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Postgraduate study
Sustainable Innovation

Sustainable Innovation MSc

As the world heads to a new economic recovery pattern, factors including climate change, movement of goods, new trade barriers and globalisation, all pose significant opportunities and challenges to business operations and society.


Course overview

MSc Sustainable Innovation

As the world heads to a new economic recovery pattern, factors including climate change, movement of goods, new trade barriers and globalisation, all pose significant opportunities and challenges to business operations and society. Our MSc Sustainable Innovation course teaches students how to respond to these issues, working on live projects to create innovative solutions.

Green economy and the vision of a carbon neutral world in 2050 is not only a political vision, but must be supported with new technology development through sustainable innovation.

This course is for graduates that belong to the future economy and covers contemporary issues of innovation. You focus on some of the key attributes for businesses such as frugal innovation, new product development and operations management.

Top reasons to study sustainable innovation with us:

  • Industry connections: we create placement opportunities for you to work with companies such as Port of Middlesbrough and LV Valenbeck, giving you experience of working with global organisations.
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities: we can offer you the support you need to create new business start-ups through Launchpad and Microbiz.
  • United Nations’ PRME initiative – we’re a proud signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, which aims to globally raise the profile of sustainability and responsible leadership to equip current and future leaders with the skills to deliver positive change for business and society
  • Financial awards: study this course and you may be eligible for £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules


You will integrate your learning and development and synthesise knowledge and understanding of theory and practice through its application to organisational issues, which are demonstrably concerned with development within the organisation. You are supported throughout the process by a supervising tutor who will monitor progress and ensure that you are appraised of your on-going performance. Usually the dissertation should be completed within one year.

Frugal Innovation

The economic growth of emerging markets has significantly influenced the global business landscape, with average growth rates in the BRIICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) far outweighing Western markets. With additional policy measures focusing on a green economy in 2030, businesses need to compete successfully in these market segments and firms need to provide customers with resource-constrained innovations and business models that create high value at very low cost. You explore how organisations can transform their new product development strategies, so that they’re accessible to different markets and ensure environmental compatibility in aligning with government regulations.

Global Business Innovation

You take an international perspective with a focus on understanding the globalisation process and the global economy, and its impact on international business organisations. You cover core topics that are central to understanding the processes of the global economy and the economic environment within which business organisations operate. You develop an understanding of the external business environment in terms of institutions, markets, industries and organisations. And the internal factors affecting the business environment.

Global Operations and Business Dynamics

Once companies have learned to keep pace with regulation, they become more proactive about environmental issues. Many then focus on reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas along with renewable resources such as water and timber. Most large corporations induce suppliers to become environment-conscious by offering them incentives. Tools such as enterprise carbon management, carbon and energy footprint analysis, and lifecycle assessment help companies identify the sources of waste in supply chains. Lifecycle assessment is particularly useful – it captures the environment-related inputs and outputs of entire value chains, from raw-materials supply, through product use, to returns. You identify key operational challenges within the context of value/supply chain management, and explore appropriate tools and techniques to solve sustainable solutions.

Innovation Finance

You examine the finance of innovation, focusing on start-up ventures, taxation, and the early stages of company formation. You address key questions that challenge all entrepreneurs: how much money can and should be raised, when should it be raised and from who, and what is a reasonable valuation of the company? You graduate as innovators and entrepreneurs, fully prepared to make these decisions.

International Knowledge Management and Organisational Structures

The complexity and dynamism of the international business environment requires organisations to be more proactive, resilient and innovative, characteristics which are very much dependent on managerial knowledge at individual, departmental and organisational levels.

Knowledge management (KM) focuses on managing knowledge with the purpose of adding value to products and services. The business landscape continues to pose a range of challenges and opportunities that require effective knowledge, skills, and expertise. Knowledge is fluid, dynamic and abstract, and the role of executives and management is to design organisational systems and strategies that are capable of creating, capturing, storing, sharing, transferring, applying and evaluating relevant and coherent business knowledge.

Evolving from an industrialised economy based on natural resources to an economy that is based on intellectual assets, it is essential to focus on understanding how to develop intellectual capabilities that allow organisations to shape their competitive advantage. You explore the significant role KM plays in allowing organisations to develop intellectual capabilities by promoting a range of activities and processes related to knowledge exchange, organisational learning, and personal knowledge management.

Sustainability and Service Innovation

The Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the global economy and redefined how products and services are offered and consumed. Climate change and other environmental issues further exacerbated the situation, requiring businesses across sectors and industries to seek alternative business models compatible with sustainability realities. You gain both knowledge and experiential learning skills to meet the requirements of this ‘new normal’ economy. Sustainability and service innovation designers are needed more than ever before in the workplace, to re-design extant offerings and value propositions to an eco-friendlier product/service to meet requirements of today’s and tomorrow customers. Servitisation business models will place significant roles in this new and emerging business environment.

You are introduced to the principles underpinning the sustainability and service innovation (SSI) concepts. The imperatives of the green, bio and circular economy as the pathway to sustainable, eco-friendly offerings is unpacked. You explore the dynamic nature of organisational culture and the current trend, to understand its fit for purpose in the SSI ecosystem. You examine contemporary tools for business that facilitate innovation of ecological friendly products and services design and re-design of non-ecological compliant ones. You understand the core principles of sustainable innovation in designing new products with innovation priorities that drive business results.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through lectures, seminars, guest speakers, tutorials, and workshops, and are encouraged engage in online debate and collaborative approaches to learning through a virtual learning environment.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through business reports, case study analysis, video logs, group work, presentations, reflective reports and dissertation.


Entry requirements

We normally require one of the following:

At least a 2.2 in any engineering, science or business subject, a post-experience or professional qualification or an equivalent qualification (including international qualifications).

For EU and international students, an IELTS score (or equivalent) of 6.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

You graduate with the knowledge, experience and confidence to succeed in a management role on a global scale across a broad range of sectors including consultancy, government and research, retail, transport, manufacturing, law and legal services, non-profit organisations, charities and international development.

Your unique skillset means you can work in sustainable service delivery, global strategic business management, leadership and management, strategic supply chain management, managing knowledge and frugal innovation, operations, finance, or even become a business owner.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: 1 year (September start) or 16 months (January start)
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

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Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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