Course information

Registration Closes:
19 January 2021
Course Starts:
27 January 2021
8 weeks, excluding orientation
8–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online.
GBP £2,200
Payment Options
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


In a contemporary business landscape marked by technological disruption and rapid change, industry leaders play an increasingly important role in shaping an environment that ensures continued growth.

This online short course provides you with the skills to lead with impact and influence, as you take the opportunity to investigate different leadership styles and frameworks. Explore new perspectives and strategies as you discover the value of high impact leadership in individual, team, and organisational contexts. Develop key leadership competencies, equip yourself to unite teams over a common purpose, and find your own purpose as a leader.

The course is guided by industry experts and faculty from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), who have many years experience in supporting business leaders from around the world to bring about change in their organisations.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

Earn a certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership in this online course and be empowered to:

  • Identify the importance of leadership and influence at a personal, team, organisational, and external level

  • Effectively lead in a volatile world of climate, economic, and social disruption

  • Develop your own leadership action plan incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship for organisational transformation

Is this course for you?

This course is designed to develop and improve the leadership skills of anyone, in any setting. Those who aspire to leadership will benefit from building greater self-confidence in their ability to lead. They’ll analyse their own leadership style, and will explore ways in which they can gain visibility as effective leaders, in preparation for the next step in their career. Established leaders will have the opportunity to refine their leadership style, and learn to boost team performance through team alignment, influence and unity.

CPD certification service logo This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 80 hours of learning.

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. CISL and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

Course curriculum

Discover new strategies for leadership as you follow your learning path through the weekly modules of this online course:

  • Orientation Module: Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1: High impact leadership and its importance
  • Module 2: Exploring the context for leadership and related challenges
  • Module 3: What does high impact leadership look like?
  • Module 4: The future we want, the leadership we need
  • Module 5: High impact leadership capabilities
  • Module 6: Communicating for influence
  • Module 7: Developing the mindset and skills for innovation
  • Module 8: Rewiring your leadership to achieve your goals

Who you’ll learn from

This University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter, a brand of 2U, Inc. Learn from industry thought leaders as you maximise your high impact leadership skills to lead in any business context.

Your Course Convenor and Head Tutor

The design of this online course is guided by University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the course.

Zoe Arden

Zoë Arden 

Associate Director at CISL
CISL Course Convenor and Head Tutor

Zoë specialises in leadership, stakeholder engagement, storytelling and sustainability strategy.Before joining CISL, Zoë served as the director of SustainAbility, global think tank and advisory firm, as Director of Communications and Social Responsibility of British Telecom, and was UK Managing Director of global communications consultancy Golin, among others. Zoë draws on three decades of global business experience, 13 years of which in MD/director roles in complex organisations. She is also a co-author and contributor of research and reports on leadership development and the role of learning and development in building leaders for long-term business performance. As such, she is a seasoned leader and an authority on business, communications, and sustainability.

Martin Roberts

Martin Roberts

Director of Online Learning at CISL 

Martin is an expert in online learning, sustainability, and business leadership, having worked in diverse fields and sectors particularly in Europe and Africa.Before joining CISL, Martin provided strategic leadership to several organisations, collaborating with government and the private sector throughout Africa. Martin draws on his own experience of supporting business leaders around the world to effectively reshape their organisations and is a business advisor and a leader for this course.

CISL Tutor

Jeannette Lichner

Jeannette Lichner


Jeannette specialises in leadership development, business strategy and communication. She has a passion for continuous learning on a wide range of subjects and enjoys sharing those experiences to help people become even better leaders.She is a seasoned practitioner with more than 30 years of experience of managing and leading teams of varying sizes, technical/functional areas and geographies, particularly across Europe and Asia. Her corporate roles have been primarily in the financial services sector followed by 10 years as a governance, risk and regulatory consultant. At the same time as working in those large, complex organisations she has been involved with numerous start-up businesses, often coaching the founders in leadership and other aspects of the business. She qualified as an executive coach in 2009.

In addition to her role as a tutor on CISL’s High Impact Leadership online course Jeannette is a Non-Executive Board member at several institutions and provides consulting and coaching services.

Guest Lecturers

Maggie de Pree

Maggie de Pree

Co-founder, The League of Intrapreneurs

Dame Polly Courtice

Dame Polly Courtice

Founding Director, CISL

Sasha Watson

Sasha Watson

VP, Employee Experience, Arm

Professor David Grayson

Professor David Grayson

CBE Emeritus Professor of Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management

Ella Saltmarshe

Ella Saltmarshe

Co-founder, The Comms Lab & The Point People

William Day

William Day

Fellow, CISL Chair, Sainsbury’s Foundation Advisory Board
Sustainability Advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

Earn a certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Get recognised for your knowledge when you earn a certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership – and use it to set yourself apart as a future-fit leader.

Your certificate of completion will be issued in your legal name and couriered to you, at no additional cost, upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 27 January 2021.

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Enter your information below to view the course prospectus from GetSmarter.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.