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Key information

Qualification type

MSt - Master of Studies

Subject areas

Sustainability Leadership

Course type


Course Summary

The Master of Studies (MSt) in Sustainability Leadership is a full Master’s degree, delivered part-time for working professionals, that develops the leadership capacity to drive the business response to critical sustainability challenges and opportunities. It is fully accredited by the University of Cambridge, and is delivered as an interdisciplinary programme by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), in association with the Departments of Architecture, Engineering, Geography, Land Economy and the Cambridge Judge Business School.


The Master’s in Sustainability Leadership is part of CISL’s mission to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges.

More specifically, through a combination of interdisciplinary insights, academic analysis, practical business application, peer-learning and personal reflection, it aims to develop a community of leaders who have:

  • a wide awareness and deep understanding of the social, environmental, ethical and economic challenges and opportunities facing the world;
  • the vision and ambition to drive business leadership to achieve real systems change;
  • the knowledge, experience and ability to critically evaluate a range of strategic levers for change; and
  • the leadership capacity and confidence at a personal and organisational level to best use these levers to effect transformation.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, successful participants should have enhanced their ability in the following areas:

Understanding and awareness

  • Have a broad and deep understanding of the global social, environmental, economic and ethical "system pressures" affecting business, government and civil society.
  • Articulate the evolution of the sustainability debate and the conceptual frameworks that underpin it.
  • Develop a multidisciplinary perspective on sustainability, with insights from departments across the University, and understand the contribution of these fields in addressing sustainability challenges and opportunities.
  • Understand the systemic failings that drive unsustainability in our current economic system, and recognise the paradigm shifts necessary to achieve a sustainable economy.
  • Identify relevant aspects of the broader social, economic, political, technological and legislative environment, and potential levers for wider system impact.
  • Have a clear understanding of the major arguments advanced in the "business case" for sustainable business, as well as the research and limitations surrounding these claims.

Innovative, creative and strategic response

  • Develop an appreciation for a variety of leadership responses to sustainability, including policy development, international agreements, partnerships, advocacy, etc.
  • Apply learning from best-practice cases of how business, government and civil society are responding to complex sustainability challenges.
  • Frame and develop business strategies that address sustainability challenge(s).

Different course options

Study mode



2 years

Start date



In Year 2 of the programme students undertake: a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, including footnotes and appendices, but excluding bibliography, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee. The assessment of the dissertation will include an oral presentation of the project work on which the dissertation is based.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students for this course should have achieved a UK 2:1 Honours Degree. Applicants are assessed and accepted on the basis that they have: at least a 2.i honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas institution; a minimum of three years' work experience after graduation; demonstrable enthusiasm and/or aptitude for sustainability leadership; good ability in written and spoken English; endorsement from your employer or, if independent, from an organisation that will be the focus of your work on the programme; access to appropriate computer technology and internet software; and the ability to pay the course fees or to identify a sponsoring institution.