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Leadership (Advanced Professional Practice) (MSc)

Course Description

Leadership MSc has been specifically designed for experienced managers and professionals to focus on the development of their leadership skills.

Your and your peers’ experience will be used as the basis for the learning throughout the programme.

Studying on the course involves working with your current organisational challenges in real time using the learning sessions as opportunities for analysis, critical reflection, planning and review. As your projects progress, change or indeed stall, you will be able to use the resources of the programme to explore ways of addressing these challenges with encouragement and support from your team and the Westminster academics.

The course will give you the opportunity to explore and review the leadership processes at work in the project you are working on, using both new and familiar models. You will develop the confidence to critically reflect and analyse leadership styles and approaches, which in turn will enhance your team performance.

As you develop and enhance your career whilst on this programme, we expect that the direction of your learning may change. The course is designed to take this into consideration and you will be expected to take a proactive role in designing your learning.

A range of organisations will be represented on the programme, which will enhance the dialogue, and challenge the understanding of how leadership is interpreted and enacted in a variety of contexts and situations.

Studying Leadership MSc

Each module will enable you to work on different projects that are under your control or influence, in order to deepen your understanding and analysis of a particular concern from alternative perspectives.

We start with your practice and critically reflect on the realities of professional life with a different lens enriched by the theories and approaches you select which can make a difference to the success of the project and your learning as a leader.

You will bring your challenges to the course to examine and explore them using a range of tools, models and techniques to develop and enhance your strategies for making the best use of what you have. You will also investigate how these models work in your organisation, their relevance and value.

In Action Learning sets, you will practice processes to support your reflection, facilitation and action planning skills.

You will be expected to read widely in order to demonstrate understanding of and insight into a range of theoretical frameworks. You will also be expected to be open and committed to the personal change, development and be willing to challenge your beliefs and values, to gain the most out of this course.

Course content

- The combination of intensive 3 day learning sessions, one to one tutorials and Action learning sets, along with your own studies and professional experiences will support and confront your approach to leadership, the projects you are working with and current professional challenges.

- You will develop through debate, study and Action Learning Sets your understanding of the skills of leadership in other contexts and how those can enhance your performance.

- Through learning and sharing experiences with others in similar professional situations you will be able to engage in activities and methodologies, which will challenge and test your perspectives. Your approach to leadership, management and change will benefit from day 1.

Each module on the programme encourages you to focus on a project or initiative you are currently working on. Three consecutive day intensive learning sessions will include a range of experiential activities, presentations and opportunities. These sessions will encourage you to debate and reflect on the relationships between leadership and learning and their impact on performance.

Your studies will enable you to take time to reflect and review the project with the support and encouragement of Action Learning Set members in real time. Through this process you will become an internal consultant to your company providing relevant work related documents as outcomes of your learning.


The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Stage 1 – The Certificate Level

Module 1: Individual and Professional Development
In this module we will debate what it means to be a leader in your professional context. You will begin to define how you want to shape your learning journey during this period of study. Everyone is different. Each participant will take into consideration the choices and challenges they deal with.

During this module you will:
- Focus on your development and understanding of leadership in your professional context.
- Receive 360° feedback from colleagues and peers at work, receive focused coaching as a result of the outcomes of the TLQ™ questionnaire (Transformational Leadership Questionnaire)
- You will be (re)introduced to key academic skills for evaluative reflection and critique, work-based and peer learning techniques, reading and analysing academic texts, and writing for academic and professional audiences.

Module 2: Leading and Managing Change (Learning in Context)
Working on a current project or organisational issue, your focus in this module will be specifically on the role of leaders in informing, supporting and designing organisational change.

You will act as an internal consultant to your company using the course participants, activities and events as sounding boards and test beds. The aim is to offer you a deep, critical and systematic understanding of Leading and Managing Change and its interrelationships with other relevant organisational areas.

This will of course include a critical ethical dimension to your practice, highlighting considerations of potential dilemmas, and/or impact on other individuals and communities.

Stage 2: The Diploma Level

Module 3: Critical Inquiry in Practice
You will work on pragmatic yet rigorous approaches to research in relation to leadership issues. You will learn to develop high quality academic and corporate research outputs that will enhance your professional practice and deepen your understanding of appropriate research practices and their implementation in the workplace.

This module aims to help you to develop your knowledge, understanding and expertise with respect to the concepts, methods, debates and values in leadership literature and leadership research, so that you feel prepared to conduct research into issues and practices confidently, effectively and responsibly. It also aims to help foster a culture of collaborative inquiry in research within and across subjects and disciplines and, where appropriate, organisations.

Module 4: Negotiated Learning
The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity for you to develop an area of your practice in leadership through self-planned activity, negotiated with relevant workplace colleagues such as your line manager, that demonstrates the attributes of Masters level academic working.

The module provides an opportunity for you to approach learning experientially through planning strategies and milestones, self-appraisal and review, applied to an activity or study relevant to your work. A key outcome from this module should contribute to your workplace and your work responsibilities, and be developed and implemented with the support of managers and relevant colleagues.

Stage 3: The Work-based Inquiry Project

This final module draws together your learning from the programme so far. It will include Action Learning Sets as well as tutorial support. Your project will consolidate the skills of practice or work-orientated research, including analysing data and making work-relevant judgments, and reporting the findings and recommendations in formats adequate to your profession/business sector.

The project work provides the opportunity for you to make a significant contribution to your organisation through the recommendations and outputs of your robust inquiry of the current issue. As part of the module you will prepare a project proposal, including addressing main ethical considerations.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Leadership (Advanced Professional Practice) (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

This programme is open to participants who have a relevant undergraduate qualification (as a minimum) or equivalent relevant professional qualification and have at least 5 years work-based experience in paid employment or voluntary work with some responsibility for managing others. Alternatively, participants will have relevant professional/work-based experience of at least 5 years, including 2 years in a role that involves general leadership responsibilities and/or leadership responsibilities for a project of organisational or professional significance.

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