MSc Strategic Sustainable Business (Distance learning)

Key benefits

  • Flexibility to balance study with professional and personal obligations
  • Learn how to identify long-term strategic solutions relating to corporate sustainability, environmental and carbon management, and social responsibility
  • Engage with the UN Global Compact Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRiME)
  • Study at a world-class business school with a real commitment to ethics and the social and natural environment: Awarded 1st Class in the UK by the People & Planet Green League 2015 and a Green Gown Award finalist in 2014.
students networking

MSc Strategic Sustainable Business is a business degree with a difference. With businesses worldwide understanding the importance of bringing their organisations in line with the broader expectations of society, this programme taught in a world class business school environment will equip you for the future of sustainable business.

This programme has been designed to allow you to explore the challenges and opportunities that environmental and social sustainability issues create for organisations at a strategic level. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach, enabling you to explore sustainability, carbon management and social responsibility in a strategic business context.

We use academic and practical activities together with a variety of philosophical and grounded perspectives to give you a detailed knowledge and understanding of sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Study routes available:

This programme is also available via a full-time learning route and as a postgraduate certificate. For more information please see:

• MSc Strategic Sustainable Business (Full-Time)

• Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Sustainable Business.  

Students of HKU SPACE who have graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Green Building Management are eligible to complete the Aston MSc Strategic Sustainable Business programme via distance learning, they will receive recognition of prior learning (RPL) of up to 60 credits. Find out more.  

You will be assessed through a mixture of examinations and coursework. The taught element of the programme is then complemented by a substantial piece of research leading to the completion of a dissertation.

Part-time / Distance learning

Part-time distance learning will allow you the flexibility to take control of your own learning and balance study with professional and personal obligations.

Applying yourself to two modules per term, combined with the final dissertation, will allow you to complete the course in the recommended two year period.  However you are able to spread your study over a maximum of five years, affording you the opportunity to study at a slower pace or take breaks where necessary.

The programme is designed to cater for distance learners and is supported online with a sophisticated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), with each module being designed specifically to cater for the needs of online distance learners.

Course directors

Dr John Blewitt
BScEcon, MA, MEd, PhD, FRSA
John is a Senior Lecturer (Sustainability and Media Communications) teaching issues in communication, sustainability theory and practice, urban sustainability and education. His research interests include urban sustainable design, new media affordances, sustainability communications, and the spatial dimension of inclusive economic development. He is a Distinguished Schumacher Institute Fellow and member of the thinktank, Green House.

Dr Helen Borland
BSc, PhD
Helen is senior lecturer in business sustainability where she is responsible for teaching strategic business sustainability to MBA, MSc, and PhD students. Helen’s research and teaching stem from her knowledge of the ecological sciences and philosophy behind sustainability and how these can be taught and researched in a business context. Her development of a unique strategic typology for business sustainability is gaining attention in a number of academic and commercial circles. 

Teaching staff

Teaching staff are drawn from a range of different disciplines within and beyond the business school. External speakers also provide insights that add to the applied nature of the programme.

Teaching staff include:

This programme will prepare you for roles in commercial business, the public sector, social enterprises or the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. Recent graduate positions include:

  • Senior Director, Sustainability, Kelloggs

  • Senior Consultant for UNICEF, Asia and Pacific Regions (for CSR)

  • Assistant Manager, Sustainability, Armstrong Fluid Technology

  • Associate in Sustainability Services, KPMG Consulting

  • Environmental and Social Consultant, Deloitte (France)

  • Freelance Sustainability and Communications Consultant, UK

Our international alumni ambassadors share their experiences of studying at Aston Business School with students all over the world who consider applying for a course at Aston. Feel free to contact our ambassadors if you have any questions about 'Aston Life', the Campus, the courses or living in the UK/Birmingham.  

One of the following:
  • A UK honours degree.
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • A degree equivalent professional qualification.
  • Consideration will be given to equivalent professional qualifications and in exceptional circumstances those qualified by extensive relevant experience. Candidate interview would be required for those with non- standard qualifications and experience.
As well as:
  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date.
  • A completed application form.
  • GCSE or equivalent standard in maths.
For International Students:
  • An overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
Consideration will be given to equivalent professional qualifications and in exceptional circumstances those qualified by extensive relevant experience. Candidate interview would be required for those with non-standard qualifications and experience.

Duration of programme: Part-time / distance learning 2-3 years                                     
Start date:
September and January


UK/EU:          £9,450 
International:  £15,650 

Scholarships for 2016/7 entry are now open. Find out more here

Contact details: 
Aston Business School Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3200
Email: abspgenquiry@aston.ac.uk

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Nicole Ortler

Nicole Ortler

"I got acquainted with the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability and soon realised that this was a topic I really cared about."

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