Introduction to Sustainable Finance Course

Course director: Dr Ben Caldecott, Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and the Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford


The Introduction to Sustainable Finance Course provides public servants and third sector representatives with an understanding of the main concepts, theories, and issues in making sustainable investment decisions. The course will enable participants to explore developments in the field, and identify and activate levers of change.

The course takes place over 10 weeks, with 20 to 25 hours of online learning and three live sessions from the Oxford faculty. Teaching materials can be completed independently or during the sessions.


  • 20 – 25 hours of online learning over 10 weeks
  • Inclusive of three online live Oxford faculty led sessions
  • University of Oxford completion certificate
  • Delivered in partnership with Apolitical


  • 22 April to 9 August 2024
  • 15 July – 1 November 2024


We are able to offer a limited number of free places for each cohort thanks to generous funding from the IKEA Foundation. The places are allocated based on suitability and need. In particular, we prioritise current and future leaders from developing countries. The fee for all other applicants is £500.


Course places are limited to those who are primarily employed in:

  • central or local government
  • regulatory agencies
  • supervisory authorities
  • central banks
  • multilateral institutions
  • non-profit civil society organisations
  • registered charities
  • philanthropic organisations.

We particularly encourage group applications, so that whole teams can benefit from the learning. Applicants from the private sector will not be considered.

To date the course has welcomed over 2500 attendees, representing 600+ organisations, and 130+ nationalities.


By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of finance and the structure of the financial system. They will examine the investment chain, asset classes, and finance professions, putting finance into a broader framework that can help them navigate sustainable finance.
  • Analyse the role of public policy in motivating investment into sustainability and how sustainable finance is shaped by public policy. They will also compare the motivations of policymakers internationally and investigate what has or has not worked.
  • Assess how and why policies, regulations, and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving in different jurisdictions and their direction of travel, and examine the opportunities this creates.
  • Evaluate what it means to have impact through sustainable finance and what kind of impacts are likely or possible. They will analyse what the challenges and opportunities are associated with seeking positive environmental and social impacts through finance.

This is the first course from the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance (P3S Academy) at the University of Oxford. The P3S Academy is a new global centre of learning and capacity building focused on how the public and third sectors can grasp the opportunities associated with sustainable finance.

Download Course Brochure

OxSFG was established in 2012 and is a multidisciplinary research centre working to be the world’s best place for research and teaching on sustainable finance and investment. We work globally across asset classes, finance professions, and with different parts of the financial system.