In 2021 the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford will launch the MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment (MSEE). This 12-month course will equip students with the rigorous academic knowledge and applied skills needed to understand and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon, environmentally sustainable economic model that simultaneously improves the quality of life of the world’s least advantaged people. The course will emphasize the role of enterprise, both public and private, in meeting these challenges. It is is designed for current and future decision makers who seek deepen their expertise in economics, finance and business, whilst broadening their understanding of the scientific, technological and cultural aspects of climate change and sustainable development.
Sustainable finance is a significant focus of MSEE. One (of several) overarching questions that is explored is: how can we mobilize the capital required for Net Zero, Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Finance module provides foundational knowledge in the emerging theories and practice of sustainable finance and investment.
Course structure and content
The structure of MSEE is divided into three terms. The first term will examine the nature and causes of net zero and sustainable development challenges, and build the data science and methodological tool-kit to measure and respond to the risks and opportunities. The second term will emphasise the social, policy and technological pathways for achieving these transitions. The core modules in the second term will examine globalisation and urbanisation, the socio-technical innovations, sustainable finance and the role of markets and governance. Across the first two terms, students will choose from electives and define a dissertation topic which comprises the focus of the third term.
The Sustainable Finance module will cover the following topics: the purpose and structure of finance; financing sustainability; environmental and social impact through investing; stranded assets; financial supervision and central banking; public policy and sustainable finance: the role of government; sustainable finance and the law; and, engagement, stewardship and sustainability.
Teaching and assessment
MSEE will combine directed teaching, self-regulated learning, structured engagement and formal assessment. More specific information on teaching and assessment (both specifically within the Sustainable Finance module, and more broadly across the MSc) will be available in September 2020.
Entry requirements, fees and application
Course fees and scholarships
The annual course fees for the MSEE will be finalized shortly. Please see the University of Oxford’s graduate course listings in September 2020. A number of scholarships specifically for the course will be available.
Applicants are to apply via the central graduate admissions website of the University of Oxford. The MSEE will use the standard Oxford graduate application rounds, with the first opening in September and closing in November and the second opening in December and closing in January. The first round of applications will open in September 2020.
The selection criteria for the MSEE is as follows:
- Proven and potential academic excellence:
Degree-level qualifications: as a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in any discipline.
- Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience:
Applicants should demonstrate an interest in sustainable development and net zero, and intersections with enterprise. Evidence of any relevant practical experience should be outlined, but is not required. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores is encouraged but not required.
- English language requirement: proficiency in English at the University’s higher level.
Applications should be supported by 3 written references, at least two of which must be academic, giving evidence of intellectual ability, academic achievement and motivation.
Candidates will be asked to provide:
- Official transcripts
- A CV
- A personal statement of up to two pages
- Written work: an essay of up to 2,000 words
- 3 references, as outlined above
- GRE score (optional but encouraged)
The course is designed for current and future decision makers who seek deepen their expertise in economics, finance and business, whilst broadening their understanding of the scientific, technological and cultural aspects of climate change and sustainable development. It is aimed at both recently completed undergraduates and graduates as well as early- to mid-career professionals.
Employability is a major focus of MSEE, and from day one the Course Director will work closely with each student to understand their individual aims and where they wish to go after the course concludes. Some may use the course as an opportunity to pivot their industry/function/location towards a more sustainability-oriented direction.
Please frequently check the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, School of Geography and the Environment and University of Oxford central graduate websites for more information as it becomes available.
Please contact the Course Director MSEE, Dr Laurence Wainwright (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any specific questions.
The information provided on the MSEE is to be used as a guide only. Course is subject to final institutional approval. The final and binding details pertaining to cost, selection criteria and required documents for application will be those appearing on the University of Oxford graduate admissions website in September 2020. The final and binding details pertaining to course structure will be those given in the course handbook in September 2021. COVID-19 related-restrictions may mean that some changes have to be made to the inaugural cohort of the course, for example, some components being taught online, and fieldtrips being local rather than regional / international. Meeting selection criteria does not assure selection. It likely that the course will be oversubscribed, meaning many qualified candidates may miss out on a place.
- Host Institution University of Oxford
- Department / Institute Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment
- Course Name MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment. Core module in Sustainable Finance.
- Course Type Degree program
- Course Mode Full time
- Course Language English
- Course Level Master׳s
- For information on course fees please see university website.