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Applications remain open for PG certificate alumni applying for stage 2 only. 

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


Admission requirements

Besides enthusiasm and commitment, applicants must have: 

  • An undergraduate degree from a recognised university, or evidence of equivalent work experience/achievement and ability to read for a Master's-level programme 

  • An acceptable ability in written and spoken English language (evidence will be required of participants’ proficiency if English is not their first language through an approved test. For more information on language proficiency requirements, please check here) 

  • A minimum of 3 years’ work experience after graduation 

  • An endorsement from their employing institution supporting their application, required time commitment for the programme and, ideally, for the assignments being undertaken in the context of a sustainability challenge/opportunity relevant to the organisation. If the applicant is independent (e.g. working as freelance) support from an acceptable institution familiar with their work is also fine 

  • Demonstrable enthusiasm and/or aptitude for sustainability leadership 

  • Academic and/or professional excellence 

  • Commitment to using learning from the programme to lead or influence change within their business context 

  • Access to appropriate computer technology and internet software to attend virtual sessions and engage with online learning activities 

  • Ability to pay the course fees or identify a sponsoring institution 

  • Ability to attend two workshops during Stage 1 and to attend the necessary residential workshops to complete three modules in Stage 2 

  • Postgraduate Certificate alumni would typically be expected to achieve an overall grade B or above in the Certificate in order to be accepted to the Diploma Stage 2. 


Application and selection process

Applications are made via an online application form. Applicants should expect to receive an update on the progress of their application within 6 weeks. This may be a request for further information, and invitation to interview or a notification that the application has been unsuccessful.  

The Selection Panel will adjudicate applicants against the above criteria. While academic performance is one of the criteria used to identify the strongest candidates, we will also consider the other listed indicators of ability. 

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. 

Candidates are expected to complete all three stages of the flexible route within 10 years of enrolling on the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (PCSB). PCSB alumni who would already be beyond this window (i.e. who started PCSB before 2018) are recommended to make their stage 2 application as early as possible within the admissions cycle as they may be required to provide additional information or complete additional activities to demonstrate recent learning or up-to-date knowledge of sustainability issues and/or academic skills. 


Language requirements 

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.


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

The course fee for the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business can be found in the overview table. Bursary funding has been made available for deserving candidates who are currently prevented from studying due to financial reasons. For details of this bursary and other funding options please see the bursaries page


Terms and conditions 

Candidates 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 

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


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