MSc in Sustainability Management and Innovation

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Course summary

Biologists claim we’re living through the sixth mass extinction of species, while climate scientists suggest there’s little more than a decade to cut the risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and extreme poverty. Sustainability is the most pressing concern of the 21st century. Companies across the globe are being forced to consider their impact on people and the planet to achieve the outcomes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The UK was the first major nation to formally back a pledge to cut carbon emissions to practically zero by 2050, followed soon after by the EU. Having spent decades internationalising operations and supply chains, organisations now have to reduce their carbon footprint, minimise climate and environmental risk, enhance resiliency and integrate sustainability into their operations, but few know how to do this.

Our exciting MSc responds directly to the urgent demand for a new type of professional – those who not only possess core business management skills, but also understand corporate sustainability, want to make a difference and, more importantly, have the skills, creativity and innovation to lead positive (and profitable) change.

Corporate sustainability management is critical to the long-term viability of businesses, many of whom are under increasing scrutiny from a concerned society and mounting pressure from expanding regulations. They need people who appreciate the wider context of their operations and stakeholder relationships – people capable of spotting and solving problems, coming up with practical and feasible solutions, then pushing through change.

Tackling all this and more, our MSc is structured around three themes: analysis of sustainability issues (both social and environmental), the development of possible innovative solutions (collaborative, innovative business models, projects and products), and implementation and change management.

From the outset, your learning will be practice-based. You’ll engage with a range of partner organisations on ‘live’ projects and research, and see first-hand how sustainability is managed in a particular socio-economic space. Companies we are in talks with include those involved in upcycling and recycling, as well as champions in this burgeoning professional area. You can also undertake an optional internship as part of your dissertation.

A highlight is our international field trip, which continues the practical aspect of this course. Each year, we choose to study a particular sustainability challenge or problem in a country overseas, for example, recycling or the circular economy.

Our course was designed with input from a range of industry professionals and businesses currently operating in the sustainability space or championing the profession. 

Top reasons to study with us

  • This MSc is ideal for recent graduates and those with a passion to contribute to a better future as an expert in sustainability – promoting sustainable solutions, driving sustainable product development or managing sustainability reporting, compliance, and change.
  • Sustainability is a growing field with more and more job opportunities in environmental protection, social responsibility and business profitability.
  • Become business-ready through intensive practical experiences and focused study.
  • Exciting teaching and learning with live case studies and guest speakers to include managers and entrepreneurs who have transformed their companies into a sustainable firm.
  • Sustainability in practice consulting project with a client company, acquiring up-to-date skills such as carbon footprinting expertise and product life-cycle analysis.
  • International field trip to study sustainability in situ – with all costs included in the tuition fees.
  • Interactive group ‘Trash Hack’ – an entrepreneurial exercise in recycling an industrial waste product.
  • Engaging assessment methods, including simulations, business challenges, investigating briefs, group pitches and video presentations.

Pooling Water

Course structure

The course incorporates interdisciplinary modules from multiple business fields (such as strategy, operations management, digital disruption and innovation, marketing and finance), together with environmental studies (such as carbon footprinting and environmental impact assessment).

You’ll develop a greater understanding of the relationship between business and society and how to engage with stakeholder communities more effectively. You’ll learn to expertly assess your employer’s impact – whether it be social, environmental or economic. Finally, with an appreciation of the challenges that sustainability poses for strategic decision-making, you’ll develop the skills and know-how to innovate, implementing new processes, products and services, and identifying ways to integrate sustainable practices into day-to-day business.

Semester 1

We begin by exploring the challenges and opportunities that societal and environmental issues create for organisations as exemplified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We consider sustainable management in all its dimensions, focusing on real-life problems, such as reducing or changing energy sources, or how to influence the behaviour of suppliers. We consider the importance of green marketing – how to promote products or services based on their environmental benefits, whether, for example, they’ve been manufactured in a sustainable fashion, don’t contain toxic materials or ozone-depleting substances or feature minimum packaging. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of business innovation and how companies can exploit emerging opportunities around sustainability.

Semester 2

Our aim is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to build readiness for change within various types of organisation, then implement change successfully. We’ll consider how to improve corporate sustainability reporting, looking at the methods and frameworks to monitor carbon emissions and use of natural resources and energy. As well as employee relations, we look at wider stakeholder communities and the need for companies to encourage sustainable supply chains, green logistics and procurement. Finally, choosing either a research or work-based project, you’ll investigate and report on issues in current sustainability management and practice.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

  • Strategies for a Sustainable Future
  • Marketing for a Sustainable World
  • Digital Disruption and Sustainable Innovative Business Models
  • Leadership and Change Management in a Complex World
  • Collaboration, Cooperation and Green Supply Chains
  • Sustainability in Practice
  • Sustainability Analytics and Reporting
  • CSR and Sustainability in Context

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2).
  • If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing.
  • Applicants are required to submit one reference.

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Careers

Sustainability is one of today's fastest-growing industries and the demand for multi-skilled business managers with specialist knowledge to tackle sustainability is enormous. Organisations all over the world need people with an understanding of sustainability, personal integrity, good people skills, strong networking skills, and the ability to drive change.

You might find yourself working in-house or as a consultant, helping businesses to develop environmental management strategies, analysing the impact of products and processes on the environment. You could specialise in project management of sustainability activities and strategies or reporting and compliance obligations. Alternatively, if you consider yourself highly creative, you might wish to focus on the development of more sustainable products and providing input into product renovation and recycling.

Industry links

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education. Taught in the heart of London, close to many of the city’s national, international and global employers, as well as its political, media and financial services scene, our emphasis is on skills, capabilities and attributes.

The applied projects and optional internship will not only expand your professional networks but also directly enhance the prospects for early employability after graduation.

Job roles

This course will prepare you for roles such as:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Product sustainability manager
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Sustainability project manager (cities and regions)
  • Sustainability reporting manager Graduate employers
Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

The University of Westminster is a dynamic international education institution with a distinguished 175-year history. With three campuses in central London (Cavendish, Marylebone and Regent) and one i ... Read More

The University of Westminster is a dynamic international education institution with a distinguished 175-year history. With three campuses in central London (Cavendish, Marylebone and Regent) and one in Harrow, it is home to over 20,000 students from over 150 nations. Read less