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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sustainability presentation

The Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (PCSB)  is delivered part time over nine months. As an applied, practitioner-oriented programme, it is based on a blended approach to learning, offering face-to-face and virtual components.


Students will

  • Participate in two four-day workshops (for specific dates, please see the overview table). The two streams are delivered separately over the same dates, with some selected opportunities for cross-participation between the two groups

  • Engage in a range of reading and reflection, in preparation for the workshops

  • Undertake two individual practical assignments, supported by a programme tutor, based on applying learning in their own organisational or value chain context

  • Undertake a group project with a small group of 5–8 students, supported by a supervisor. Groups work on their projects at and between workshops

  • Undertake an online e-module in academic writing

  • Co-operate with fellow students, share ideas generously, and contribute to the fullest extent.


Time commitment

In addition to attending the residential workshops, it is estimated that to complete the programme successfully students will need to spend the equivalent of 1 day per week (8 hours) on directed learning, independent study, reading, accessing one-to-one support, and completing work for assessment. In additional, students admitted to the programme are also expected to be in a position to undertake personal reflection, apply the learning in practice, and/or gain relevant practical experience related to the themes of the programme for at least 1 day per week. This is an average across the 9 months of the programme for a typical student, and variations in individual approaches to scheduling and learning can result in weeks where the workload may be heavier or lighter.  


Learning approach

Our applied, practitioner-oriented postgraduate programmes are designed to support personal and professional development. The following are key features that underpin CISL’s distinctive approach to learning:


Flexible: Programmes are designed for professionals working full time; hence the intensive workshops are blended with remote working on assignments and other course-related activities.

Thought leadership: The speakers, lecturers and facilitators are leading experts and practitioners from academia, business, government and civil society.

Practical relevance: Business case studies and hearing from leading industry figures are an integral part of the taught content, and assignments are focused on organisational contexts; thereby developing skills needed to translate cutting-edge insights into practice.

Topical: The content includes developing a robust ‘business case’ for sustainability, a focus on sustainability leadership aims and responses, and change management, covering both established and emergent experience.

Interactive: The learning approach is highly interactive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and designed to encourage reflection and debate.

Diversity of perspectives: Students come from a wide range of functions, sectors, and geographies; hence provide a wide spectrum of insights and opportunities to benchmark against how other organisations are responding to sustainability.

Peer-learning: Shared learning and networking between peers and the extensive range of contributors together provide a rich co-learning environment.

Support and mentorship: A dedicated CISL team and expert supervisors support the learning journey, including by providing feedback on assignments that are focused on organisational contexts.

Personal application:  Students are encouraged to identify personal opportunities for leadership and engage in reflective practice throughout the programme, supported by peers and supervisors.

mst learning journey





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More information 

Certificate course overview

Who should apply?

Admission requirements

Funding opportunities

Learning approach and time commitment



Value chain stream

What is a value chain?

Value chain stream: Curriculum

Value chain Supervisors


Organisational stream

Organisational stream: Curriculum

Organisational stream Supervisors


Student blogs

Employer benefits and information

Frequently asked questions


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