Oxford Programme in Sustainability Leadership

Course details

  • 3-day course
  • Course fee £25
  • Based in Oxford
  • Date TBC



Our annual Oxford Programme in Sustainability Leadership (OPSL) course brings environmental sustainability to a wide network of students across the University, whatever their degree course or year.

Through talks, workshops and practical work delivered by over 45 sustainability professionals from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, the 3-day programme allows participants to improve their sustainability literacy and equip them with the skills required for global leadership roles.

About the course

A course fee of £25 includes access to all talks, refreshments during breaks, lunch each day which is sourced from local and sustainable caterers, and a drinks reception and dinner at the end of the first day.

The dinner gives participants the opportunity to talk to some of the speakers and partners of OPSL in a more relaxed atmosphere, as well mingle with fellow students in a fantastic location that is the site of some of the University's leading biodiversity and conservation research.

The course is influenced by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals' report, which identifies the key competencies critical to the success of professionals working in sustainability.

Students will receive a Sustainability Skills Certificate from the ECI – attendance to the full programme is required to qualify for the certificate. We suggest you contact your college for assistance if you think the cost may prevent your participation.


The programme is open to all current matriculated (i.e. not visiting) University of Oxford students, in any course and year of study. No previous knowledge or experience in environmental sustainability is required.

Apply for OPSL

Applications for OPSL open in Hilary Term of each year (January to March).

We receive applications from students in a wide range of faculties and departments, with a mixture of undergraduates, Master's and DPhil students.

Past students' thoughts

Best course I have ever been on. All the sessions were so interesting and the other participates were really engaged, asking great questions, and it was lovely to network with all of them."

It was fantastically organised with a diverse range of topics and people included. I really appreciated how it allowed space for discussion between students and speakers too, a unique experience in Oxford."

The programme was just brilliant from start to finish – the diversity and quality of speakers was incredible, met some really amazing people and learned a huge amount from the many discussions we had about various areas relating to sustainability leadership."

The whole course had an amazing energy and positivity, and I especially enjoyed meeting other people and discussing ideas from the talks in the breaks. As well as sustainability, I learnt a lot about leadership, employability, and effective communication about sustainability just through my interactions with others on the course."

Subjects covered

  • Holistic concepts of sustainability
  • Challenges and opportunities post-pandemic
  • Lessons from COP26
  • Net-zero and circular economy
  • Leadership
  • Communicating sustainability
  • Sustainability consulting
  • Influencing change
  • Practising sustainability
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • The Sustainable Development Goals
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Project management
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Strategic planning
  • Sustainability challenges
  • Teamwork
  • Technology for change