Sustainable Business Leadership MSc

Year of entry

Study 100% online when and where it suits you

Find out more about the benefits of studying your degree online to advance your career prospects. Learn more

Start dates
September 2023
November 2023
Delivery type
Online exclusive
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A First or 2.1 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
Online learning fees
See fees section below

Course overview

Two students learning online.

Designed and delivered by expert academics from Leeds University Business School and the School of Earth and Environment, this inspiring, innovative online Sustainable Business Leadership MSc is one of few courses that integrates the two areas of sustainability and business.

Our Masters in sustainable business leadership features specialist modules like: Decision Making in a Complex World, Leadership for Change and Sustainability and Business, which speak directly to the skills that employers are actively seeking. You’ll be able to draw on sustainability techniques, concepts, and analytical skills to solve and communicate solutions to complex business issues. You’ll also learn how to develop sustainable business strategies to transition to a more sustainable economy, whilst effectively leading on change strategies, in your organisation.

You’ll use your knowledge to make a positive contribution to sustainability and make a meaningful impact in your organisation, by helping to evaluate the risks and opportunities associated with sustainability.

Who is this Sustainable Business Leadership MSc for?

If you are highly driven to transition to a more sustainable economy and manage the implementation of sustainability strategies in your organisation, this online Masters in sustainable business gives you the forward-thinking knowledge to take your career to the next level. It is perfect if you:

  • Have no or limited managerial experience but are looking to upskill into sustainable leadership roles with the opportunity to influence organisational approaches to a wide range of contemporary sustainability issues.

  • Are an experienced manager from a range of sectors with a solid working background in business and/or sustainability and wish to progress to the C-suite to better lead individuals or teams that drive technical solutions for sustainability.

  • Would like to work in the areas of business and sustainability but come from a different background, so desire to learn the key aspects of both areas and achieve a formal qualification in the subject.

  • Want to develop your academic knowledge further in this field or ensure your skills and knowledge remains relevant through life-long learning.

Six reasons to study Sustainable Business Leadership online

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Why study Sustainable Business Leadership at the University of Leeds?

The University of Leeds is ranked in the global top 100 and in the top 15 in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023). Our online Sustainable Business Masters is delivered by a collaboration between the Leeds University Business School and the School of Earth and Environment.

Leeds University Business School is triple accredited and ranked 70th in the world for Business and Management studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022). We have a broad portfolio of research that contributes to developing a better understanding of the barriers for businesses and individuals to adopt practices that are environmentally friendly, sustainable and carbon neutral. Across the Business School, researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds are working collaboratively on solutions for businesses and organisations to respond to the environmental crisis we are facing.

The School of Earth and Environment is ranked in the global Top 25 for Earth and Marine Sciences and Top 40 for Environmental Studies (QS World University Rankings by subject 2022). The School is a major international powerhouse for environmental research that has wide-ranging and positive impacts on the world that we live in. 96% of our submitted research was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (Research Excellence Framework, 2021).

The Sustainability Research Institute as part of the School of Earth and Environment specifically explores a range of areas of research: climate change, energy, transport, water, resource use, land use, conservation, cities and communities, business, and lifestyles. The school also has strong presence and links with the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) UK to carry out world-class, interdisciplinary research into sustainable future energy systems.

Through links with businesses, public organisations, and research groups worldwide, we provide students with a strong combination of higher education and careers development. Our team of high-profile academics create an exceptional study experience guided by industry-leading knowledge and research.

Course details

Our sustainable leadership online course will begin with a two-week online induction designed to prepare you for online learning at the University of Leeds. It will introduce the study skills you will need to successfully complete your business and sustainability degree.

Delivered online, the course offers a flexible schedule of modules which are structured to be accessible to working professionals. There are nine individual 15-credit taught modules, and you will typically spend eight weeks studying each module. The modules cover a variety of subject areas such as: Leadership for Change, Decision Making in a Complex World, and Sustainable Business Strategies.

On finishing studying the nine taught modules you then complete a 45-credit project module over 24 weeks.

The Sustainable Business Leadership project has been designed to be flexible, enabling you to apply your newly acquired skills and knowledge to:

  • Explore a specific issue/concept in depth within or across certain settings/sectors.

  • Address a specific work-related business challenge relevant to your employer or your areas of interest.

