The challenge of building long-term value for stakeholders at the same time as embracing economic, social and environmental risks and opportunities is of growing significance on the corporate governance agenda.
Meeting this challenge requires a fresh mindset and a toolkit of professional and research-inspired knowledge and skills. This specialist Masters will equip you with essential theoretical and evidential foundations and help you to develop relevant practical and professional skills from which you can build or accelerate a career in the field of corporate sustainability.
Our unique course draws on the academic expertise and professional experience of the Department of Environment and Geography and The York Management School, alongside industry-leading guest speakers working in the corporate sustainability sphere. You will have the opportunity to combine the study of sustainability-driven business models, techniques and tools with legal, ethical, financial, governance, accountability, marketing and organisational aspects.
Our postgraduate teaching is informed by our research as well as top-level international and national level experience in consultancy, industry and professional practice. Our research includes work in areas as diverse as corporate social responsibility, ethical marketing, social enterprises, corporate governance, international business and risk management, sustainability policy and governance, climate change, pollution, supply chains and their interface with ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation and wildlife management.
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014) 96% of our research activity is classified as internationally recognised.
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014) the vast majority of our research is rated 3* or 4*.
96% of research activity in the department is internationally recognised (Research Excellence Framework 2014)
You'll benefit from our unique access to the Stockholm Environment Institute, an international environmental policy unit embedded in the Department
Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Overseas Development Institute, Willis Global Insurance Broker
Corporate sustainability takes its cue from the convergence of environmental management and corporate social responsibility disciplines, examining connections between businesses, society and the natural world, reflected in the ‘triple-bottom-line’.
Our course combines various ‘core’ modules, which provide a solid grounding in corporate sustainability principles and practices, alongside an employability-skills focused corporate environmental management training. Optional financial, marketing and accountability modules enable you to tailor a degree to your interests.
You will be trained in suitable research methods and relevant ethical issues, while practising your research skills through a variety of team and individual projects. In particular, as an alternative to a University-based dissertation, you can opt for a placement-based dissertation which you can carry out with a suitable organisation of your choice (eg a consultancy, industry or business, governmental body, civil society organisation), enabling you to gain valuable workplace experience while conducting research with a practical focus.
For the Masters you will need to take 100 credits of taught modules alongside a dissertation worth 80 credits.
Choose 40 credits from:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You will also complete an 8,000 word dissertation as part of this MSc. This dissertation can either be York based (in the Department of Environment and Geography), or as a placement with an external partner. For the former, staff in the Department can suggest a range of possible subjects and titles, but you can also devise your own title. For the latter, the dissertation topic will be of relevance to the external partner.
For both types of dissertation, you will have a departmental supervisor who will provide guidance and who can comment on drafts of your dissertation. If you are undertaking a placement for your dissertation, you will also be allocated a project supervisor within your placement company.
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
Our superb £12.5m state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms as well as featuring a spectacular living wall
Academic and industry speakers are invited to talk about key and policy-relevant areas of environmental research
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
Most of your reading will be available from the University library, however you may need to purchase extra equipment such as text books. You will be responsible for the costs associated with your dissertation. These can include printing, binding, telephone calls and travel.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
We aim to provide a broad range of intellectually rigorous and practically challenging learning activities in a stimulating, supportive and enjoyable environment. Employability skills training is a key element of our programme.
This Masters combines formal lectures, practical workshops, seminars and a variety of group and individual projects. Examples include*:
You will use the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to supplement lectures, workshops and other learning activities with additional material. Subject to annual agreement with corporate partners, the programme includes one or more industrial site visits.
* The learning activities are constantly under review and development to ensure they remain contemporary and appropriate to programme learning outcomes and as such they may vary from those listed.
Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
Assessments provide the opportunity for you to work on tasks with practical relevance as well as practise research skills, critical analysis and structuring an argument. Types of assessment in this course therefore include:
Formative assessment as you study will allow you to receive feedback on your progress and understanding.
This course is suitable if you are aiming for a corporate sustainability related role in the for-profit or not-for-profit sectors. This role is central to industrial and business activities of all kinds, with many these days employing dedicated specialists, or teams of specialists, or allocating tasks across a range of job functions. The banking, finance and insurance sectors in particular are showing growing leadership on climate-change risks and responsible investment. As such, the range of opportunities for developing a career in this area of practice is growing.
This course will be of interest if you are aiming for a career in the following areas:
You'll develop a range of transferable skills during the course, including:
You should have at least a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject such as management, finance, environmental science or geography. If you have a 2:2 degree in a relevant subject as well as additional experience, such as work in environmental management, then we will also welcome your application. You'll need a good level of mathematical or statistical ability in order to follow the quantitative and financial modules: you can demonstrate this with an element of economics, accounting or finance in your degree.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
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