This work-based programme is reflective of current thinking in strategic leadership and provides an excellent platform for aspiring or substantive senior leaders and managers to enhance and develop sought after strategic leadership skills. Designed for those who wish to gain a postgraduate degree whilst balancing employment and a range of other commitments, this programme will develop your knowledge, skills and competence in the areas of personal and professional development, leadership, people management, innovation, finance and organisational strategy.

Key facts

  • Designed for aspirational or substantive leaders who are seeking to understand more about themselves as potential leaders, focusing on leadership behaviours and strategies for professional development
  • Opportunity to deepen understanding of, and develop leadership competencies in, organisational cross-functional activities including human resource management, finance, innovation and strategy
  • Work-related assessment wherever possible, designed to deliver impact into your organisation
  • Blended delivery pattern, with 50% of teaching delivered in-person and 50% online
  • Delivered over 2 years in Part-Time mode – an equivalent of 14 to 15 full weekends with supporting online or face to face tuition

What will I study?

Throughout the programme, you will become knowledgeable about the theory and practice of responsible business, leadership and management in the context of your own personal and professional practice, organisation and sector specific contextual drivers, and broader societal and global challenges. You will develop your ability to critically reflect on your leadership approach and management capability and practice, whilst also cultivating an awareness of cultural and ethical issues that impact on your individual practice and organisational contexts.

Furthermore, you will work on developing research skills, critical thinking and effective organisational improvement techniques as well as exploring all the personal competences associated with leadership and management in complex, dynamic and excellence focused organisations. But it’s not just about cutting edge theory; it’s also about hands-on practical experience. To this end, you are encouraged to build on your own leadership and management experience with work related assignments which will contribute to developing self, career and workplace improvement.

Modules within the programme will adopt a combination of research approaches including learning how to research, extracting knowledge from and critically analysing research from others and importantly, applying research in your daily practice.

This MSc aims to provide you with a framework of learning that develops your personal and professional capabilities as an existing or aspiring senior leader, supports you in applying cutting edge business theory to enhance organisational practice and builds your capacity to lead investigations, people and projects in the workplace.

How will I be taught and assessed?

  • You’ll be taught using a range of methods such as workshops, tutorials, directed study and discussion forums.
  • Assessment includes coursework and an exam.
  • For each module, you can expect 24 hours of overall contact time delivered through online interactive workshops and face-to-face classroom sessions. This will be supported by a minimum of 12 hours of guided tutor learning which can be delivered virtually, including tutorials, tutor-led collaborative exercises with peers, discussion forums and video presentations.
  • Blended delivery pattern, where you will have 50% of teaching delivered in-person and 50% online
  • You will be taught by experienced lecturers and academics who use their industry experience to demonstrate how theories translate into real-life situations.
  • You will also be expected to engage in independent study, around 164 hours for each module
  • There is an exception of 60 credit Management Investigation module which requires around 570 hours of independent study and research.
  • Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research.

Careers and further study

This programme is specifically designed for those in employment and who are seeking to develop their careers as strategic leaders. As such significant emphasis is placed upon developing the competencies required to accelerate leadership career potential. Through the teaching, learning and assessment strategy, you will be encouraged to develop your knowledge and skills as practising or aspiring leaders, and to think analytically about your personal and organisational practice.

Furthermore, the majority of the Knowledge and Understanding criteria are required in the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for management and leadership (2008). The National Occupational Standards are statements of best practice that outline the performance criteria, related skills, knowledge and understanding required to effectively carry out various management and leadership functions.

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Standard entry requirements

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • At least 3 years work experience with supervisory responsibility
  • You must be in employment

Non-standard entry requirements

  • A mature applicant lacking standard academic qualifications may be considered for entry if they have relevant senior-level management experience over an appropriate period of time and is able to fulfil the objectives of the programme. This would be evidenced by a personal statement and conversation with a member of the academic team

International entry equivalencies

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Please visit our entry requirements page for country-specific qualifications.

Please note that if your qualifications are not in English, we might need certified translations in order to proceed with your application.

