Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

The Oxford Programme in Sustainability Leadership's 3-day course will return on 18-20 April 2023. The application window is now closed - see below for more information, and sign up to the mailing list to keep up-to-date.

About the Course

The Oxford Programme in Sustainability Leadership (OPSL) is organised annually by the Environmental Change Institute as part of our effort to bring environmental sustainability to a wide network of students across the University, regardless of their degree course or year.

With three full days of talks, workshops and practical work delivered by over 45 sustainability professionals coming from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, the programme allows participants to improve their sustainability literacy and skills, equipping them with the tools they need going forward into global leadership roles.

The course is influenced by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals' report, which identifies the key competencies critical to the successful performance of professionals working in the field of sustainability. Students who attend this programme will receive a Sustainability Skills Certificate from the ECI and have the opportunity to meet sustainability professionals from various organisations. Attendance to the full programme is required in order to qualify for the certificate.

How much does it cost?

The course fee is just £25, which includes access to all talks, refreshments in breaks, lunch each day sourced from local and sustainable caterers, and a drinks reception and dinner at the end of the first day. We advise you ask your college for assistance if you think the cost may prevent your participation.

The Day 1 dinner gives all course participants the chance to talk to some of the speakers and partners of the OPSL in a more relaxed atmosphere, as well the opportunity to meet other participants in a fantastic location that is the site of some of the University's leading biodiversity and conservation research.

Apply for the Oxford Programme in Sustainability Leadership

Applications for the OPSL 2023 are now open. Click the button below to apply for your place - the course is always oversubscribed, so apply ASAP!

Apply for a place on the OPSL 2023

We receive applications from students in a wide range of faculties and departments, including Classics, Computer Science, Sociology, Economics, Chemistry, Education, Health Sciences, Business, Psychology, Zoology and Geography, with a good mixture of undergraduates, Master's and DPhils. What will you bring to the mix?

You can view previous event programmes and photos below.

Stay informed - sign-up to the SIP mailing list.

Student testimonials

"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 to, 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."
"It was a very thought-provoking and inspiring three days, not only the talks from the experts but also the opportunity to connect with some amazing people who were attending the programme."
"Overall an incredible experience - felt engaging, interactive and extremely well put together."
"The course blew me away ... the course challenged me, and ... I'm so grateful for the opportunity."
"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."

You will learn about:

Holistic concepts of sustainability

Challenges and opportunities post-pandemic

Lessons from COP26

Net Zero and circular economy


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


Technology for Change

New internship opportunities coming soon

Internship opportunities for placements in the summer/autumn are posted in Hilary and Trinity terms.

Financial support from: Santander

In association with: Internship Office