CPD, 12 weeks, by distance learning

This is for you if... you want to do a CPD course in leadership which covers what lies at the heart of leadership; the ability to influence others and create positive change.

Course Description

Aspiring leaders often look to role models for guidance, but for many, due to the weak examples available to them in their workplace or wider society, leadership remains an illusory concept. Unfortunately all too often we are left to wonder where have all the good leaders gone?

Many candidates for leadership roles feel that they have the personal characteristics and skills necessary to be a great leader. What, then, can be done to address our negative experience of leaders and what can each of us do to ensure we perform leadership roles to the best of our ability? This course run by our School of Business aims to address these points.

The aims and objectives of the course are to:

  • Explore how leadership theory and leadership studies have developed over the last century, describing various views on leadership styles, the styles themselves and how they might or should vary.
  • Critique what we know about power, influence, motivation and the way in which leadership is constructed between leaders and followers.
  • Demonstrate the importance of vision in the leadership process and how leadership differs at strategic (or senior) organisational levels when compared with team leadership at the coal face of an organisation.
  • Develop a plan for how you might practically begin (or continue) your personal journey of developing your own leadership effectiveness (developing knowledge, skills and attitudes) through reading, watching, talking and of course doing!

This course will provide you with a clear idea of what leadership is and what it involves. You will have the valuable opportunity to develop a useful, practical framework for understanding what effective leaders actually do. You will learn how to balance the priorities of achieving results, effectively building team cohesion and developing and motivating the individuals within your team. You will also explore how leaders can secure sustained performance by bringing out the best in their people.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Key Facts
Start date
February, May, August and November each year
School of Business

School of Business Distance Learning Hub
+44 (0)116 252 5377

Join us for a live online chat.

Why Leicester?

We are a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, and hold a Small Chartered Business Award in recognition of our role in helping to kick-start British enterprise.

We have over 25 years’ experience of offering high quality distance learning courses. Our courses have been specifically designed to be studied at a distance, giving you the flexibility to study from any location within a structured and supportive framework.

Our CPD courses bring together the latest research informed theory and practitioner insight to offer you an engaging and thought provoking experience.

Course Structure

Weeks 1 and 2

Weeks 1 and 2

Week 1 – Welcome

Week 1 focuses attention on leaders and leadership; theory and practice; and how to become a better leader. It culminates in capturing your current view of leadership.

Week 2 – Introduction to Leadership

Week 2 explores position, influence and power which is at the heart of many definitions of leadership. You will consider the notion that leadership is about influence not simply about having a position of authority within an organisation.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Weeks 3 and 4

Weeks 3 and 4

Week 3 – Leadership Qualities and Personality

Week 3 evaluates whether ‘leaders are born and not made’. You'll discuss the advantages and limitations of the Great Man view of leadership and the traditional qualities/traits approach. You will also explore the relationship between leadership and personality factors.

Week 4 – Leadership Style, Situational and Contingency Approaches

Week 4 focuses attention on classic leadership styles in terms of their appropriateness and use in different contexts. It will discuss the respective contributions and limitations of the Blake and Mouton Managerial Grid, Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Theory and House’s Path-Goal Theory and present an alternative to the traditional task/people view of leadership styles.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Weeks 5 and 6

Weeks 5 and 6

Week 5 – Transformational and Charismatic Leadership

Week 5 explores the concepts of transactional and transformational leadership, outlining what constitutes transformational leadership and the contribution it makes to organisations. You will discuss the part that charismatic leadership play in the process of transformational leadership, as well as, some of the conceptual weaknesses in the idea of transformational leadership.

Week 6 – Followership and Distributed Leadership

Week 6 focuses attention on effective and ineffective forms of followership and explains some of the psychodynamic processes that can influence our effectiveness as followers. You'll explore the idea that followers construct leadership and how this might happen in practice. You'll also discuss the respective concepts of shared leadership, distributed leadership and leaderless work groups, highlighting both their strengths and limitations.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Weeks 7 and 8

Weeks 7 and 8

Week 7 – Gender and Culture in Leadership

Week 7 explains the nature of the ‘glass ceiling’ effect with regard to women’s representation at senior levels of leadership and form views on what organisations and society can do to address this issue. You will explore the relationship between leadership and organisational culture including whether/how leaders might attempt to influence organisational culture. You will also look at some of the ways in which cultures differ globally and what the implications of this might be for leadership.

