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MSc Sustainable Business, Environment and Society (dual degree)

Prepare to lead global business in tackling current and future sustainability challenges through international collaboration and experience and help create a sustainable and just future.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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The planet is currently facing unprecedented social, economic, and environmental challenges. Business is an important agent for change towards sustainability. It can be the start of innovation and lead to solutions for pressing problems of our time.

Dual degree

This degree is split between the universities of Maastricht and York. You'll spend semester one studying at Maastricht in the Netherlands and semester two studying in York. By studying for a dual degree, you'll get to experience life in another country, exposure to a different culture, and access to expertise in two internationally-recognised universities. 

During the course, you'll learn how to lead sustainability initiatives in a business setting. You'll develop the skills to work with local communities and gain expertise in independent and critical thinking. With opportunities to work with external organisations, you'll apply your skills to real-world problems.

On graduation, you'll be well-placed for roles in internationally oriented companies, public institutions and organisations that strive for sustainability.

If you would like to study a similar high quality programme in a single location at the University of York and at lower cost, we encourage you to apply for the Sustainable Business, Environment and Society (MSc).

The Environment Building with living wall on Campus West, University of York

Problem-based learning

Modern, dynamic learning that ensures you experience and understand concepts in practical, social and theoretical contexts.

International outlook and social responsibility

We believe that universities should have a positive impact at a local, national and global level.

Research excellence

We've improved our ranking to become a top 15 research department, and our research is ranked joint second in the UK for impact, according to the Times Higher Education's ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Course content

Explore ideas of sustainability and sustainable development and develop skills and understanding to present creative solutions to current problems.

Our curriculum considers sustainability, management, leadership, and innovation to address current environmental challenges. During your studies, you'll learn about organisational theories, social and environmental justice, and the role of business in building sustainable futures.

You'll gain project management experience, and assess the risks and opportunities associated with sustainable change. 

We'll help you expand your knowledge and appreciation of the scientific principles behind key environmental, economic, and social sustainability challenges.

Through our teaching, you'll develop skills in independent thinking and critical analysis. You'll also get hands-on experience working with external organizations, applying your knowledge to current issues.

Dissertation

You'll have the opportunity to work with experts from two prestigious departments on a research project. The project is framed as an academic article, allowing you to submit it for potential publication.

York: Dissertation
York: Dissertation with Placement
Maastricht: Maastricht: Thesis Research and Writing 

You will complete a dissertation or dissertation with placement where you will apply skills gained from taught modules to the identification and solution of problems of sustainable business. You'll gain experience in conducting a piece of independent research with advice and guidance from an experienced researcher in the department, as well as external partner in the case of a placement.


Some of the recent topics of projects include the following:

  • Sustainable supply chain management: "How can food retailers utilise supplier engagement and assessment practices to foster sustainable supply chain management?"
  • Ethical consumerism: "We are what we buy? Factors determining millennials’ second-hand clothing choices in Yorkshire, England."
  • Supply chain resilience: "The Role of Local Government in Building Supply Chain Climate Resilience."

The York approach

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.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

from the elements of this course based in Maastricht: 

  • Acquire and apply knowledge of methodology for sustainability assessment.
  • Acquire thorough knowledge and understanding of methodology for scientific research on complex sustainable development challenges.
  • Apply an integrative approach and critical thinking to handle complexity, normativity and the transformative nature of sustainable development.
  • Apply methodology for sustainability assessment on real-world sustainable development issues.
  •  Adopt a scientific and problem-solving attitude to sustainable development issues and to choose appropriate research approaches and apply research methods for sustainability science.
  • Critically reflect upon one’s own work and others’ (group) work, and to accordingly adapt own work.
  • Be able to reflect on societal and ethical implications of sustainable development problems and solutions while knowing that information is often incomplete.
  • Work across ‘boundaries’ and deal with different perspectives across different disciplines and societal domain.
  • Report and translate scientific knowledge clearly and unambiguously to various audiences (e.g. students, staff, stakeholders).
  • Develop clear and scientific arguments leading to own viewpoint, while acknowledging other perspectives.
  • Adopt an attitude of self-directed learning.

