Business and Sustainability – Master of Sustainable Development Goals

This qualification will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to business and sustainability.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Specialise in Business and Sustainability for your Master of Sustainable Development Goals at Massey

The Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Business and Sustainability) focuses on the theory and practice of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The qualification addresses the most pressing imperative facing humanity and the planet: sustainability. This degree is unique in Australasia.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The SDGs are the UN’s ambitious macro-level plan for humankind’s development and sustainability. The goals address global challenges including those related to poverty and inequality, climate and environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

Follow your interests

You’ll take two core courses in sustainable development. The first will introduce you to theories of sustainable development and the SDGs. The second will focus on multi-disciplinary frameworks. They will also focus on how to measure progress against the SDGs. As well as paradigms of Indigenous knowledge and practice in the field of sustainability.

Then you’ll take courses related to your subject of business and sustainability. The courses cover topics such as advanced contemporary issues in sustainability, corporate citizenship and responsibility.

This qualification examines the business case for sustainability. It includes business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and how businesses can operate in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible.

Real-world experience

The final 60-credit component of your degree is a student practicum. You’ll identify an organisation with which to work towards policies or practices guided by the SDG framework in business and sustainability. You’ll then critically analyse the business and sustainability work, undertaken by that organisation.

A Master of Sustainable Development Goals in Business and Sustainability is a good fit if you:

  • want to address sustainability problems facing both people and the planet
  • seek skills in applying sustainability principles and practices 
  • are interested in alternatives to the dominant Western paradigm.

Planning information

The Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Business and Sustainability) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

Part One is coursework and Part Two is a student practicum.

For progression from Part One to Part Two, you must achieve a Grade Average of at least a B over the 120 credits of the Part One courses.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Master of Sustainable Development Goals

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Master of Sustainable Development Goals core courses

Business and Sustainability courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 152704 Business and Sustainability 30 credits

An analysis of the relationships between the business community, the natural environment, and social and environmental sustainability. The course examines global debates on social and environmental issues, introduces theories of sustainability, and considers the implications of sustainability for business policy and management.

Restrictions: 115783

View full course details
Course code: 152728 Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility 30 credits

An advanced critique of the concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR), business ethics, stakeholder management, and their implications for the management of business organisations.

View full course details
Course code: 152730 Advanced Contemporary Issues in Sustainability 30 credits

Students will critique the business case for sustainability and develop holistic sustainability strategies to address contemporary economic, ethical, environmental, and social concerns for business, including those relating to sustainable supply chain management, sustainable operations management, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and ethical trade.

View full course details

Part Two

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 131810 Sustainable Development Goals Practicum 60 credits

Advanced study in the application of the Sustainable Development Goals, involving 320 hours of professional work in an approved agency. As an integral part of the course, students will critically analyse how this work can be understood in relation to current literature on the SDGs and sustainable development.

Prerequisites: 131704, 131709

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Business and Sustainability) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a grade average of at least B in the highest level courses.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The challenge of achieving the SDGs requires a new genre of professionals, who can confront dynamic and complex problems with innovation, creativity and inclusivity.

Increasingly, civil society, government and the private sector will require people willing and able to work in ways that are true to the collaborative and inclusive aspirations of the global SDGs. This emphasises the importance of understanding content and context, the ability to embrace a diverse range of knowledge frameworks (mainstream, alternative and Indigenous) and the skills of measuring and monitoring progress towards the SDGs.

There is strong demand in the global marketplace for workers with the skills to translate, implement, monitor and report on the SDGs. In addition, sustainability positions, such as Sustainability Directors, Managers and Advisors are being appointed at record rates.

The SDGs are already facing challenges. How are the goals’ macro-level aspirations, collected through multiple rounds of global consultation, translated into everyday community settings such as:

  • international development
  • environmental management
  • sustainability in business
  • education
  • the workplace.

Employees with these skills are in demand in both public and private organisations.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated 5-star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Development Studies

Massey is ranked 30th in the world for development studies in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

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