You'll take nine months of taught classes, followed by approximately three months of independent project work in association with an industry partner.
You'll take lectures and seminars, which lay the theoretical foundation needed for you to gain an in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, beginning with project management. Through lectures and seminars, you'll learn how to manage both projects and contracts in a sustainability context and will be taught essential skills for a consultant such as managing budgets, dealing with changes in the scope of a project, managing activities and developing tasks to successfully deliver a consultancy project.
During semester one, you'll also have the opportunity to choose modules which focus on a broad range of consultancy theoretical topics. These topics may include issues associated with corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, alternative economic models such as ecological economics or challenges faced by climate change in a sustainability setting.
During semester two you'll apply the knowledge gained in semester one in a more practical way, beginning to think about how these things will work in practice.
The focus of the modules you'll study will be on embedding sustainability within both projects and a wider organisation. You'll approach this idea from two different angles; delivering sustainability on discrete projects and embedding sustainability at an organisational level.
Optional modules in this semester will allow you to choose which topic appeals most to you; regulation and planning or issues and cases in corporate responsibility. The former tackles an area in which many consultants often end up, working with developers working on planning big infrastructure projects such as power stations and railways. Whereas the latter will allow you to focus more on CSR and in-company sustainability.
Throughout the year you can also take part in personal development workshops and activities, including networking with project hosts, helping you secure a successful research project for semester 3.
The focus now switches to your individual work, in which you'll apply the knowledge and skills that you have developed in both semester one and two in a real-world scenario. Over ten weeks you'll work with one of our industry partners to deliver a sustainability consultancy project, in which you'll carry out some discrete analysis and produce tangible outputs to the client/host organisation.
The School will help you to find a partner company through our industry contacts, though you are free to develop your own project with a company of choice should you already have connections or links within industry. For many of our students, the links formed through this project work have led to a job after graduating.
You'll then present the progression you have made in your project around the end of June, submitting your final dissertation in late August.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Sustainability and Consultancy module descriptions for more detail on what you'll study.
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 Sustainability and Consultancy MSc in the course catalogue
Business, Environment and Sustainability
Sustainability Consultancy Project
Developing and managing environmental projects
Managing and Delivering Sustainability through Projects and Organisations
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
The Regulatory and Planning Context for Sustainable Projects
Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility
Learning and teaching
You'll learn through a variety of methods including lectures, practical workshops, computer lab sessions, research seminars, field trips and project work.
The research-intensive environment of the School ensures that your course material is both up-to-date and research led. Our strong links with industry ensures that course content is relevant to needs of the sustainability industry.
You'll also learn the scientific and rational principles lying behind the practical approaches used in the world outside of academia, so that your skills keep pace with changes in technology or the regulatory environment.
You'll be assigned a personal tutor, who will maintain contact with you throughout the year and offer pastoral guidance. They will help you to settle into the university and clarify any procedures, as well as helping you prepare for employment on graduation.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
We have successful and productive links with many partners who have different perspectives on sustainability and consultancy. During your studies, you'll come into contact with our network of industrial partners through teaching, personal development workshops and whilst undertaking your final consultancy project.
External partners include consultancy providers such as AECOM, ARUP, Buro Happold, JBA Consulting, Jacobs, ERM, Mott MacDonald and WSP in the multidisciplinary and environmental consulting fields, as well as other consultancy providers with management and wider sustainability portfolios such as Sodexo, retail bank small business services and Business in the Community.
We also work closely on both research projects and teaching, with consultancy clients from the private sector (e.g. Yorkshire Water, Burberry), non-profits (Opera North, UnLtd) and public sector (e.g. Leeds City Council, Environment Agency, NHS).
Our industrial partners consistently report that the combination of academic rigour, professional skills development and project management experience inherent in this degree ensure that graudates have the combination of skills and knowledge to be effective straight away.
As a result, you'll be seen as ‘work ready’, with fresh ideas and innovative ways of working in your chosen career area.
The strong relationship with businesses and other influential organisations in the field of sustainability means that, through your consultancy project, you'll be able to contribute to transforming business to prepare for a more sustainable future.
The Programme Leader, Paul Abbott, is an experienced sustainability consultant who has spent over 30 years delivering high-quality projects and services to large companies, SMEs, government departments, professional institutes, awarding and validating bodies and institutes of further and higher education.
Leading in the field for over 10 years, academics from the Sustainability Research Institute – one of the largest academic groups of sustainability experts in the world – will form part of the wider programme team.
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.
You'll be assessed through a variety of ways, including both written and oral assignments and exams, through individual and group work.
Your final project work will involve you presenting your findings, before completing your project and dissertation. You'll also complete assessments, which help you develop your knowledge of the consultancy sector and how to present yourself for consultancy roles, as well as gaining experience in the essential practical processes of health and safety and ethical risk assessment.
Online taster courses
Our Environmental Challenges collection is a five-part series of free online courses, delivered via FutureLearn. Ideal for current undergraduate students or mid-career professionals considering a Masters degree, this series explores how environmental management policies are developed and the challenges surrounding their formulation.