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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Graduate programmes

The University of Cambridge’s Sustainability Leadership Master’s, Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business and Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business provide a bridge across fragmented working practices to help accelerate careers.

Offering flexible, part-time courses structured around sustainability leadership practitioners, our programmes help ambitious professionals meet the increasing demands of their market and sector and invigorate their personal development.

Our courses explore the importance of developing leadership capacity to tackle critical sustainability challenges, building knowledge and leadership skills to drive real change through multiple professions and disciplines working together.

 

Master of Studies


The Master's helps to develop leaders who can respond effectively to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world and lead others to achieve positive change.

The Master of Studies (MSt) in Sustainability Leadership is a full Master’s degree, delivered part time over two years for working professionals. It is part of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership's (CISL) mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges.

It is fully accredited by the University of Cambridge, and is delivered as an interdisciplinary programme by CISL, drawing on academic expertise from, among others Departments of EngineeringGeographyLand Economy and the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Both academic excellence and practical application in a business context are prioritised in the competitive selection process, and in the design and delivery of the programme. Assessment is through short practical assignments and an extended research dissertation.

The programme celebrates its 13th cohort in 2022, and attracts an exceptional calibre of senior and mid-career leaders from all across the world, and a range of business sectors. Applicants may wish to formalise their credentials as sustainability professionals, or gain a better understanding of how sustainability risks and opportunities apply to mainstream business functions. We likewise appeal to leaders from the not-for-profit or public sectors who wish to work together with the private sector to address sustainability challenges. Scholarships and bursaries are available for eligible students 

"The MSt has enabled me to access a wealth of inputs, literature, speakers, tutors, and importantly fellow students to provide a view of the whole landscape-when it is too easy in a busy role to only be able to have sight of a local situation. My new global network of colleagues will be the gift which keeps giving as we all continue with our work in the future."

Deb Conner, COO, The Social Mobility Foundation 

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Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business


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 understanding and application of tools and techniques based around co-creating solutions, collaboration, innovation and design
  • Contribute to professional debate about sustainability issues with colleagues from other job functions
  • Engage and challenge sustainability ‘tools’ analysing their suitability to address their own organisational challenges
  • Hone leadership skills in order to effectively respond to organisational / sectoral sustainability challenges.’

Bursaries are available for eligible students 

"The course gave me the confidence to introduce sustainability as part of my organisation’s discourse and the ability to articulate the potential for change."

John Midgley, BGS UKGEOS Technical Manager, Energy Geoscience Ltd

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Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business


The Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (PCSB) is a 9-month Master's-level postgraduate programme, delivered part time for working professionals.

The programme is designed to strengthen leadership skills, help professionals embed sustainability in thier organisation or across their supply chain to achieve positive, transformative change.

There are two streams available depending on role and discipline, professional interests and learning needs: Organisational stream or Value Chains and Markets stream. 

Bursaries are available for eligible students 

“I signed up for a course and left with a new network.”

Helen McTaggart, Senior Sustainability Manager, Amazon

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Part-time and cost-effective


We understand the demanding work schedules you face. Providing the Master's in Sustainability Leadership, Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Business and Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business as part-time courses, with in-residence modules as well as online learning, you achieve the best of both worlds without sacrificing existing commitments.

Whether personally financed or employer-sponsored, we know that investing in your professional education is a big decision. While excellent value for a University of Cambridge and industry accredited qualification, we offer a range of options for scholarship and bursaries to help participants overcome financial barriers.

 

Unrivalled credibility


The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential institute based at the University of Cambridge, with HRH The Prince of Wales as Royal Founding Patron. With more than 30 years’ experience of developing interdisciplinary leadership for a sustainable economy across multinationals, governments and individuals around the world, CISL’s delivery of these part-time courses provides unrivalled sustainability credibility.

Master’s 

  • Four residential workshops in Cambridge
  • A programme of online learning between residential workshops to support the face-to-face learning
  • Four longer self-paced E-modules
  • Two individual work-based assignments
  • A group project around an area of mutual relevance
  • An individual research dissertation.
  • 2 years part-time

Postgraduate Certificate 

  • Two four-day workshops
  • Reading and reflection, in preparation for the workshops
  • Two individual practical assignments based on applying learning in their own organisational or value chain context
  • Group project with a small group of 5–8 participants
  • 9 months part-time

Postgraduate Diploma (Stage 1)

  • Two four-day workshops
  • Two individual practical assignments based on applying learning in their own organisational context
  • Group project with a small group of 5-8 participants
  • 9 months part-time 

Postgraduate Diploma (Stage 2)

  • Three workshops from a selection of six workshops.
  • 10 hours of interactive virtual teaching sessions
  • Self-study preparatory readings, webinars and presentations, and two e-learning modules
  • Two individual assignments – an analytical case study and literature review
  • 2 years part-time