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How is the course taught?

Programme design

The programme is designed by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which has over 25 years' experience of designing and delivering leadership programmes on sustainability.

The CISL team is responsible for all elements of the programme design, management, administration and oversight of the academic process.

The Course Director is Dr Sunny Huang, Programme Manager, Graduate Programmes.


Programme structure

During the ten-month programme (part-time), graduates will:

  • Attend two four-day residential workshops. These will be held at Cambridge venues such as Robinson College, the Møller Centre or Madingley Hall.
  • Complete two individual assignments undertaken between workshops and supported by a programme tutor.
  • Complete a group project undertaken with a small group of 5–7 participants, supported by a programme tutor. Groups work on their projects at and between workshops, and an online platform is provided to aid collaboration.
  • Co-operate with fellow participants, share ideas generously and contribute to the fullest extent. 

Download indicative curriculum topics for 2017


Time commitment

In addition to attending the residential workshops, it is estimated that participants will need to undertake an average of around 4-6 hours of work a week to complete the programme successfully. This is an average across all ten months of the programme for a typical student, and variations in individual approaches to scheduling and learning can result in weeks where the workload may be heavier or lighter. Students are provided with all substantive tasks and deadlines at the start of the programme, so they can spread the work evenly across the nine months.

Full participation at both workshops is required, as well as regular access to email, the internet and telephone to enable group collaboration between workshops.

Both of the residential workshops provide a mixture of expert input and commentary, intensive group discussion, facilitated project planning and review, opportunities for peer support, and informal networking between participants.