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Certificate in Sustainable Communities 


Notice: In light of the latest development of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, the course timetable and teaching mode are subject to change.


**Please take note of the enhanced Covid-19 control measures at HKU campus.**
**Starting from 28 February, 2022, the University will further enhance campus access control in three phases. Except for those with a certified medical exemption, or children under 5 years of age, anyone who wishes to enter any part of HKU campus must comply with the Vaccine Pass Scheme.**

 CEF Reimbursable Course (CEF Course Code: 44C114563)

Course Code: 


Mode of Study: 
Part Time

Contact Hours and Study Period: 
1-2 sessions per week, a total of 132 contact hours in 12 months’ time

Teaching Medium: 
English, supplemented with Cantonese

Commencement Date:
June 28, 2022 (Tuesday)

Tuition Fee: 
HKD29,160 (site visit expenses not included)

Application Deadline:
June 14, 2022 (Tuesday)

Application Method:
Download and fill in Course Application Form (proof of academic qualification is required) and return to Academy for Sustainable Communities by application deadline, by email or by post

Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm
Tel: 3917-4767
Email: ruralsd@hku.hk

Class Venue: 
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Please refer to the details of individual courses of the programme.

Course Description: 

This programme aims to introduce students to the concept and practice of sustainable communities. In particular, the programme has an emphasis on understanding the ecological and social resources of cultural landscape sites in Hong Kong and Asia and the roles played by different stakeholders and sectors in sustaining a cultural landscape as an important sustainability asset. It provides students with the basic knowledge and skills in some of the core activities of cultural landscape, including ecology, community engagement and sustainable agriculture. The courses also provide an introduction to theories and principles of partnership and collaboration for sustainable management of value and capital illustrated by real-life local and international case studies.

It covers four topics:

Understanding Cultural Landscape

This module introduces the basic concepts of cultural landscape and their importance as heritage in the global context. The course will investigate into the different typologies of cultural landscape and explore the natural and cultural elements of a cultural landscape through lectures and field study.



Introduction to Local Ecology

This module introduces the basic concepts in ecology, the ecology of Hong Kong and the interrelationships between ecology and other disciplines. The course will further discuss local ecological issues and review the current conservation measures. Practical ecological methods will be taught and students will develop key biodiversity survey skills through field studies in different local habitats.


Sustainable Agriculture

This module focuses on introducing the basic concept and understanding of sustainable agriculture. The module will introduce a range of agricultural practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible. Applications of these practices will be illustrated through international and local case studies. Students will further build up their knowledge and skills through a farming practicum.


Community Partnerships 

This module is designed to provide basic theoretical foundations and applied skills in building community-based rural-urban partnerships. It looks into contemporary environmental, social and cultural challenges and how they can be managed sustainably through community partnerships and collaborations. It also explores different models of partnerships, tools and strategies that facilitate the successful analysis, design, development, implementation and management of sustainability and community projects.


Suitable for: 
School teachers, community workers, conservationists, government officials, corporate members, retirees etc. who are interested in putting sustainability in action

Assessment and Recognition:
Students, who attained attendance rate of not less than 70% and have the course assessment passed in all four courses in a cluster, will be awarded an academic Certificate in Sustainable Communities (QF Level: 3; QR Registration No.: 18/000784/L3; QR Registration Validity Period: From 11 Sep 2018 - on-going) awarded by the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.

Entry Requirements:
(a) have gained in the HKDSE Examination Level 2 in five subjects including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(b) have passed five subjects in HKCEE, including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(c) hold equivalent academic qualifications, taking into consideration individual merit

Course Contents and Timetable:
Please refer to the timetable of individual courses.

Please note:
This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. This course is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level 3).

Programme Learning Objectives:
The programme aims to :

  • introduce students to the concept and practice of sustainable communities. In particular, the programme has an emphasis of understanding cultural landscape resources in Hong Kong and Asia and the roles played by different community players and sectors in sustaining a cultural landscape as an important sustainability asset.
  • provide students with basic knowledge and skills in some of the core activities of cultural landscape, including ecology and sustainable agriculture.
  • provide an introduction to the theories and principles in community partnership and collaboration with case studies for understanding the importance of managing social value and building up social capital for sustainable development in both rural and urban areas.

Programme Learning Outcomes:
On completion of the programme, students should be able to:

  1. Describe different topologies of cultural landscape sites, their current status, identify their natural and cultural components, and the range of livelihoods integrated in the cultural landscape environment
  2. Explain basic knowledge on ecology and biodiversity, their conservation needs and conservation measures, and the relationships between ecology, agriculture and communities within local context.
  3. Apply the concept and principles of sustainable agriculture in practices for ecological conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
  4. Interpret the role of communities and partnerships for sustainable development goals in both urban and rural areas.
  5. Describe and apply a range of skills and technique for holistic understanding of cultural landscape, ecology, sustainable agriculture as well as community partnerships leading to sustainable development of communities.

Sustainable Communities Fellowship Scheme:
Graduates of the course will be invited to join the Academy’s Fellowship Scheme as Fellows. The Scheme aims to form a network of committed individuals which provide not only continuous support for the members but also a platform for experience sharing in pursuit of community-based sustainability across different disciplines and sectors. Fellows are also eligible to participate in the Sustainability Hackathons and the Rural in Action Start-up Scheme.

Supporting organisations: