Theory, Policy, and Practice.

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Interdisciplinary analysis of critical water issues, in Canada and internationally. Focus on social science perspectives. Emphasis on presentation, research, and essay-writing skills.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 412 Water Management: Theory, Policy, and Practice.

GEOG 423 Development of Environmental Thought

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

An examination of how attitudes toward human nature and non-human nature have changed from Mesolithic times to the present in Western society.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 423 Development of Environmental Thought

GEOG 424 Feminist Geographies

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

An introductory survey of contemporary feminist approaches to human geography.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 424 Feminist Geographies

GEOG 450 Urban Research

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Individual or group primary research. Instructor and content vary and it may be offered over 2 terms. Details available from Geography Undergraduate Advisor from April 1 preceding the course. Not necessarily offered each year.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 450 Urban Research

GEOG 457 Social and Behavioural Geography

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Theories of social change in the global city; labour markets; poverty and inequality; social polarization; housing markets; gentrification and housing affordability; immigration and segregation; diversity and multiculturalism; transnationalism; the entrepreneurial state; the convivial city.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 457 Social and Behavioural Geography

GEOG 495 Geographies of Social Movements in the Americas

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

The politics of North-South solidarity in theory and practice through community service learning models.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 495 Geographies of Social Movements in the Americas

GEOG 496 Geography of Africa

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

A critical introduction to social, political and economic geographies of Africa from pre-colonial times to the present, with a focus on contemporary environmental and development issues.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 496 Geography of Africa

GEOG 497 The Arctic

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Physical and biological characteristics of the circumpolar Arctic, emphasizing terrestrial environments and the impacts on and by humans, including: glacial history; climatology; biogeography/ecology of arctic tundra; human-environment interactions, settlement and exploration; and current environmental, social and economic problems.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 497 The Arctic

GEOG 512 Climate Change in the 21st Century

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Historical, methodological, and policy dimensions of climate change in the 21st century. Application of natural and social science literature to climate science, impacts on ecosystems and societies, and response options.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 512 Climate Change in the 21st Century

GEOG 517 Environmental Sustainability

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Environmental sustainability is examined through conceptual literature and empirical examples. Emphasis on resources and livelihoods in the South and North. Case studies are used to discuss sustainable development, and the distribution of costs and benefits associated with resources allocation, with perspectives drawn from political ecology and economy, environmental history and philosophy.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 517 Environmental Sustainability

GEOG 519 Environment, Development and Security

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography

Analysis of environment-development-security linkages in relation to livelihoods and conflicts in poor countries, with a focus on Africa.

SSC Course Schedule - GEOG 519 Environment, Development and Security

GEOG 535 International Migration and Settlement

GPP 507 Environmental Law and Policy Frameworks

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Environmental law and policy creation, implementation, and enforcement at the international, national, and sub-national levels. Evolution of environmental law and policy, legal institutions, and major areas of law relating to ecological sustainability.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 507 Environmental Law and Policy Frameworks

GPP 520 Economics of Poverty

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Micro-scale processes of development, including the challenges posed by persistent poverty, and ground-level development solutions. Measurement and empirical evaluation of development interventions and outcomes.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 520 Economics of Poverty

GPP 522 Development Discourses and Practices

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

The meaning of development and micro/macro aspects of policy planning and implementation for development. The rise of development thought; assessment of the outcomes of development for different countries and communities.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 522 Development Discourses and Practices

GPP 544 Economic Foundations of Environmental Policies

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Environmental and natural resource economics: externalities, property rights, public goods, market failure, inter-generational trade-offs, and optimal extraction of biological and depletable resources. Environmental regulation, industrial competitiveness, and distribution of income and welfare.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 544 Economic Foundations of Environmental Policies

GPP 562 Resource Governance, Environment and Human Security

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

International policy processes associated with themes of environmental security: disaster prevention; resource curse; institution building and conflict minerals and global expropriation. Issues to be considered include human rights advocacy and peacekeeping, food security and food sovereignty.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 562 Resource Governance, Environment and Human Security

GPP 582 Public Engagement in Policy Decisions

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Public engagement in policy-making processes including: stakeholder engagement in diverse sustainability policy debates; outcomes and how they influence policy; best practices and lessons learned in North America and Europe.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 582 Public Engagement in Policy Decisions

GPP 584 Policy Responses to Global Climate Change

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Climate science and impacts including: carbon management options; mitigation and energy system changes; efficiency options; ?end-of-pipe? solutions; vulnerability and adaptation to climate change; carbon economics and organization-level strategies in a carbon-constrained world.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 584 Policy Responses to Global Climate Change

GPP 591B Special Topics in Public Policy: Gender and Security

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Global Public Policy

Offerings respond to current policy debates, topics of emerging interest, availability of visiting scholars, and interest in non-traditional courses incorporating practitioner expertise, interest in particular disciplinary perspectives missing from core courses and electives, and interest in specific regions or countries.

SSC Course Schedule - GPP 591B Special Topics in Public Policy: Gender and Security

GRS 290 Global Issues in Cultural Context

Faculty: Land and Food Systems
Subject: Global Resource Systems

Students interact face-to-face and on-line as a community of learners to discuss global issues in agriculture, food, and natural resources in cultural context. Typically taken prior to studying abroad.

SSC Course Schedule - GRS 290 Global Issues in Cultural Context

GRS 390 Global Issues in Cultural Context

Faculty: Land and Food Systems
Subject: Global Resource Systems

Students interact face-to-face and on-line as a community of learners to discuss global issues in agriculture, food, and natural resources in cultural context. Typically taken while studying abroad.

SSC Course Schedule - GRS 390 Global Issues in Cultural Context

GRS 397A Regional Directed Field Studies

Faculty: Land and Food Systems
Subject: Global Resource Systems

Participating students may be assessed a fee.

SSC Course Schedule - GRS 397A Regional Directed Field Studies

Pages