MSc Sustainability and Consultancy

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment

Program Description

MSc Sustainability and Consultancy

University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment

The Sustainability and Consultancy Masters offers a grounding in the broad range of sustainability topics beyond just environmental issues (from project development to corporate sustainability strategy). It will also develop the professional skills you’ll need.

Sustainability is an integrated issue across our teaching, rather than separating the environmental, economic and social elements.

Specialist modules are delivered by academic staff, practising consultants and other practitioners, giving you exposure to real-life, international case studies with a good understanding of contemporary management techniques and solutions.

This course aligns closely with the challenges of sustainability and the skills that employers say they need to tackle those challenges, with a strong emphasis on project skills.

Course highlights:

  • Our course was the first qualification of its kind in the UK.
  • In the first semester you can choose an optional FREE 2 day field course to East Yorkshire. Learn about issues affecting sustainable economic development and environmental management in a developed world context.
  • A major component of this masters is that you will manage a consultancy project, which is usually undertaken in the form of a placement with a professional organisation. This experience plays a key role in your personal and professional development.
  • This is an approved Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) 'Associate Certificate' programme. This means once you graduate you are eligible to become an IEMA Associate Member – the first stage towards full professional chartership.


This is an approved Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) 'Associate Certificate' course:

  • This means once you graduate you are eligible to become an IEMA Associate Member – the first stage towards full professional chartership.
  • You are also eligible to take-up free student membership.
  • IEMA supports individuals and organisations to set, recognise and achieve global sustainability standards and practice.


If you complete an additional assessment during Semester two and pass the degree, you automatically qualify for IEMA Associate Membership. A step which usually requires an additional exam after a period of workplace experience.

Course content

When completed on a full-time basis, this 12 month Masters is split into three semesters. In the first semester you will take lectures and seminars which lay the theoretical foundation needed for you to gain an in-depth understanding of sustainability topics. In the second semester you will focus on you applying this knowledge through case studies and on practical professional skills development. 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 three.

In semester three, the focus switches to individual work, where you will deliver a project usually carried out on a placement of around 10 weeks. Present the progression you have made in your project around the end of June, and submit your final dissertation in late August.

When completed on a part-time basis, the programme runs for 24 months, with each year split into three semesters. You will take two taught modules in semesters 1 and 2 each year, followed by a full-time project placement in semester three of your final year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

You’ll study modules totalling 180 credits. Each module is worth 15 credits unless otherwise stated:

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Business, Environment and Sustainability
  • The Regulatory and Planning Context for Environmental Projects
  • Elective: Climate Change: Physical Science Basis or Introduction to Ecological Economics

Semester 2

  • Standards and Tools for Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility
  • Issues and Cases in Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Project Management: Developing and Managing Environmental Contracts
  • Project Management: Sustainability, People and Resources

Semester 3

  • Consultancy project, usually carried out on placement (60 credits)

Learning and teaching

The research-intensive environment of the School ensures that course material is both up-to-date and research led. We aim to teach the scientific and rational principles lying behind the practical approaches used in the world outside academia, so that your skills keep pace with changes in technology or the regulatory environment.

A range of learning and teaching methods used include lectures, practical workshops, computer lab sessions, research seminars, fieldtrips and project work.


The School of Earth and Environment’s £23 million building provides world class research, teaching and facilities.


To complement teaching, assessment is varied and includes both written and oral assignments and exams. It also includes both individual and group work.

Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a natural, environmental, physical, management or social science subject.

Mature applicants without a first degree or with a lower degree classification may be considered on the basis of their relevant industry experience and their potential for benefiting from the programme.

This programme is especially well-suited to students with an enthusiasm for environmental debate and concern over the future sustainability of human and environmental systems. We welcome applications from graduates with environmental studies, geography or biology backgrounds. Graduates from other disciplines with relevant work experience in the fields of environment and/or development are also likely to benefit from this programme.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment admissions team.

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.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


UK/EU: £8,000

International: £18,000

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out if you can get help at Postgraduate funding.

School Scholarships

Four full-fee scholarships are available to UK/EU applicants with an offer on this programme. Applications must be received by Wednesday 1st June 2016.

Two full-fee scholarships are available to International applicants with an offer on this programme. Applications must be received by Sunday 1st May 2016.

Other funding sources

Past students have secured funding through a career development loan, for details visit UK Government website.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme have gone on to a wide variety of careers in sustainability:

  • environmental consultancy and planning
  • corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • sustainability strategy
  • environmental and social impact assessments and project financing
  • environmental management
  • carbon reduction and energy management
  • stakeholder management and engagement
  • policy development
  • project management
  • sustainability assessment.

Graduates from the programme in recent years have taken up roles with organisations in the public, private and NGO sectors:

  • Consultants: CH2M Hill, ERM, KPMG, Jacobs, JBA Consulting, Mott MacDonald, RPS, URS, WYG
  • Other private sector: Arla, E.ON UK, FIRA International, Sodexo, Total
  • NGOs: 2degrees, Carbon Trust, CIWEM.

Our alumni are currently working in many parts of the world including Canada, Germany, India, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, UAE, UK and USA.

Careers support

We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals. The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. Read more about our careers and employability.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 27, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
12 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
8,000 GBP
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Leeds, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 12 - 24 months
Price 8,000 GBP
UK/EU £8,000; International £18,000