You can take the course at your own pace and adapt your studies to fit around your work and life commitments. To give you flexibility, it is possible to pause your studies and take them up again at a later point. This means you can choose to complete the Masters in Sustainable Business Leadership online in a minimum of two years or up to a maximum of four years.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Sustainable Business Leadership MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Policy, Governance and Sustainability 15
Contemporary Economics 15
Sustainability and Business 15

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Leadership for Change 15
Sustainable Business Strategies 15
Decision Making in a Complex world 15
Enterprise, Innovation and Sustainability 15
Delivering Sustainable Solutions 15
Business Analytics 15

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Sustainability Leadership Research Project 45

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Leadership for Change 15
Sustainable Business Strategies 15
Decision Making in a Complex world 15
Enterprise, Innovation and Sustainability 15
Delivering Sustainable Solutions 15
Business Analytics 15

Learning and teaching

Join our powerful learning network

Your learning will be delivered online via our award-winning virtual learning environment, Minerva. Each week you will study through live face-to-face sessions with our module tutors in a mixture of structured and open-ended learning techniques.

We recognise that professionals have busy lives, so with a 100% online delivery mode, you can manage your learning around your busy personal and full-time employment, without the need to disrupt your life. You will study with a world-leading UK institution without the additional overseas cost of living. We will also provide many tools, including study planners, to help you track your progress and better manage your time.

Minerva can be accessed on different devices, whenever and wherever it suits you. The platform has been designed by a team of experts to ensure your online learning experience is of the highest quality and prepares you for success, both academically and professionally.

You will have access to:

  • The Pathways to Success induction course designed for online learning students.

  • In-course communication tools, such as discussion forums and announcements, to facilitate collaboration with peers and module tutors across the globe with ease.

  • Webinars to engage in real time with module tutors and peers to learn about a range of contemporary subject areas.

  • Online advice and support services for Minerva.

  • Tools to help self-monitor progress.

  • You will also be able to submit assessments and receive feedback from module tutors during their office working hours.

We recommend a high-speed broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps. You will need regular access to a desktop computer, tablet, or laptop, with a webcam. You will also need the ability to view PDF documents and work in Microsoft Office (software provided).

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment methods for this sustainable business management course will emphasise not just knowledge, but essential skills development too. Assessments will vary from module to module, with examples including:

  • Individual and group projects.

  • Assignments to build real-world experience.

  • Live and pre-recorded student presentations.

  • Literature reviews, using extensive online resources via the library.

  • Reflective logs.

  • Essays/Written reports.

  • Multiple choice exams for formative learning feedback (no more than 5% of summative assessment of the taught modules but are often used as formative feedback to check on your learning). We do not use traditional exams as our experience has indicated that these are not suitable for online learning students).

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Entry requirements

A First or 2.1 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject.

If you hold a 2.2 (hons) bachelor degree in any subject, or professional qualifications equivalent to Bachelor with Honours/Masters we will consider your application for the MSc course if you have at least three years of relevant work experience in a professional environment.

If you hold professional qualifications or Higher education qualifications equivalent to Level 5, we will consider your application for the MSc course if you have at least five years of relevant work experience in a professional environment.

Professionally qualified candidates who do not meet the formal qualifications will also be considered but assessed individually. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information, please contact our Enrolment Advisors via email.

Mathematics entry requirements / numerical competence

Applicants will need to demonstrate:

  • the successful completion of a university degree, or

  • the successful completion of a recognised professional qualification with a clear numerical component (e.g., ACCA, CFA), or

  • GCSE or A level Maths (or recognised international equivalent) or other forms of evidence outlining mathematical abilities will also be considered by the Programme Leader.

English Language entry requirements

  • GCSE English language at grade C or above, or

  • IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component, or

  • An appropriate equivalent English language qualification (read more).

Other forms of evidence may be considered but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In certain circumstances applicants can provide alternative proof of English language proficiency rather than a standard English test. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. You should discuss the criteria with your Enrolment Advisor to see if this can be considered. 

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.

How to apply

The Digital Education Service requires all applicants to provide proof of their identity at the point of application. Accepted forms of ID are: 

  • Passport photo page, or

  • Driving license, or

  • National identity card

The deadline for applications to join each intake are outlined below:

  • September 2023 start: application deadline is 15 August 2023

  • November 2023 start: application deadline is 10 October 2023

  • January 2024 start: application deadline is 5 December 2023

Applications for this degree programme are handled by our Enrolment Advisors. Please contact them to find out more about the programme, to start the online application process and should you wish to change your start date after submitting and application. Email

All suitably qualified candidates will be interviewed by telephone or online as part of the selection process.


