Global Study
Sustainable Innovation and Leadership - YMCA Global Study - Lancaster University Cover Photo

Leadership, Sustainability and Innovation

Lancaster, England

Leadership, Sustainability and Innovation is a practical course designed to empower students to become better leaders.

Over the course of two weeks, students will get a practical introduction to global leadership and sustainability innovation. Working in small teams, students will first explore the skills of leadership to gain an appreciation of the responsibilities and purposes of leadership. Students will then explore sustainability innovation in terms of what it is, why it is important, and how it can be developed as an integral aspect of an organisation’s business model. Finally, students will apply what they have learned to a real-world organisational project, working with local businesses and not-for-profits to help find solutions for pain points they want to address.

The outcomes of this course align with the United National Sustainable Development Goals. Our hope is that students who choose to take this course will leave feeling more confident in their own leadership ability and use the skills and knowledge they gain from this experience to make a difference within their communities after they return home.

Week One

  • Introduction: Leadership, sustainability and innovation. Projects introduced
  • Leader, leadership and leading – a critical and practical perspective
  • Entrepreneurial leadership
  • Developing team leadership
  • Responsibilities of leadership
  • Leadership performance in assessment centres

Week Two

  • Entrepreneurship and moral capitalism
  • Shared value and corporate responsibility
  • Wicked problems
  • Soft systems methodology
  • Assessing the scope and action for sustainability innovation
  • Case studies of sustainability innovation


A wonderful experience that developed my business, professional and networking skills me. The course gave me an opportunity to consult with a business in designing more sustainable solutions for their operation. I built many lifelong friendships and a bounty of personal development. – Eleanore, University of Western Australia

My study abroad experience was intense and incredibly worth it. Met some amazing people and learnt how to work in a fast pace, time-restricted environment. The north of England is such a beautiful place and was a nice change to the landscape in Melbourne. – Louise, La Trobe University

Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Course Information

After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge:

  • Be able to recognise and describe the different perspectives of effective leadership
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to lead more effectively in a project context
  • Be able to explain the context of responsible leadership and identify a range of corporate responsibilities
  • Demonstrate how sustainability innovation can be developed within organisations and how these are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Prepare an organisational analysis for the implementation of sustainability innovation
  • Identify and relate insights into leadership and organisational behaviour from past situations that the students have experienced at an individual, group and organisation-wide level


50%: Individual reflective assignment of leadership lessons and sustainability innovations learned (2500 words) completed post module
40%: Group client report (4000 words) completed during the residential component of the module
10%: Peer assessments of the project showcase event. Completed at the end of the residential component of the module

University & Faculty

Located on a beautiful campus in the North West of England, the University places great emphasis on a strong student experience and employability and gives students access to academics who are experts in their field.

Lancaster is one of only a handful of universities with a collegiate system which has helped to forge a strong sense of identity and loyalty and continues to be a distinctive feature of student life at Lancaster. Students from one hundred countries make up a thriving community based around our nine colleges, creating a culturally diverse campus in a location that boasts the combination of city, coast and countryside.

Lancaster’s community extends far beyond the campus with research, teaching and student exchange partnerships with leading universities and institutions in 24 countries around the world.

Lancaster’s journey has been a remarkable one, and it is now amongst the top one percent of universities in the world.


Lancaster is a coastal town located in the north-west of England. Officially founded in 1193, Lancaster has been mentioned as far back as Norman and Roman times as a centre for commerce, culture and education.

In the 15th century, the Royal House of Lancaster fought a bloody civil war with the Royal House of York known as the War of the Roses, a long and bloody war which inspired much of the storyline to the TV show Game of Thrones.

Lancaster is located close to the Lakes District and Forrest of Bowman that offers amazing scenery and tracks for hiking, bike riding, horse riding as well as some great fishing spots.

Lancaster’s central location makes it very easy to visit other cities in the UK, Manchester and Liverpool are both only a 1-hour train ride away, while London and Edinburgh can be reached in two and a half hours.


Students will stay in single rooms with an en-suite bathroom

Rooms will also include:

  • Free access to the internet
  • Linen and towels
  • Access to shared kitchen


The accommodation plan includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner while students are on campus.

Social and Cultural Program

Outside class times students will be invited to participate in a number of free activities on campus that will be co-organised with other University clubs/student societies. Evenings could include games night, dance workshops, sports nights and nights out the nine on-campus college bars.

There are also optional field trips to nearby cities (Chester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, York), or hiking in the countryside and the famous Lake District.

Access and Disability Support

YMCA Global Study aims to provide study abroad programs that are accessible to all students and work with participants on an individual basis to ensure they are supported throughout the entire study abroad process. Click here to learn more about how we with students living with a disability to study abroad.

Application Information

If you have any questions about our programs check out our frequently asked questions page, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us directly via email or messenger we’re more than happy to help.

You can register your interest for a future program by clicking here.

Places are limited and are usually oversubscribed. Students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spot.

The YMCA Global Study Application Process

Step 1: Apply Now

Click here to complete the online Registration and Application forms. This will give us the information we need to access your eligibility for a program. After you have completed the online application forms you will be prompted to book a time to have a telephone interview with one of our staff.

Step 2: Phone Interview

Phone interviews are usually about 15 minutes and give us a chance to talk to you about your program choice, make sure all the information we have is correct, and talk you through the rest of the application process.

Step 3: Finalising your application

Once you have completed YMCA Global Study will send you an email with instructions detailing how to finalise your application.

Step 4: Receive your acceptance pack

Once your application has been approved YMCA Global Study will send you an ‘Acceptance pack’. This pack will include important documents such as a course syllabus, acceptance letter from your Host University and advice on how to apply for credit with your home university, the pack may also include information on any funding specific to your university.

Step 5: Apply for credit and funding (if applicable)

Now you are ready to apply for credit and funding (woohoo!) – all the information you need will be in your acceptance pack

Step 6: Pay your deposit and confirm your place 

Once you have paid your deposit your place on the program confirmed.

You can also keep up to date with us by following YMCA Global Study on social media and signing up to our newsletter. This is the best way to get reminders about important dates and deadlines, opportunities for funding and our blog which will provide you with helpful hints and tips for your study abroad experience.

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