School of Earth and Environment

Sustainability and Consultancy MSc

(Full time / Part time) 2018 start

Masters in Sustainability and Consultancy


Key facts

  • Start date:
    September 2018
  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
    24 months part time
  • UK/EU fees: £9,500 (total)
    International fees: £21,500 (total)
  • 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
  • This course has an optional work placement
  • Course terms and conditions

The Sustainability and Consultancy Masters offers a grounding in the broad range of sustainability topics beyond just environmental issues (from project development to corporate sustainability strategy). It will also develop the professional skills you’ll need.

Sustainability is an integrated issue across our teaching, rather than separating the environmental, economic and social elements.

Specialist modules are delivered by academic staff, practising consultants and other practitioners, giving you exposure to real-life, international case studies with a good understanding of contemporary management techniques and solutions.

This course aligns closely with the challenges of sustainability and the skills that employers say they need to tackle those challenges, with a strong emphasis on project skills.

Alumni Profile

"The banner 'MSc Sustainability' allows you to not only meet people on your own specific course but on the other ones too."

Shona Brown, MSc Sustainability and Consultancy, 2014

Read More

Course highlights:

  • Our course was the first qualification of its kind in the UK.
  • In the first semester you can choose an optional free 2 day field course to East Yorkshire. Learn about issues affecting sustainable economic development and environmental management in a developed world context.
  • A major component of this Masters is that you will manage a consultancy project, which is usually in the form of a placement with a professional organisation. This experience plays a key role in your personal and professional development.
  • This is an approved Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) course and is widely recognised by employers as a real benefit for anyone in a role with environmental responsibility.

The programme manager is Paul Abbott.


This is an approved Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) course:

This means once you graduate you are eligible to become an IEMA Graduate Member – GradIEMA - the first stage towards full professional chartership.

You are also eligible to take-up free student membership.

IEMA supports individuals and organisations to set, recognise and achieve global sustainability standards and practice.

IEMA certified


If you complete an additional assessment during semester two and pass the degree, you automatically qualify. A step which usually requires an additional exam after a period of workplace experience.

Course terms and conditions

Course content

The course is split in to 3 semesters if you study on a 12 month full-time basis. In the semester 1, you will take lectures and seminars which lay the theoretical foundation needed for you to gain an in-depth understanding of sustainability topics.

In semester 2, you will focus on you applying this knowledge through case studies and on practical professional skills development.

Throughout the year, you can also take part in personal development workshops and activities including networking with project hosts, helping you secure a successful research project for semester three.

In semester 3, the focus switches to individual work, where you will deliver a project usually carried out on a placement of around 10 weeks.

You will then present the progression you have made in your project around the end of June, and submit your final dissertation in late August.

The course runs for 24 months on a part-time basis, with each year split into 3 semesters. You will take 2 taught modules in semesters 1 and 2 each year, followed by a full-time project placement in semester 3 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.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Business, Environment and Sustainability 15 credits
  • Sustainability Consultancy Project 60 credits
  • Project Management: Developing and Managing Environmental Contracts 15 credits
  • Managing and Delivering Sustainability through Projects and Organisations 30 credits
  • The Regulatory and Planning Context for Sustainable Projects 15 credits
  • Introduction to Sustainability 15 credits
  • Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Ecological Economics 15 credits
  • Environmental Policy and Governance 15 credits
  • Climate Change: Physical Science Basis 15 credits

Learning and teaching

You will learn through a variety of methods including lectures, practical workshops, computer lab sessions, research seminars, field trips and project work.

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. And through individual and group work.

Alumni Profile

"The course provided exactly what I was looking for – academic grounding and training in sustainability issues, and an opportunity to apply my skills to a practical project within a business setting."

Darren Holman, Environmental Consultancy (now Sustainability and Consultancy) 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.

This course is ideal if you have enthusiasm for environmental debate and concern over the future sustainability of human and environmental systems.

We welcome applications if you have a background in environmental studies, geography or biology.

You are also likely to benefit from this course if you have a background in other disciplines with relevant work experience in the fields of environment and/or development.

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.

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

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

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.

Read School of Earth and Environment advice on how to apply.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2018

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: £9,500 (total)
International fees: £21,500 (total)

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

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.

School Scholarships

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.

Career opportunities

Graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers in sustainability:

  • environmental consultancy and planning
  • corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • sustainability strategy
  • environmental and social impact assessments and project financing
  • environmental management
  • carbon reduction and energy management
  • stakeholder management and engagement
  • policy development
  • project management
  • sustainability assessment.

Graduates in recent years have taken up roles with organisations in the public, private and NGO sectors:

  • Consultants: Aecom, CH2M Hill, ERM, KPMG, Jacobs, JBA Consulting, Mott MacDonald, RPS, WYG
  • Other private sector: Arla, E.ON UK, FIRA International, Sodexo, Total
  • NGOs: 2degrees, Carbon Trust, CIWEM.

Our alumni are currently working in many parts of the world including Canada, Germany, India, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, UAE, UK and USA.


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

"Being taught by practising consultants means you have the tools required to ‘hit the ground running’, and graduates are appealing to a wide range of organisations."

Danielle Jackson, Environmental Consultancy (now Sustainability and Consultancy) MSc

Read More

Industry links

We have successful and productive links with many partners with different perspectives on sustainability and consultancy. During your studies, you will come in contact with our network of industrial partners through teaching, personal development workshops and while undertaking your final consultancy project.

External partners include consultancy providers such as ADAS, Aecom, ERM, Jacobs, Mott MacDonald and URS in the multidisciplinary and environmental consulting fields, as well as other consultancy providers with management and wider sustainability portfolios such as Sodexo, Business in the Community and BDO.

We also work closely, on both research projects and teaching, with consultancy clients from the private sector (e.g. Arla, Hallmark, Marks & Spencer) and public sector (e.g. Leeds City Council, Environment Agency).

Our industrial partners consistently report that the combination of academic rigour, professional skills development and project management experience inherent in this degree, ensures that you will have the combination of skills and knowledge to be effective straight away.

As a result, you will be seen as ‘work ready’, with fresh ideas and innovative ways of working in their chosen careers.

The strong relationship with businesses and other influential organisations in the field of sustainability means that, through your consultancy project, you will be able to contribute to transforming business to prepare for a more sustainable future.

"The project certainly delivered dividends thank you!"

Northern Gas Networks

"Being seconded has given me a great opportunity to work with lots of other consultancies (other than my placement host) and I can see how much value placements like these bring."


"The graduates from this course are two to three years ahead of the other graduates we have been interviewing."

Leading UK Consultancy

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