Real-Life Learning is an approach to teaching and learning which puts a focus on students learning from real-world experiences that also provide benefits for the wider community. Many DMU courses already adopt this approach, which provides valuable and engaging experiences for students, helping them to make a difference to the world and to develop as active citizens.

What is Real-Life Learning?

Real-life Learning as a concept responds to many of DMU’s key priorities, including partnerships with the wider community in Leicester and beyond, providing engaging experiences for students and enabling learning beyond the classroom. A working definition of the idea is below, which is strongly linked both to the ideas of Service Learning and Education for Sustainable Development.

“Real-Life Learning at DMU integrates real-world experiences, community contribution and a focus on sustainability challenges into student’s learning. This creates mutual benefit – for students’ learning and wider society.”

Support for Real-Life Learning at DMU

At DMU Real-Life Learning as a concept is being developed and supported by joint working between DMU’s Centre for Academic Innovation and Teaching Excellence, the Public Engagement Team and the DMU Education for Sustainable Development project.

To learn more about examples of practice, opportunities for community contribution or how to develop Real-Life Learning in your course please contact the Public Engagement team on

DMU has two active Communities of Practice (CoP) sharing information and experiences on Real-Life Learning pedagogic approaches. To join the Public Engagement CoP, email Fi Donovan on To join the Education for Sustainable Development Forum, email Andrew Reeves  on

Further Resources