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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business


The Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business (PG Dip) is a Masters-level accredited programme from the University of Cambridge. Designed for senior and mid-career professionals, it is a flexible option for continued professional development, combining a practical focus with academic rigour, and exploring innovations in sustainable business.

The PG Diploma can be taken as a standalone award or used towards a Masters in Sustainability Leadership via the flexible route.

Download the postgraduate study brochure to receive further information on both our Master’s and Postgraduate Diploma programmes.

PCSB students/alumni can still apply for stage 2 only starting September 2024.


About the Postgraduate Diploma 

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business is part of CISL’s mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges.

More specifically, it aims to provide an academically grounded, highly participatory and applied forum for learning around topical sustainability issues, to help professionals develop:

  • a strong foundation in wider global social, environmental and economic trends, and the strategic business case for change;
  • strategies and suggestions for change based on the latest theoretical and practical developments shaping sustainable practices;
  • the knowledge, skills, and confidence to critically engage with a range of strategies and tools for practical action; and
  • an ongoing capacity to work with others to co-create solutions to complex problems and to contribute to a wider community of learning and practice.



This course is designed around six interconnected learning outcomes:

  1. The changing global context, the case for a radical shift from current systems and the role of business
  2. A sustainable future, and the potential synergies and tensions in achieving it
  3. Potential levers, leverage points and pathways to achieve change both within and beyond organisations to achieve sustainability
  4. Personal and collective leadership and effective action as an agent of change
  5. Sustainability insights, knowledge and research for specific contexts
  6. Communication and engagement, individually and collaboratively, to advance the sustainability agenda

The following course modules are delivered via a combination of residential workshop teaching and a programme of online learning. This course modules document shows all the modules available across the three stages of the flexible route and the blocks students can elect to study on the Diploma stage.


Programme structure

The Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) comprises two stages.

PG Dip Stage 1:  the 9 month Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (Organisational or Value chains stream).

PG Dip Stage 2: following successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, students move to the 2 year PG Dip Stage 2.

The full PG Diploma takes 3 years to complete if students progress immediately from Stage 1 to Stage 2, but students can elect to take a break between the stages. Places for stage 2 cannot be deferred and students electing to take a gap will need to reapply for stage 2.

Read about the key components of the Postgraduate Diploma.


"The individual assignments set throughout the course gave me the opportunity to reflect on the topics that we had learnt and how these could be applied to real world examples. They answered questions that I had asked throughout my career."

Galina Parmenter, Project Manager, Global Sustainability, C&A


Accreditation and progression options

Successful completion of the course results in a Postgraduate Diploma awarded by the University of Cambridge. This carries 120 CATS points at Level M and is equivalent to two-thirds of a Master's degree.

Following successful completion of the PG Dip, alumni can apply to continue to a full Masters via our Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership flexible route (Stage 3). This third stage takes an additional 2 years of part-time study. Details of this route are available here.





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 

Diploma course overview

Who should apply?

Admission requirements

Funding opportunities

Learning approach and time commitment


Assignment Supervisors

Student blogs

Employer benefits and information

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