MPhil/PhD studentship in an evaluation of the impact of carbon literacy education at the University of Derby

Investing in excellence: studentship opportunities

The University of Derby is seeking to recruit Studentships in Learning, Teaching and Academic Practice. Seven projects have been identified to support the pedagogic core of the University’s learning and teaching. The projects aim to ensure that we are research led in our practice and have a strategic approach to the evaluation of the impact of our approaches to student support, developing skills and employability, education for sustainable development, inclusivity, and generative AI. Of the seven projects, we will recruit to three.

The following full-time postgraduate research studentship is one of the seven possible projects available. This full-time postgraduate research studentship is in the Business, Economic and Social Policy area of research in the College of Business, Law and Social Science.

Qualification type: Location: Funding amount: Hours: Closes: Interview: Start date:
MPhil/PhD Derby, UK £18,622 stipend pa + UK home tuition fees (£4,712) full time Friday 5 January 2024* 24 January to 31 January 2024 March 2024

The successful applicant will receive a maintenance stipend (based on the minimum stipend defined by UKRI, currently £18,622 for the academic year 2023/24) and home MPhil/PhD tuition fees (£4,712 - subject to amendment) only up to the target submission date.

The intended intake period is March 2024.

The successful applicant will be expected to complete their MPhil/PhD within 3 years on the MPhil/PhD route, contribute to the College REF submission and get involved in the wider research activities of the College.

Applicants will become part of a friendly and welcoming team and will be supported and managed by their supervisors.

The vacancy details are as follows:


Project aim:
Design and evaluate the impact of a central programme of carbon literacy education.

Design and implement an online carbon literacy education (CLE) programme through the Develop@Derby platform.

Assess the take-up and impact of the CLE programme on student participants.

Examine how and to what degree the CLE programme has been embedded into academic programmes of study.

Project description

Universities are positioned as central to offering educational experiences which encourage graduates to actively commit to a more sustainable vision of the future in their professional and personal lives (Advance HE / QAA, 2021). The University of Derby has responded to this in various ways, including identifying Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as one of four new curriculum design principles (Curriculum Design Framework, 2022). The work of embedding ESD into the curriculum has begun, as part of a wider Student Success Programme.

ESD embraces multiple elements, including carbon literacy: an informed understanding of climate change, the carbon consequences of our everyday decisions and actions, and a motivation to reduce emissions at an individual level and beyond. We aspire towards carbon literate graduates with a future-focused mindset, who can be agents for positive, sustainable, change. This goal also aligns well with the University’s Zero Carbon academic theme, one of six topics which inform the planning of the University’s teaching and research activities.

Inspired by initial work in the Business School, the University of Derby is committed to offer carbon literacy education to all students. This will be available online as an asynchronous resource and it is anticipated it will be hosted on the Develop@Derby platform, a central resource focused on the provision of key academic and personal development skills for our students.

This project will initially focus on the development of the carbon literacy education programme, refining and developing existing resources which have been created in the Business School. It will then move on to the substantive research project of evaluating the use and embedding of this new resource and the impact it has on student learners.

Potential project impact

This is wide ranging, applied, project focused on the evaluation of a new resource, which has the potential to impact on curriculum provision across the University and support the implementation of the Education for Sustainable Development curriculum design principle. It will also inform the development of the Develop@Derby platform and ongoing evaluation of how best to embed this resource into academic programmes of study. Additionally, the study will help strengthen the evidence base for the University’s forthcoming application for Carbon Literate Educational Organisation status and support the zero carbon academic theme and our commitment to be a net zero university. Whilst these are all institutional priorities, the project will also help inform sector-wide activity focused on growing the profile of sustainability within the HE student experience.

Principal accountabilities and responsibilities

In this project, successful applicants will be required to:

The successful applicant will become adept at managing research projects and adhering to timeframes for key milestone deliverables.

The project will require ongoing engagement with multiple stakeholders. This provides successful candidates with unparalleled opportunities to develop in-demand skills and experience and develop a strong institutional network that will enhance their future employment prospects.

Applicants will need to evidence the following essential attributes, skills, and abilities:

To apply 

Please review our entry requirements before submitting your application and check out the 'Getting Started' section below.

Completed applications should be submitted via our online application system quoting funding reference: BLSS_Carbon Literacy Education 06_1123

Closing dates for applications: Friday 5 January 2024.*

*(Please note, we encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close before 5 January 2024 if a high volume of applications is received.)  

Interviews: 24 January to 31 January 2024. 

If you have not been invited for an interview by the interview date, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.  

For other enquiries which are subject-specific please contact:

Find out more about our Business, Economic and Social Policy.

Apply for this SE studentship post

Getting started

Before you begin your application, make sure you have:

Studentship funding reference code

This is provided on the individual studentship advert and must be specified in your application.

Personal statement

A 500-word personal statement outlining your suitability for the studentship project. This is a mandatory requirement and you must upload it into your application. You should include your reasons for applying for the studentship, your experience in the field, how you feel you would benefit from studying and relevant information about your previous studies.

Your CV

A CV outlining your academic and professional experience.


Your qualification details including grades and dates taken. You will have the opportunity to upload scanned copies of your qualification certificates and transcripts in the application. If you have no formal qualifications, you can also state this in your application.

Passport/birth certificate

A scanned copy of your passport or full birth certificate. This will help us verify your application to study with us.

Academic references

Two signed academic references. This is optional at application stage but highly encouraged. If successful in your application, two academic references will be a mandatory requirement of admission. The references should be in written format, signed and dated from either a supervisor or tutor from your most recent studies.