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Overview of Postgrad Program

The Institute for Sustainable Futures offers an award-winning postgraduate program for Masters and Doctoral research students.
Our postgraduate students work at the leading edge of complex societal problems and sustainability challenges, across diverse sustainability topics. Our postgraduate research delivers real-world impact on sustainability challenges, contributes to the flow of knowledge, and provides transformative learning experiences for participants.
We're tackling some of the most complex sustainability challenges facing our world, and this calls for innovative approaches. We take a holistic view that looks not just to technological solutions, but also the political, socio-cultural, organisational and individual factors that contribute to real change.
ISF’s unique postgraduate program is an integral part of our path to a better future. We nurture and develop the brightest, most curious minds, giving them the skills to navigate this complex multidisciplinary environment. Our vibrant community of scholars brings fresh insight, inspiring new ways of seeing – and solving – wicked problems.
They are the change-makers of tomorrow.
Applications from domestic students that wish to commence postgraduate study in January 2018 are due to ISF by 31st October 2017.
Applications from international students that wish to commence postgraduate study in January 2018 are due to ISF by 30th September 2017.
Please note that all prospective students must be pre-approved by ISF before applying through UTS.

Prospective research students must demonstrate their capacity to solve whole problems, integrating knowledge from several disciplines, drawing on experience from their past research, course work, employment or community activities.  
If you are interested in studying at ISF, please follow our internal application process.
Read more about our postgraduate program from the Director of our Higher Degree Research program, Dr. Chris Riedy, below.

ISF postgraduate students in a postgraduate meeting.

Postgraduate research in sustainable futures

“When Dr Karla Sperling graduated from UTS with a PhD in Sustainable Futures in 2002, it was a world first.

Our pioneering higher degree research program has been an important part of ISF since day one, beginning with just a handful of students, at a time when ISF had a total of only five staff. Today the program boasts 28 outstanding graduates working to bring transformational change around the world, with a further 36 doctoral and masters candidates now working towards completion.

ISF supports postgraduate study that addresses complex societal problems and the challenges of creating change towards a sustainable future. It’s an incredibly broad area, and we equip our students to traverse the many disciplines they must draw upon to create practical, tangible change. We also train them to challenge traditional ways of thinking; to not only develop new methodologies, but also reframe existing approaches so that they can be applied in new ways.

As a research student, you’ll have the chance to work side-by-side with leading sustainability thinkers who can provide you with high-quality support, expertise and training, ensuring you get the most out of your study.

One of the things makes this program so special is that we intentionally nurture a community of scholars. Through a range of activities and initiatives, from retreats and workshops to peer support networks, we create a supportive, collaborative environment, from which anything can grow.

As a graduate of the program myself, I have first-hand experience of the incredible power of this approach. Now, as Director of ISF’s Higher Degree Research Program, I have the privilege of helping shape the experience of the next generation of world-changers, and of working to grow the program’s reach and impact.

Our students are very much part of the broader ISF family. Their work contributes greatly to our body of research, and our more established researchers also learn from the students they supervise. Every day, new ideas and solutions are sparked by conversations between students, staff, and our many partners across business, government, organisations and the community.

It’s an inspiring environment to be part of.

As we look to expand our program, we’re building more opportunities for students to be part of this stimulating community of people, driving change towards sustainable futures. I do hope you’ll join us.”

Chris Riedy










Dr Chris Riedy
Director, Higher Degree Research Program