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Course content

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership was designed to provide a strong foundation for students to establish and build their leadership skills; examine the theory and practice of personal leadership; and develop an appreciation for open and interconnected systems within organizations and communities.

This nine-credit graduate certificate program is delivered over 11 weeks of online study, with one two-week on-campus residency, and can be used to ladder into an MA program at RRU or as a standalone course for students looking to improve their leadership skills in order to thrive within an organization.

Who It’s For

Students interested in improving their skillset within the realm of organizational leadership, but aren’t currently ready to pursue a full master’s degree, will find value in this nine-credit graduate certificate program.

Through this 11-week experiential program you will work in a cohort environment, practicing the current tools and strategies to improve communication and leadership in teams and groups, as well as examining the theories and practice of leading productive teams or facilitating effective groups.

Core Competencies

Upon completion of this graduate certificate, you will have demonstrated – to your faculty and cohort –your ability to convey the following theoretical concepts:
-Personal Leadership
-Own-Learning and Change Processes
-Enable Others’ Learning
-Team Leadership
-Group Facilitation
-Systems Thinking


Learn to get results consistently while working with the individuals and teams within your organization or community by developing your 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

The nine credits earned by completing this Graduate Certificate in Leadership can be applied towards the MA in Leadership or the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies programs at Royal Roads University.

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 Graduate Certificate in Leadership program takes 11 weeks to complete, including four weeks of online study, one two-week residency and five weeks of post-residency online study. The result is accessible, high quality learning with minimal professional disruption.

Online Courses
The distance learning portions of the Graduate Certificate in Leadership program delivered online. 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.

Student workload and expectations
A level of effort of approximately 10 hours per week, per course is required. This means a commitment of 10 to 20 hours per week depending on the schedule. During the first distance courses, the amount of time required may be higher, as students familiarize themselves with our distance learning technologies.

Students can expect to work hard during the residency period. The normal classroom schedule is Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Homework, readings, and team meetings are done outside of these hours. In addition to the educational activities, there may be planned recreational events.

Attendance at the residency period is mandatory; however students are not required to live on campus.

There are three courses in total within the Graduate Certificate in Leadership program:
-LEAD 526: Fundamentals of Personal Leadership and Learning (three credits)
-LEAD 527: Applied methods for Organizational Leadership (three credits)
-LEAD 528: Leadership in Systems (three credits)

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




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