If you have a positive vision of the future, want to lead innovation and do business better - either across a large organisation or through your own startup - then the MSc in Sustainability and Business is ideal for you.
Uniquely based outside of a business school, we are preparing you, the next generation of innovators, to think, develop and reinvent sustainable enterprises in an increasingly challenging world.
Learn what shapes the relationships between business, environment and society, and how individuals and organisations can address social and environmental problems by means of creating and developing new businesses and innovation.
You'll develop specialist skills to meet the growing need for sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation. Although large corporations are more visible, real innovation in sustainability is emerging and being driven by new businesses.
Practical skills - like developing ideas and plans for new sustainable ventures, pitching to investors and acting as a change agent within large organisations - give you experience of genuine business challenges faced in the real-world.
Co-delivered by the Sustainability Research Institute and the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, you'll learn directly from award-winning academics, professionals in government, large corporations, stakeholders and entrepreneurs.
- Leading in the field for 10 years, you will be taught by leading experts from the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) - one of the largest academic groups of sustainability experts in the world.
- Gain direct experience of sustainability challenges in a developing country - you can choose an optional field course to Patagonia (South America) - essential if you're considering working in an international capacity.
- Uniquely based outside a business school - you'll focus on how sustainability leads business practice. You'll use key interdisciplinary research methods and approaches that relate to environmental management and corporate social responsibility.
- Study modules taught by experts from Leeds University Business School.
- Join a truly global School - think beyond Leeds and gain a wider perspective by studying alongside students and academics from across the world.
The programme leader Dr Pablo Munoz is a lecturer in Business and Sustainable Change at the Sustainability Research Institute.
His research focuses on purpose-driven entrepreneurship, which involves understanding how, when, and with what consequences entrepreneurial individuals and communities address wicked problems and create societal and ecological value through business activities; with or without economic return.
Within this field, Pablo's research explores four themes: sustainable entrepreneurship, community enterprising, inclusive innovation and poverty alleviation, and sharing economy.
Across these streams he looks at the venturing process: its determinants, mechanisms and outcomes, individual and collective decision-making, territorial and social embeddedness, and the overall contribution of this form of entrepreneurship to sustainable development.
The course is split in to 3 semesters if you study on a 12 month full-time basis. In the first 2 terms you will take lectures and seminars, followed by approximately 4 months of individual work leading to the submission of a dissertation in late August.
You'll consider different aspects of sustainability, while a wide range of optional modules allow you tailor your study to fit your interests and career plans.
You can also choose an optional overseas field course which enables you to gain practical experience and apply classroom-based learning first hand in a developing country context.
The course runs for 24 months on a part-time basis, with each year split into 3 semesters. You will take 2 modules in each semester, followed by individual work leading to the submission of a dissertation in semester 3 of your final year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Enterprise Awareness 15 credits
- New Venture Creation 15 credits
- Research Methods 15 credits
- Research Project 60 credits
- Sustainable Venturing and Innovation 15 credits
- Business, Environment and Sustainability 15 credits
- Introduction to Sustainability 15 credits
- Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility 15 credits
- Organizational Development and Change 15 credits
- Contemporary Challenges in Enterprise 15 credits
- Environmental Policy and Governance 15 credits
- Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development 15 credits
- Sustainability and Local Entrepreneurship: Patagonia Field Course 15 credits
- Climate Change Mitigation 15 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Sustainability and Business MSc Full Time in the course catalogue
For more information on typical modules, read Sustainability and Business MSc Part Time in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
You will learn through a variety of teaching methods to help you develop both generic and subject-specific skills.
This includes lectures, real case studies, practical workshops, computer lab sessions, research seminars from external speakers, project work (individual and groupwork) and a written dissertation.
Practical exercises focus around real-world scenarios and case studies to produce optimal solutions including familiarisation with state-of-the-art technical approaches, software and the regulatory regimes that companies and public sector organisations operate within.
The research-intensive environment of the School ensures that your course material is both up-to-date and research led.
You'll also learn the scientific and rational principles lying behind the practical approaches used in the world outside academia, so that your skills keep pace with changes in technology or the regulatory environment.
The School of Earth and Environment's £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and facilities.
You will be assessed through a variety of ways including both written and oral assignments and exams.
“What I've liked most about the programme is its freshness and critical intelligence. It's full of emerging academic factors about sustainability and filled with analytic, creative differences.” Read more Hyun-Sang Jeong, Sustainability and Business, MSc
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a natural, environmental, physical, management or social science subject.
We welcome applications if you have a background in engineering, environmental management and sciences, management and business, psychology and product design.
We strive to provide a diverse and inspiring learning environment and encourage applicants from across the globe and from people at any point in their career.
If you are a mature applicant without a first degree or with a lower degree classification, you may be considered on the basis of your relevant industry experience and your potential for benefiting from this course.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment admissions team.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks).
How to apply
- Apply (Full time)
- Apply (Part time)
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read School of Earth and Environment advice on how to apply.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Faculty of Environment Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy
UK/EU: £9,000 (total)
International: £20,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
On this course you have the option to attend an overseas field trip in Semester 2, at an additional cost of £1,200-1,500 (dependent on exchange rates, cost of flights and student demand).
This is paid in two instalments across semesters 1 and 2. A £100 deposit is required when enrolling onto the module in October.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
The School of Earth and Environment offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students.
Find out more about our School scholarships.
Other funding sources
Past students have secured funding through a career development loan, for details visit UK Government website.
You will learn the skills to pursue careers both in business and in other sectors of the economy, such as government or non-governmental organisations.
Your final career destination often depends on the experience you have had before starting the Masters, so if you have already worked in business you may find it easier to get sustainability or CSR jobs in companies immediately after graduation.
This Masters could also help you enhance your current sustainability credentials, returning to your jobs with new skills and understanding.
Alternatively, you could pursue a research career and continue on to a PhD.
Recent graduates work for local government or NGOs, or undertake internships. While others are now working for consultancy companies.
Typical roles undertaken by our recent graduates:
- Sustainable Procurement Officer, Leeds City Council
- Environmental training officer at Carlsberg Tetley
- Environmental consultant at Young White Green consultants
- Energy operating company, looking into upcoming environmental legislation and advising different sites on how to comply
- Research Analyst with Suzlon Energy Ltd India
- Leading the US strategy for 2degrees network - a collaboration platform for sustainable professionals
- ICICI Bank India, Project Finance with interest in funding renewable energy investments.
We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals.
The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. Read more about our careers and employability.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
“Studying at Leeds helped to bridge the gap between university and work as well as making me more employable.” Read more Lorna Eden, Sustainability and Business, MSc
You can develop links with companies or organisations for your dissertation and provide information on internship opportunities to enhance your practical skills and experience.
“What I've liked most about the course is its freshness and critical intelligence. It's full of emerging academic factors about sustainability and filled with analytic, creative differences. More importantly, such factors help me do my work as a journalist sustainably. I've reported the CSR implementation of two media companies in the UK and issued a special edition about CSR management since I've come back to my work.”
Graduate Hyun-Sang Jeong, Deputy Editor of South Korean daily newspaper
Related coursesSustainability and Consultancy MSc
Sustainability in Transport MSc