An Introduction to Education for a Circular Built Environment

Next Start Date Autumn 2024
Duration 25 hours


This badge is an introductory course, exploring the basic concepts and practical steps on how to embed the principles of the circular economy across all built environment and engineering related programmes and modules. It aims to empower learners to explore creative transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning that will address the significant competency gap in industry and across built environment disciplines.

The course will require 25 learner hours over a six-week period, after which learners can claim their digital badge ‘An Introduction to Education for a Circular Built Environment’ from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. A follow-on two-week facilitator digital badge will also be developed with the aim of creating a community of practice across the higher and further education sector. The main objectives of the course are:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of Education for a Circular Built Environment with a view to catalyzing action on embedding the key principles across the many domains of the built environment sector i.e., planning, real estate, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying, building surveying, civil engineering etc.
  • Create a community of practice amongst higher and further education staff through the digital and facilitator badges, that will lead the curriculum transformation required to equip students with the necessary competences to become change agents across the sector.

The main learning outcomes include:

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically explore circular economy principles and how they may apply within specific built environment and engineering-related disciplines.
  • Critically evaluate and analyze education for a circular built environment teaching, learning and assessment approaches within the context of different built environment and engineering-related disciplines.

The course is in direct response to the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan, which has identified the built environment as a priority sector due to its ongoing negative impact on the environment and its key role in societal development and transformation. At a national level, it responds directly to the Whole-of-Government Circular Economy Strategy 2022-2023, the EPA’s Circular Economy Programme 2021-2027, the Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021, and the Climate Action Plan 2023.

You’ll Learn to

The criteria are yet to be formed. The outline of the main topics is as follows:

  • What is a Circular Built Environment (utilizing TU Delft’s ‘Scales to Aspects’ Model’), and what role can each value chain stakeholder play in this transition.
  • What is the role of Higher and Further Education in supporting the sector to transition towards a circular built environment, utilizing TU Delft’s ‘Teaching in Time of Uncertainty’ to frame the discussion.
  • Programme and module design that embrace circular economy competences, utilizing and adapting TU Delft’s Circular Learning Objectives
  • Best practice examples of teaching, learning and assessment.

On earning your open badge award for this course, you will have achieved further recognition in the following domains of the National Professional Development Framework for Staff who Teach:

  • Professional Identity, Values and Development.
  • Professional Communication and Dialogue.
  • Professional Knowledge and Skills.

Course Developers

This open course has been developed by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in partnership with:

Dr. Mark Kelly

Atlantic Technological University

Dr. Shane Newell

Atlantic Technological University

Dr. Jan Gottsche

Atlantic Technological University

Dr. John Scahill

Atlantic Technological University

Enroll in this Course

Enroll in this Course

Facilitator Led

Learn as part of a group in an upcoming facilitator led programme


Facilitator-led courses run at different times throughout the year and result in a digital badge. Some are entirely online, some are blended, and others face-to-face. Additional facilitator training may be provided so that you can later facilitate your own open course.

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