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School of Environment, Education and Development

Engagement activities

Through their engagement activities, our students are applying socially responsible good practice in both local and international communities.

Here are just two examples that illustrate how our students benefit from real-world experiences that equip them to take a responsible approach to their next career move.

Uganda fieldtrip

Students of master's courses in the Global Development Institute (GDI) travel every year to Uganda as part of their course. Our students often have not had the chance to experience what poverty and development look like on the ground before. This experience enables them to prepare themselves for a career in development.

Trip preparation

Before leaving for Uganda, the students study the development context there in depth and prepare detailed research plans for the trip.

The trip itself gives them a vital chance to apply what they've learned to the real world and to prepare themselves for a career in development.

Real world experience

The fieldwork starts in Kampala, and gives our students the opportunity to meet with senior federal government officials to learn and ask about development policy in Uganda at a national level.

The trip then moves up-country to visit and interact with individual projects in rural and sometimes quite isolated areas so that the students can see how the national policies play out on the ground.

Planning students: client-based projects

Our Planning and Environmental Management (PEM) students are providing valuable resource to community organisations that have limited staffing, professional expertise and financial resources. 

Undergraduate and postgraduate masters students in PEM have an opportunity to take part in either:

  • a professional placement; or
  • a client based project.

This involves partnership working between the student, the placement provider or client Undergraduate and the University.

Students are expected to meet the expectations for professional conduct in the particular areas of work they are undertaking. For example ethics, confidentiality and generally dealing with a wide range of interests and stakeholders including community groups and members of the public.

Socially responsible projects

Our students are involved in a variety of projects and working environments within the public, private and voluntary sectors.  These projects address key social, economic and environmental issues around urban regeneration, sustainable development, and local and neighbourhood planning.

This project work provides a valuable resource to the organisations involved, especially public and non-governmental bodies and community based organisations that often have limited staffing, professional expertise and financial resources.

The contributions of our students can provide such organisations with valuable staffing resources and professional expertise to allow them to take part in projects and activities that would not be otherwise have been easily achieved.

Recent examples include the following.

  • Carbon Footprints: Developing a Carbon Trail through Greater Manchester Wetlands (for Greater Manchester Wetlands)
  • Understanding the Use of High Value Social Housing Units to Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing (for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies)
  • The Development of Colliers Moss, St Helens (for The Mersey Forest, part of the Community Forest Trust)
  • A Masterplan for Garston Village (for URBED)
  • Green Infrastructure Opportunity Mapping in Manchester City Centre (for the Red Rose Forest)
  • Community Planning for Bootle, Cumbria

Master's students on their fieldtrip to Uganda

Social justice

SEED contributes to the Grand Ethical Challenges of the University. Last summer SEED students participated in a number of workshops as part of the flagship Social Justice Festival.

The festival explored a range of social justice themes led by academics and external presenters. SEED students supported staff to host a workshop where learners from a local school joined us on campus to critically discuss what life is like at University.

School-University Partnership Initiative

The RCUK-SUPI is a three year catalyst scheme providing opportunities for schools and universities to demystify research for young people.

Our students work with researchers to host learners on campus and also travel to schools to deliver presentations about research and life at university.

Charity work

With support from SEED, our students engage in volunteering and charity activities beyond the curriculum. 

For example:

  • Geography student Pierre Lee raised funds for various charities by climbing the 5895 kilometres of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
  • Along with the Students’ Union Megan Turner converted an empty shop into a volunteer led clothes shop offering workshops on upcycling. Money raised and any left over clothes were donated to charity.