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Masters in Executive Coaching

Course Description

Rigorous. Relevant. Real. Reflective.

If you are interested in becoming a fully accredited, professional executive coach, equipped with the latest knowledge in the field, this is the programme for you.

The Masters in Executive Coaching is a two-year, part-time, modular, self-directed programme. It is an opportunity to review and re-launch your practice, make the best of your natural skills, learn about yourself as a coach through supervision and co-coaching, and meet some of the most experienced practitioners in the field.

You will develop your coaching and mentoring skills, either to integrate into your existing consultancy and coaching work or to create a solid foundation for a new coaching and consulting practice. The programme takes a relational psychological perspective, which will deepen your clients’ self-awareness and their understanding of the web of key relationships in their organisation. The aim is to develop your ability to respond to, initiate and enable change through the coaching process.

What will you learn?

During the programme you will:
‌•Be introduced to the the latest models and perspectives
‌•Learn about the relational approach to coaching
‌•Develop and broaden your coaching and mentoring skills
‌•Develop greater self-awareness enabling you to use your experience whilst coaching others
‌•Benchmark your approaches as a coach
‌•Understand and be informed by theoretical frameworks that support effective coaching
‌•Practise both familiar and new coaching skills and interventions
‌•Acquire a personal vision of the your own coaching work
‌•Become part of a diverse and experienced community of coaches.

How you will learn?

The programme reflects Ashridge’s philosophy about the nature of change and learning. You will be learning in an environment of reflection and experimentation, rather than simply relying on didactic input. The learning experience draws on the principles of adult learning and development and is well-grounded in research.
It is delivered through short teaching inputs on coaching theories and models, combined with small and large group discussions. Each module also includes ‘co-coaching’ with fellow participants as well as live supervision. In the second year, the programme delivery becomes a collective and deeper inquiry into the main elements of coaching: the coach, the client, the relationship and the organisation.

Expert faculty, research and peer learning

The approaches to executive coaching taught in this Master’s degree are inspired by our own expert faculty publications in the field and by the ongoing research that takes place within the Ashridge Centre for Coaching.
The teaching style of this fully-accredited coaching qualification is informal – we work in a large circle of chairs without tables and use the group process and dynamics to illustrate our points. This is not just a skills development programme – we make the theoretical content easy to digest, by inviting you to critically reflect on theory and practice. We focus on helping you turn knowledge into practice.

Related programmes

Before taking the full Ashridge Masters in Executive Coaching, some people choose to enrol on:

‌•Coaching for Organisation Consultants. (Open programme, also Module 1 of the Masters programme): https://www.ashridge.org.uk/executive-organisation-development/open-programmes/coaching-for-organisation-consultants/
‌•Team Coaching for Consultants (Open programme, also Module 1 of the Masters programme) https://www.ashridge.org.uk/executive-organisation-development/open-programmes/team-coaching-for-consultants/
After the Ashridge Masters in Executive Coaching, graduates often choose to enrol on:
‌•The Ashridge Postgraduate Diploma in Organisational Supervision https://www.ashridge.org.uk/qualifications/postgraduate-certificate-in-advanced-coaching-and/
‌•Consulting and Change in Organisations. (Open programme, not part of a qualification)
‌•Coaching Supervision sessions https://www.ashridge.org.uk/qualifications/coaching-supervision/

About Relational Coaching

The Ashridge approach to coaching involves paying attention to what goes on between the client and coach, and making the relationship explicit. Often this exploration casts new light on the client’s relationship with their organisation.

Relational coaching means understanding that the relationship between coach and client is at the heart of effective coaching and is an essential vehicle for learning and change. A key understanding that informs all our coaching contracts is that each relationship is specific to a particular organisational context.

The client’s agenda will be defined by their organisational context, and so will your relationship with that client, albeit at a more indirect and subtle level.

