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Defence Leadership MSc/PgDip/PgCert - Part-time

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  • Course description
    Course Description:

    The Defence Leadership MSc is designed to appeal to those interested in, or involved with, leadership. It's 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. The scope of the MSc covers defence, the wider security sector and public services.

    Start Month:

    Full Time/ Part Time:


    Defence and Security

    Entry Requirements:

    A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) ideally in a related subject. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director. For further and specific information please visit the course page.

    English Language:

    If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

    IELTS - 7
    TOEFL - 100
    Pearson PTE Academic - 68
    Cambridge English Scale - 190
    Cambridge English: Advanced – with a minimum of Grade A
    Cambridge English: Proficiency – with a minimum of Grade B

    In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

    We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

    Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


    Part-time MSc - up to three years, Part-time PgCert - two years, Part-time PgDip - two years

    (For MOD status students the duration may vary, subject to annual review.)Part-time MSc - up to three years, Part-time PgCert - two years, Part-time PgDip - two years

    (For MOD status students the duration may vary, subject to annual review.)

    Course Format:
    • Taught
    • MSc/PgCert/PgDip

    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.

    Your teaching team:

    •     Dr Bryan Watters
    •     Dr Mike Dunn
    •     Dr Terri McConville
    •     Professor Karen Carr
    •     Dr Anastasia Filippidou
    •     Dr Bill Egginton
    •     Dr Thomas O'Brien

    External Speakers

    • Professor Andrew Kakabadse: a consultant and Professor of International Management Development at Cranfield University School of Management.
    • Professor Keith Grint: Professor of Public Leadership and Management at Warwick Business School. He previously taught at Brunel University and Oxford University and held Chairs at Lancaster, and Cranfield Universities. He is a member of the Sunningdale Institute, National School of Government.
    • Major General (retd) Timothy Cross, CBE is a retired British Army officer and military logistics expert. He lectures on spiritual leadership.
    • Rt Hon Mr Bob Ainsworth MP is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Coventry North East since 1992, and was the Secretary of State for Defence from 2009 to 2010.
    • Colonel Christopher Keeble, DSO, MSc, FCMI is a retired Army officer, most noted for his service in the Falklands' War of 1982. He lectures on " balancing the ethic of business transformation with the ethic of people's flourishing".

    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 Post Graduate 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

    Core modules:
    • Introductory Studies & Critical Thinking
    • Leadership Studies - Classical and Modern
    • Strategic Management in Defence
    • The Psychology of Leadership
    • Defence Sector and Organisational Behaviour
    • DL Programme and Project Management
    • Leading Change and Innovation
    • National Security: Resilience and Crisis
    • Global Security: Culture and Complexity
    • Global Security: Emerging Challenges
    • Leadership Development in Defence
    • Contemporary Defence Leadership Studies
    • Research Methods
    Fees and funding:

    Home EU Student Fees:
    • MSc Part-time £17,250 *
    • PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
    • PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
    Overseas Fees:  
    • MSc Part-time £17,250 *
    • PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
    • PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
        * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration).

    Fee notes:
    • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
    • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
    • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees
    Security clearance for Shrivenham

    Some Cranfield University courses are delivered at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham which is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site. All applicants to courses that are wholly or partially delivered at Shrivenham must complete the BPSS (HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard V4 April 2014) prior to registration on the course or must already hold a security clearance to this level or higher.

    Your application and BPSS clearance application will be shared during the application process with the MOD who have ultimate discretion over whether to admit applicants to the Shrivenham site. This information will be returned by the MOD to Cranfield University after checks are completed and no copies will be retained by the MOD.

    BPSS checks may involve confirmation of the following:
    •     Identity (e.g. Photo ID)
    •     Nationality and Immigration Status
    •     Employment/Academic History (covering the past 3 years)
    •     Criminal record (unspent convictions only)
    Additionally, applicants are required to give a reasonable account of any significant periods (6 months or more in the past 3 years) of time spent abroad.

    This may be revised from time to time dependent on national security requirements. For more details, please consult the BPSS Guidance.

    It will take additional time to process your BPSS clearance application once you have completed your course application.

    Inability to access the Shrivenham site as a result of failure to meet security clearance requirements will result in a withdrawal of offer, or, if already registered, a termination of registration.

    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.

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