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Learn alongside multiple disciplines

Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE) programmes are truly interdisciplinary, attracting working professionals from around the globe and from across the many diverse disciplines that contribute to our built environment.

Our part-time study model allows built environment professionals to study for a University of Cambridge qualification alongside their work.

Applications for 2022 entry are now closed. Details on applications for 2023 entry will be released shortly. 


Who are the built environment programmes for?

Our Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE) programmes are for all those involved in the commissioning, design, construction and management of projects in the built environment.

The course attracts students from a range of professions from across the sector including, but not limited to architects, engineers, surveyors, planners, landscape architects, project managers, facility managers, surveyors, urban designers, asset managers, property developers and contractors, who wish to develop their understanding of and responses to the global challenges and opportunities facing the built environment.

Read testimonials from previous IDBE Master’s students


Applying for the Master’s or Postgraduate Certificate

The selection process will adjudicate candidates against the criteria below. Whilst academic performance is one of the criteria that we will review in order to identify the strongest candidates, we will also consider other indicators of ability.

We receive a large volume of applications and review applications on a rolling basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Applicants requiring time to obtain organisational approval, funding or visas to study or make other travel or personal arrangements are also encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Applicants should expect to receive an update on the progress of their application within 6 weeks.


Master’s or Postgraduate Certificate?


Postgraduate Certificate

Two years part-time Ten months part-time
Six, separate, week-long residential workshops in Cambridge  Two, separate, week-long residential workshops in Cambridge
On-line learning On-line learning
Four written assignments: Reflective Case Study, Literature Review Essay and a Group Research Project and a Dissertation Three written assignments: Reflective Case Study, Literature Review Essay and a Group Research Project
Full Master’s Degree: 180 CATS points at level M One third of a Master’s Degree: 60 CATS points at level M


Scholarship and bursaries for the IDBE Master’s

We strive to enable qualified applicants to study on the Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE) programme and encourage all applicants with financial need to consider applying for a bursary. Bursary applications are normally restricted to individuals who are:

  • affiliated with a non-governmental organisation, SME or the public sector; or
  • self-funding; or
  • unable to attend the course without financial assistance.

Typically, bursaries range from 10 to 30 per cent of the combined graduate fee.

Find out more about the IDBE Scholarship and bursaries


Requirements of applicants for both programmes

Besides enthusiasm and commitment, applicants must have:

  • At least a 2.i honours bachelor’s degree (or successful completion of a Master’s degree) from a UK University, or an equivalent standard from a recognised overseas institution.*
  • A minimum of three years' work experience after graduation in the built environment.
  • Good ability in written and spoken English language.**
  • Endorsement from your employer or, if independent, a demonstrated understanding of the time commitment needed to undertake part-time study at this level.
  • Access to appropriate computer technology and internet software.
  • The ability to pay the course fees or to identify a sponsoring institution.

*If you have not previously studied in the UK, it is important to check your relevant country guidelines to ensure the qualifications you hold are considered suitable preparation for entry to your chosen course. Please refer to the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions website where you can look at country specific guidelines -

**The University of Cambridge requires all master’s applicants to demonstrate competence in the English language at a very high level before they begin their proposed course of study. Adherence to this requirement is strict. You can get an indication of whether you will be required to sit a language test here. Accepted tests and the required levels are detailed under the ‘Requirements’ tab here.

It is not necessary to have met the Language requirement at the point of application, but please make arrangements to sit a test as soon as possible if this is applicable to you.

Non-standard applicants

Exceptional candidates who do not meet the above standard academic requirements may be considered, based on the ability to demonstrate suitability for postgraduate study through professional and other attainments.

If you think you are a non-standard applicant (ie you have alternative experience and qualifications), please contact us attaching a copy of your curriculum vitae, and we will give you an initial indication of whether you are likely to be considered favourably.



Please contact the Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE) team for advice if you are uncertain about your eligibility or would otherwise like to discuss the application process and criteria.


Visa requirements

Students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will require a visitor visa to attend the residential workshops during the course. Further details can be found on the University of Cambridge International Students website

Terms and conditions

CISL is monitoring the Covid-19 situation and responding accordingly to UK Government and University advice. At present, we expect to deliver our Postgraduate programmes starting in 2022 as advertised. We are well equipped to deliver dynamic and engaging workshops remotely, should the situation demand. Find out more.


brochure download

Programme overview


Meet the Directors

Join a webinar session hosted by the Directors of our part-time postgraduate courses as they give you an overview of our programmes and admissions process for 2022 applications and can answer your questions.


Quick links

IDBE home

About IDBE

Course assignments and dissertation

IDBE testimonials


IDBE sources of funding

Dissertation supervisors

Information for employers

Professional networks

Support for students

What's the difference between an MSc and an MSt?



Course Enquiries

Becky Stanley, Senior Project Manager