Admissions policy

Digital Education Service admissions policy

This course is taught by

School of Earth and Environment
Leeds University Business School

Contact us

Enrolment Advisor team

Telephone: +44 (0)113 341 1262


The following fees apply to those starting their course between July 2023 and August 2024 UK/EU and International: £17,500

The fee is composed of (which can be paid on a module-by-module basis*):

  • nine taught modules (15 credits each): £1,650 per module

  • project module fee (45 credits): £2,650

*If you are receiving a student loan or your fees are being paid directly to the University by your employer or sponsor you will not be able to pay on a module-by-module basis. Please check with our Enrolment Advisors.

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

Graduates of the University of Leeds (or an affiliated institution) are entitled to a 10% bursary towards tuition fees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

UK students may be able to apply for a UK government-backed loan. Applications should be made through the Student Loans Company. There may be specific terms and conditions for online courses. Visit their website to find out more.

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Career opportunities

As a student, you’ll benefit from the University of Leeds’ award-winning Careers Service. The extensive E-resources, one-to-one support and online workshops and lectures will help you capitalise on your studies and tailor your career support to help you achieve your full potential.

One-to-One Support

  • Expert career consultants: If you need expert help making plans to get into your chosen career or just need to ask some questions about your career choice you can book a one-to-one online appointment with one of our expert career advisors. Your appointment will be tailored to your individual circumstances meaning that no matter where you are in your career journey we will be able to help you.
  • Interview preparation: As a student on the Sustainable Business Leadership Masters you may have years of experience attending interviews. However, if you are going for an interview in an new or unfamiliar sector or just want to practice your interview technique you can attend a mock online interview with a careers advisor. Our advisors use their wealth of expertise to ask the right kind of questions and provide detailed feedback.
  • CV and job application development: If you want to prove to an employer that you are the ideal candidate for a job then your CV and application form are vitally important. Whilst you may feel you have perfected your CV and have significant experience filling in applications, in order to progress in your career or move to a new sector your CV may need a refresh. You may also need to learn how to present your newly acquired knowledge and skills on an application. The University careers advisors are able to help, providing practical one-to-one advice and feedback on your CV and job applications.

Discover what we think are the top 5 management careers in sustainability

Workshops and guest lectures

  • Career workshops: Throughout the year a number of the careers workshops are delivered live and online to ensure all students no matter where they are in the world have the opportunity to take part. For example ‘Going Global: The Evolution of Employment’, ‘Postgraduate Careers Support’ and ‘The Journey of a Successful Entrepreneur’.
  • Guest lectures: In addition to the careers workshops you will have the opportunity to attend a series of online professional development webinars and guest lectures. The sessions are delivered by academics and expert practitioners and so provide you with an opportunity to further your knowledge and practical insights on a range of contemporary issues. Examples of previous sessions include ‘Incorporating Sustainability into Your Business Practice’ ‘Leadership in Difficult Times’ and ‘The ESG Agenda. What Do You Need to Know for Your Company Clients and Investors?’

Connecting with Employers

Given the University’s close involvement with hundreds of employers, you will be able to access a database of national and international job opportunities. You will also be able to connect with employers through a number of online events and the careers service may be able to connect you with fellow University of Leeds students living in the same country as you.


As a University of Leeds student, you will have access to online careers resources covering a broad range of issues such as; skills development, starting your own business and successfully completing job application forms. In addition to this there are numerous online careers tools available. Some examples include:

  • Vmock: This is a smart online CV checking platform which provides instant and personalised feedback with line-by-line suggestions on how to improve your CV.
  • Shortlist.Me: With employers increasingly using video interviews Shortlist.Me enables you to prepare, practice and improve your interview skills online. The service features a range of practice interviews with coaching points provided throughout the interview and feedback on your performance following the interview.
  • Linkedin Learning: If you would like to further develop your skills and knowledge whilst studying at the University of Leeds, LinkedIn Learning offers over 15,000 self-paced learning courses covering a diverse range of topics. If you are particularly interested in courses that may help you to progress in your career, a series of courses have been curated on subject such as ‘Workplace Skills’ and ‘Self Awareness’.
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Find out more about our Sustainable Business Leadership MSc

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