Summer Course: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Programme Description

Due to the situation surrounding Covid-19, we are currently looking into alternative options for teaching our programme this year. Full details will be announced soon, but in the meantime please get in touch with any questions you may have.

Since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, many countries in the world have undertaken parallel efforts to tackle global challenges – from poverty to inequality, from climate change to health, from sustainable cities and communities to peace and justice. The SDGs set ambitious albeit necessary objectives to be reached by 2030, which should be of interest to anyone concerned with the sustainability of production and consumption systems, equitable and inclusive development, and growth and prosperity of future generations. Yet, SDGs should play a more influential role in the policy process than they have actually obtained so far.

This course aims to provide participants with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to understand the challenges that the SDGs aim to tackle, the role that SDGs play in the policy process, and the strategies that governments can pursue to achieve them. The course will cover topics such as the design and management of stakeholder engagement, the process of strategic planning, the conduct of policy analysis, and the making of policy decisions. It will also include topics such as the role of public financial management systems and of monitoring and evaluation in the pursue of SDGs. By the end of the course, participants would gain a better understanding of strategies for pursuing SGDs in domestic policies.

The course will draw examples and case studies from various countries and different thematic areas including poverty, inequalities, education, healthcare, environmental protection, sustainability, and peace and justice institutions.

The course is of interest to anyone who wants to better understand the concept of SDGs, why they are important and how to achieve them; to undergraduate students interested in policy-making, sustainability and development; policy-makers and policy practitioners; and private (business and non-profit) sector actors who want to contribute pursuing the SDG agenda.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

·Understand what SDGs are and how they matter for public policy and management

·Explain how the pursue of SDGs affects the policy-making process

·Explain how organisational and financial resources should be aligned to the pursue of SDGs

·Explain how the attainment of SDGs can be measured, appraised and reported


This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.


  • A 2,500-word essay (70%)
  • Group presentation (30%)


Week 1: Defining the roadmap towards the SDGs

·What are the SDGs

·SDGs and the policy process

·Engagement of stakeholders

·Strategic planning

Week 2: Organising, resourcing and controlling the achievement of SDGs

·Developing administrative capacity

·Strengthening public financial management systems

·Using performance management systems

·Monitoring and evaluating policies and programmes

Week 3: Good governance and the achievement of SDGs

·The role of the private sector

·The role of innovation, science and technology

·Partnerships for sustainable development

·A global policy agenda beyond 2030

Teaching & Learning

Contact hours:

50 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

  • Credit-assessed: £1,750
  • Non-assessed: £1,600

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


  • 10% early-bird discount when you apply by 31 March
  • 15% discount for SOAS Alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions
  • Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for further information.


For more information, please visit our website.

Entry Requirements

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
  • Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
    • TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses), you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.

Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

25th May 2020

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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