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Graduation of Master's Students; photo credit Neal Mehta, MSt 2010–12

Applications for 2025 entry open in September.

Download the postgraduate study brochure to receive further information on our postgraduate programmes.

Admission requirements

Academic requirements: 

Continuous route: Applicants must have at least a good 2.1 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*. (Candidates that do not meet this requirement should please refer to the notes below.) 

Flexible route: Stage 3 applicants must have completed the CISL PG Diploma in Sustainable Business (stages 1 and 2) before the start of the MSt stage. PG Diploma alumni would typically be expected to achieve an overall grade B or above in the Diploma as part of the requirements for progressing onto the MSt stage 3. Students in the final year of their Diploma studies can apply for the MSt stage 3 ahead of knowing their final overall Diploma grade. 

As a minimum, all applicants to both routes must have

  • academic qualification as above 

  • a minimum of three years' work experience after graduation 

  • good ability in written and spoken English language. Please see below for more details of the English language requirement  

  • endorsement from your employer or, if independent, from an organisation that will be the focus of your work on the programme 

  • access to appropriate computer technology and internet software 

  • the ability to pay the course fees or to identify a sponsoring institution. 

In addition, when reviewing applications, the selection panel will be looking for evidence of: 

  • demonstrable commitment to and/or enthusiasm and aptitude for sustainability leadership 

  • ability to apply learning to influence change in an organisation, sector or wider system 

  • awareness of sustainability and/or leadership issues 

  • potential to benefit from the programme for personal or professional development 

  • appropriate suggestions for original research of suitable ambition and scope, demonstrated via the research proposal (see template below) 

*If a candidate has not previously studied in the UK, it is important to check relevant country guidelines to ensure the qualifications held are considered suitable preparation for entry to the course. Please refer to the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Admissions website where country specific guidelines can be found. 

Please note: 

  • 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. The submission of a GMAT (or GRE) score would be useful for supporting your case (achieving at least the 50th percentile in every sub-score e.g. verbal, quants in a single test).  

  • Completing the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (organisational or value chains stream) would meet the academic requirement listed above for the continuous route. Candidates who do not have a good 2:1 honours degree may wish to consider applying for the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (PCSB) in order to strengthen a future Master’s application. PG Certificate alumni would typically be expected to achieve an overall grade B or above in the Certificate as part of the requirements for progressing onto the MSt continuous route. Students on the PG Certificate can apply for the MSt continuous route ahead of knowing their final overall Certificate grade. 

For candidates in doubt of their existing qualification, please contact and we will be able to provide advice. 


Supporting documents

Ahead of starting an application please see this guidance on the essential supporting documents. 

Candidates are advised to use this template to demonstrate their research proposal for either the continuous route dissertation or the flexible route research essay. 

For applicants that are unsure what a research proposal is or how to write one we suggest looking this up online as there are numerous resources available.   


Selection Process

The highest calibre candidates are selected via a rigorous process, and then approved by the Judge Business School's Degree Committee and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education

Applications are considered as they are received on a rolling admissions basis. We typically receive a large volume of applications towards the closing date, hence applying as early as possible can increase the likelihood of receiving an early indication of the likely/final outcome. This can be especially helpful for applicants requiring time to obtain organisational approval, funding or visas to study, or make other travel or personal arrangements. 

All applicants should expect to receive an update on the progress of their application within 6 weeks. The initial update for early applicants will usually indicate one of the following: 

  1. offer of a place recommended 

  1. transfer (with applicant approval) for consideration for admission via the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (applies to applicants to the continuous route only) 

  1. rejection 

  1. held for consideration with all the applications after the closing date. 

We aim to make firm decisions (1-3) as early as possible via a rigorous selection process in relation to our admissions criteria. If the decision is to hold the application (4), then the applicant should expect to hear back on the final outcome within 6 weeks of the closing date. 


Language requirement

All teaching and assessment on CISL's postgraduate-level programmes is in English. The University of Cambridge requires all 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.  

Applicants that are a national of a country from list A on the University’s country list are not normally required to take a language test. However, individual circumstances may lead to this being set as a condition of an offer.

Applicants who are not a national of a country from list A will likely be required to take a test and as such we recommend early investigation of test options available, including waiting list times and preparation requirements.

If applicants are required to take a test as part of their offer conditions they must meet the University’s English language requirement, currently; 

  • IELTS Academic: Overall score of 7.5 (a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component) 
  • TOEFL Internet: Overall score of 110 (a minimum of 25 in each individual component) 
  • C1 (CAE): Grade A and B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185) plus a Language Centre assessment 
  • C2 (CPE): Grade A, B, or C (overall score of 200 with no element lower than 185) 

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



Please contact the Course Administrator for advice if you are uncertain about your eligibility. If you email a copy of your curriculum vitae, we can give you an initial indication of whether we believe the course will suit you. 


Visa requirements

Students who do not hold a UK or Irish passport will need immigration permission in order to come to the UK and study at Cambridge. Further details can be found on the University of Cambridge International Students website


Fees and funding 

Course fee information can be found in the overview table. For details of bursary and other funding options please see the bursaries and scholarships page. 


Terms and conditions 

Students offered a place on the course will be asked to sign terms and conditions via an admissions agreement and/or financial undertaking form. This terms and conditions document provides some indicative terms. 


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 

Master's course overview

Who should apply?

Admission requirements

Funding opportunities

Learning approach and time commitment


Assignment Supervisors

Dissertation Supervisors

Flexible Route Supervisors

College Membership

Student blogs

Employer benefits and information

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

Programme governance

Frequently asked questions


Email the team

If you can't find the answer to your query on the website please get in touch with the team here