Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £12,500 *
International Fees £17,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Additional start date available!

This course now has an additional start date available in January 2021.

Course summary

Biologists claim we’re living through the sixth mass extinction of species, while climate scientists suggest there’s little more than a decade to cut the risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and extreme poverty. Sustainability is the most pressing concern of the 21st century. Companies across the globe are being forced to consider their impact on people and the planet to achieve the outcomes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement.

The UK was the first major nation to formally back a pledge to cut carbon emissions to practically zero by 2050, followed soon after by the EU. Having spent decades internationalising operations and supply chains, organisations now have to reduce their carbon footprint, minimise climate and environmental risk, enhance resiliency and integrate sustainability into their operations, but few know how to do this.

Our exciting MSc responds directly to the urgent demand for a new type of professional – those who not only possess core business management skills, but also understand corporate sustainability, want to make a difference and, more importantly, have the skills, creativity and innovation to lead positive (and profitable) change.

Corporate sustainability management is critical to the long-term viability of businesses, many of whom are under increasing scrutiny from a concerned society and mounting pressure from expanding regulations. They need people who appreciate the wider context of their operations and stakeholder relationships – people capable of spotting and solving problems, coming up with practical and feasible solutions, then pushing through change.

Tackling all this and more, our MSc is structured around three themes: analysis of sustainability issues (both social and environmental), the development of possible innovative solutions (collaborative, innovative business models, projects and products), and implementation and change management.

From the outset, your learning will be practice based. You’ll engage with a range of partner organisations on ‘live’ projects and research, and see first-hand how sustainability is managed in a particular socio-economic space. Companies we are in talks with include those involved in upcycling and recycling, as well as champions in this burgeoning professional area. You can also undertake an optional internship as part of your dissertation.

A highlight is our international field trip, which continues the practical aspect of this course. Each year, we choose to study a particular sustainability challenge or problem in a country overseas, for example, recycling or the circular economy.

Our course was designed with input from a range of industry professionals and businesses currently operating in the sustainability space or championing the profession. 

Top reasons to study with us

  • This MSc is ideal for recent graduates and those with a passion to contribute to a better future as an expert in sustainability – promoting sustainable solutions, driving sustainable product development or managing sustainability reporting, compliance, and change.
  • Sustainability is a growing field with more and more job opportunities in environmental protection, social responsibility and business profitability.
  • Become business-ready through intensive practical experiences and focused study.
  • Exciting teaching and learning with live case studies and guest speakers to include managers and entrepreneurs who have transformed their companies into a sustainable firm.
  • Sustainability in practice consulting project with a client company, acquiring up-to-date skills such as carbon footprinting expertise and product life-cycle analysis.
  • International field trip to study sustainability in situ – with all costs included in the tuition fees.
  • Interactive group ‘Trash Hack’ – an entrepreneurial exercise in recycling an industrial waste product.
  • Engaging assessment methods, including simulations, business challenges, investigating briefs, group pitches and video presentations.

Course structure

The course incorporates interdisciplinary modules from multiple business fields (such as strategy, operations management, digital disruption and innovation, marketing and finance), together with environmental studies (such as carbon footprinting and environmental impact assessment).

You’ll develop a greater understanding of the relationship between business and society and how to engage with stakeholder communities more effectively. You’ll learn to expertly assess your employer’s impact – whether it be social, environmental or economic. Finally, with an appreciation of the challenges that sustainability poses for strategic decision-making, you’ll develop the skills and know-how to innovate, implementing new processes, products and services, and identifying ways to integrate sustainable practices into day-to-day business.

Semester 1

We begin by exploring the challenges and opportunities that societal and environmental issues create for organisations as exemplified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We consider sustainable management in all its dimensions, focusing on real-life problems, such as reducing or changing energy sources, or how to influence the behaviour of suppliers. We consider the importance of green marketing – how to promote products or services based on their environmental benefits, whether, for example, they’ve been manufactured in a sustainable fashion, don’t contain toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances or feature minimum packaging. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of business innovation and how companies can exploit emerging opportunities around sustainability.

Semester 2

Our aim is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to build readiness for change within various types of organisation, then implement change successfully. We’ll consider how to improve corporate sustainability reporting, looking at the methods and frameworks to monitor carbon emissions and use of natural resources and energy. As well as employee relations, we look at wider stakeholder communities and the need for companies to encourage sustainable supply chains, green logistics and procurement. Finally, choosing either a research or work-based project, you’ll investigate and report on issues in current sustainability management and practice.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

This module explores the challenges and opportunities that societal and environmental issues create for organisations as exemplified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Students will explore sustainable management in all its dimensions, learning from real life examples, focusing on examining key problems and developing innovative solutions in order to lead their organisations towards sustainable change that aligns businesses long-term goals with the broader expectations of society in a globalised, connected world. To help students understand the systematic and organisational role of sustainability in any organisation, the module will give an overview of major sustainability issues, practices according to the following 3 dimensions: environmental, social and financial.