Week 8 – Strategic Leadership and Vision

Week 8 focuses attention on the nature and purpose of strategic leadership and identifies some of the questions and issues that are of concern to strategic leaders. You will discuss the importance of vision and consider what constitutes an effective vision and how a vision can be developed and communicated effectively.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Weeks 9 and 10

Weeks 9 and 10

Week 9 – Narcissistic, Ethical and Authentic Leadership

Week 9 explores the processes involved in bad (destructive, narcissistic or “toxic”) leadership and how organisations can guard against the ill effects of these phenomena. You will discuss the relevance of ethics to the topic of leadership, comparing different ethical philosophies and explaining the implications of these for leaders and followers. You will also briefly outline what constitutes an authentic leader and explain why the need for this type of leadership has become increasingly relevant.

Week 10 – Leadership Development in Organisations

Week 10 engages students in an informed debate on whether or not leadership can be learned and/or taught. You will discuss the value of, and options available for, leadership development within organisations. You will also consider what needs to be evaluated, and how, in order to ascertain the effectiveness of a particular leadership development intervention within an organisation.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Weeks 11 and 12

Weeks 11 and 12

Week 11 – Concluding Thoughts

Week 11 focuses attention on you. Having read about leadership qualities and considered some of the essential characteristics of effective leaders, you should have a better idea of how credibility is developed. Having considered a range of leadership styles and how leaders need to be flexible, changing their style according to the needs of the situation, you should be better able to balance the twin demands of people and productivity in the contexts in which you lead.

Week 12 – Assessment

Week 12 allows you to reflect on everything that has been covered in terms of its relevance to you and to your career ahead. This assessment will draw heavily upon the work you will have submitted as part of group activities. You will be required to develop a portfolio of your work for this course.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Key dates

Start date: 1 November 2016
Application deadline for November 2016: 29 September 2016

Teaching and Assessment

This 12-week course is delivered solely online using engaging audio-visual based teaching methods in addition to selected case studies. The course will be moderated by a leading practitioner on leadership, who will share their experiences and insights with the group. In addition, the course provides you with full access to the extensive library provision offered at the University of Leicester.

You will be encouraged to allocate approximately 9 hours per week during this course and you are expected to contribute to the discussions on Blackboard and to work with fellow students on the tasks set for each section. The course is assessed by an individual assignment (3500 words), which provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate that you can apply concepts from the course to your work context. When you complete this course you will get 15 credits at Masters level and a confirmation of completion.

Entry Requirements

  • A UK honours degree or its overseas equivalent OR an acceptable professional qualification
  • Plus three years relevant managerial or supervisory work experience

If you do not have relevant qualifications but have 9 or more years of managerial experience we would encourage you to apply. Similarly, if your academic or professional qualifications are not equivalent to a UK Honours degree but you have 5 or more years of management experience then we would encourage you to get in touch for further advice.

To apply please complete our online application form.  You will need to submit the following documents:

  • Certificates and transcripts for your qualification (if applicable)
  • Proof of English language competence (if applicable)
  • Your CV

Once we receive your application and all supporting documents we aim make a decision about your application within five working days.

If your application is successful, confirmation will be sent to you by email with details of the next steps. If your application is unsuccessful we will notify you by email.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries List

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in November 2016, February 2017 or May 2017

    • £299
    Find out more about how to pay.
  • Starting in November 2016, February 2017 or May 2017

    • £299

    Find out more about how to pay.

Career Opportunities

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses have been developed with the professional in mind and offer many opportunities for career enhancement. Our courses are both intellectually stimulating and relevant to your career needs. This course has been designed by a team of leading practitioners and academics with the goal of encouraging you to apply the latest concepts and techniques to your organisational context in a supported environment.

By studying a CPD course with the School of Business you will gain the deeper knowledge and high-end skills that will set you apart. Studying with us gives a clear signal to employers. It demonstrates that you have the spark, ambition and commitment to take your career to the next level. Your employer will also benefit directly from your newly acquired understanding and capabilities.


CPD is an essential element of career development and helps to enhance job prospects. Whether you're an employee looking to get ahead or an employer keen to develop the capabilities of your workforce, studying a CPD course with us will bring the resources of a leading University to your organisation.

Course Qualification Start Dates Availability
Leadership CPD February, May, August and November each year Apply Now
Start Dates
February, May, August and November each year