Research course

Sustainability Leadership

University of Cambridge · Judge Business School

Entry requirements

At least a 2.i honours bachelor’s degree (or successful completion of a master’s degree) from a UK University, or an equivalent standard from a recognised overseas institution. Minimum of three years' work experience. Demonstrable enthusiasm and/or aptitude for sustainability leadership. Good ability in written and spoken English language. 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. The ability to pay the course fees or to identify a sponsoring institution.

Months of entry


Course content

The Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership is a leading accredited University of Cambridge postgraduate degree. This programme attracts high-calibre candidates from a wide variety of sectors and countries. Both academic excellence and leadership on sustainability are prioritised in the competitive selection process, and in the design and delivery of the programme.

The interdisciplinary Master's is offered in association with the Departments of Architecture, Engineering, Geography, Land Economy and the Judge Business School.

The programme is delivered on a part-time basis over two years, making it an ideal choice for participants who intend to continue in full-time employment. Likewise, students do not need to be UK- or Cambridge-based.

The Master’s typically attracts candidates who wish to formalise their credentials as sustainability professionals, advisers or consultants. We are also the first choice for mainstream business leaders seeking to gain a better understanding of sustainability risks and opportunities and how to respond to these. 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.

The overall goal of the programme is to challenge, stretch and simulate current and future leaders both to achieve academic excellence and to build their capacity to bring about positive change for sustainability.

In particular, the programme aims to:

  • Provide current and future leaders with an essential understanding of the most urgent and critical social, environmental, ethical and economic challenges facing the world, and to equip them to respond more effectively.
  • Expose participants to a range of best-practice cases of how business, government and civil society are future-proofing themselves and responding to these complex challenges.
  • Help participants make a compelling business case for sustainability in their sector and/or institutional context, and understand how best to put sustainability policies into practice.
  • Give our sustainability Master's students insights into the leading-edge interdisciplinary thinking and research on sustainability, including some of the key scientific and technological issues, from leading Cambridge academics and other thought leaders.
  • Provide sustainable business training to participants from the private sector and to serve as a forum for gaining exposure to sustainable business practices for participants from the not-for-profit or public sectors.
  • Develop students' skills to think critically and to undertake relevant, business-focused research.
  • Link participants into our alumni network, including over 5,000 Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership alumni, faculty and contributors from around the world, who are leading the way in turning sustainability thinking into practice.
  • Develop leadership knowledge, theory and practice at a system, organisation and individual level, through a combination of taught content, skills sessions, masterclasses with those in leadership positions, and personal leadership reflection.

Additional benefits include: gaining full access to the University Library, including borrowing rights and electronic resources; membership of a Cambridge College; and membership of the University Centre, which continues after completion of the course.

Information for international students

This course has been designed so that international students can attend. Students attend four short residential workshops in Cambridge. The remainder of the course is completed via distance learning and online learning.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Applicants are eligible to apply for the Mentis Cleantech Futures Award. A modest bursary will be awarded annually to assist the beneficiary in covering the cost of travel to the workshops and other incidentals. To be eligible for the bursary applicants must:
  • Be self-funding working in a cleantech venture (less than $10 m in revenue)
  • Possess diverse experience in business
  • Not be working in a corporate sustainability role
  • Meet all of the course entry requirements

To apply for the bursary, applicants should specifying why they require the bursary and how they meet the criteria. Bursary applications will be reviewed once applications have closed.

Other sources

The University's Institute of Continuing Education lists a number of possible sources of funding for part-time study. We have also 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.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
distance learning
24 months

Course contact details

Fergus Kirkpatrick