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    Defence and Security Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    MSc: Up to five years part-time. PgDip : Up to four years part-time. PgCert: Up to 3 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    16 April 2018

Course content

Leadership has always been a critical element of organisational success, but only recently has its value been adequately recognised in an educational context. The scope of this MSc covers defence and the wider security sector.

Who is it for?

This MSc is designed to appeal to those interested in or involved with leadership. Its 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.

Why this course?

The scope of the MSc covers defence, the wider security sector and public services.

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 your 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 situation
  • 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.

Informed by Industry

The advisory panel consists of senior representatives from Defence and the wider security and defence industry sectors. It includes a former Defence Minister among the defence stakeholders.


The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited the degree at the Level 7 Award in Strategic Leadership. At the start of your year two studies, you will be invited to take up Student Membership of the ILM, the cost of which will be borne by Cranfield University. Membership lasts for approximately twelve months, during which access is provided to ILM online resources. Upon successful completion of year two, or the postgraduate diploma stage, you will be awarded ILM Level 7 in Strategic Leadership and become eligible for corporate ILM membership at the level of Fellow.

Course details

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 and is a precursor to the research based dissertation which completes the schedule of study.

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

Your career

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

Visit the Defence Leadership - MSc page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!





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Recipient: Cranfield University at Shrivenham

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