Course on Leadership for Sustainability


    UNU-IAS invites applications for the Postgraduate Course on Leadership for Sustainability (LS), to be held on 13 March to 22 March 2017 at UNU headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. This pioneering course aims to foster future leaders with a deep understanding and awareness of sustainability challenges.

    The course was developed under the framework of the University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation Research (UN-CECAR), a collaborative initiative of more than 20 leading universities across Asia that is committed to developing postgraduate educational and research programmes on climate and ecosystems change, adaptation and sustainability science. UNU-IAS acts as the Secretariat for UN-CECAR.

    The LS course aims to educate and develop leaders with the ability to understand sustainability and sustainability leadership; align business, government and civil society actions with sustainability principles; make informed choices on organizational and leadership models and strategies to realize sustainability; and relate emotional intelligence with effective sustainability leadership. The course covers the sustainable development goals, basic concepts of leadership, trends and insights on leadership, organizational psychology, leadership and business leadership, and sustainability. It also offers tailored exercises to enable participants to learn negotiation skills through experience and practice.

    For admission requirements and application procedure, please view LS Admission.

    Completion and Credit Transfer

    Students who successfully complete the course will be awarded a certificate of completion and a transcript from UNU-IAS. The course comprises 15 teaching sessions, and is designed to be worth two credits in accordance with the Japanese higher education system. While a number of universities have negotiated credit transfer agreements with UNU-IAS, the student’s university will make the final decision on whether to recognize this course.

    Daily Schedule

    There will be three sessions each day: 10:00–12:00, 13:00–15:00 and 16:00–18:00.

    Faculty and Learning Environment

    Students will benefit from working closely with highly experienced faculty members comprising distinguished UN-CECAR scholars and practitioners, UN agency staff, and UNU-IAS academic staff. UNU-IAS also shares a building with many UN agencies, which makes it a unique learning environment.

    The UNU Library offers access to a wide range of academic books, over 20,000 electronic journals, official UN documents, and publications in the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development e-libraries. All students will receive a comprehensive library orientation session at the beginning of the course.

    A dedicated computer lab will be provided for students, with software to cater to the needs of each course. An online tool will be provided for students to review lecture notes, reading lists and other materials specific to each course, as well as a message board and forum to facilitate discussion among faculty and students.

    Student Support and Accommodation

    UNU-IAS assists students throughout the courses, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties in adjusting to a new country and culture. Students can stay in low-cost accommodation arranged by UNU-IAS at a nearby hotel. Further information on payment and hotel reservations will be provided to successful applicants.

  • English Language Requirements

    Excellent written and verbal English language skills are required. Applicants whose first language is not English and whose bachelor’s degree is not from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must submit proof of English language proficiency within the past 2 years. The minimum score requirements for TOEFL or IELTS are listed below:

    • 600 TOEFL paper-based
    • 100 TOEFL internet-based
    • 7.0 IELTS academic version


    The following applicants are exempt from submitting a score sheet:

    1. Applicants whose first language is English.
    2. Those who graduated from a university or a graduate school located in a country where English is the first language.
    3. Those who completed an undergraduate or graduate degree programme taught in English. In this case, please submit a certificate showing that the programme you attended was taught in English.
    4. Applicants who submit proof by any other means that have proficiency in English equivalent to that described in points (2) and (3) above.

    Tuition Fees

    USD 2,000

  • Application

    Applicants must provide:

    • A completed online Application with photo and signature at;
    • Proof of enrolment in a PhD or master’s degree programme if you are a postgraduate student
    • Original transcript of academic record;
    • TOEFL scores or equivalent proof of English-language proficiency for non-native speakers or those who do not have an academic degree in an English-speaking country; and
    • Minimum of two references; one from the supervisor and one from another faculty member.

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is 24 February 2017.

    Student Support Services and Housing

    UNU-IAS will assist students through the courses, acknowledging that students may experience difficulties in adjusting to a new country and culture. Students will be provided accommodation (in an affordable hotel close to UNU) during their stay in Tokyo.

  • Please address specific queries to the IC Secretariat.