PgC Sustainable Leadership

Course details

Online application

September 2017 (Ambleside/London)

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Become a leader in sustainability by taking our highly flexible course, and get the chance to study within the heart of the breathtakingly scenic Lake District! We believe in the importance of experiential learning in and from nature, supported by world-class tutors and engaging guest lecturers to help you explore the future of your vocation.

You'll love the six day residential in the Lake District, which challenges you in a highly inter-disciplinary exploration of both sustainability and leadership. We'll deconstruct orthodoxies to help you more clearly identify the path for your future as a leader of social and organisational change. As part of your independent studies, you will work with a relevant expert to pursue a topic that best suits your interests. You'll have everything needed to become a well-regarded specialist in your field, so get on the right path to your future as a sustainable leader.

We believe that our use of experiential learning and nature as a venue and inspiration is a world first, and has helped the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) grow into a hub for critical sustainability leadership dialogue, research and education. You'll benefit from the experience and knowledge from experts in the fields of sustainability, whose reputation for excellence spans the globe. Learn from top class tutors such as:

  • Professor Jem Bendell
  • Dr David F. Murphy
  • Richard Little (from Impact International)
  • Dr Kate Rawles
  • Sue Cox
  • Leander Bindewald

Year One

Compulsory modules

  • Sustainable Leadership
  • Independent Study

Optional modules (subject to availability and demand)

  • Sustainable Exchange
  • Outdoor Experiential Learning: Contexts & Applications
  • Theoretical Perspectives of Outdoor & Experiential Learning
  • Reflective Practitioner
  • Leadership Democracy

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

Selection criteria

The course is intended for people with professional experience in fields related to sustainable development who seek to develop their leadership capabilities. Therefore, you must be able to demonstrate an interest in taking leadership for sustainable development and may be required to undertake an interview as places are limited.

In line with the University Admissions Policy, it is usual that entrants to this postgraduate award will provide evidence of study to level 6 undergraduate level and have at least two years' work experience in a management or supervisory category.

The University actively encourages applications from people of all ages, of any gender, ethnic and/or social background and from students with disabilities. You will be required to evidence English language proficiency standards where UK GCSE examinations in English (or their equivalent) have not been passed. These standards are normally represented by a minimum overall band of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) test, with at least 5.5 in each component. If studying the part-time option and you need a visa, then you cannot be in the UK on a Student Visa under the Tier 4 regulations.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential - evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.

Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa.

UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You'll have the skills to meet the rising demand for senior managers with an understanding of leading sectors towards greater sustainability. Find out more in this article from the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire.

You can use this qualification to advance to the MA in Sustainable Leadership Development, or progress to the MBA in Leadership and Sustainability without doing the residential Leadership and Sustainability module.

The two residential modules can be taken within the beautiful landscapes of the Lake District, with visits to important historical sites and outdoor locations inside England's largest national park. You may also choose to visit our campus on the edge of London's Docklands, the financial centre, for the residential module on the sharing economy and currency innovation.

Online reading resources, as well as library facilities, will support the in-person teaching methods. You will interact with your tutors and fellow students to enhance your education.

For more information, contact the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability at

The first cohort included executive students from Forum for the Future, Earthwatch, Impact International and the Centre for Leadership Performance. Feedback includes:

"This course was profound and life-changing. It has informed my practice, relationships - even my way of being."

"This was the most in-depth, conscious, and profound course I have ever participated in. I was both surprised and delighted at the transformation of my own consciousness that was achieved. I was defining myself as someone out of the box. This course made me realise that there is always a further critical step still."

"This first module has been the most powerful formal education experience of my life. The range of experts, both internal and external, brought a truly inter-disciplinary approach to exploring the challenges of leadership and sustainability. We have been challenged to take action, through imaginative practical assignments that go beyond the usual reading, analysis and regurgitation of academic texts."

"This course has facilitated a great personal transformation in me. Thank you!"

"Exceptional opportunity to engage with and question the debate around leadership and sustainability as instruments for and concepts affecting social change. Prepare to question and be questioned using a wide range of learning methods and environments. Excellent balance of attention to content with process."

"An existential provocation, demanding full emotional engagement within a democratic and nurturing community."

"Be warned: you will leave this course on a path to becoming a different person and hopefully a sustainable leader"

"Challenging, fascinating course that will shake your perspective of sustainability and your role as a leader."