For the last number of years talk of global warming has increased to the point that today it’s something that lots of people think about in their every day lives, whether by actively recycling, adapting their diets, or even planning their careers.
In the news everyday we read stories about ice sheets melting, scientist’s warnings, people turning vegan to save the planet, and increasingly specific ways in which warmer weather affects us. Energy, environment and sustainability is something that big businesses and industries can no longer afford to ignore. It’s no surprise then that just as it’s a career growing in popularity, it’s also a job sector that is only going to get bigger.
Sustainability, energy and the environment are at the forefront of current business and policy priority areas and the Queens University Belfast Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability is a way to become qualified in this line of work, perfect for anyone looking to get into a variety of industries, or even for someone who first and foremost wants to build a career that helps save the environment.
The course offers the opportunity to: Learn about renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency; Investigate strategies for waste and resource management; Develop the business skills necessary to apply this knowledge in a practical working environment; and gain entrepreneurial skills relevant to environmental business development. All of this is presented in a highly accessible format with an emphasis on hands-on project work and relevant up-to-date information.
Graduates of the Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability can progress directly to the pre-honours year on the Honours Degree programme in Environmental Management at Queen’s University Belfast, or can opt to continue their studies in Energy Environment and Sustainability to BSc Hons level at South West College.
At South West College, sustainability isn’t just on the curriculum. South West College has always sought to be at the forefront of environmental construction. The CREST centre at South West College, Enniskillen, is the Centre for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technologies, and provides assistance for businesses in the renewable energy, sustainability, environmental and construction industries. It is one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK and Ireland.
Now, the Erne Campus will see the delivery of the first educational building worldwide to achieve the highest international standard in environmental constructions (PassivHaus Premium), ranking it alongside prestigious buildings such as the Apple Campus 2, in terms of sustainable innovation and design.
Peter Carr is a senior architect at Hamilton Architects, who are the ICT architects on the Erne project. He has spent several years helping bring South West College’s vision to fruition, and he explains that environmentally conscious construction was a major factor from the start.
“There are three main elements that went in to producing the original design. Firstly of course you have the requirements of the college and what they want from the building; secondly you have the features and practicalities of the site that was chosen; and thirdly you have the crucial element of the environmental requirements, which was a very important aspect for South West College.
“These three elements can be summed up by the curved glazed atrium at the front of the building. It’s a great design feature, because it gives the building an iconic look from the town of Enniskillen. However, it’s also a crucial environmental feature, because it captures so much solar gain. That’s been a crucial part of the design process of the building from the very beginning.”
The way South West College and the architects, designers, construction specialists and engineers have made sustainability and environment a priority is just one example of how businesses and industry as a whole are doing the same thing. The Foundation Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability is a great way to prepare yourself for a career area that is only going to grow in the coming years.