Announcement
TRAVEL UPDATE: Answers to your questions about COVID-19
Select Page

GVI Online Courses: Foundations in Sustainable Development

We’re all thinking a little differently about our place in the world lately. Now, perhaps more than ever, it’s clear that our small, everyday actions can have a significant, international impact.

For the past two decades, we’ve helped people turn their aspirations of creating positive change into real purpose-driven projects.

GVI online courses don’t only offer participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a short-term contribution but also equip participants with the knowledge and skills to turn their passion for making an impact into a full-time job.

During this time when leaving home is not possible for many, we’re putting part of our programs online. This means that you can start your journey towards making a positive impact in your day-to-day life or in your career, right now, even if you can’t set foot outside your door.

Use this time at home to improve your ability to find meaningful work. In the process, you’ll also have a global community of prospective changemakers to keep you company and engage with, in an online learning environment.

You can choose to join only our online training program or use it as a way to start your GVI volunteer or intern abroad program during this time when travel is so challenging. Our flagship online course is free when booking any of our internship programs. If you book anytime between now and the end of 2020, there’ll be absolutely no charge for changing your program start dates. Travel whenever you want, whether it’s in 2021, 2022 or any future year.

No previous qualifications are required for joining the online course programs. The first start date is 18 May. Will you be joining us?

Overview

Foundations in Sustainable Development is our flagship program. It provides those who would like to make a positive impact with an introduction into the “for good” sector. Participants are able to learn a little bit about the field as a whole and gain preliminary insight into a specific field.

It includes three courses of 15 hour each that are designed to be completed within 3 days each. This results in 45 hours of work over 2 weeks.

Two of the courses, the Careers in Sustainable Development course and Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders course, form the groundwork of the Foundations in Sustainable Development program. The final course allows you to specialise in a range of fields from climate change and wildlife conservation to global public health and human rights.

The Foundations in Sustainable Development program is included in the program fee of all GVI internships. Those completing a conservation internship must select the Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research course and those who select a community development internship must select the Introduction to Community Development course.

Those completing the Foundations in Sustainable Development course are welcome to add on additional specialisation courses. All courses, both core and specialisation courses, are offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, and can also be taken individually.

Core courses

  • Careers in Sustainable Development
  • Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders*

Specialisation courses

*To earn a certificate join a GVI volunteer or internship program.

Core Courses

Both of these courses are offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, and are required in our Foundations in Sustainable Development program. However, you can also choose to take each as an individual course if you wish. 

Careers in Sustainable Development 

Yes, you can earn a living making a positive impact. On our Careers in Sustainable Development course you’ll learn about the opportunities that are available for those looking for a career in impact. Learn about which careers in sustainable development you’re well-positioned for considering your current knowledge, skills and experience. Find out what you could further study and which practical experiences to seek out to advance your career in this direction. 

You’ll also learn job search strategies, interview techniques and several other tools for starting or advancing your career in sustainable development. 

Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders


Many of us want to advance in our careers by being given more responsibility in our roles. But how do you prove that you’re ready? How do you show that you’re “management material”? 

GVI’s Leading Teams for Emerging Leaders course helps you to develop your leadership skills and earn a certificate proving it. The course includes reflections on which leadership style you prefer to work under and what your own leadership style might be. You will also learn how to set up a team for success.

Specialisation courses

Our Foundations in Sustainable Development program includes one specialisation course in the program fee. Participants can also choose to add as many other specialisation courses as they would like, for a small additional fee.

All specialisation courses are offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, and can also be completed as individual courses. 

Introduction to Community Development


Committed to increasing gender equality? Driven to improve public health? Getting involved in community-based objectives such as these requires the ability to conduct research about the real issues that the community is facing, whether current projects are effective and how to set up data-backed strategies.

GVI’s Introduction to Community Development
 course helps you to develop these competencies. You’ll learn qualitative research techniques such as how to conduct interviews with a local community and analyse your findings to identify key topics. You’ll also learn how to design a community-based that aligns with these topics. Finally, you’ll learn how to conduct research on how your initiative has performed. 