Please note: we are not currently able to sponsor international students to study this programme. If you require sponsorship to study as an international student, this course will unfortunately be unavailable to you. For alternative options, have a look at our full-time programmes.

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All modules on this course are core and 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

This module is the capstone of the programme, and provides aspiring leaders with an opportunity to critically reflect upon the contribution of leadership in the context of organisations. It is designed to develop you as ‘reflective practitioners and independent learners. Furthermore, the module encourages you to think about the responsibility of individual leaders and organisations in the context of contemporary ethical and sustainable challenges to business.

We will consider contemporary issues and challenges facing individuals and organisations in terms of leading and managing in increasingly dynamic business environments. This approach will develop your ability to critically analyse behaviour, evaluate actions; plan and employ critical judgement through careful consideration of and reflection on current and future management and organisational challenges.

This module will enable you to critically evaluate the range of factors that impact strategic positioning and performance. It will help you develop new knowledge and skills in strategic analysis and planning techniques, which you will apply in your own context, to critically analyse opportunities for implementation and recommend future improvements to organisational practice.

The module will analyse contemporary theories and models informing strategic approaches to leading change and managing new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people, culture and sustainability within organisations.

Understanding how accounting and finance can be used for strategic advantage can help you advance to senior positions. This module will develop your knowledge and critical appreciation of the key components of accounting and finance and enable you to apply these within the context of a successful commercial organisation. The module will include key concepts in relation to accounting and financing, such as financial decision-making, successful budgeting and financial health.  You will learn how to use accounting techniques to appraise investments and monitor performance and consider how finance and accounting can be used to strategically manage the direction of the business.

As the future of work and organisations continue to change and take on new shapes, legal and regulatory forms, leaders will have a critical role to play both as strategic partners in organisations, supporting and developing front line employees as well as managers, and enabling change. Effective management of people is vital for the achievement of an organisation’s strategic goals, yet it is hard to do well and easy to do badly.

The module investigates the strategic priorities and practicalities of strategic human resource management and development in addition to a focus on stakeholders’ development needs. You will develop an understanding of individual and organisational learning, including the opportunities and challenges of approaches to strategic workforce planning such as talent management, workforce design, performance management, diversity and inclusion.

This module will provide you with theoretical and applied perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of managing in the digital economy. Through the use of a range of topical and case-based examples, this module will illustrate the far-reaching impact that rapid technological change, digital strategies and disruptive innovation has on companies, governments, individuals and society.

You will explore how these impacts are interrelated and are dynamic and unpredictable in character. The assessment explores this dynamic interaction, providing an opportunity to explore the impact of transformation digital change. The use of academic and practitioner materials will enable you to clearly understand the socio-economic impact and contribute to developing new strategies to reap potential value from the global digital economy.

The growth of evidence-based management and the increasing range and amount of data that managers are expected to process on a regular basis requires managers to have analytical skills and a sound understanding of research. This module will equip you with the necessary practical skills needed to manage this complexity and to generate conclusions, which can be used to support management decisions.

In addition, you will be provided with a broad understanding of the basic issues and considerations you will face when completing your final management investigation. You will be introduced to philosophical issues as well as frequently used methodologies and techniques to inform whatever research strategy and methods you decide to adopt in your later investigation.

This module will support your transition into postgraduate higher education by developing specific skills and attributes to both manage your studies, to communicate your ideas effectively within the academic community and giving you an insight on how these skills contribute to your professional development.

The module supports you to draw on your own experiences at work allowing you to reflect and evaluate your own effectiveness in this area, and plan your own personal development and approaches to managing your future career.

This module is research/enquiry based and you will be required to identify and give a convincing rationale for, a researchable work-based topic, which addresses an issue or problem within an organisation.

You will identify and critically review relevant literature and synthesise a theoretical framework, which will guide you to choose and execute an appropriate research methodology, including the gathering and analysis of relevant data. From the research findings, you will offer a discussion of the academic relevance of the results and any further research prompted.

Finally, you will outline your conclusions and derive and present a set of realistic recommendations which the organisation could take into practice and which addresses the initial research topic.

