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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


Applications to the 2021 programme are now closed. Applications for 2022 open in September 2021. Download the graduate study brochure to receive further information on both our Master’s and Postgraduate Certificate programmes.

Alumni of the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business; Organisational or Value Chains streams (since 2008) can apply for the PG Diploma at any time. Apply for a place here.


Requirements of applicants

 Prospective participants must be able to demonstrate:

  • possession of 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)
  • 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 support for the assignments being undertaken in the context of a sustainability challenge/opportunity relevant to the organisation, or – if independent – from an acceptable institution familiar with their work 
  • interest in and commitment to sustainability
  • 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
  • ability to pay the course fees or identify a sponsoring institution
  • ability to attend two workshops during Stage 1 and to complete Stage 2 within three years of enrolment
  • 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.


Visa requirements

Students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will require a short-term study visa to attend the residential workshops during the course. Further details can be found on the University of Cambridge International Students website


Application and selection process

The Selection Panel will adjudicate candidates 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 from Postgraduate Certificate alumni or current participants are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Please complete the online application form.

Applications from new participants are accepted between September and March, for the Postgraduate Certificate (Stage 1 of the Diploma) starting in July.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible, particularly those requiring time to obtain visas to study, secure funding, and/or make travel or other arrangements.

Download an overview of the application stages


Loans and bursaries

Bursary funding has been made available for deserving candidates who are currently prevented from applying due to financial reasons. These will offer financial support of 10–30 per cent of the programme fee, and in some exceptional cases up to 50 per cent of the programme fee, to assist selected applicants. Bursaries are normally awarded to candidates from developing countries, self-funding individuals, those affiliated with a non -governmental organisation or the public sector and occasionally to SMEs. Successful applicants will meet all the programme requirements.

Candidates should apply through the normal route and indicate on the application form their request to be considered for a bursary. On the application form applicants will be asked to submit a one page document that describes:

  • Why they require a bursary to attend
  • How they meet the eligibility requirements for receiving a bursary
  • An indication of the amount of support required
  • How attendance at the programme will impact them
  • Any other compelling reasons why a bursary should be awarded
  • How they have pursued all other available funding opportunities.

Participants awarded a bursary might be asked to provide evidence that they are able to pay the remaining programme fees. They will also be asked to submit a short testimony for the CISL website describing their experiences on the course.

Residents of the UK or EU might be eligible for a Government loan scheme for part-time participants studying for higher qualifications.

In addition to this we have compiled a list of resources, which might be helpful in identifying potential sources of funding. Generally, funding for part-time study is limited, since the format is considered to be geared towards employee-supported and/or self-funded students.’