Business for Social Impact and Sustainability

Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability

The Master of Science (MS) in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability at Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) teaches students how to apply concepts of sustainability and social impact to business and learn what is required to launch a successful enterprise. This program was developed for individuals who are driven by the idea that entrepreneurship and financial tools can be used to further the common good.

Future leaders of these businesses are going to need new mental models, tools and frameworks if they are going to successfully navigate these complex conditions to deliver both profitability and positive social impact.

The M.S. in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability is designed to provide a solid foundation in business fundamentals from the corporate, entrepreneurial, non-profit and public sector perspectives. Students will learn how to design and develop solutions to these problems regardless of whether they are starting their own venture or working in a corporation, social enterprise, or non-profit organization.

Business for Social Impact and Sustainability Program Structure at GCNYC

The Impact-Focused Business degree at GCNYC can be completed on a part-time basis in 16 months with one to two classes weekly or on a full-time basis in 12 months with three weekly classes. All classes take place in the evenings either online or at our SoHo campus to cater to working professionals. Note: international students on a F-1 student visa must be full-time students. 

See below for more specific information on the course curriculum, and learn more about enrolling in the Master’s in Impact-Focused Business degree program at Glasgow Caledonian New York College.

Student Experience at GCNYC

Our Business for Social Impact and Sustainability program provides new possibilities for innovative business management that closely considers social impact. GCNYC leverages the long-standing reputation of our parent institution Glasgow Caledonian University as a global leader in education while also maintaining our unique identity as a change-making academic community here in New York City. 

Our diverse group of highly motivated students come from all over the world to study and research strategies for social business here at GCNYC. Small class sizes ensure meaningful interactions with professors and guest speakers, and impact-focused business students take core courses with students across our master’s programs providing interdisciplinary opportunities to understand different perspectives. GCNYC students learn from compassionate faculty who can straddle academic theory and real-world experience, and their student cohort who refuse to compromise between career success and the Common Good.

Applied Research at GCNYC

At Glasgow Caledonian New York College, we are dedicated to excellence in applied research.  Our faculty participate in applied research as both academics and practitioners in their fields. Much of the coursework is built from case studies and industry research to help students connect challenges in business to their own research and careers. Our Business for Social Impact and Sustainability degree culminates in a master’s-level thesis, a model common to business schools in the UK. 

GCNYC provides students with the resources to develop their own applied research process and contribute to the field of impact-focused business. Completing a master’s-level thesis demonstrates your ability to ask important questions about the field and explore the balance between profitability and sustainability—all skills that would be valuable to future employers or starting your own enterprise.

Program Learning Outcomes

The primary goal of this program is to provide a broad, analytical and integrative study of Business for Social Impact and Sustainability. Specifically, the educational aims are:

  • To critically examine the implications for businesses of recent and future changes in the global business environment by applying a range of analytical tools and frameworks for assessment and development of a firm’s strategic capability, competencies and competitive position in a variety of global settings.


  • To appraise the causes and consequences of shifting contours of global politics, economics, and social developments, and their implications for organizational leadership and responsible management.


  • To identify and evaluate organizational factors affecting leadership, including structure, culture and sources of power, enabling them to devise a strategic leadership-development plan.


  • To assess the contested concept of social entrepreneurship, identifying the range of contexts in which social entrepreneurship can take place and evaluating the circumstances by which business can play a role in driving positive social change.


  • To understand and critically assess the evolution of social business and innovative finance tools through various cultural, political, and economic contexts from the perspective of investors and social enterprises.


  • To develop the analytical skills and interdisciplinary knowledge required to evaluate current and future issues in global political economy in a contemporary world.


  • To evaluate literature and select and utilize appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies in the formulation of research.


