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Course content

Businesses are changing the way they think about products, technologies, operations and business models, all while ensuring that these deliver environmental, social and financial benefits.

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.

We offer you a truly inter-disciplinary learning experience that gives you the chance to work with your peers across subject areas to co-develop new business projects.

Course highlights:

  • The course is co-delivered by the Sustainability Research Institute and the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies at Leeds – two leading research institutions in the country – giving you valuable insight into sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Learn directly from award-winning academics, professionals in government, large corporations, stakeholders (such as community pressure groups) and visiting entrepreneurs and businesses.
  • Gain the confidence to launch your own business and/or innovate within a business, for example develop a sustainable business plan to pitch to investors.
  • Get support from our Spark student business startup service.
  • 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.
  • Enterprise is at the heart of what we do, we have been awarded…
  • The Guardian University Award for Enterprise 2016.
  • Entrepreneurial University of the Year, Time Higher Education Awards 2015.
  • The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship, Lloyds National Business Awards 2015.
  • The Gold Award from the government's Small Business Charter 2014.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

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.

Facilities

The School of Earth and Environment’s £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and facilities.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a variety of ways including both written and oral assignments and exams.

Career opportunities

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.

Visit the Sustainability and Business MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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