Business and Sustainability MSc

London, Bloomsbury and London, Stratford (UCL East)

Becoming environmentally, socially and economically sustainable is an imperative for businesses of all shapes and sizes. UCL’s Business and Sustainability MSc explores how businesses can turn sustainability challenges into new opportunities and avenues for growth. You will participate in research-led, applied teaching on sustainability science, policy and business practice, empowering you to be sustainability leaders making informed decisions and taking responsible actions for people, planet and profit, now and in the future.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in any discipline (such as geography, business and management, environmental sciences, engineering, economics), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution. These requirements may be relaxed in consideration of UCL’s Access and Participation Plan. For example, for mature students with professional work experience in business, government or third sector organisations who can demonstrate aptitude for teamwork and collaboration, creativity and critical thinking, and/or adaptability, among other skills.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

To ensure a sustainable future with a resilient social economic system and a healthy natural environment, society urgently needs to address sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, migration, and inequalities in ethnicity, gender, health, and wealth. Business is a core stakeholder in achieving a sustainable future, both as a cause of, and solution to, environmental degradation, social inequality and economic poverty. We need a new generation of experts equipped with the tools to overcome complexities and embed sustainability into business purpose and practice, creating value whilst solving urgent Grand Challenges.

Whilst studying the Business and Sustainability MSc at UCL you will take on these challenges, developing an applied scientific and technical understanding of the relationship between business and sustainability. Combining the expertise of the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources and the UCL School of Management, you will learn key environmental, social and business concepts and frameworks alongside problem-solving techniques based on robust scientific facts, local and global public policy, and innovative technical know-how. You will then apply this interdisciplinary knowledge to business cases and scenarios, gaining hands-on experience tackling the complexities of sustainability issues in a business context, and practice pitching your solutions. 

You will ultimately be equipped with essential strategic decision-making skills, backed by innovative technical and scientific knowledge, which are essential to navigate the sustainability transformation in business and policy, whatever your chosen career.
 

Who this course is for

The programme is designed for highly motivated individuals seeking to understand how business values, behaviours, and practices can be combined with scientific sustainability knowledge to create a profitable business and a better world. This degree is suitable for recent graduates as well as early and mid-career professionals seeking to upskill. It is particularly relevant to individuals whose current role, or the role they aspire to be in, requires them to understand and manage business sustainability issues, innovating to minimise the risks and make the most of the associated opportunities.

What this course will give you

The Master’s is intended to help develop responsible leaders of business, government and civil society, enabling you to identify and innovate solutions to address urgent sustainability challenges. You will be able to make scientifically robust and policy informed decisions in complex situations. Through a combination of traditional classroom-based learning and online resources, you will participate in real-life business simulations and policy advocacy debates, as well as actively engage with business and sustainability case studies that will introduce and develop the complex reality of embedding sustainability in business.  

You will be able to look at problems from different perspectives and manage ambiguities to develop and communicate solutions to sustainability challenges appropriate to their context because of the programme’s transdisciplinary approach. Each module will integrate expertise and material from different disciplines into a coherent body of knowledge to help you address the multi-level and interconnected challenges of economic prosperity, environmental integrity and social justice. 

The foundation of your career

Most alumni in our related degree programmes have gone on to sustainability-specific and more general careers in industry, policy, or the third sector. Several have used their Master’s degree as a foundation to pursue a career in academia. Types of organisations our alumni work for include multinational consultancies, banking and financial services, energy industry, intergovernmental, international and domestic non-profit organisations, government, and local authorities.

Employability

This qualification will give you skills attractive to a variety of potential employers, including sustainability- specific and non-sustainability specific roles in business, consultancy, NGOs, and the public sector.

The hands-on approach to learning will equip you with:

  • A developed knowledge and understanding of sustainability in business and wider society
  • An understanding of conflicts of interests and trade-offs, knowledge uncertainties, and contradictions in negotiating and setting sustainable development goals and targets
  • Systems thinking to recognise, understand and analyse relationships and complex systems and deal with uncertainty
  • The ability to develop and implement innovative actions and roadmaps that further sustainable development within different domains and spaces
  • The ability to apply problem-solving approaches and frameworks to develop viable, inclusive and equitable solutions 
  • The ability to work effectively both individually and in a team 
  • Critical thinking skills to question norms, practices and opinions 
  • Awareness of different perspectives on sustainability and business in different regions, countries and cultures
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas to peers, key stakeholders, and society
  • The ability to reflect on your own actions and values in consideration of current and future environmental, social and economic impacts, from a local to global perspective.

