This course is designed to develop environmental leaders who are equipped to drive and direct change in organisations, in order to address the profound environmental challenges of our time.

There is growing recognition that addressing environmental and sustainability challenges requires a unique combination of fundamental knowledge, practical problem-solving skills and interpersonal competencies. All of these essential elements are integrated with this programme, and it is this distinctive holistic approach that will provide you with the skillset critical for success in this field.

This programme is one of the first of its kind in the UK and its unique features include:

  • opportunities to engage with experienced environmental leaders from industry and commerce
  • a focus on the development of skills-based competencies needed for employment
  • the ability to tailor your degree to a specific environmental specialism
  • the opportunity to gain a Level 5 Certificate awarded by the Institute of Leadership and Management

The course is ideal for anyone who aspires to be a leader who can generate positive change for the environment, both within organisations and broader society. Its dual focus on scientific and people skills ensures you are prepared to lead in roles that include sustainability management, environmental consulting, green policy development, and environmental entrepreneurship.

Find out more.

Course details

The core curriculum will give you an understanding of fundamental environmental processes and the ways in which contemporary environmental decisions are made. You will develop as an informed, environmentally aware leader who is ready to be an effective agent of change and influence within organisations.

You will:

  • develop a deep understanding of the key environmental and sustainability challenges facing the world today, such as water quality and supply, clean air, climate change, urbanisation, biodiversity loss and sustainable energy resources
  • be exposed to cutting-edge scientific and social science thinking about how to measure, analyse and address these challenges
  • identify and develop the character and personal competencies necessary to be an effective environmental leader
  • learn to utilise your leadership, communication and management skills, through practical experience, to be a change driver in a competitive organisational context, whilst also championing the environment
  • develop your ability to analyse information so that you can make sound judgements, find innovative solutions and take achievable actions that will meet the needs of organisations and the environment
  • gain the skills necessary for identifying, evaluating and mapping environmental challenges, visioning solutions and strategising pathways for change

Core themes will include:

  • leadership
  • sustainability
  • environmental processes
  • decision making in an environmental context
  • problem-solving techniques
  • project design

The programme also incorporates ILM tuition delivered in collaboration with GWA Ltd - an ILM Approved Centre. It will result in the professional qualification of a Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management.

The ILM tuition will include an intensive teaching block, plus supported assignment and project work. It will cover topics such as:

  • leadership styles
  • motivating and influencing
  • planning and managing change
  • innovation
  • project planning and managing

Through the completion of a research project with an emphasis on environmental practice, you will acquire the skills needed for effective design of environmentally-focused research projects and problem-solving.

The dissertation can either be a traditional research dissertation supervised by an academic from the School of Geography, or it can be a placement-based dissertation co-designed and undertaken in partnership with a relevant organisation (for example, environmental NGOs; environmental consultancies; government agencies; environmental research centres and more).

This experience in an organisational context will help to demonstrate your abilities as an effective environmental leader to future employers.

Opportunity to specialise

In addition to the core curriculum, you may also specialise in a specific area of environmental challenge that aligns with your personal career aspirations, by selecting an individual pathway covering issues such as:

  • climate risk
  • sustainable ecosystems
  • water resources

Within each pathway, the teaching and learning are designed to develop theoretical and applied knowledge alongside practical competencies, so that you become equipped to be a leader that can manage specific contemporary global environmental challenges and their impacts.

Your degree award will identify your area of specialisation, ensuring employers can be made aware of your skills. Please see the modules section for more detailed module information.

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline

IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in each element)


This course will help you to effect genuine change and to meaningfully contribute to your organisation's sustainability agenda.

By developing your leadership skills in tandem with specialist knowledge you will be able to address today's most pressing environmental challenges, as well as create strategies to tackle future problems.

Your skills as a solutions-orientated specialist will enhance your career opportunities and employability across a range of sectors including government, private industry and NGOs.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated February 13, 2019
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