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Sustainability Leadership for the Built Environment (IDBE)

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

Studying at Cambridge


Support for students

You will be given support in a number of different ways throughout the course to help you develop the skills needed to successfully complete the programme. 

Programme staff

The programme is designed by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which has over 30 years' experience of designing and delivering leadership programmes on sustainability. The CISL team is responsible for all elements of the programme design, management, administration and oversight of the academic process. 

The programme is delivered by a faculty of academic and industry tutors, professionals and practitioners. Dissertation supervisors are drawn from key departments within the University of Cambridge.

Directors of Studies

Your Director of Studies is responsible for overseeing your overall journey through the programme and responding to any substantive issues that might arise.

Tutors and supervisors

Tutors play a central role in guiding and supporting your completion of the written assignments. They facilitate the Group Research Project and supervise your individual assignments through face to face supervisions and via virtual supervisions.

Dissertation supervisors for Master’s students

A 15,000-word research dissertation is the main assessed item produced during the second year if you are on the Master’s Programme. While undertaking their research towards the dissertation, you receive oversight from an academic supervisor. Supervisors are selected for their topic-specific and research expertise. A broad spectrum of topics and research methodologies can be accommodated by drawing on academics from across the University and, if necessary, leading external experts. The dissertation is marked by two independent assessors.

Virtual learning

Virtual learning is an important part of the programme experience, providing opportunities for students to learn from each other as they engage with the latest thinking, applied to critical built environment issues.

Between the residential workshops, you participate in an e-learning programme and other non-residential learning activities, designed to complement the workshop themes and support your learning journey. This includes:

  • virtual tutorials and supervisions to support the assignments and dissertation process
  • content-based e-modules
  • working through preparatory documents, including prescribed readings/videos/audios, in advance of each workshop.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is the main platform through which these activities are facilitated. The VLE also provides an avenue for communications between you and the Programme team, and to make available supplementary material, such as slides used by presenters and links to useful websites, articles, and other resources. The VLE has been developed using Moodle. This robust and user-friendly open-source software is widely used by providers of online learning, including the UK’s Open University.

The Master's in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment VLE can be accessed via the internet using a standard internet browser. (A username and password is required to enter the site.)

CISL is monitoring the Covid-19 situation and responding accordingly to UK Government and University advice. At present, we expect to deliver our Graduate programmes starting in 2021 as advertised. We are well equipped to deliver dynamic and engaging workshops remotely, should the situation demand. Find out more.

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Residential workshop dates for Master’s (2021 intake)

Workshop 1: 12-18 September 2021
Workshop 2: 12-18 December 2021
Workshop 3: 27 March-02 April 2022
Workshop 4: December 2022 (Actual dates tbc)
Workshop 5: March/April 2023 (Actual dates tbc)
Workshop 6: July 2023 (Actual dates tbc)

Residential workshops dates for Postgraduate Certificate (2021 intake)

Workshop 1: 12-18 September 2021
Workshop 2: 12-18 December 2021


Becky Stanley, Senior Project Manager