Sustainable Business Leadership PGCert

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
March 2024
May 2024
July 2024
Delivery type
Online exclusive
8 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 Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) is one of few courses that integrates the two areas of sustainability and business.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in sustainable business leadership features specialist modules such as Policy, Governance and Sustainability, Contemporary Economics and Sustainability and Business, which speak directly to the skills that today’s employers are actively seeking. The course also facilitates a degree of tailoring – so you are able to select a fourth development module which may fit your own unique interests or planned career development.

It will take only a minimum of 8 months to complete a PGCert level qualification whilst still providing the knowledge, skills, and credit to ensure you are equipped to upskill quickly. You can either exit with the Postgraduate Certificate award, or continue to complete the full Masters degree.

Six reasons to study Sustainable Business Leadership online.

The University of Leeds

We are one of the top 75 universities in the world and ranked in the top 15 in the UK (QS World University Rankings, 2024) with a global reputation for excellence in research and teaching.

Through links with various industry partners worldwide, we provide you with a strong combination of higher education and careers support. Our team of high-profile academics create an exceptional study experience guided by industry-leading knowledge and research.

Why choose Leeds?

Learn from academic excellence

Our online Sustainable Business Leadership MSc is delivered in collaboration between Leeds University Business School and the School of Earth and Environment. The Business School has a broad portfolio of research and is triple accredited and ranked 67th in the world for Business and Management studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023).

Meanwhile, the School of Earth and Environment is a major international powerhouse for environmental research, ranked in the global Top 25 for Earth and Marine Sciences and Top 40 for Environmental Studies (QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023).

Meet Dr Laura Smith, Lecturer for Sustainable Business Leadership

Meet Dr James Van Alstine, Associate Professor for Sustainable Business Leadership

The Sustainability Research Institute is part of the School of Earth and Environment and explores a range of research areas including:

  • Climate change
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Resource use
  • Land use
  • Conservation
  • Cities and communities
  • Business
  • Lifestyles.

Our research collaborations

The School of Earth and Environment also has strong links with the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) 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.

Request further information

Find out more about our Sustainable Business Leadership Postgraduate Certificate

Course details

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About our Sustainable Business Leadership PGCert

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 four 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 Policy, Governance and Sustainability, Contemporary Economics and Sustainability and Business.

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.

Request further information

Find out more about our Sustainable Business Leadership Postgraduate Certificate

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 PGCert 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

Learning and teaching

Studying online

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.


Your learning will be delivered online via our award-winning virtual learning environment, Minerva. 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.

Watch our preview of Minerva

You’ll 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).


Entry requirements

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 PGCert 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 PGCert 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).

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

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Register to apply

Begin your application today

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 or to change your start date after applying. Email

All suitably qualified candidates will be contacted by telephone as part of the selection process.


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


  • March 2024 start: 13 February 2024
  • May 2024 start: 16 April 2024
  • July 2024 start: 11 June 2024


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


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Associated fees for Sustainable Business Leadership PGCert

The following fees apply to those starting their course between July 2023 and August 2024

UK/EU and International: £6,600

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

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

*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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

People standing around looking at an object.

There are no scholarships available for this degree.

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.

Career opportunities

Person standing in front of a whiteboard.

Careers in sustainability management

Sustainability jobs are varied and contribute to the development of sustainable practices within a broad range of industries. Upon completion of the course you’ll be well placed to enter a range of sustainability careers including:

  • Sustainability/ESG Manager
  • Sustainability Analyst
  • Sustainability Project Manager
  • Sustainability Compliance Manager
  • Sustainability Marketing Manager
  • Sustainability Consultant or Sernior Sustainability Consultant
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager
  • Net Zero Consultant

Learn more about the top careers in sustainability management

Employability support

As an online student you’ll benefit from:  

  • A range of events on careers and employability run throughout the year that include CV preparation and sustainability job application support.  
  • Alumni focused events with recent and past graduates talking about their career journeys.
  • Career networking opportunities through industry related events such as:
    • Live online career workshops such as ‘Going Global: The Evolution of Employment’, ‘Postgraduate Careers Support’ and ‘The Journey of a Successful Entrepreneur’.
    • Online professional development webinars and guest lectures delivered by academics and expert practitioners. 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?’

We are committed to supporting you to get the most out of your postgraduate study so that you graduate with excellent career prospects in sustainability management. Our career support will help you in both approaching companies and throughout the application process.

The University of Leeds Careers Service

As a Leeds student, you will also have access to extensive online resources from the University of Leeds Careers Service including:

  • Access to a database of employer events.
  • Career planning guidance.
  • CV writing tips.
  • Sustainability job application support.
  • Key interview skills advice.
  • Tailored one-to-one support via an e-Guidance service which can provide advice by appointment via Microsoft Teams.