PgCert Circular Economy for Business Leaders

Duration Part time 1 year
  • Business and Management
Start date September


  • One cohort of like-minded professionals
  • A valuable alumni network for life
  • Comprehensive support across small teaching teams run by faculty
  • Work-based learning approach
  • Gain a deep understanding of circular economy implementation

The circular economy is about far more than just how we produce things: it’s dependant on systemic frameworks, resource bases, technology, finance, and economic and cultural assumptions.

Almost every large global business is working on a circular economy approach. The increase in public awareness around environmental challenges makes this a powerful lens for businesses to rethink how they might develop and distribute value in the context of multiple interlinking global challenges, whilst creating successful businesses.

This part-time, fully online programme is designed for global leaders and sustainability specialists to continue their professional development without pausing their career by utilising a work-based learning approach. Drawing on the expertise of The Exeter Centre for Circular Economy and our partnerships with leaders in the field, such as The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the programme will build your understanding and capabilities in implementing circular economy practices to drive change and create a positive impact within your organisation.

Throughout the programme you will be exposed to the latest thinking in circular economy and contemporary business, exploring innovation and design, technology, and measurement of implementing the circular economy. You can take advantage of comprehensive support from a dedicated team of highly experienced academic specialists putting you at the forefront of industry knowledge.

Finally, as part of an international cohort of like-minded professionals, you will gain global insight by collaboratively drawing on each other’s experiences. Upon graduation you will be able to confidently employ the key concepts, principles, characteristics and patterns of circular economy to real world contexts.

Programme structure

This 12-month part-time fully online programme blends traditional and innovative teaching and learning approaches, providing ultimate flexibility to study whilst you work.

You will study four modules totalling 60 credits that have been designed to enable you to apply your learning to have immediate impact in your workplace, with the support of our industry experts and your fellow peers.

Please note that programme structures may be subject to change.

The programme is divided into four units of study called modules which are assigned a number of 'credits' (15 each).

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Our Blended learning approach

The programme is designed to support you every step of the way. Within our online learning environment, a blend of traditional and innovative teaching and learning approaches will be utilised including: live online sessions, podcasts, case studies, group work, presentations, participant workshop development and delivery, peer review, innovation sprints and design thinking sessions, tutorials, simulation, work-based reflection, and individual project work.


Each module is assessed through a mix of assessment methods, including presentations, participant workshop delivery, reflexive essays, slide packs, reports, peer review, simulation and written business cases. Assessments have been specifically designed to help accentuate your understanding of both linear and circular economics and the skills to implement and evaluate circular economy initiatives relevant to your organisation or career development.

To encapsulate learning from this programme, you will complete term three with both a synoptic assessment and a personal 360 review of your interactions and participation on the PGCert. This project is designed to take full advantage of the knowledge gained throughout the programme.


This programme will allow future leaders in their field to develop knowledge, capabilities, skills and perspectives to advance their area of practice. A specific feature of the programme is to place professional development and learning within a framework of systems thinking and navigating change within organisational complexity and competing interests.

This course will equip individuals to apply circular economy principles and lead innovative opportunities for value creation and distribution in multiple organisational and societal contexts. You will strike a balance between the technical, entrepreneurial, creative, and scientific attributes required to identify, model and demonstrate positive organisational cases for change with a wider range of leadership skills.

This will provide a strong basis and preparation for participants from varying backgrounds to build on their core background training and roles to make the most effective contribution to organisational circular economy programmes and initiatives.

Our Business School alumni network is a forever service and we will be here to support you throughout your career. Find out more about of Business School Alumni Association

Entry requirements

2:1 degree from a recognised university and a minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience. However, we do consider all applications where there is evidence of significant relevant work experience or professional qualifications

All applicants will be required to submit a supporting statement detailing a real circular economy challenge that the applicant is looking to explore. This could be for example an aspect of a business function, start up, a policy change, or a NGO campaign.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

At least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.0 in any other section.


At least 100 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2020/21

  • £6,000 part-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions queries

For any queries please complete our enquiry form

For questions about the programme:

Phone +44 (0) 1392 726679

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