Course information

Registration Closes:
4 August 2020
Course Starts:
12 August 2020
8 weeks, excluding orientation
6–8 hours per week, entirely online
GBP £2,200
Payment Options
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


In today’s business landscape, it’s no longer sufficient for organisations to simply acknowledge global sustainability challenges like climate change, resource depletion, and inequality – they’re expected to lead the way through them.

The Sustainable Finance online short course from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) offers the tools and insights needed to develop financial strategies that create value for society and invest in a sustainable future.

Over eight weeks, you’ll learn about the pressures, trends, and opportunities in the current financial system, investigate the strategic business implications of these social and environmental challenges, and discover how best to plan for the future through sustainable initiatives like impact investing, the integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, and positive screening.

With expert guidance from CISL faculty, you’ll empower yourself to implement sustainable finance solutions in your own context, and better understand how these strategies can positively impact your organisation’s long-term value gain. You’ll also unlock new perspectives on how businesses, banks, and insurers are shifting to more sustainable business models that offer positive returns for both their clients and society.

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 60 hours of learning.

Note: should students wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon them. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • Insight into the sustainability challenges facing business and financial systems

  • An understanding of how sustainability is rewiring financial systems to benefit society and business

  • Tools and frameworks to respond to financial risks posed by sustainability issues, and the insights needed to create long-term value

  • The ability to influence your organisation’s success through implementing sustainable finance strategies and steering capital for a sustainable future

  • A personal action plan to implement a sustainable finance approach in your sphere of influence

Is this course for you?

This course will be relevant to anyone interested in harnessing sustainable finance initiatives to bring about positive change. This includes both professionals currently working in the finance sector, such as financial service providers, financial advisors, sustainability consultants, and fund managers, as well as those outside the industry seeking a more practical understanding of how sustainable finance can strategically drive long-term business returns (including managers, marketing specialists, investors, and those who work with NGOs). Policymakers in the public sector will also benefit from this course, as will anyone with an interest in understanding how both mindsets and the broader financial system are evolving in response to social and environmental pressures and, ultimately, how this can be financially and environmentally beneficial.

Course curriculum

Explore effective sustainable finance strategies as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Introduction to sustainable finance
  • Module 2 Steering capital for a sustainable future
  • Module 3 Strategies that work for sustainable finance
  • Module 4 Rewiring risk and return
  • Module 5 Sustainable finance solutions
  • Module 6 The role of the public sector in sustainable finance
  • Module 7 Trends, disruption, innovation, and sustainable finance
  • Module 8 Creating impact

Your Course Convenors

The design of this online short 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 knowledge with you throughout the course.

Martin Roberts
Martin Roberts
Director of Digital Learning, CISL


Rose Dunne
Rose Dunne
Programme Manager (E-Learning and Creative), CISL


Alice Chapple
Alice Chapple
Subject Matter Expert

View the prospectus to see all the industry thought leaders featured on this course.

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

Explore financial strategies that promote a sustainable future and earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 12 August 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    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.