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Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment

Part-time Master's and Postgraduate Certificate courses from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Studying at Cambridge


Scholarship competition and bursaries for the IDBE Master’s

The IDBE Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Ability

One competitive 50 per cent scholarship is available for an IDBE Master’s applicant who demonstrates outstanding academic ability. Applications are welcomed from high-achieving professionals in all areas of the built environment from anywhere in the world.

The competition is for the programme starting September 2020. The Combined Graduate Fee for the course is £10,725 per year, i.e. £21,450 in total. The scholarship will cover 50 per cent of the total fee for the two-year course (£5362.50 in each year).*

If you would like to be considered for the Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Ability, you are required to submit a supporting ‘Scholarship Application Statement’, explaining in no more than 1000 words:

  • What impact you think the IDBE Master’s Programme will have on your career.
  • How you plan to use your training on the IDBE Master’s programme to positively influence others in your area of the built environment. 
  • Why you would be a good representative for CISL and the IDBE Master’s programme, and how would you promote the IDBE courses to potential future applicants.

Please email your supporting ‘Scholarship Application Statement’ to once you have submitted your course application.

In addition to the supporting statement, the academic merit of candidates will be assessed based on the quality of the full course application (which must be submitted via the normal route), with particular emphasis on the following:

  • Past academic record
  • Quality of the dissertation proposal submitted, in particular:

- Significance and timeliness: Does it demonstrate awareness of the state-of-the-art, extend current thinking, or address national or international priority areas?

- Originality and promise: Is it cutting edge, does it tackle a new area or show an innovative approach?

- Quality and rigour: Is it well structured, organised and methodical, and achievable within the time available?

- Relevance to the course: does it fit within the IDBE areas of expertise and interest?

  • Performance during an interview.

The closing date for the IDBE Master’s scholarship is 1 June 2020. Please note that only applicants who meet the standard entry requirements are eligible to apply. The winner of the scholarship will be notified as soon as possible after the interviews have taken place. The scholarship is not transferable and will be applied as a discount – half to the first year fee and half to the second year fee.

The scholarship recipient must be willing to submit a short testimonial for the CISL website describing their experiences on the course, if requested.

Download the IDBE Scholarship information sheet.

* Please note: The winner must be able to pay the remaining fees of £5154 each year (£10,308 in total over two years), and meet the accommodation, food and travel costs associated with attending the residential weeks.

IDBE Master’s bursaries

A limited number of bursaries of between 10-30 per cent of the combined graduate fee are available for the IDBE Master’s on a needs basis. In exceptional cases up to 50 per cent bursary may be awarded. Bursaries are normally restricted to candidates from developing countries; self-funding individuals; those affiliated with a non-governmental organisation, the public sector or SME; or have specific circumstances that would prohibit them from attending the course without financial assistance.

To be considered please email a supporting ‘Bursary Application Statement’ to after you have submitted your course application (which must be submitted via the normal route) detailing:

  • Your employment status and location
  • What other funding options you have investigated
  • Whether you have asked your employer for funding
  • How attendance on the programme will impact you
  • How much you can realistically afford
  • Any other compelling reasons

Successful bursary applicants will be notified as soon as possible after all interviews have taken place. The bursary is not transferable and will be applied as a discount – half of the agreed bursary applied to the first year fee and half applied to the second year fee.
The closing date for bursary applications is 1 June 2020.

Please note: Recipients must be able to pay the remaining fees, and meet the accommodation, food and travel costs associated with attending the residential weeks.

Please if you have further questions.


“Living and working on the small Caribbean island of Grenada, although idyllic, felt isolating and disconnected from emerging trends in the built environment… I missed the intellectual stimulation, rigor and experimentation that I enjoyed while at university. I had long considered joining the IDBE program… when the IDBE at 20 scholarship competition was launched, the prospect of attending the course seemed finally in reach.

Being awarded the scholarship and completing the IDBE programme proved to be hugely rewarding. The cohort based structure builds a sense of community that forms the base of support for learning and engagement over the duration of the course. The incredibly diverse student body from all over the world lends a distinctively international outlook to the programme. I have made lifelong friendships and professional connections that continue to be a resource for me in my personal and professional life.

Each residential week was thoughtfully organized to maximize the impact of the lectures, seminars and projects in a compressed timeframe. The tutors, lecturers, supervisors and administration were first rate and were genuinely interested in seeing you succeed. I used my time in Cambridge to recharge and rethink what is possible. I so looked forward to this time when I could “unplug” from the office and immerse myself in my coursework, the city and university. I will miss going to Cambridge and most of all the time spent with the members of my cohort. I would strongly encourage anyone who is looking to reinvigorate and rethink their position within the built environment to apply to the IDBE course.”

Trevor Bullen, winner of the inaugural IDBE Scholarship

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Becky Stanley, IDBE Course Administrator