Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility

Transform. Innovate.
Lead for the future.

This radical, action-focused MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility will challenge you to engage with the growing international debate and practice around sustainability, business and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

We help you to explore the far edges of your understanding of sustainability and challenge the way that you see the world. During your studies, you will go beyond the purely technical solutions favoured by the traditional climate-change and CSR agendas. You will discover a much wider range of possibilities and approaches of sustainable development, social innovation and systems change. Together we will look into areas from a wide variety of viewpoints such as environmental and ecological economics, ecology and living systems, sustainable development and design or human rights and social justice and the way in which they affect the global supply chain, business practice and planning for the future. This MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility will give you the knowledge and tools to move forward and have an immediate impact in your place of work.

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Quick facts

  • Next start date: 19 April 2016
  • Application deadline: Contact Admissions
  • Programme length: 2-years part-time (3-day blocks at Ashridge)
  • Programme fee: £19,000 excluding VAT. See what this includes.
  • Scholarships available? Yes. Find out more.
  • Next open day: Please view the schedule
  • Assessment: Six assignments and Masters project
  • Entry requirements: Bachelor degree or equivalent, IELTS 7.0 or equivalent (not compulsory so check first with Admissions). Find out more

What sets this Masters programme apart?

For almost two decades Dr Gill Coleman pioneered a new approach to business education.

Working initially with Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop International, then at the University of Bath, Gill and her colleagues developed a radically new form of business education, placing the perspectives and methods of self-awareness and action inquiry at the heart of developing leaders for a sustainable future. Much of what is becoming mainstream in corporate sustainability and sustainable leadership development today was foreshadowed in that work – from mindful awareness to conscious capitalism, social enterprise to systems innovation, eco-literacy to collaborative dialogue, these themes have threads of their development in the work of the Bath and Ashridge programmes.

This sustainability qualification is an intensely powerful development journey that goes well beyond the usual educational frame. Now with an alumni of over 500 practitioners worldwide, including those on the earlier MSc in Responsible Business Practice at the University of Bath, the programme has a central place in the development of leadership practice to reframe and remake business globally.

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How can this impact your career?

This is for anyone who wants to question, discover and challenge themselves and others in how we innovate for a more sustainable future. You are likely to be an entrepreneur, business professional, consultant, activist, public sector manager or an NGO professional wanting to align your organisation and career more closely with the challenges of sustainability and responsibility today.

Come along and meet the faculty at one of our open days or attend a webinar to find out whether this programme is for you.

This programme taps into the Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability and gives you the latest thinking and research in the field.

All faculty members involved in the programme work in academia, consultancy and research and have extensive experience in supporting sustainable change in organisations.

The Frequently Asked Questions section may help you to found our more about the suitabiity of this programme to your situation.


Meet our faculty

What will you learn?

During the Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility you will:

  • Explore sustainability and corporate responsibility from multiple perspectives
  • Engage with leading-edge practitioners and organisations featuring values-based practice
  • Develop skills and apply disciplined action research and action learning
  • Develop and apply your capacity as an informed and self-aware individual contributing to organisational and social change
  • Inform the growing world-wide debate on the purpose and responsibilities of business
  • Benefit from strong peer support, shared learning and a dynamic learning environment


There are no exams on this programme. Instead you will be required to write assignments and keep a learning log. The assignments can be based on your organisation or a practical challenge that you are facing.

Programme detail

Programme structure and content

Blending flexibility and innovation

This innovative sustainability degree offers participants a blended learning experience. It is delivered using a mixture of face-to-face workshops, compulsory online workshops and seminars, and through virtual discussions with other students. One of the workshops takes place at the renowned Schumacher College, which is always one of the highlights of programme. This Masters focuses on interactive, experiential and participatory learning, this workshop offers the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face the ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century.

Please see programme details for more information.

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About Ashridge and Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the most influential business megatrends of the 21st century and therefore needs to be a central focus of any business school serious about helping organisations to embrace change and responsibility.

Ashridge has played a pivotal role in helping organisations embrace sustainable development since the mid-1990s when we first established the Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability.

About action research 

Action research is a process which involves you becoming an active investigator into your own life, work and organisation. It encourages you to experience topics raised on the programme through your different daily activities and approaches at work.

It incorporates a wide range of practices and ideas with a strong pedigree in the fields of organisational change and community development. It also invites you to develop a discipline of thinking, personal reflection and testing of ideas through action experiments.

Each workshop includes some time in small peer learning groups and in the whole group, helping you become clearer about the questions that lie at the heart of your role and your organisation. To find out more about Ashridge and Action Research, why not visit our Centre for Action Research.

In the news

Keep abreast with news about sustainability, the environment and international development.