School of Earth and Environment

Sustainability and Business MSc

(Full time / Part time) 2016 start

Masters in Sustainability and Business


Key facts

  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
    24 months part time
  • UK/EU fees: £7,500
    International fees: £17,000
  • Entry requirements:
    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a related subject
  • Language requirements:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
  • Course terms and conditions

Examine the ways in which businesses can improve their environmental performance and enhance their social responsibility.

Gain a well-grounded and critical understanding of the factors that shape the relationships between business, environment and society, and understand the wide range of policy frameworks and management initiatives that relate to environmental management and corporate social responsibility.

Look at perspectives from government, business and stakeholder groups (such as pressure and community groups), drawing on the expertise of researchers, practitioners and researchers.

During your studies, you will be introduced to a range of management tools and shown how they are applied in practical situations. Assess the factors that shape the success or failure of these initiatives – both from a corporate as well as a societal perspective.

This course is ideal if you wish to develop corporate responsibility strategies and enhance an organisation’s social and environmental contributions. It can also lead you to careers in government or non-governmental organisations working in partnership with, or trying to influence business practice.

Alumni Profile

"Leeds provided me access to leading sustainability researchers and provided an interdisciplinary experience that helped me to grasp the full scope of sustainability."

Stephen Nemeth, Sustainability and Business, MSc

Read More

Course highlights

  • 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.
  • Uniquely based outside a business school – you will focus on how sustainability leads business practice, and use key inter-disciplinary research methods and approaches that relate to environmental management and corporate social responsibility.
  • Join a truly global School – think beyond Leeds and gain a wider perspective by studying alongside students and academics from across the world.
  • Choose a wide range modules taught by experts from Leeds University Business School.
  • Gain practical experience and apply classroom-based learning first-hand in a developing country context by choosing an optional overseas field course. Essential for anyone considering working in an international capacity.

Programme team

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 co-taught by the following experts…

Sustainability Research Institute:

Leeds University Business School:

Course content

When completed on a full-time basis, this 12-month Masters is split into three semesters. In the first two terms you will take lectures and seminars, followed by approximately four months of individual work leading to the submission of a dissertation in late August.

During this study, 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.

When completed on a part-time basis, the programme runs for 24 months, with each year split into three semesters. You will take two modules in each semester, followed by individual work leading to the submission of a dissertation in semester three of your final year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

You’ll study modules totalling 180 credits, including the compulsory modules below and up to four optional modules. Each module is worth 15 credits unless otherwise stated:

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
- Business, Environment and Sustainability
- Introduction to Sustainability
- Research Methods
- Research Project (60 credits)
- Systems Thinking and Consulting Practice
- Standards and Tools for Business, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility

- Climate Change Mitigation
- Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation
- Climate Change: Physical Science Basis
- Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development
- Environmental Policy and Governance
- Environment-Development Overseas Field Course – read additional costs
- Introduction to Ecological Economics
- Managing for Innovation
- Marketing for Management
- Organisational Development and Change
- Risk Perception and Communication
- Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics
- Managing Global Logistics and Supply Chains
- Operations and Supply Chain Management
- Cross Cultural Management

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching methods, as well as conventional lectures, to help you to develop both generic and subject-specific skills. This includes team work and individual practical exercises focused around real-world scenarios and case studies to produce optimal solutions; and it includes 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 course material is both up-to-date and research led. We aim to teach 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.

A range of learning and teaching methods used include research-based lectures, real case studies, practical workshops, computer lab sessions, research seminars from external speakers, project work (individual and groupwork) and a written dissertation.


The School of Earth and Environment’s £23 million building providesworld class research, teaching and facilities.


To complement teaching, assessment is varied and includes both written and oral assignments and exams.

Alumni Profile

"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."

Hyun-Sang Jeong, Sustainability and Business, MSc

Read More

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a natural, environmental, physical, management or social science subject.

Mature applicants without a first degree or with a lower degree classification may be considered on the basis of their relevant industry experience and their potential for benefiting from the programme.

In the past students have entered the programme from a number of backgrounds including 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.

International qualifications

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 and Engineering B (6 weeks) and Language for Science and Engineering A (10 weeks).

How to apply

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.

Or read their advice on how to apply.

Visas and Immigration

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.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £7,500
International fees: £17,000

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.

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 is 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.

School scholarships

Four full-fee scholarships are available to UK/EU applicants with an offer on this programme. Applications must be received by Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Two full-fee scholarships are available to International applicants with an offer on this programme. Applications must be received by Sunday 1st May 2016.

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.

Career opportunities

We aim to equip you with 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.


Careers support

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.

Alumni Profile

"Studying at Leeds helped to bridge the gap between university and work as well as making me more employable."

Lorna Eden, Sustainability and Business, MSc

Read More

Industry links

We encourage you to 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 programme 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

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