Teaching and learning

You will be engaged in a transformational learning experience that will question your own, others’ and societies’ ways of thinking, doing and living, in the quest for a more sustainable and just future. The Master’s employs a range of learning environments including in-person, pre-recorded and/or online lectures, seminars and workshops, as well as e-learning and individual learning. All taught modules contain a balance of in-class activities, pre-recorded material, and peer-to-peer learning, combined with a diversity of assessments to demonstrate what you have learnt. 

Types of assessment include:
•    Critical essays, critical reflection, reports and case studies that involve in-depth exploration of key concepts, theories, practices and/or policies
•    Group presentations and reports (in-person, online, video, pre-recorded, and/or written)
•    Policy briefs 
•    Capstone project (a research project on a practical, mainstream business problem, opportunity or topic)

Assessments are designed to develop your competencies and knowledge beyond the Master’s for application in your chosen career. 
 


 

In terms 1 and 2 full time students can typically expect between 8 and 15 contact hours per teaching week primarily delivered through in-person seminars. This will be supported by a combination of in-person, pre-recorded and online lectures. The remainder of the 37.5 full time hours should be dedicated towards self-directed study. In term 3 students will work independently on their Capstone Project, which will be supported by regular tutorials with a supervisor.

Modules

As a full-time student you will study four modules in each of the first and second terms, with the Capstone Project running across terms 1, 2 and 3. 

In term 1, you will study ‘Principles and Paradoxes of Business Sustainability’, ‘Measuring, Reporting and Facilitating a Sustainable Future’, ‘Responsible Leadership and Sustainable Business Models’, and ‘Consumer Behaviour and Market Demand’. You will also be introduced to the ‘Business and Sustainability Capstone Project’ – your own research project on a practical, mainstream business problem, opportunity or topic that you will be working on throughout the degree. These modules set the foundation for the whole Master's. You will be exposed to concepts of research design and research methods in the first term, thus gaining the necessary knowledge to develop your research project during the year.

In term 2, you will study ‘International Dynamics and Global Governance of Business and Sustainability’, ‘Climate Finance’, ‘Technology and Innovation for Sustainability’, and ‘Sustainable Business in Practice’. These modules further develop key concepts learnt in term 1, in addition to adding new topics. During term 2, you will also prepare your Capstone Project proposal.

In term 3, you will undertake a Capstone Project that is supported by regular tutorials with a supervisor. The Capstone Project provides an opportunity to put learnt knowledge and skills into practice through a piece of original, robust, and applied research that presents information in an organised format to either a research, business or policy audience.

As a part-time student you will complete your degree over two years. You will study two modules in terms 1 and 2 of both years. You will begin the capstone project module in term 1 of year 2, completing it by the end of term 3 of year 2. An example of a possible outline part-time programme structure follows:

  • Year 1, Term 1:
    • Principles and Paradoxes of Business Sustainability
    • Measuring, Reporting and Facilitating a Sustainable Future
  • Year 1, Term 2:
    • International Dynamics and Global Governance of Business and Sustainability
    • Climate Finance
  • Year 2, Term 1:
    • Responsible Leadership and Sustainable Business Models
    • Consumer Behaviour and Market Demand
    • Introduced to Business and Sustainability Capstone Project 
  • Year 2, Term 2:
    • Technology and Innovation for Business Sustainability
    • Sustainable Business in Practice
    • Prepare your Capstone Project proposal
  • Year 2, Term 3:
    • Undertake a Business and Sustainability Capstone Project 

Modular flexible students complete their degree within 2-5 years. For details about the modular/flexible structure and to discuss options please contact the programme administrator.

Compulsory modules


Principles and Paradoxes on Business Sustainability

Measuring, Reporting and Facilitating a Sustainable Future

Consumer Behaviour and Market Demand

International Dynamics and Global Governance of Business and Sustainability

Technology and Innovation for Business Sustainability

Business and Sustainability Capstone Project

Responsible Leadership and Sustainable Business Models

Sustainable Business in Practice


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Business and Sustainability MSc

Are you ready to help tackle urgent sustainability challenges and transform how we use energy and resources globally? Join a virtual open day and discover our specialist Energy and Sustainable Resources Master’s degrees in; Business and Sustainability MSc, Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc, Smart Energy and the Built Environment MSc, Energy Systems and Data Analytics MSc, Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel and accommodation expenses involved in their Capstone Project. Furthermore, students will also be expected to cover costs of transport for case study or field visits within London.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Rising Leader in Sustainable Business Scholarship

Deadline: 14 July 2023
Value: £6,000 towards fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn: 1) Your reasons for applying to this particular programme; 2) Your interest in the relationship between business and sustainability; 3) Your preliminary knowledge and/or experience of the subject area; 4) Your ability to work independently and in a team towards a collective goal; 5) Your leadership potential and/or interest in leading change towards a sustainable future; 6) Where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how this programme meets these needs.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.