Postgraduate degree programmes at Cranfield University

Sustainability MSc

Our part-time Sustainability MSc is designed to equip sustainability professionals and leaders in organisations of all sizes with a mix of sustainability-related technical and management skills, deepening their knowledge of the theory and practice of organisational sustainability, and helping them build the personal competencies they need to lead and manage change towards improved sustainability performance. The course is available for Apprenticeship Levy funded students and independently-funded students. The course is primarily delivered online with students coming together annually for a three-day Residential School at Cranfield.

Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc

The Centre also runs a specialist full-time Master's in Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc. Drawing many of its core management modules from the MiM programme, students on this course also take five additional sustainability modules, one of which is run by the School of Water, Energy and Environment.

Sustainability modules taught across other programmes

The Sustainability Group coordinates the School of Management’s sustainability-related teaching. This includes a core module on sustainable management in many of the school’s master’s programmes, ranging from the executive and full-time MBAs to the mainly pre-experience Masters in Management (MiM) programme.

Sustainability Network events

As part of studying at the Cranfield School of Management, you will be invited to various sustainability-related events, conferences and competitions. Visit our events page to find out more.

Student insights

"As a professional, taking a break from work to go back into higher education abroad is a critical decision. While a Master’s degree is always useful, the resources and commitment required to do well academically make the choice of course, university and future career path extremely important."
– Read a blog by student Spondon Bhagowati: The Cranfield Experience: Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc

On May 18th, Cranfield School of Management was honoured to host Paul De Leeuw, Director of the Energy Transition Institute at Robert Gordon University for a Sustainability Speaker Series event. The online event was titled “Climate Change and the Energy Transition: Building a Better and Greener World”. What an event it was!
– Read a blog by student Emmanuel Kirunda: A students view on “Climate Change and the Energy Transition: Building a Better and Greener World”

"It’s time to turn words into action and lead our systems to care more and contribute to the wellbeing and betterment of our communities and the environment!"
– Read a blog by student Haley Knox: Using wellbeing indices to achieve sustainable social economic development

A 'Serious Game'

Since 2018, Cranfield have been using a Scenario Exploration board game to help Masters students think about strategic decision making in the context of four different pathways towards a sustainable future by 2050. Players representing established businesses interact with players representing entrepreneurs, policy makers, civil society organizations and ‘the public voice’ as they all react to changes in economy, technology and society along these pathways. The ‘winners’ are judged not only by the amount of resources they have accumulated, but also by whether they have achieved their purpose, and the teams reflect on the nature of the world they have collectively created through their decisions.

The game concept was originally devised by the EU-Commission’s Joint Research Council (JCR), and this version of the game was developed in collaboration with Forum for the Future and the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS) as part of the EU-InnovatE project. Cranfield have since taken the lead in using and refining the game which has so far been played with over 200 students, with over 20 faculty and PhD students getting involved as ‘Game Hosts’ facilitating play at each table.

We are refining and improving the game with each use and have started to collect data on the effects on participants. Initial findings show that playing the game deepens students’ understanding of 1) the radically different, plausible futures that could unfold, 2) the role different actors play in societal change, 3) the interrelationship between business, society and the wider living world, 4) what might have to change in the world for sustainable development to happen and 5) the scope for business to both regenerate and degrade society.

There is open access to the visual assets required to print copies of the game for any other organisation wishing to use this innovative learning tool.

Student consultancy projects through company partnerships

Last year, students on the MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship and the MSc in Management and Corporate Sustainability carried out a consultancy project for non-profit Waste and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) whose mission is to help transform cities to benefit the millions who lack access to water and sanitation. WSUP asked the student teams to address key challenges relating to WSUP’s rollout of higher quality latrines in Madagascar, and to propose either 1) an improved sales strategy, 2) an improved tool for modelling the dynamics of the current sales model or 3) recommendations for alternative business models.

Cranfield have has a long-standing relationship with WSUP, primarily oriented around scientific research within Cranfield’s Water theme. This project helped broaden our collaboration to include the School of Management, as WSUPs focus evolves from innovation to implementation at scale. WSUP were impressed with the students’ innovative thinking and recommendations, and will be seeking input on a new set of challenges this coming year, as well as developing teaching cases with Cranfield. The projects gave the students a real-life opportunity to apply their management skills to balance both commercial and social imperatives.

MSc in Management and Corporate Sustainability students also had the opportunity to respond to a set of strategic questions posed by One Third, a start-up company, recently spun out of Ocean Optics (a division of FTSE100 Halma Plc). One Third want to use its parent company’s spectroscopy technology to assess the shelf life of fresh products and therefore reduce food waste for retailers. The students conducted analysis on the problem of food waste in the UK and Europe, the regulatory landscape around food waste, the relationship between plastic packaging and food waste and the pros and cons of ‘co-opetition’ between One Third and potential technology providers. One Third will use the insight to develop the strategy for this exciting venture.