Postgraduate study

Global Strategy & Sustainability MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

As a society, we face urgent challenges from the impact of climate emergencies, environmental damage and social inequality.

Businesses sit at the nexus of many of these challenges as they must address the concerns of multiple stakeholders:

  • customers
  • supply
  • chain partners
  • investors
  • governments
  • local communities

The challenge for businesses is to transform their cultures, processes and even business models for the better within the broader context of a global context to net zero carbon.

What role can business play in contributing to achieving net zero carbon while protecting and enhancing human rights – freedom from poverty, access to clean water, good health and a right to education – at a local and a global level? Business firms and organizations must upgrade their capabilities through individuals with a nuanced, critical and reflexive understanding of environmental sustainability and social inequality from a business perspective.

At Edinburgh, you will have the opportunity to learn about business and its impact upon environment and society from researchers who are international leaders in their field, and from leading research and industry engagement from the Business School’s Centre for Business Climate Change and Society (CBCCS). You will also benefit from the Business School and the University’s networks in industry, and in the field of social responsibility and sustainability field.

You will learn in a diverse multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment through innovative teaching that combines and incorporates blended and experiential learning approaches.

The MSc in Global Strategy & Sustainability aims:

  • To provide you with a critical understanding of the theories, processes, behaviours and institutional forces effecting the environmental and social sustainability of private, public and 3rd sector organizations, and the role of strategy in affecting local and global outcomes.
  • To enable you to gain insight into the range of risks and opportunities facing organisations and institutions in the transition to an equitable low-carbon economy.
  • To give you opportunities to learn conceptually and experientially how organisations in a range of contexts can create value for stakeholders through more sustainable and equitable approaches.
  • To facilitate students of diverse backgrounds and nationalities to collaborate in developing knowledge and skills required to be competent, knowledgeable and reflexive managers who can lead and support the development and implementation of environmentally sustainable and socially equitable practices and processes across a range of different sectors and organizational contexts

Learning will primarily be through:

  • lectures
  • set reading
  • class discussions
  • exercises
  • group-work assignments
  • problem-solving in tutorials
  • case studies

Assessment methods include examinations, assignments, presentations or continuous assessment.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Strategy and Sustainability1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

By the end of the programme, you will have the following knowledge and understanding:

  • How to critically and strategically assess our existing understanding about a range of issues within the field of business, and its systemic relationship to research-based knowledge of environmental sustainability and social impact;
  • Of the role of practices, processes and policies in enabling organizational performance, sustainability and equity;
  • Of the challenges and opportunities for developing and implementing these new practices, processes and policies.

You will gain skills and abilities in research and enquiry to:

  • Critically apply theories and practices of strategy, sustainability and equity within the context of global business.
  • And search for, evaluate, and use information as the basis of effective knowledge assimilation and synthesis using appropriate quantitative or qualitative techniques.

You will have the personal and intellectual autonomy to:

  • Respond positively and effectively to problems in unfamiliar contexts;
  • Apply new ideas, methods and ways of thinking;
  • Engage with diverse stakeholder groups to deliver creative, sustainable and equitable solutions to specific problems;
  • Be able to communicate effectively in written and oral communications across a range of specialist and generalist genres;
  • Possess skills and abilities in personal effectiveness to work effectively:
  • Gain the necessary practical and technical skills required for creating, developing and implementing a project related to environmental sustainability and social impact in the business context.

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 13 July 2023.

Entrance to our MSc programmes is strongly competitive. You can increase your chances of a successful application by exceeding the minimum programme requirements.

Academic requirements

A UK first-class or 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in business and commerce, management, finance, accounting, economics, international politics, international relations, science, engineering, or law.

We may also consider applicants with a degree in a different subject area but who have relevant work experience or can demonstrate a high level of interest and engagement in environmental/social sustainability. This could, for example be through involvement with voluntary organisations or societies.

Supporting your application

  • Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.
  • Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.

Students from China

This degree is Band A.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:


You will need to pay this deposit within 28 days of receiving your offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional).

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Additional programme costs

See the programme website for more information on additional costs.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Strategy and Sustainability1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS

Due to high demand, the School operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through the competitive process described on the School website.

Full details on the admissions process and the selection deadlines are available on the Business School website:

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2023/24:

Round Application deadline Decisions by
1 12 October 2022 1 December 2022
2 7 December 2022 23 February 2023
3 8 February 2023 20 April 2023
4 26 April 2023 1 June 2023
5 7 June 2023 20 July 2023

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • University of Edinburgh Business School
  • 29 Buccleuch Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JS