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Course content

The MA in Leadership program consists of two years of interdisciplinary study. In each year, students focus on relevant, real world problem-solving projects grounded in a rigorous theoretical understanding of the nature of today’s organizations and the changing role of leadership within them. Comprehensive leadership studies address adult learning, emotional intelligence, communication and conflict, systems thinking, team facilitation and development, organizational change, and action research inquiry.

The MA in Leadership program is specifically designed to attract working professionals. It is structured on the basis of two intensive two-week long on-campus residency periods, followed by distance learning. This allows participants to substantially enhance their educational credentials, while minimizing absences from their workplace.

The MA in Leadership is further distinguished by balancing professional diversity and interdisciplinary study, with the need for sector specific knowledge and problem solving skills. This is accomplished by having a common curriculum for all students in the first year and an independent, work-based problem-solving project in the second year.

Who It’s For

The MA in Leadership is an applied, competency-based program offering advanced leadership skills for experienced leaders interested in developing more effective organizations and communities. Focusing on factors that contribute to successful problem solving and innovation, this program provides key skills and insights to professionals working in corporate, academic, public sector, and not-for-profit environments.

Core Competencies

Throughout the program, students assess their personal and organizational learning needs against our seven core competencies:
-Personal Leadership
-Managing and Enabling Learning and Change Processes
-Team Leadership and Group Facilitation
-Systems Thinking
-Organizational Leadership
-Organizational Inquiry and Research


Curriculum content is driven through developing a sophisticated understanding of the following areas:
-Systems Thinking and Planning
-Organizations and Organizational Change
-Research and Inquiry
-Team Building


Graduates of the MA in Leadership will gain research and consulting skills, and become better communicators and more confident leaders with the ability to:
-Identify, analyze, and build solutions to organizational challenges
-Manage positive organizational change
-Develop effective, high performance teams
-Manage an organization’s internal and external political environment
-Communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and other stakeholders
-Implement change and achieve results

Delivery Model

Royal Roads University offers the unique advantage of brief on-site residencies combined with distance learning. This allows working professionals to benefit from the synergy of on-campus learning and direct interaction with leading faculty members, while meeting the demands of career and lifestyle.

On-campus Residencies
In all, the MA in Leadership program includes two two-week residencies over a two-year period, Internet-based distance education, and a major project involving an issue or project faced by leaders in the workplace or in the community. The result is accessible, high quality learning with minimal professional disruption.

Online Courses
The distance learning portions of the MA in Leadership program delivered over the internet. Prior to commencing each course, students are provided with a package of materials and readings. At their own pace (although there are a number of ‘real time’ deadlines for assignments, exams, etc.), each student works through the requirements of the course.

Delivery Methods
We use a number of different delivery methods, including textbooks, articles, case studies, interactive Internet learning, videotapes, and ‘chat’ bulletin boards for correspondence with team members - who may be on the other side of the country. Having already met your classmates during the first residency period, you will continue to work in teams during the distance modules as well. We have found that this approach to learning is extremely helpful to our students, enabling them to build strong relationships with their classmates.

Flexible Admission

Applicants who do not meet the Standard Admission Requirements will be considered for Flexible Admission and assessed as follows:
-At least 10 years of professional experience, with a minimum five years of leadership* experience.
-Flexible admission applicants will normally be required to take “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” and obtain a minimum B+ (77%) prior to commencing the program.

*Leadership experience could include one or more of the following:
-Formal organizational leadership roles in which you directly supervise staff or complete performance-oriented work with individuals, groups, or teams.
-Leadership roles in volunteer organizations.
-Roles in which you consult, negotiate with, or manage diverse interest groups through relationship, in a complex environment.
-Roles in which you lead others toward shared goals and outcomes.
-Roles in which you influence, organize, and coordinate groups of people.

Visit the Leadership - MA page on the Royal Roads University website for more details!




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