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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


Course start dates

  • 2 October 2024

Is this course for you?

The course is for anyone ready to lead change in organisations and society through systemic transformation. It will benefit current and aspiring leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, providing fresh perspectives and a forward-thinking mindset.

It’s for those looking to gain practical techniques and strategies to further accelerate change through their work within and beyond.




Online, tutor-assisted


8 weeks online, 7-10 hours per week


View course price

CISL's courses are delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. This link will take you to the GetSmarter Website.



About the course

The Women Leading Change: Shaping Our Future online short course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) aims to inspire and equip women to lead society and their organisations towards a more just and equitable future. 

Over eight weeks, you’ll examine the processes and levers of change through three lenses: society, organisations, teams and your own personal context. Enhance your ability to influence and drive system-wide change while embracing your authentic leadership voice. You’ll expand your network through dedicated interactive spaces and conversations with peers. You'll learn from a diverse range of expert practitioners and academics and be guided by tutors each week to apply what learning within your own context.

Gain valuable and relevant skills, and walk away with:

  • In-depth knowledge of the systemic challenges women face and the ability to lead change with confidence, resilience, and transformational leadership skills.
  • An authentic leadership style and the principles to communicate with influence.
  • The tools to create purpose-led, psychologically safe environments, build strong relationships, and nurture teams for long-term effectiveness.
  • An extended network and community of like-minded women, and a leadership action plan to lead sustainable transformational change in your sphere of influence.

CPD certified

CPD logoThis course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 60 hours of learning.

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. CISL and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.


Learn to lead in a changing world

Join over 24,000 students globally who have already benefited from the opportunity to:

  • Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from a top-tier university, entirely online and in your own time.  
  • Enjoy a personalised, people-mediated online learning experience that consistently achieves over 90 per cent course certification rate.
  • Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones.


Explore effective strategies as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course

Module 1: Shaping the future we want

Module 2: Being an agent of change

Module 3: Building confidence and catalysing impact

Module 4: Leading flourishing and effective teams

Module 5: Cultivating purpose-led organisations

Module 6: Collaborating for positive impact

Module 7: Creating your leadership action plan for transformational change

Module 8: Expanding the community leading change


CISL Newsletter

Do you want to receive information about CISL's research, news and events? Click here to request the CISL monthly newsletter.


Delivered in Collaboration with GetSmarter

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is collaborating with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc., to provide an interactive and supported online learning experience.

Enter your information below to learn more about the Cambridge Women Leading Change: Shaping Our Future online short course, including receiving the course prospectus from GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc.


Get mor information


CISL’s online courses are delivered in collaboration with digital education provider GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. These links will take you to the Get Smarter website.


“I am excited to be leading Virgin Money Investments in the transformational change required to become a responsible investor and help our customers to understand what that means in the journey we all need to be on (…) Inspiring leadership with more diversity is critical for speeding up progress to achieve sustainable business practices and live within our ecosystem limits. A big thank you to the team at CISL for their inspiring courses, in particular Zoë Arden and Janice Lao for the women leading change course. Also, thank you for those who have supported me to get this position to lead change.”

Stephanie Gilliver, Head of Responsible Investing, Virgin Money

“The results are in (83%!) and I have just completed the impactful course 'Women Leading Change: Shaping Our Future' at the University of Cambridge's CISL. I would recommend this to all females interested in leadership. Despite only being 3 months of study, this was the most reflective, challenging and rewarding piece of academia I have ever participated in. Thank you to the faculty staff for the insights and great experience."

Phoebe W.