The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: MSc Indicative duration: 2 years
Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

Sustainability is an important issue, but how do you apply it to your business? Our MSc Leadership for Sustainability introduces ways to develop a strong, successful and sustainable economic model that helps your organisation achieve long-term growth.  

The course focuses on the principles of sustainability within leadership, with modules that clearly and pragmatically link together to give a full picture of a real-life organisation. The syllabus is distinct by its emphasis on leadership, and how sustainability will be at the forefront of future organisational leaders’ thinking and action. 

You’ll explore a range of interesting topics, including:  

  • how sustainable enterprises run economically, effectively and sustainably  
  • the core principles of sustainable enterprise 
  • the advantages of a ‘circular economy’  

By the end, you’ll have a solid intellectual and philosophical understanding of how to take your organisation to the next level in sustainability. 


Why we’re great

  • Gain a postgraduate degree and graduate in person at the University of Essex’s stunning Colchester campus. 
  • 4 in 5 students felt prepared for their future career or further study (based on 2021 survey of active students with University of Essex Online). 
  • We’re proud to be rated Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) undertaken by the Office for Students (OfS).
  • We’re pleased to be able to offer a range of tuition fee discounts and scholarships for our online courses. 

The MSc Leadership for Sustainability is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 180 credits.

Develop a comprehensive awareness of sustainability as applied to contemporary enterprises and organisations, with this informative module. You’ll also gain a holistic understanding of underpinning sustainable leadership practices.  

What insights and skills do leaders need to drive transformative business change? Find out in this exciting module. From sustainable business models and strategies to change management and effective communication, you’ll explore a range of core topics.  

Innovation and entrepreneurship are the pillars of enterprise and sustainability, so learn more about them in this insightful module. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics and practice of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in emerging and developing economics. By the end of the module, you’ll learn how to drive innovation, develop entrepreneurial opportunities and create value through sustainable means. 

Comprehend, analyse, strategise and evaluate sustainable supply chain practices in this in-depth module. You’ll also consider their social, environmental and economic implications – while considering the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning to circular and regenerative models. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to apply your developed strategic thinking skills to sustainable and regenerative strategies. 

Develop your critical and analytical thinking skills in this valuable module. You’ll learn how to address sustainability challenges by using quantitative analysis and data-driven approaches – ultimately helping you to create informed policies that address environmental, social and economic challenges. 

How does strategic management fit within the context of sustainability? Find out in this thought-provoking module. You’ll delve into a range of case studies of management in action, which relate to the UN’s sustainability goals. You’ll also develop your decision-making skills to navigate the contemporary environment of sustainable enterprise. By the end, you’ll have a strong understanding of management within sustainability and economy as a whole. 

Undertake a solid grounding in research approaches and techniques at Masters level. On this exciting module, you’ll engage with both peers and tutors by critiquing and debating current literature. You’ll also journey towards becoming a fully reflective and independent thinker, by gaining new ways to collect, organise and present data. 

This defining module allows you to produce a major piece of academic research on a chosen topic within business and management. You’ll have the opportunity to explore areas that have not been fully investigated previously – incorporating your knowledge of management challenges, or a business scenario that has far-reaching organisational implications. 

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 



You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 


Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing and completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 


Study duration 

Our MSc Leadership for Sustainability has an indicative study duration of 2 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 


Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 


Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online is a recognised member of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and registered with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

This course is perfect if you’re interested in sustainable agenda as a whole and provides an excellent opportunity to advance your career as a leader and champion of sustainability within your organisation. 

You’ll gain a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities that sustainability presents – while learning from academic experts and building the knowledge and skills that employers are seeking.   

Throughout your studies, you’ll develop skills in critical thinking, decision making, communication and collaboration. You’ll also grow your knowledge of business sustainability, whether you have limited managerial experience or are an experienced manager looking become a better leader.    

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed: 

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills. 
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans. 
  • almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career. 
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%. 

We know many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You’ll also need to meet our English language requirements. 

Additionally, you’ll need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue with your studies. 


Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our MSc Leadership for Sustainability, you must have the following qualifications as a minimum: 

  • an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree; or a relevant professional qualification.

Work experience entry route

To satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our MSc Leadership for Sustainability, you must meet the following criteria as a minimum:  

  • at least three years’ experience within a relevant field of business, industry or a not-for-profit organisation, supported by two appropriate references.

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency is required in this language. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.  

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries. 

Full tuition fee:
£12,167 UK / £12,428 International (2023-24) Δ 
£12,471 UK / £13,049 International (2024-25) Δ

  • Designated for postgraduate student loans in England. 
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Partial scholarship available for international students residing in specific regions outside of the UK. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 
  • 10% anniversary scholarship available when you enrol by 31 July 2024.
  • 20% impact scholarship available for our April 2024 intake.

Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

We want to give everyone the opportunity to experience a University of Essex Online course. We think you’ll love it, but if within the first 21 days you decide it’s not for you, you’ll receive a full refund. 

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our MSc Leadership for Sustainability are true experts in the field. 

Related courses

window.unibuddySettings = {
uni_id: ‘university-of-essex-online’,
colour: ‘CD202C’,
filterKey: ‘degreeId’,
filterValue: ‘5eff3e39a3f28a0d30c40f9f’,
domain: ‘’,
title: ‘Unibuddy Popcard’,
align: ‘left’,