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A free online course to preserve the planet: Q&A with Kirsten Leggatt

Kirsten Leggatt next to a sign saying "Welcome to COP26"

The University of Edinburgh’s free Climate Solutions course is designed and delivered by award-winning climate change experts and educators. One of them is Kirsten Leggatt, a Climate Change Consultant for Arup and a tutor on the online Carbon Management Masters at the University of Edinburgh.


Kirsten Leggatt holding a microphone, talking at an event

Having also graduated from the same programme she is now tutoring for, Kirsten and her fellow MSc Carbon Management alumni have put in tremendous amounts of effort to produce course content. We had the lovely opportunity to ask her a few questions:


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you are interested in climate change / the environment.


I have always had a keen interest in sustainability and the environment. Even going as far back as ‘Eco club’ in primary school asking fellow pupils to put rubbish into the bins at break time, I have always wanted to better the world and look after the environment. Fast forward 20 years and I am now a Climate Change Consultant at Arup, a large built environment consultancy. I really enjoy spreading the message and getting others to rethink how they are having an impact on the environment. We need to ensure it’s preserved for generations to come! 


Kirsten Leggatt presenting a slide deck

2. Why did you decide to pursue the MSc in Carbon Management at Edinburgh?


When I was coming to the end of my undergraduate (Geography) degree I wanted to continue academic learning to started researching the various masters courses that had similar themes to those I enjoyed most during my undergraduate degree. I knew I wanted to study at the University of Edinburgh as the School of Geosciences is world-renowned. I found the MSc in Carbon Management exactly what I was after; I thought it’s landmark collaboration between geoscience, economics and business would provide me with the skills I needed to excel in the workforce… I was right! 


Kirsten Leggatt and a colleague acting as panel members for an event

3. Can you tell us a bit about how you and your peers contributed to the Climate Solutions MOOC – how the idea for it all started, how the syllabus was created, how much you contributed, etc.


Despite having been students on the course in different years, I have worked with Erika and Galina as a Tutor on the MSc in Carbon Management since 2019. Galina reached out to me at the beginning of the process to say she was creating a course with Dave Reay to come out ahead of COP26 and asked if I would speak on the videos for one of the modules. I jumped at the opportunity as sharing the knowledge of the causes, consequences of the climate crisis and actions people can take to lessen their impact is so very important, and something I believe in very strongly. 


4. What was it like to collaborate with your former classmates again and what were the benefits of this approach?


Collaboration is key to solving the climate crisis. I find those who take part in the MSc in Carbon Management have similar values which makes working together so easy. We all have the passion to combat the climate crisis and sharing the knowledge is the first step in the journey. Teamwork makes the dream work! 


Kirsten Leggatt sitting at an event booth

5. Why should our readers / audience enrol on the Climate Solutions MOOC?


Because it’s the right thing to do! Everyone should understand climate change at a very basic level as it will impact us all (if not already) in the coming years. I hope having COP26 so close to home in Glasgow has inspired those in Scotland to find out more about “what the big deal is”, and we all need to understand what’s happening to our world so we can hold leaders to account, make changes in our daily lives and share the message to others. 


Climate Solutions is now running again on edX all the way up until December. Want to play a part in tackling climate action?


Enrol as a learner on the Climate Solutions course now for free.

Connect with Kirsten Leggatt on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

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