Clients will inevitably bring their own individual patterns of relating into the coaching arena, replaying their core beliefs and attitudes about themselves and their abilities. The coaching relationship therefore becomes a forum for understanding stale patterns and for experimenting with new ways of being in a relationship.

The theoretical approach is integrative, drawing on a range of sound psychological theories and principles from the fields of coaching, psychological therapies and organisation development. Ashridge coaches work on a relational basis with their clients and are likely to explore on a number of levels. These levels are primarily:

‌•The assumptions clients have about the organisation within which they operate
‌•The relationships that they have with the people within the organisation
‌•What the client personally brings to these relationships.
‌•The relationship between coach and the person being coached is entered into and agreed in an explicit way from the outset. We draw up an initial contract that specifies the boundaries and articulates the intentions and goals for the relationship. However, relationships are dynamic and the contract needs to reflect this. Ashridge believes that change takes place through the process of relating, and this is the whole point of a responsive coaching contract. Therefore, what seemed figural and important at the first meeting may shift to a new way of seeing the situation by the third or fourth meeting.
‌•We see this process of change emerging in relationships as a crucial way of understanding not only what goes on in an effective coaching relationship, but also how change takes place in organisations.

“The Masters programme opened a new door of ongoing learning for me. I have applied and continue to use many of the ideas in my work. It has helped me to define what I do and to make a step change in the level and seniority of clients that I coach.

If you are prepared to challenge yourself academically, be robustly honest with yourself about your coaching practice and enjoy learning interactively, AMEC will be an unforgettable and very rewarding experience.”
Jude Elliman, Director, Listening Partnership Ltd

Visit the Masters in Executive Coaching page on the Ashridge website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Andrew Atter

Why did you decide to do the Masters in Executive Coaching programme?

To support clients in tough leadership roles, I was having to self teach myself around complex areas of psychology, sociology and philosophy and I felt I needed a more structured, in depth programme. I was also aware of the need to first and foremost work on myself; to find new sources of motivation and inspiration with myself, to enable me to enjoy and enrich my coaching relationships.

Did you have any reservations before starting?

The fee was an obvious one. Would I earn a return-on-investment from the fees? I did not recognise then that AMEC would contribute so much to selling larger scale and more profitable assignments. I sold a team coaching assignment in the second year that more than paid for the whole programme. I charge higher fees now and have much more secure client relationships as a result of AMEC. I can engage with clients more effectively and I can recognise potential assignment ‘de-railers’ earlier.

The commercial impact of the programme has probably been undersold in the marketing.

What did you learn from the programme?

AMEC is at its heart a two year journey of self discovery and personal inquiry. I learned more about who I was and what I could become. I learned about the kind of relationships I was forming with people in general, not just in coaching.

I was able to recognise deeper patterns. This has enabled me to bring greater insight to my client work. I have learned how to enjoy coaching again.

The title MSc in Executive Coaching understates what the programme is really about. Executive Coaching is just one application of the learning. The programme addresses deeper themes in Gestalt psychology, Action Research and personal inquiry, which have enriched my work in many areas.

How have you applied this to your work and organisation?

I coach in a fundamentally different way. I work with the client’s energy much more. I am comfortable in the moment and notice and respond to critical moments much more. I pay much more attention to the ethical and psychological contract and the often systemic nature of these implied agreements.

What would you say to someone considering joining this programme?

If you intend coaching to be a significant part of your professional life and you are prepared to work on yourself at a deep level, then I would definitely recommend it.


Entry Requirements

First degree or equivalent academic award. If you do not have an academic qualification, you will need to demonstrate significant professional experience and evidence of appropriate conceptual and study skillsAt least three years’ experience in an organisational consulting, coaching or equivalent roleThe motivation to participate in a peer learning community, and some awareness of your own emotional and behavioural processes A proficiency in the English language to undertake a graduate level programme, i.e. TOEFL IBT above 100, IELTS above 7.0, or a Pearson Test of English Academic above 60.

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