This module will cover key sustainability marketing concepts such as green marketing and green brands, how to create value for the customer, and designing products and services using different sustainability tools such as product life-cycle analysis. Sustainable marketing strategy development will be studied in the context of the triple bottom line that places equal weight on economic, environmental and social stewardship.

The module aims to develop students’ understanding of how new opportunities are offered for business innovation and sustainability in emerging and existing sectors and the strategic challenges in exploiting these emerging opportunities in order to transform them into sustainable economic strategies. How can digital start-ups build strategies to win against traditional bricks-and-mortar incumbents?

Sustainability, corporate social responsibility and ethics have an internal as well as an external focus. The internal focus includes organisational and management behaviours, health, safety and well-being, ethical and responsible leadership and the management of diversity and inclusion. Changing business models to become more socially and environmentally sustainable requires closer alignment of organisational behaviours with corporate social and environmental priorities. This puts strong emphasis on change management competencies and leadership approaches that foster development of adaptive organisational cultures and readiness for change. Leadership of such transformational change is the main focus of the module.

This module is focused on organisations’ eco-systems and the necessity for companies to build partnerships and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders in order to deliver sustainability goals. Particular emphasis is placed on sustainable supply chains and green logistics and procurement. The first part of the module provides the context for integration and collaboration between firms, and explains how firms employ strategic partnerships and other forms of co-operation and control to overcome internal resources constraints, access new technologies and, more importantly, in a sustainability context, to redefine industries and components of supply-demand networks. The second part of the module addresses sustainable supply chains and particularities and principals of their management as key areas where firms can address sustainability issues and leverage change. The third part of the module focuses on the specific elements of supply chain management, covering green public procurement, environmental and socially responsible purchasing policies and organisational issues associated with implementation of these.

Innovative thinking, creative problem solving, and integrative research approaches are at the heart of this experiential and application-oriented module. The module supports students in developing knowledge and key competencies to investigate and report on issues in current sustainability management and practice. The module will also ensure that students have an advanced understanding of how to select effective research strategies and designs, and how to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the research outcomes. The module offers two routes that students could opt for. Route 1: a sound academic research project, and Route 2: a work-based and consultancy-type project supported by critical understanding of research techniques. For those students opting for the consultancy-type project, they will be required to undertake a practical sustainability project in collaboration with a UK-based organisation. Students are expected to analyse a sustainability issue working with a company of their choice and make clear and rigorous recommendations drawn from the research carried out. The project allows for different levels of interaction with companies, ranging from interviews with senior managers to an (uncredited) internship which would form the basis of the research project. The module team provides guidance to students to work with a host organisation relevant to students’ career aspirations.

This module provides the methods and frameworks in order to measure and report on an organisation’s carbon emissions, usage of natural resources and energy to GRI standards. The module will also cover the strategic importance, place and role of sustainability reporting.

One of the educational aims of the MSc in Sustainability Management and Innovation is to enable students to gain an understanding of the challenges facing businesses and managers in different contexts. In particular, it is important that sustainability-minded managers of the future understand the implications of different economic, political, social and ecological environments on sustainability strategies and solutions. There are immense benefits to be achieved by taking students out of the UK context and studying for a short period in a different country. This module will provide the opportunity to explore business and sustainability in a contrasting economy. The learning will take place through formal lectures from Westminster faculty, local faculty and guest speakers, and through direct observation and experiential learning in local businesses and local urban and rural contexts.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

Sustainability is one of today's fastest-growing industries and the demand for multi-skilled business managers with the specialist knowledge to tackle sustainability is enormous. Organisations all over the world need people with an understanding of sustainability, personal integrity, good people skills, strong networking skills, and the ability to drive change.

You might find yourself working in-house or as a consultant, helping businesses to develop environmental management strategies, analysing the impact of products and processes on the environment. You could specialise in project management of sustainability activities and strategies or reporting and compliance obligations. Alternatively, if you consider yourself highly creative, you might wish to focus on the development of more sustainable products and providing input into product renovation and recycling.

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Build your business network

Build connections with peers and future business leaders.

