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Delivery format

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, with face-to-face and virtual components.


Participants will:

  • Attend two four-day residential workshops (for specific dates, please see the details in the right hand column of this page). These will be held at Cambridge venues such as Murray Edwards College, the Møller Centre or Madingley Hall. The two streams are delivered over the same dates separately in different venues with some selected opportunities for cross-fertilisation between the two groups of participants.
  • Engage in a range of reading and reflection, in preparation for the residential workshops.
  • Undertake two individual practical assignments based on applying learning in their own organisational context.
  • Undertake a group project with a small group of 5–8 participants, supported by a programme tutor. Groups work on their projects both at and between workshops, and an online platform is provided to aid collaboration.
  • Co-operate with fellow participants, share ideas generously and contribute to the fullest extent.


Time commitment

In addition to attending the residential workshops, it is estimated that participants will need to undertake an average of around 4–6 hours of work a week to complete the programme successfully. This is an average across all nine 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.

Students are provided with all substantive tasks and deadlines at the start of the programme, so they can plan in advance in order to help spread the work evenly across the nine months. 


Learning approach

As practitioner-oriented programmes, the learning approach is highly interactive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and designed to encourage reflection and debate. The programme facilitates shared learning between peers, benchmarking against other organisations, and networking with the extensive range of contributors, together providing a rich learning environment.

mst learning journey

Four key principles underpin CISL’s distinctive approach to learning:

  • Flexibility – the programme is designed for an internationally diverse cohort, working full time. Residential time is kept to a minimum, blended with a reading, a flexible e-learning programme and dedicated tutor support for assignments.
  • Peer-learning – participants come from a wide range of functions, sectors, and geographies. Sharing experiences and insights builds a deeper understanding of how the business world can respond to the challenges of sustainability.
  • Practical relevance – the programme equips participants with the skills to translate cutting edge academic insight into practical relevance. Business case studies are an integral part of the learning approach, alongside hearing from leading industry figures. Assignments are focused on professional or institutional contexts.
  • Personal application – participants are encouraged to identify personal opportunities for leadership and engage in reflective practice throughout the programme, supported by peers and tutors.