 

from the elements of this course based in York:

  • Discuss the scientific principles which underlie sustainability problems, and critically assess and debate their solutions in the context of business, and other civil society organisations.
  • Apply knowledge across disciplinary boundaries to analyse sustainability from a systemic perspective which includes, but is not limited to ecological, political, social and economic considerations.
  • Design change management and innovation strategies to assess, improve and monitor the sustainability of an organisation.
  • Understand the systemic nature of complex challenges and create transformative, resilient and inclusive solutions that support, and are appropriate to the scale of the challenge of building liveable and just futures.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally across disciplines for specialist and non-specialist audiences using written, oral and digital media.
  • Collaborate effectively and professionally within and across organisations to foster a community-oriented mindset and develop partnerships.
  • Select and apply appropriate methodologies for sustainability assessment for complex real world sustainable development issues.
  • Competently gather, synthesise and analyse data from various sources through quantitative and/or qualitative methods.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge of sustainable development, sustainability science and boundary work, more specifically:
    - Sustainable development: its complexity, transdisciplinary and normative nature, and its integrative and transformative ambition
    - Sustainability science: as a field that links knowledge to action
    - Boundary work: working and thinking across ‘boundaries’

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £11,640£26,300

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Other cost considerations

If you are interested in the exchange option, you should consider the implications for:

  • University accommodation – we will aim to be flexible on contract length; please indicate early that this might be an option
  • Shorter private accommodation – contracts that enable release at six months
  • Visa requirements

Travel and accommodation for the conference will be covered.

Living costs

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Teaching format

The course is taught through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars alongside client meetings.

Facilities

During your first semester at Maastricht you'll have access to the Tapijn Building; a former army barracks that has been recently restored to provide space for education and research as well as the 15th-century Nieuwenhof monastery, both of which house the School for Business and Economics. Maastricht is a multicultural city, rich in history with a thriving student community. Everything can be reached by bike. The city also has great transport links to get you to Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris in a short time.

During your second semester in York, you'll have access to the Department of Environment and Geography's Environment building containing purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms.

You'll also have access to the £1.3m Environmental Sustainability Academy at York (ESAY). ESAY brings together the environmental sustainability community at York which hosts a wide range of seminars and events aimed at furthering sustainability knowledge and understanding.

Teaching location

During your first semester you'll be studying at Maastricht university. During your second semester you'll be studying on our York campus.

About our campus

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.

Assessment and feedback

The programme incorporates a range of non-standard summative assessment types comprising of Change Management Plans, Participation and Contribution and Teamworking and Group Project Proposal. A Change Management Plan is a report explaining the implementation process surrounding a specific (in this case sustainability) change combining both academic and reflective prose. Participation and Contribution measures student engagement in seminars. Teamworking comprises a written summary of their input alongside their peers in the "Group Sustainable Business Project" module. The Group Project Proposal is a co-written proposal that frames the client project undertaken as part of the Group Sustainable Business Project.

As well as summative assessments you will also be assessed through report writing, exams, participation and engagement, and a final dissertation.

Careers and skills

Dedicated placement support means you'll be able to make the most of the opportunities open to you. Upon completion of the program, you'll be ready for leadership roles in internationally oriented companies, public institutions or (non-governmental) organisations that strive for sustainability. On graduation, you will be prepared to make informed decisions to maximise societal and environmental benefits. Our careers and employability support extends after graduation, helping you to shape your career.

Career opportunities

  • Sustainability
  • Environment
  • Innovation or supply-chain manager, or other sustainability-related positions
  • Product-design
  • Marketing or outreach alongside policy officers or research analysts

Transferable skills

  • Time-management and people skills
  • Critical thinking and evaluation
  • Analytical and technical research skills
  • Comparison and correlation of disparate data
  • Theoretically/methodologically informed decision making
  • Communication to multiple and distinct audiences
  • Teamwork

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree High 2;1 or equivalent in any discipline or with relevant professional experience. Evidence of a completed thesis or dissertation is a requirement.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in Writing and no less than 6.5 in all other components
Cambridge CEFR C1 Advanced: 185, with a minimum of 185 in Writing and no less than 176 in all other components
Oxford ELLT 8, minimum of 8 in writing and no less than 7 in all other components
Duolingo 130, minimum 130 in Production and 120 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT C1: 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 75 with a minimum of 75 in Writing and no less than 70 in all other components
KITE 495-526, with 495-526 in writing and 459-494 in all other components
Skills for English C1: Pass overall, with Pass in each component
PTE Academic 67, with a minimum of 67 in Writing and no less than 61 in all other components
TOEFL 96 with a minimum of 24 in Writing and no less than 23 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Level 3 with Distinction in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our 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 English language test 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.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation online. 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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