Social responsibility in teaching activities

For several years, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya has been pursuing a range of teaching initiatives related to social responsibility. In this section we will highlight actions that are particularly significant in terms of their institutional impact.



Integration of the competency “sustainability and social commitment” in bachelor’s degree curricula

In line with the institutional policy set out in the Framework for the Design of Bachelor's Degree Curricula, verified curricula for all new EHEA-adapted UPC courses include the transversal competency “sustainability and social commitment”.


As a result, upon completion of their studies UPC graduates will have acquired this competency, which is broadly defined as follows:


“Being aware of and understanding the complexity of the economic and social phenomena characteristic of a welfare society; the ability to relate social welfare to globalisation and sustainability; and the ability to use know-how and technology in a way that is balanced and compatible with economic considerations and the goal of sustainability.”


Establishment of the STEP 2015 programme

The STEP 2015 programme is one tool for tackling the challenge of incorporating the transversal competency “sustainability and social commitment” in UPC bachelor’s degree curricula. The programme’s main mission is to develop conceptual foundations, identify specific models, and make practical tools available to stakeholders to ensure that students develop this competency.


It is important to stress the active participation of the stakeholders involved: teaching and research staff, administrative and service staff, and students. For instance, participants in the Step Students sub-programme produced a document entitled “The Education We Want: Social Commitment and Responsibility at the UPC”, which sets out the students’ analysis, objectives and proposals concerning social commitment as reflected in UPC curricula.


Establishment of the VISCA Educational Innovation Group

The VISCA Group, a RIMA project initiative of the Institute of Education Sciences, is an educational innovation group whose areas of concern include the generic competency “sustainability and social commitment”.


The Group is intended as a forum for sharing experiences and resources for introducing the various dimensions of the competency in subject areas and teaching practices on UPC bachelor’s degree courses. The letters that form its name correspond to aspects of the competency: V for “values”, I for “igualtat” [equality], S for “sustainability”, C for “cooperation”, and A for “accessibility”.


The website of the Institute of Education Sciences provides access to a Guide for Developing Sustainability and Social Commitment in the Design of Degree Programmes, which offers guidelines for integrating the competency in curricula.


Courses related to dimensions of social responsibility

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya offers many courses that are directly related to aspects of social responsibility (including state-regulated courses—bachelor’s degree courses, university master’s degrees and doctoral courses—and non-state-regulated courses—master’s degrees and postgraduate courses for professionals).

Given that the complete list of courses would be very long, by way of example we have indicated below just two programmes for each category. The complete listing of UPC courses can be found in the “Courses” section of the UPC’s institutional website.


Bachelor’s degree courses

Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural, Environmental and Landscape Engineering
Bachelor’s degree in Biosystems Engineering


Master’s degree courses

Master's degree in Sustainability Science and Technology
Master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety

Master's degree in Technology for Human Development and Cooperation


Doctoral courses

Doctoral degree in Sustainability
Doctoral degree in Environmental Engineering


Master’s degrees and postgraduate courses for professionals (non-homologated)

Architecture and the Environment: Integration of Renewable Energies into Architecture
Architecture and Sustainability: Design Tools and Environmental Control Techniques