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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE)

The Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment programmes explore the importance of building knowledge and leadership skills to drive real change through multiple professions and disciplines working together. 

The programmes are available as a part-time Master’s or Postgraduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment (IDBE), offered by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and supported by the Departments of Architecture and Engineering.

Applications for 2023 entry are now open.

Delivering exceptional future-fit built environment projects requires the deep-skill discipline of many individuals sharing a collective vision and purpose. Our Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment programmes teach global best practice through project-based learning, with a focus on collaboration and leadership throughout. 

It is truly interdisciplinary in the background of its staff, students and areas it covers. The Master’s and Postgraduate Certificate are structured around emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges within the built environment such as: sustainability and resilience, health and well-being, retrofit and reuse, energy efficiency and carbon calculations, conservation and heritage, stakeholder engagement, and political and regulatory landscapes.

The learning approach is highly interactive and designed to encourage reflection and debate. Students are supported by a team of expert tutors and supervisors. The speakers and facilitators are leading experts and practitioners from both academia and industry. 

A key feature of the programme is the collaborative learning experience. The programmes facilitate shared learning between peers, and networking with the extensive range of contributors, together providing a rich learning environment. 

Our courses aim to: 

  • Build awareness regarding current challenges and opportunities facing the built environment, such as sustainability, resilience, climate change, and rapid urbanisation. 
  • Equip professionals with the strategic decision-making, inventive problem-solving, and leadership and collaboration skills needed to respond to the challenges and opportunities. 
  • Develop skills in leadership, effective collaboration, and communication - particularly between clients, consultants, contractors, specialists and occupiers. 
     

The key themes of built environment programmes


The built environment is facing challenging carbon reduction targets, affecting every area of the design and construction process, across public and private works. As a result, there is phenomenal appetite for sustainability and environmental skills across every built environment role. Increasingly companies are aligning their business models and procurement processes with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With a wide range of services and disciplines contributing to the built environment sector, inefficiencies of a fragmented workplace are a key drag on construction projects. While collaboration is frequent, interdisciplinary awareness and related management skills are seldom part of standard architecture, engineering and related qualifications. High impact leadership and seamless project management are needed. The rise of smart cities and technological transformation demand a broader, more connected ‘design-thinking’ professional.

These key themes, crucial for successful built environment projects of all types, form the basis of our programmes’ core modules:

  1. Leadership, professionalism and interdisciplinary practice
  2. Sustainability & resilience
  3. Innovation & technology
  4. Design thinking
  5. Research skills

 

 Flexible part-time learning


IDBE masters

Postgraduate Certificate

  • 10 months, part-time
  • Two week-long residential workshops in Cambridge
  • Online modules delivered via a virtual learning environment
  • Two individual assignments
  • A group research assignment
  • Course starts every September

 

IDBE Postgraduate Certificate

Master’s​

  • Two years, part-time
  • Six, week-long residential workshops in Cambridge
  • Online modules delivered via a virtual learning environment
  • Two individual assignments
  • A group research assignment
  • An individual research dissertation
  • Scholarships and bursaries available
  • Course starts every September

 

Professional accreditation


Joint Board of Moderators

The Master’s is accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Highway Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation as meeting the requirements for further learning and by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors under their project management pathway.

 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The Master’s is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors under their project management pathway.   

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

 

The Postgraduate Certificate is not currently accredited by these institutions.

 

 

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 2023 applications and can answer your questions.

 

Quick links


Built Environment home


About Built Environment


Course assignments and dissertation


Dissertation supervisors


Built Environment testimonials


Applying


Built Environment sources of funding


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