Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design MSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

Postgraduate Open Evening

Wednesday 25 May 2016, 4-7pm

Come along to our Postgraduate Open Evening to find out more about the programme and research areas that interest you, meet our staff and enjoy some refreshments, and even see if we can offer you a place.

Find out more and book now.

About the Course

The results of unsustainable human development in the 21st century are evident as climate change, species extinction, pollution, poverty and inequality become inescapable global realities. The next big challenge for society is to transform our economy to incorporate the principles of sustainability. This presents an exciting opportunity to rethink, redesign and rebuild a positive future for business practice.

The MSc in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design (with Professional Development) is an 18-month programme – 12 months for the study at Brunel followed by a six-month professional development phase. There is an option to complete the MSc in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design in 12 months (without the professional development phase) but students will be encouraged to engage with the professional development phase to achieve the maximum from the programme.

Brunel University also offers the Graduate Entrepreneur post-study visa, which represents a perfect opportunity for our international graduates to apply their new skills in the UK following graduation. 

The course is jointly run between the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, the School of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, and Brunel Business School.

Scholarship scheme is available for this MSc course


This programme will equip  entrepreneurial minded graduates with two essential ingredients:

  • firstly, the mindset and ability to play a key role in building a sustainable world – one that is not only prosperous, but also environmentally stable and socially inclusive
  • secondly, hands-on experience, such that they can become entrepreneurs, business leaders, change-makers and innovators.

Upon graduating, students will be able to become key figures in local, regional, national or global businesses; holistic thinkers and visionary leaders in their communities, corporations, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

They will be encouraged to infuse environmental awareness into societies and make tangible contributions to the theory and practice of environmental protection, sustainable business and a circular (green) economy.


Dr Edwin Routledge, MSc Programme Director

Institute of Environment, Health and Societies

Halsbury Building
Brunel University


Course Content

Core modules

  • Introduction to Strategic Sustainable Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning
  • International Business Ethics, Sustainability and Corporate Governance
  • Sustainable Design
  • Professional Design Studio
  • Intergrated Assessment - Sustainability and Entreprenuership
  • Intergrated Assessment- Sustainability and Design
  • Dissertation
  • Sustainable Development in Practice (Compulsory for the MSc with professional development).

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

The programme has a number of innovative features. For example

  • The fusion of environmental education with design, entrepreneurial and business skills
  • The programme will include guest lectures from world leading experts in Sustainability. Principally, Professor Göran Broman (founder of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development) of the Blekinge Institute for Technology in Sweden, and Professor Karl-Henrich Robért (Blue Planet Award winner and founder of the Natural Step - a global alliance centred around sustainability). Furthermore, Professor Terry Collins (Institute of Green Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, USA) will deliver programme material on green chemistry.
  • Structural flexibility - so that the needs and desires of individuals can be met through offering optional modules within various themes relevant to sustainable enterprise (in the Business or Design Schools or in the Institute for the Environment)
  • Practice based assessments - for example, the development of a detailed business plan for those who wish to start their own business, a product design for those taking the designer/innovator route, or a research proposal for those wishing to pursue a career in research or bid writing
  • Professional development activities - following the multidisciplinary learning programme, students will undertake a six month professional development activity in which - for example - they will undertake an internship or start their own business. (The provision of incubator space for these students will be an integral part of the MSc and is another distinctive feature of the programme. The students will also be equipped with pitching skills and a business mentor).

Teaching and Learning

  • The programme will be delivered beginning with an overview of core concepts and followed by progressively deeper consideration and application of the concepts later on through a self-directed learning approach. It is structured to provide leadership opportunities and move progressively from learning the "rules of the game" to "playing the game". This means that as the programme progresses it becomes less instructor-led and more student-led where students direct their learning towards their own needs and tap the collective wisdom of the group via project work.

  • There will be four integrated streams:
    1. Ecological and sustainability theory
    2. Leadership
    3. Design and Innovation
    4. Business planning and start up.

    The benefits of this combination will be unique; students will be cross trained, drawing upon the resources of a world class university. They will develop three complementary networks of peers and alumni and engage in Brunel’s collegiate experience, interacting with students and faculty from three corners of the university. Through this combination, graduates will able to enter the professional arena with an energetic and inspired approach to societal change.

  • By taking part in the programme, students will gain:
    o The deep scientific knowledge for strategic planning towards a sustainable society , including ecological theory and sustainability design principles
    o Innovation, creativity and team working skills
    o Experiential learning and mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and business leaders
    o Communication skills to enable working with members of engineering, design and marketing teams
    o Leadership skills
    o Intensive corporate exposure
    o Career paths as sustainability practitioners in business, academia, government, and community organisations.
    o Business start up opportunities
    o Membership of the Made in Brunel Sustainable Business alumni, an elite group of successful ecopreneurs and their mentors
    o Additional support to enhance your employability skills beyond the MSc through the Business Life Programme.


  • Integrated coursework on core sustainability and business, and sustainability & design module content.
  • Formal written examinations
  • Individual and Group coursework assignments
  • Oral and Poster presentations
  • Dissertation in the form of a Business plan, product design or research proposal
  • Reflective Portfolio (for optional six-month Professional Development period)


  • The programme will gain employers recognition, because graduates will obtain qualifications and skills enabling them to deal with sustainability and environmental management issues which are now becoming important factors for all various types of businesses.

  • The move to a sustainable society is likely to see a transformation similar to that of digital economy with all sectors of the economy and industry responding to sustainable development and low carbon imperatives and targets, demanding both industry and public informed strategy and leadership.
  • Students who undertake the 6-month Professional Development will be given the opportunity to undertake a Professional Development Programme. This will include mentorship from leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, inventors and academics, intensive corporate exposure, and business start-up opportunities.


Graduates from the MSc course will expect to:

  • Start their own green businesses as entrepreneurs and/or designer/innovators.
  • Become change-makers and leaders in existing businesses moving towards sustainability.
  • Join corporate institutions and public bodies (eg local and regional government, NGOs) as senior sustainability and environmental coordinators/managers.
  • Become advisers on sustainable business and policy, sustainable new product development and investment/funding within existing companies, or as consultants in new business ventures. The latter will include new 'green' product and service enterprises and sustainability service providers.

The global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from US $1,370 billion per year to US $2,740 billion by 2020. Half of this market is in energy efficiency and the balance in sustainable transport, water supply, sanitation and waste management. 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/7 entry

UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time and £2,000 placement fee

International students: £15,400 full-time and £2,000 placement fee

Scholarship scheme is available for this MSc course

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in design, science and engineering, management, business studies or a cognate discipline.

Applicants with a third class honours degree or other qualifications will be considered if supported by science A-level (or equivalent) and relevant work experience.  

All applicants shortlisted are required to attend an interview.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 18 May 2016