The application-focused programme is grounded in the world-leading, multi-disciplinary research and teaching expertise of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group at the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. Through the programme, you’ll develop a foundational understanding of how financial institutions, capital, equity and debt markets function, and learn about ESG and the future of finance. You’ll explore how the financial system can become “greener”, the ways in which these changes can be implemented via innovative strategies and the financial opportunities and risks that may come from the transition to global environmental sustainability.



Eight weeks (3-5 hours of study per week recommended)


May, August, October 2024

Next start date:

3 August 2024 (deadline 1pm (GMT) on 2 August 2024)


£1,500 (including VAT)*

*Discounts are available to alumni, those working in the public sector and certain geographical regions. Register your interest to learn more.


Online short course


Certificate of completion


Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this programme. However, a certain level of commitment is expected – we recommend dedicating 3-5 hours a week to your studies. All learning and assessment will take place online, so you will need a stable internet connection and suitable equipment to participate.

About this course

Our eight-week online Sustainable Finance: ESG and the Future of Finance programme is aimed at professionals working in the finance sector as well as in fields in which they may interact with, or seek to influence, financial practice and investment.   

Under the guidance of world-leading Oxford Sustainable Finance Group academics, you’ll explore key theories within sustainable finance and learn about the relationship between finance and technological innovation, the global climate and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Alongside enhancing your theoretical knowledge, you’ll develop transferable skills that will aid you in practically applying what you’ve learned to your day-to-day role.  

Our ambition is for you to leave our fully online programme ready to make an impact. You’ll be empowered with the knowledge and perspectives to champion sustainable finance and influence strategies that will drive real-world change – whether that’s within your own organisation, a client’s business or through policy. 

Watch our video for an overview of the course

Watch our video for an overview of the course

Oxford Sustainable Finance Group

Aligning finance with sustainability is a necessary condition for tackling the environmental and social challenges facing humanity. It is also necessary for financial institutions and the broader financial system to manage the risks and capture the opportunities associated with the transition to global environmental sustainability.

The University of Oxford has world-leading researchers and research capabilities relevant to understanding these challenges and opportunities. Established in 2012, the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group is the focal point for these activities. The Group is multidisciplinary and works globally across asset classes, finance professions, and with different parts of the financial system. It is the largest such centre globally and is working to be the world’s best place for research and teaching on sustainable finance and investment.

It is based in one of the world’s great universities and the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It works with leading practitioners from across the investment chain (including actuaries, asset owners, asset managers, accountants, banks, data providers, investment consultants, lawyers, ratings agencies, stock exchanges), with firms and their management, and with experts from a wide range of related subject areas (including finance, economics, management, geography, data science, anthropology, climate science, law, area studies, psychology) within the University of Oxford and beyond.

Learning outcomes

By the end of our Sustainable Finance: ESG and the Future of Finance online programme, you will be able to:

  • understand the purpose of finance and the structure of the financial system;
    navigate sustainable finance within a broad framework that considers the investment chain, asset classes and different finance professions;
  • analyse the role of public policy in motivating investment in sustainability, understand how sustainable finance is shaped by public policy and the motivations of policymakers internationally, and evaluate what has or has not worked to date;
  • assess how and why policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving in different jurisdictions, and examine the opportunities this creates; and
  • analyse the challenges, risks and opportunities associated with seeking positive environmental and social impacts through finance and evaluate what kinds of impacts are likely or possible.



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Upon completion of this programme, you will receive a certificate that will enhance your resume and support your career progression.


This programme will allow you to engage with ongoing developments surrounding sustainable finance. You’ll study the theory that underpins core concepts and develop the knowledge, skills and networks to enable you to make a tangible difference, whether that’s influencing an organisation’s corporate strategy, investment decisions or policy (specifically in financial institutions).

You will study one module a week. Your assessment tasks will vary, but each will give you the opportunity to test your knowledge and ensure you’re on track with the learning targets. You’ll also be able to join online discussions with peers and a programme Facilitator.

The programme culminates in a final assessment which requires you to write a response to two questions, applying the knowledge you’ve developed throughout your studies.

Learning experience

This programme, including all activities and assessments, will be delivered flexibly and entirely online.

You will benefit from a programme Facilitator who will provide guidance throughout your studies – from beginning to end. An expert in the field, your Facilitator will join weekly discussions on specific topics relating to sustainable finance and provide feedback and guidance on assessments and activities throughout.

For this programme, we would recommend participants study on average 3-5 hours per week, although this may vary by individual and topic.


Fees and funding

The total cost of this short course is £1,500 (inclusive of VAT), with discounts available to Oxford University alumni and those working in a public sector role (evidence is required).

It is possible to pay your fees in two instalments, laying down a deposit (and reserving a space) before settling the final balance and securing your place on the course ahead of its start.

For more information about our deposit scheme or discounts you may be entitled to, please feel free to email us.

Academic expertise

Dr Ben Caldecott

Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor of Sustainable Finance, University of Oxford

Dr Ben Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. Ben is the inaugural Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance, the first-ever endowed professorship of sustainable finance, and a Supernumerary Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford. He is also the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment (CGFI). The CGFI was established by UK Research and Innovation in 2021 as the national centre to accelerate the international adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions.

Ben specialises in environment, energy and sustainability issues and works at the intersection between finance, public policy and academe, having held senior roles in each domain. He has authored and edited a substantial number of publications related to sustainability and is an experienced media commentator and public speaker. His expertise and expert evidence have been recognised in high profile legal cases, including in the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of England and Wales. He is a regular peer reviewer and has a number of trustee, board and advisory panel appointments, including serving on the UK Climate Change Committee’s Adaptation Committee, DBS Bank’s Board Sustainability Committee, UK Export Finance’s Export Guarantees Advisory Council and as a Trustee of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).


Ben Caldecott - Sustainable Finance

Frequently asked questions

What are the entry requirements for Oxford’s Sustainable Finance programme?

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