MSc Sustainability and Consultancy – University of Leeds

by Victoria Mason

Course: MSc Sustainability and Consultancy
Level: Postgraduate, Master of Science (MSc)
University: University of Leeds
Course Length: 12 months (full time)
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Course Summary

In the first semester of this taught course, the focus is on the broad topic of sustainability, including mandatory modules such as ‘Introduction to Sustainability’ and ‘Business, Environment and Sustainability’, assessed by a mix of individual essays and reports, group presentations, and blog posts. Students have the option to choose one of the following modules:

– Environmental Policy and Governance
– Climate Change: Physical Science Basis
– Introduction to Ecological Economics 

The second semester focuses on developing the professional skills used in the field of sustainable consulting assessed by group presentations and individual reports. 

The third semester is perhaps what makes this course stand out the most: a 10-week industry placement during which students work with a project host, delivering a sustainability project. Project hosts include sustainability consultancies, consultancy clients and the third sector. This project forms the basis of the final dissertation. 


  1. What did you like most about the course? 

My main motivation for choosing this course was the opportunity to work on a sustainability project. Although I am still very much looking forward to this element of the course, I have particularly enjoyed the number of lectures across various modules where we have had talks from industry professionals such as environmental consultants, environmental lawyers and sustainability managers. 

  1. What did you do before this course? Are there any specific requirements to being able to apply to and take this course? 

Prior to starting the course, I had graduated from the University of Hull with a BSc in Geography. The course requires you to have a bachelor’s degree with a 2:1 in natural, environmental, physical, geographical, management or social science subject. You will also need a passion for sustainability and the environment. 

  1. What options are there for specialisation and what did you specialise in? 

There is a wide range of projects for students to select, allowing then to focus on the area of sustainability that interests then most. I have yet to select my project, but I am very much looking forward to doing so in the coming weeks.  

  1. What sort of work are you doing (e.g. more group work/more individual work; more project-based work/more essay writing etc.)? 

The course has a lot of group work with some presentations, a great way of developing team working skills. However, the majority of the assignments are essays or individual reports based upon the group work,  so you are still able to demonstrate your own abilities. 

  1. Is there anything you would change about the course? 

I am very much enjoying this course and therefore content wise I wouldn’t change anything. I would have preferred to have studied the course in person but obviously that is not possible at the moment. 

  1. What is university life like?

Due to starting this course during the pandemic, I have been studying the course remotely. This has meant that I have not been able to experience the full university life. Despite this, I have still managed to take part in extra-curricular activities such as being a pro-bono consultant with Leeds Community Consulting.  

  1. What are you planning on doing after you’ve graduated/what are you currently doing if you have graduated? What are typical jobs graduates do after completing the course? 

After graduation, I hope to go into the field of sustainability consulting, helping organisations large and small work towards being more sustainable, thereby hopefully making a positive change to the world we live in. Past graduates of the course have gone onto various careers in the broad field of sustainability, working in sustainability consulting with large consultancy firms, working with NGOs, and working in environmental policy. 

Victoria is a current student of the MSc Sustainability and Consultancy course, having previously studied BSc Geography at the University of Hull, graduating in 2018. After graduation, she spent a year living in Shenzhen, China teaching English as a foreign language.

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