Business for Social Impact and Sustainability

Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability Degree

At Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC), we offer a Master of Science (MS) in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability. Designed for working professionals, our program can be completed through evening or online classes. This business degree provides a solid social impact foundation for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs interested in harnessing business models and financial tools for the Common Good. 

Exploring sustainability and social entrepreneurship, this master’s degree provides a holistic view of business for social impact, focused on applied research and real-world sustainable business solutions. Students apply concepts of sustainability to the business field, as well as learn to approach challenges as potential innovation opportunities.

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Master of Science Program Outcomes

After completing their Business for Social Impact and Sustainability degree, our students take a variety of career paths working at corporations, social impact startups and non-profit organizations, with some even starting their own entrepreneurial venture. Common job titles in the sustainable business space include: 

  • Social Impact Consultant
  • Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Director
  • Environmental Manager
  • Sustainability Program Director
  • Sourcing Manager 
  • Sustainability Communications Manager
  • Compliance Officer 


See below for our course curriculum, and learn more about enrolling in the MS in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability at Glasgow Caledonian New York College. 

Business for Social Impact and Sustainability Program Structure at GCNYC

GCNYC’s social impact business program is designed for working professionals with a bachelor’s degree. Part-time students can take one or two classes weekly and complete their degree in approximately 16 months. Students on a full-time schedule complete their degree in 12 months by taking three classes weekly. (Note: International students on a F-1 student visa must be full-time.)

All courses are offered in the evenings. They can be taken at our SoHo Manhattan campus or online, depending on your needs as a working professional. 

In-person courses occur from 6:00pm to 8:30pm on weeknights Monday through Thursday. Students come to campus to engage with peers and faculty in a real-time environment. 

Online courses allow students to pursue the Business for Social Impact and Sustainability degree regardless of their location. Our online offerings are designed by the same renowned faculty members who create our robust in-person programs. Generally, online students meet virtually for live 1.5 hour sessions (once or twice a week depending on the number of courses taken per trimester), accompanied by asynchronous work outside the virtual classroom.

Student Experience at GCNYC

“At GCNYC, we were in small, intimate classes that were conversation-based. Trust and friendships formed quickly in this environment, and it was the sort of circle that left you energized.” – Kiki Van Son (2019 Graduate)

Glasgow Caledonian New York College offers innovative business-related degrees including our Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability. As New York City’s College for the Common Good, we build on the global reputation of our parent institution Glasgow Caledonian University as a social impact educator while maintaining our unique community of sustainable business advocates here in New York City. 

Deeply passionate about sustainability, our students join a diverse cohort of highly-motivated professionals interested in social impact enterprise. Our compassionate faculty weave together theoretical business scholarship with insights from their own social impact careers. In intentionally small classes, business students study alongside peers from our other master’s programs fostering an interdisciplinary, collaborative atmosphere. As a community, we center academic excellence, professional and personal development, as well as a dedication to applied research methods. Our Center for Social Impact and Innovation invites students to engage with the sustainability research community through guest speakers series and thesis partnerships that align students’ research with a particular sustainable business or other organizations focused on social impact.

Applied Research at GCNYC

The Business for Social Impact and Sustainability curriculum is anchored in case studies and applied industry research. This realistic approach helps students connect social impact challenges to their careers and become the vanguard of sustainable business innovation. 

Besides encountering applied research in coursework, our business students engage with research by writing a thesis to complete their degree. A master’s-level thesis demonstrates your ability to explore sustainable business practices at the macro and micro levels. These intellectual skills are highly valuable to future employers or for becoming an entrepreneur.

Program Learning Objectives

Throughout the Business for Social Impact and Sustainability program, students will: 

  • critically examine the business implications 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.
  • critically appraise the causes and consequences of shifting contours of global politics, economics and social developments, and their implications for organizational leadership and responsible management.
  • identify and evaluate organizational factors affecting leadership, including structure, culture and sources of power, enabling them to devise a strategic leadership-development plan.
  • critically 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.
  • 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.


Over the course of their master’s degree, students prepare for their master’s thesis by developing the analytical skills and interdisciplinary knowledge required to evaluate current and future issues in global political economy in a contemporary world. Then, students critically evaluate academic literature with the objective of selecting and utilizing appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to develop a research proposal. As part of their master’s thesis, students will ultimately conduct empirical research, present an intellectually robust and evidence-based analysis and develop appropriate recommendations.


Rolling Admissions:


Social Impact and Sustainable Business Courses

This sustainability-focused master’s degree offers courses in social entrepreneurship, business strategy, leadership and the global political economy, as well as coursework to support thesis work. Our curriculum takes inspiration from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are globally-accepted standards for sustainability in business.
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 Social Impact Business Master’s Degree!

Advance your social impact career or entrepreneurship knowledge with our unique Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability degree, and explore new business frameworks to successfully navigate both profitability and positive social impact. 

Interested in taking the next step at Glasgow Caledonian New York College? Request more information or apply now!

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

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