The overall learning outcome of a master’s degree at Glasgow Caledonian New York College is to provide a differentiated master’s-level learning experience that combines program-specific and common modules. Students benefit by building general expertise in global business strategy, organizational ethics and personal and professional development alongside their program’s niche strengths in impact-focused business. The coursework at GCNYC offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills relating to organizational management to give students the tools needed to succeed as a responsible and ethical professional manager/practitioner. Students are offered opportunities to simultaneously develop critical thinking skills, their knowledge of contemporary and sustainable management practices and the personal and entrepreneurial abilities necessary to gain employment.  The culmination of the program develops critical research skills necessary for the successful completion of a complex and independently designed research project.


Rolling Admissions:


Program Courses

Business Strategy as an Instrument for Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability

This course aims to provide students with academic knowledge and analytical tools with which to discuss and practice strategic management in a world characterized by rapid change and increasing concerns for economic, social and environmental sustainability. The course seeks to address the who, what, why, where and how of strategic decisions, with an emphasis on generating sustainable growth across national boundaries. Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake the necessary research and analysis to advise a firm on the issues that organizations face, and the choices they must make, to develop strategies for sustainable growth.

Navigating Global Change: Business Practices for the Common Good

This course reflects the fact that organizations do not operate in a vacuum: they are both shaped by and themselves also shape the geo-political, economic, social and technological environments in which they operate. Understanding the interaction between organizations and their wider contexts is essential to effective management and responsible leadership. This course is designed to equip students with the information and analytical skills required to critically reflect upon some of the most significant issues which pose challenges to business managers and organizational leaders in the modern world.

Values Based Leadership Skills for an Interconnected World

This course will enable students to identify, understand, develop and articulate their key personal abilities in the context of their future career aspirations. The development of their academic and professional skill set is essential to securing and/or developing fulfilling careers as expert managers and leaders in increasingly diverse and international workplace organizations.

Money as a Force for Social Good

The course aims to equip students with a general overview as to how global and local circumstances shape social business and microfinance, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to determine what factors they should take into account when developing their own social ventures, or when creating an enabling environment for social business and microfinance. Particular attention is paid to how different political, cultural and economic institutional environments favor the evolution of different forms of social business and how different forms of social business negotiate tensions between social and commercial objectives

Global Political Economy

This course on global political economy is designed to provide students with the analytical tool to understand the contemporary world economy within a historical context and analyze different trends, issues and dynamics of social, cultural, religious, political and economic environment that shapes our day to day life in particular and international business in particular. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand and address theoretical issues to replicate economic realities of our world today. Furthermore, the course will cover a comprehensive and critical understanding of the global political economy and its structures, agencies and processes.

Impact Through Social Entrepreneurship

This course introduces the student to the concept of social entrepreneurship (and related concepts of social enterprise and social innovation). The notion of social entrepreneurship as a contested concept with competing definitions pushed by different actors with different (political) agendas is developed. Students are taught to critically assess these different agendas and to gain a broader understanding of social entrepreneurship by placing it within the wider social, economic and political contexts in which it occurs. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make up their own minds as to whether (and how) business can change the world, and to prepare them to enter a world where business and society are intertwined.

Research Methods

This course aims to develop advanced skills related to a range of contemporary research methods needed for academic and practical research at a Master’s level. Students should be able to critically evaluate new concepts, ideas and evidence from a range of sources and crucially and transfer their skills into practice. Emphasis is placed on written and oral presentation skills at an advanced management level.


The aim of this course is to conduct business research/consultancy and report on the findings. Drawing on the proposal developed in Research Methods, the course focuses on the business research project, which involves an investigation of a substantial business issue or problem. Students are required to demonstrate critical awareness of business practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches. The project element of the course in particular offers students the opportunity to apply course concept, theories and techniques, draw on internationally published literature and good practice, and develop and interpret knowledge about management practice in their area of study.

Learn More About GCNYC's Business for Social Impact and Sustainability Program!

Advance your career with an innovative Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability degree focused on social impact for the Common Good. Learn more about our master’s degree in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability at Glasgow Caledonian New York College. 

Ready to apply? Detailed information about GCNYC’s application process can be found on our Admissions page.

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