The Introduction to Community Development
 course is included in the program fee of all GVI community development internships and is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Introduction to Environmental Sustainability 

The Introduction to Environmental Sustainability course equips you with an understanding of key concepts and terminology and tools to analyse a corporate supply chain. You will learn about the drivers behind environmental and climate change, and explore case studies illustrating bold and innovative approaches to global sustainability issues including agriculture and food, air pollution, recycling, transportation, urbanisation, waste management and water scarcity.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Introduction to Global Public Health 

The Introduction to Global Public Health course equips you with an understanding of key concepts and terminology in global health, knowledge of global health problems and solutions as well as tools to analyse a health system. You will learn about universal health coverage and explore case studies illustrating bold and innovative approaches to global health issues such as: maternal and child health, infectious and noncommunicable diseases, mental health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Introduction to Human Rights

The Introduction to Human Rights course equips you with an understanding of key concepts and terminology and tools to analyse local justice systems. You will learn about a broad range of human rights issues and explore case studies illustrating different approaches to development challenges. Examples of the specific rights that will be explored in case studies include: civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, indigenous rights, and women’s rights.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Introduction to Marine and Wildlife Conservation
 

The Introduction to Marine and Wildlife Conservation course equips you with an understanding of key concepts, terminology and tools to analyse a conservation-protected area. You will learn about driving forces behind the decline of marine and wildlife biodiversity and explore case studies illustrating bold and innovative approaches to global conservation issues. These issues include: endangered species, habitat destruction, managing protected areas, the role of pollution in climate change, and the role of community development in conservation.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research


Interested in a career in conservation? One of the many common projects conservation professionals take on is a survey of an area’s environment and biodiversity. The GVI Biological Survey Techniques course allows you to learn how to set up and carry out your own survey in any natural environment around the world. 

This course prepares you to be a valuable team member on any global conservation team. 

The Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research course is included in the program fee of all GVI conservation internships and is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Making an Impact Ethically

The Making an Impact Ethically course equips you with the tools and approaches to stop and think about the actions we take when trying to help others. The course will challenge you to stop and think about how you’re doing good, and whether there’s a better way to do that good. You will explore case studies unique and different approaches to achieving impact ethically.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Project Fundamentals II: Communications and Fundraising

The Project Fundamentals II: Communications and Fundraising course equips you with the techniques and tools to identify target audiences or partners and develop compelling messaging. You will learn key principles and methods for managing projects in international development environments to overcome common implementation challenges. You will also explore how the development finance landscape has changed over the past decade and deep dive into five different financial mechanisms from traditional philanthropic grants to innovative crowdfunding platforms.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Project Fundamentals I: Strategy, Delivery and Evaluation

The Project Fundamentals I: Strategy, Delivery and Evaluation course equips you with the tools to develop a strategy for social or environmental impact. You will be introduced to frameworks and practical tools for designing and evaluating the impact of your project, initiative or organisation. In this course, you will explore current and future approaches to impact measurement as well as how to assess the impact of your own initiative and learn how to improve it.

This course is also available to complete as an individual short course. Click here to find out more.

Program structure

There are two ways you could complete our online courses.

If you have absolutely no plans to volunteer or intern abroad, but would like to earn new knowledge and skills in sustainable development, simply book onto one or more of our online courses and complete it virtually within 2-weeks.

Or, if you’d like to earn real work experience, then you can combine our online program with any of our volunteer or intern abroad programs.

For both of these options, the online courses are offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte. The Foundations in Sustainable Development program, with a specialisation in Introduction to Scientific Conservation Research or Introduction to Community Development
, is complimentary when joining any GVI internship abroad program.

Online only

Complete a solely virtual program.
 

  • Weeks: 2
  • Courses:
  • Hours: 45
  • Cost: £645

Online + abroad

Combine digital learning with a program abroad.
 

  • Weeks: 2 online + any duration abroad
  • Courses:
  • Hours: 45 hours online + any duration abroad
  • Cost: free with an internship abroad program
  • OR: £395 + any volunteer program

Who are these online courses for?

We’ve designed these online courses to be for anyone who might be interested in making an impact, and specifically developing their career in the “for good” sector. This might be everyone from high school students investigating the possibility of becoming a marine biologist to a retiree who has always wanted to teach abroad. 

In the same way as all our programs, our online courses are absolutely ideal for those seriously considering pursuing a career in sustainable development. This might be an undergraduate student specialising in biological sciences who is thinking about a career in conservation or a mid-career professional who is thinking about pivoting to a more impact-driven field.

Our online courses apply to a wide range of causes you might like to work towards, much like our in-person programs that are all aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Some of the areas you might like to specialise in include:

  • adoption of alternative energy solutions that help reduce emissions associated with climate change
  • conserving endangered species
  • greater gender equality
  • healthier communities 
  • increased access to high quality educational opportunities
  • less plastic and other types of environmental pollution
  • more sustainable farming, fishing, energy and water use
  • reduced financial inequality.

Careers that are supported by our online courses include climate research associate, education program specialist, founder of a social enterprise, inclusion and diversity director, marine or wildlife biologist, public health analyst and sustainability manager. 

While there are no entrance requirements, participants must be 16 years or older to join one of our online programs.