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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

difference between an MSc and an MSt

A Master’s of Studies (MSt) is a part-time degree awarded at the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. Cambridge does not have an MSc award, and at Cambridge and Oxford, a Master of Arts (MA) is an honorary qualification. For students who attend the University of Cambridge and undertake Master's-level study there are two options – the Master of Philosophy, which is awarded for full-time Master's-level study, and the Master of Studies which is awarded for part-time Master's-level study. They both have the same gravitas and are recognised as the same level of degree. 


What are the benefits of studying an MSt instead of an MSc? 

The MSt has benefits when compared the MSc for those people already established in their careers. It allows you to develop your professional and academic interests for career progression, diversification and/or personal development. Many MSt students will have some years of experience in the field prior to undertaking the programme and will work full-time alongside their studies. 

MSt programmes are academically rigorous postgraduate programmes, usually undertaken over two years. They incorporate a significant taught element, and a research project and associated dissertation. Taught elements are normally broken down into discrete modules and research projects may be work-related, if appropriate. 

MSt programmes are not simply full-time programmes studied on a part-time basis. They are specifically designed as part-time programmes, to be flexible and accessible to accommodate the needs of working professionals. The modular structure of consolidated teaching blocks enables those living further away from Cambridge, including international students, to undertake an MSt. 

The MSt may also be a stepping stone to doctoral study providing that your performance reaches the required standard. 


Does the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) offer an MSc? 

No – CISL’s postgraduate programmes are all offered on a part time basis, and are intended for candidates with at least three years' work experience. We offer two MSt programmes; one in Sustainability Leadership and one in Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (formerly IDBE).


Meet the Directors webinars

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


More information

Sustainable Built Environment Courses Overview

Who should apply? 

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