Sustainable Development
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"We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path"
- United Nations General Assembly, 25 September 2015

Our research

The UN’s vision for sustainable development is mirrored by the global reach of research at Nottingham. Our expertise across areas such as the environment, business, work and security allows us to address global challenges while also focusing on the rights of the individual.

The University of Nottingham’s research on Sustainable Development focuses on four key themes. Each is at the forefront of national and international political agendas:

Skills, work and migration

Decent and sustainable work is central to individuals’ and communities’ well-being. This can be supported by good migration, education and skills development policies. Achievement of the new global goals also depends on having the right human resources developed in fields such as education, law, nursing and pharmacy.

Sustainable development rights

To achieve the UN’s vision for 2030, the world must look beyond delivering basic education and health needs to a new notion of the rights essential to sustainable development. In contemplating this future, The University of Nottingham’s expertise around food, water and energy is complemented by strengths in the social sciences: politics and democracy, microfinance, economic and social rights, resource management.

Human security and conflict management

Our research includes the role of international law in promoting human security, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, terrorism, and trauma in societies recovering from conflict. Climate change is making such challenges more profound and common.

Business for sustainable development

To succeed, states and business must have integrity: Nottingham’s expertise in human resource management, organisational development, corporate social responsibility, corruption prevention, public-private partnerships and trade legislation and policy is recognised around the world. 

Our impact

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aim to transform lives on a global and unprecedented scale. Our internationally recognised research, together with relationships with agencies such as the World Health Organisation, World Bank, Unesco and the International Labour Organisation, and regional structures such as SADC (Southern African Development Community) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), will help influence policies to shape a more secure and viable future for people across the world.

Our University

The University of Nottingham’s reputation as Britain’s global university is underlined by our strengths in addressing the international challenges of sustainable development.  We are also unique in being able to collaborate on world-class research across campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia.

Research Centres, Groups and Institutes


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