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Course content

Course Description

The Defence Leadership MSc is designed to appeal to those interested in, or involved with, leadership. It's primary audience will be those with personal experience of leadership practice and who are keen to expand and improve their knowledge and understanding of leadership theory and practice. The scope of the MSc covers defence, the wider security sector and public services.

Course overview

The Defence Leadership MSc is a three year part time executive MSc made up of 13 taught three day modules delivered in 7 schools, 3 schools in years one and two. Module 13 (Research Methods) is at the beginning of year three as a precursor to the research based dissertation which completes the schedule of study.

Upon completion of the MSc you will be able to:
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of the variety of approaches to leadership
- Be aware of, and develop a critical understanding of, the nature of their own leadership
- Describe the causes of leadership success and failure
- Plan and lead successful organisational change
- Have the practical knowledge and skills to be able to analyse widely different contexts and situations
- Develop leadership in others
- Develop a critical analysis of contemporary leadership theory and practice have the knowledge and skills to understand and shape the development of leadership in war, conflict and crisis situations
- Design and conduct a research project to address pertinent organisational issues in leadership studies
- Develop an area of specialisation through the conduct of an in-depth investigation
- Critically appraise and apply leadership studies ideas, theories and concepts to a specific organisational context
- Develop a critical analysis of the research methods and philosophies that underpin leadership studies.


- Introductory Studies & Critical Thinking
- Leadership Studies - Classical and Modern
- Strategic Management in Defence
- The Psychology of Leadership
- Defence Sector and Organisational Behaviour
- DL Programme and Project Management
- Leading Change and Innovation
- National Security: Resilience and Crisis
- Global Security: Culture and Complexity
- Global Security: Emerging Challenges
- Leadership Development in Defence
- Contemporary Defence Leadership Studies

Individual Project

A 20,000 word research-based project selected by you and focused on an aspect of leadership.


There are a variety of assessments including assignments and exams.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to a thorough understanding of defence leadership in its widest setting, within and beyond the defence sector in theory and in practice.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/defence-leadership.html

Visit the Defence Leadership (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!





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Recipient: Cranfield University at Shrivenham

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