World

Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Social media connections

Kickstart your career

Learn how to use social media in your job hunt or LinkedIn to kickstart your career.

Industry links

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education. Taught in the heart of London, close to many of the city’s national, international and global employers, as well as its political, media and financial services scene, our emphasis is on skills, capabilities and attributes.

The applied projects and optional internship will not only expand your professional networks, but also directly enhance the prospects for early employability after graduation.

Job roles

This course will prepare you for roles such as:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Product sustainability manager
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Sustainability project manager (cities and regions)
  • Sustainability reporting manager Graduate employers

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to develop the capabilities needed by the graduate labour market, integrating practice-based learning and projects alongside academic learning and business theory.

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Where possible, lectures are recorded using specialist software and similar tools to make sure you can really listen to what is said in class and don’t miss a thing.

How you'll be taught

Through a variety of teaching methods – from traditional lectures and seminars to case study analysis, business projects and an optional internship – we aim to bring study to life by incorporating real-world experience.

There is a requirement for ‘self-guided’ learning and you will need to develop your own opinions and approaches to problems. Group work is a core component of the programme, which allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, get a more thorough understanding of subjects by interacting with people from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, and mimic the office environment in which projects are often conducted in small teams across different departments. Through projects including the Trash Hack, you’ll be given multiple opportunities to put forth real-life solutions to problems, present business cases or introduce plans for service optimisation.

At the core of the course will be interaction with those who are managing sustainability now. We hope to invite local practitioners from industry, consultants and NGOs to share their current sustainability challenges and experiences.

The international study trip, included within the tuition fee, offers a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the sustainability context outside of the UK. Ideas for future trips include an entrepreneurial-themed visit to Freiburg, Germany, which is considered one of the greenest cities in Europe with its entrepreneurial ‘green cluster’, or an ocean-themed visit to the Maldives, where rising sea levels threaten the very existence of the country.

How you'll be assessed

Central to the Sustainability Management and Innovation MSc is the notion of developing a deep understanding of the relationship between organisations, society and the environment. To this end, assessment is centred on critical enquiry and reflection on both societal and environmental problems in the 21st century. It is designed to evaluate your capacity to develop, both individually and collectively, a problem-solving approach and to communicate possible solutions and innovations in a persuasive, professional manner, both verbally and in writing.

The course involves a variety of assessment methods that call on students to propose solutions to real case-studies in groups, alone and under short time limits. Presentations and essays are also included in the course content, but it is the focus on practical resolution to real problems and the encouragement of analytical skills and creativity that make this an attractive course.

Why study this course?

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Tackle society's biggest challenges

Learn how to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and tackle some of society’s biggest issues, including poverty, hunger and climate action.

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Combine theory and practice

Link theory to global practice through real-life case studies, problem-solving and live business projects.

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Develop business insight

Strengthen business insight through interaction with businesses and discussions about current sustainability challenges.

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2).

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2).

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

Student work

Working in teams for the ‘Trash Hack’ project, you’ll be given an industrial waste item and be tasked with coming up with an idea to reuse it in a sustainable way. You’ll devise a business plan to recycle, upcycle or reuse what would otherwise be considered waste.

For example, we recently considered the coconut husk with students. Coconut husk is a massive by-product of the coconut industry, but it is now being seen as an important natural resource. Fibres are being extracted and made into anything from ropes and bags to mats and rugs, while ‘cocopeat’ is being used as an alternative to traditional peat moss.

 

Coconut husk to be recycled

Key to this MSc is the chance to understand the real-life sustainability challenges facing all types of businesses and managers.

We want you to appreciate the implications of different economic, political, social and ecological environments on sustainability strategies and solutions, by seeing them in action first-hand. To do this, you’ll take part in an international study trip – the costs of which are included in your tuition fees –  to explore business and sustainability in a contrasting economy.

 

Airplanes on land

Learn new skills

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Responsible business leader

Understand the importance of ethics, shared value, sustainability and collaboration as a responsible business leader.

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Improve your problem-solving skills

Develop your lateral thinking skills and improve your problem-solving and business diagnostic skills to better understand and tackle business issues.

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Build critical evaluation skills

Learn to critically evaluate the strategies that managers use to help organisations adapt in an uncertain or complex environment.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £12,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £17,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

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Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Location

In the heart of London, our Marylebone Campus is home to the Westminster Business School and our Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. Specialist workshops, dedicated digital and architecture studios, and our extensive Marylebone Library offer students everything they need for academic success.

Marylebone Campus is opposite Baker Street tube station and within easy walking distance of Regent's Park and Marylebone High Street.

For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

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[email protected]

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