Sustainability & social impact

Become an impactful leader for social and environmental change and equip yourself for long-term career success.

UNSW Business School on campus

The time to creative positive impact is now.

In our fast-changing world, businesses can no longer ignore their impact on individuals, society and the environment. It’s no longer enough to evaluate business success in commercial terms. The world is in need of problem-solving leaders to create change for a better, more socially sustainable future. 

Empower yourself with a qualification in sustainability and social impact at UNSW, and you’ll gain highly employable skills for a rewarding career that could take you anywhere.

What is sustainability & social impact? 

Sustainability in business is about preventing the depletion of natural or physical resources so that they remain available for future generations. Social sustainability is about understanding the impacts of corporations on people in society.

Sustainability and social impact combines these issues, much like sustainable development. It involves creating sustainable, social, entrepreneurial and systemic change in many settings. Think: corporate, government, not-for-profit and more.

Why study sustainability and social impact?

Studying sustainability and social impact is your chance to be the change you want to see in the world. You'll gain the understanding and real-world experience to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, communities and the environment by driving change through business initiatives. 

You'll build skills and knowledge in social entrepreneurship, innovation, investment and governance, enhancing your understanding of the dynamics of the social economy. You’ll be equipped to leverage business as a powerful tool to make a positive impact. And you’ll learn how businesses, social enterprises, government, foundations and community organisations can work together.

Why choose UNSW?

Join Australia’s #1 Business School

Study with the best at Australia’s #1 business school*. You’ll gain a highly-respected business education that leads the way in career impact, quality and reputation. Plus, you’ll have access to cutting-edge facilities and be taught by world-class teachers and academics.

*AFR BOSS 2023 Best Business School Rankings

Get hands-on experience and grow your network

Make strides towards your future career by gaining vital hands-on skills through work experience, internships and global practicum opportunities. For example, you can get involved in initiatives within the Centre for Social Impact, an industry-leading alliance of Australian universities that provides education, tools and evidence-based research to help catalyse social change for a better world. 

Gain a competitive edge with employability

UNSW students are sought after by employers, with UNSW awarded The Most Employable Students Award in the AFR Top100 Future Leaders Awards* for 3 consecutive years, with 30 of these students being Business School graduates. Plus, studying social impact at UNSW means you’ll become part of an urgently required new generation of global leaders with a socially and environmentally conscious framework.

*QS Rankings by Subject 2023

Careers in sustainability and social impact

Studying sustainability and social impact will set you up for a career to drive meaningful change. Industry demand is rapidly growing for graduates with social impact expertise and a passion for building a more sustainable future, so you’ll be at the top of the pile for job opportunities. 

Your career possibilities include:  

Social Policy Manager
ESG Consultant
Sustainability Consultant
Social Responsibility Manager in the corporate sector
Social Entrepreneur
Social Policy Manager
Social and Ethical Investment Professional
Social Impact Educator or Corporate Trainer
Not-for-profit Leader



The social impact courses at UNSW stand out both academically and for their practical relevance. They’re designed to foster an engaging and interactive learning environment that blends theoretical foundations with real-world applications.
Brent Hedley headshot
Graduate Certificate in Social Impact Student
Read Brent's Story

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