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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


Develop the skills and knowledge to lead change, embed sustainability and make a real impact.

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


About the Master's

The Master's helps to develop leaders who can respond effectively to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world and lead others to achieve positive change.

The Master of Studies (MSt) in Sustainability Leadership is a full Master’s degree, delivered part time over two years for working professionals. It is part of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership's (CISL) mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges.

It is fully accredited by the University of Cambridge, and is delivered as an interdisciplinary programme by CISL, drawing on academic expertise from, among others Departments of EngineeringGeographyLand Economy and the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Both academic excellence and practical application in a business context are prioritised in the competitive selection process, and in the design and delivery of the programme. Assessment is through short practical assignments and an extended research dissertation.

The programme celebrates its 13th cohort in 2022, and attracts an exceptional calibre of senior and mid-career leaders from all across the world, and a range of business sectors. Applicants may wish to formalise their credentials as sustainability professionals, or gain a better understanding of how sustainability risks and opportunities apply to mainstream business functions. We likewise appeal to leaders from the not-for-profit or public sectors who wish to work together with the private sector to address sustainability challenges.

Read about the impact of our postgraduate programmes from our students.


Aims and curriculum

Through a combination of interdisciplinary insights, academic analysis, practical business application, peer learning and personal reflection, the Master's aims to develop a community of leaders who have:

  • a wide awareness and deep understanding of the social, environmental, ethical and economic challenges and opportunities facing the world
  • the vision and ambition to drive business leadership to achieve real systems change
  • the knowledge, experience and ability to critically evaluate a range of strategic levers for change
  • the leadership capacity and confidence at a personal and organisational level to best use these levers to effect transformation

The Master's helps to develop leaders who can respond effectively to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world and lead others to achieve positive change.

The following course modules are delivered via a combination of residential workshop teaching, self-paced E-modules, and thematic E-units as part of an interactive E-learning programme over the two years.

Introductory and Crosscutting Themes

  • Concepts for a Sustainable Future
  • The Need for Radical Change
  • Business Leading System Change
  • Leadership and Change for Sustainability
  • Academic Skills (Writing and Research).

Specific Leadership Responses/ Levers for Change

  • Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • Organisational Strategy and Business Models
  • Organisational Culture and Practices
  • Governance (Corporate and International)
  • Cooperation, Collaboration & Partnerships
  • Sustainable Design & Technology
  • Government Policy & Regulation
  • Sustainable Finance & Investment
  • Communication and Education
  • Corporate Philanthropy.

Applications for the 2022 MSt in Sustainability Leadership are now closed, applications for the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business and Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business/ Value Chains remain open

Applications for 2022 bursaries are now closed, details on 2023 sources of funding will be released shortly.

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

Blog: First-class postgraduate education in a Covid-19 world


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.


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