This module will require an independent study of about 570 hours split across two terms (roughly 20-24 weeks) with further support from your academic supervisor via one to one meetings and up to 24 hours of timetabled workshops.

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The course information displayed on this page is correct for the academic year 2023/24. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic or industry developments), student demand or UK compliance reasons.

Tuition fees 2024/25:

  • £9,250

Please note that your tuition fees do not include the cost of course books that you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing and photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities. As a Northumbria University London Campus student, you will have full access to our online digital library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

Information for international students

Northumbria University is committed to providing the best possible experience to all our students. To ensure you secure your place with us, we require our international students to pay a deposit towards their fees. More information can be found here.

The modules you will study do not require you to purchase additional textbooks although we recommend you allow an additional £200-250 for the duration of your studies should you choose to purchase any additional reading materials.

Your tuition fees cover far more than your time in class with our expert academics, it covers the cost of providing you with excellent services and student experience.

  • Contact time in class – typically in lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • Access to facilities, including computers, on-campus Wi-Fi, printers, vending machines, quiet study spaces
  • The support of our Careers & Employment Service who help you to become more employable, secure placements and run workshops
  • Academic support – our ACE Team run multiple sessions on academic writing, presenting, exam techniques throughout the semester, as well as 1-2-1 appointments and drop-in sessions
  • Student support services such as our Ask4Help Service. Find out more about the services available to you on our Student Support page
  • Access to online resources, including 24/ 7 Library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

Payment plans

We offer an interest-free monthly payment plan available to all self-funded students after payment of your deposit.

Please note that self-funded students are required to pay a deposit of £2,450.


For more information on scholarship opportunities, please contact us today.

London Cost of Living Bursary

Eligible international students will receive an automatic bursary for £1,334, covering one month’s living costs in London*, applied at the Conditional Offer as a fee discount. This bursary is effective for intakes in May 2024, September 2024, January 2025 and May 2025. This offer excludes Pre-sessional English, standalone Graduate Certificate programmes and sponsored applicants.

If you receive this bursary, you may still be eligible for additional bursaries and scholarships, these will be confirmed at the Unconditional Offer stage. Full maintenance costs still need to be evidenced when applying for your visa.

This bursary is only available for international students from specific countries. Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.

*As defined by UKVI

Government Loan for Masters study

If you are a UK/Home student, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000+ from the UK Government. Click here to find out more about the loan and whether you are eligible to receive it.

Payment plans and PGL

Early Application Discounts

Our Early Application Discount is awarded to you when you submit your application and holding deposit, before the deadlines specified on our dates and fees page. The discount is applied to your remaining fees after you pay your full deposit. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer – please contact us for more details on eligibility.

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How to find out more

Enquire now to find out more information about the course, studying with us, the application process, and to ask any other questions you may have.

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How to apply

Once you’re ready to apply, you can apply online to study the MSc Strategic Leadership. This method allows you to upload your supporting documents at the time of application and automatically receive your student application number.

Apply for October 2024
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We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow you to complete all of the preparations needed to study your programme. Please refer to the Dates and Fees page.

You can check more information on how to apply here, including guidelines for the application forms.

Information For Disabled Applicants

At Northumbria University London we welcome applications from disabled students and are committed to ensuring an equal and accessible application journey. Your application will be considered on an equal basis to all other applications. Please contact us if you require any assistance. This website is continually optimised to adhere to accessibility best practice guidelines; tools to assist users with specific accessibility requirements have also been provided. More information is available in our accessibility statement.


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Course Information

Level of study:


2024/25 Tuition fee:

UK/Home Fee: £9,250

Entry requirements:

A minimum of a Bachelor's degree or equivalent and 3 years minimum work experience with supervisory responsibility

English language requirements:

GCSE English grade A-C or equivalent

Mode of study:

Part-time classroom and virtual sessions


2 years (14 -15 weekends)

Assessment methods:

Coursework and exams

Scholarship or bursaries:


Student finance:


Payment plan:




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