MSc Strategic Leadership

The MSc Strategic Leadership is an innovative Masters course that caters for the educational needs of those in, or aspiring to be in leadership roles, with a distinct focus on leadership in challenging arenas. Available to study on a part time or full time basis, this postgraduate qualification will develop effective, dynamic and creative leaders, in health and social care, as well as critical thinking practitioners who have the ability, knowledge and practical skills to influence at a local and strategic level. With this in mind, it includes one module on the 7 Questions, a decision-making tool widely used within the British Armed Forces to formulate a plan.

With its flexible delivery and multidisciplinary approach, the MSc Strategic Leadership will appeal to those working in professional organisations such as the NHS, Defence Medical Services and the third, public and private sector who wish to improve their competence and practice in readiness for operational and strategic leadership roles. There are three exit points, so you can study for a Postgraduate Certificate; Postgraduate Diploma or the full Masters qualification.

This course is subject to validation.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

Stage 1 Postgraduate Certificate

  • Strategic Systems Thinking (20 credits)

The module introduces students to the practices and concepts engaged in strategic thinking, including systems thinking; managing knowledge; intellectual capital; managing complexity and managing strategic discourse.

  • Psychology Applied to the Workplace (20 credits)

This will develop learners’ understanding of the historical underpinnings and core areas of psychology relevant to application in working environments. It will enable learners to critically review psychological models, theories and empirical research in order to provide evidence based solutions and interventions to workplace issues. It will provide learners with opportunities to apply psychological knowledge and learning to contemporary workplace environment and issues.

  • Leaders and Followers: Contemporary Critical Perspectives in Practice (20 credits)

This module provides a critical insight into the practice of leadership and followership. It introduces students to the core concepts of the way people are led in organisations and how effective processes influence and support the behaviours of the led (followers). We will explore what makes a leader; the dark side of leadership; typologies of followership; definitions ofleadership, contesting notions, nature or nurture; and power, politics, command and control in organisations.

Stage 2 Postgraduate Diploma

  • Critical Reflection in the Workplace (20 credits)

The module is designed to provide a platform upon which the learner can engage and develop in reflective practice which can be used to enhance the effectiveness of the workplace experience. For their chosen professional activity, the student will be expected to display mastery of a specialised area of knowledge and skills within the context of the workplace and their profession.

  • Strategic Planning and Decision Making - 7 Questions (20 credits)

Students will develop an in-depth critical evaluation of the strategic planning and decision-making process and be able to apply these principles in the workplace. This module covers defining and exploring the theories and principles of planning and decision making; interpretation of management information and intelligence data; and problem solving and planning, using the 7 Questions.

  • Leading Organisational Culture and Change (20 credits)

This will develop learners’ knowledge and understanding of the psychology of organisational culture, climate and change management, and enable you to critically review empirical research which has examined organisational culture and/or change management within organisations. 

Stage 3 MSc 

  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Strategic Leadership Research Methods Practice Project (40 credits)

The aim of these modules is to enable the learner to conduct a proper scientific investigation and present it in a written format.


With topics such as intelligence preparation for the environment; psychological theory and applications in the workplace; managing organisational culture and change; critical reflection in the workplace and research methods, the MSc Strategic Leadership is designed for those who are leaders and those aspiring to be so.

The course is available to study on a full or part-time basis and is delivered by block teaching on or over the weekend with approximately five days contact time per module.

Teaching is provided through a balanced mix of lectures, tutorials and scenario based learning/practical sessions. The course will utilise Blackboard virtual learning environment. Blackboard provides an opportunity for learning to be supported on-line with discussion forums and email groups. These methods are used to supplement contact and support from course tutors and provide an innovative way for the delivery of the course to professionals.

There are three exit points - Postgraduate Certificate; Postgraduate Diploma or the full MSc.

  • PG Cert exit point - after successful completion of 3 x 20 credit Level 7 modules totalling 60 credits
  • PG Dip exit point after successful completion of 6 x 20 credit Level 7 modules totalling 120 credits
  • MSc - After successful completion of 180 credits of Level 7 modules


Assessment will be driven by the specific learning outcomes of individual modules. Methods employed may include online discussions and reflection upon discussion threads, essays, reports, presentations, and portfolios.

Each assessment component within modules will permit development and demonstration of intellectual skills, and this will be one of the assessment criteria. Evidence of assimilation of conceptual elements of the course will be sought and a balance achieved between practical relevance and the ability to critically reflect on course materials and the wider leadership environment. The research module will be assessed via a summative assessment. The third year (MSc) will require completion of a project.

Admission to the course is typically through the following qualifications:

  • A good Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant discipline
  • Relevant professional qualification 

Those without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, where appropriate experience is taken into account. All applicants will be interviewed under these circumstances. 

Ex-armed forces personnel can earn up to two thirds of a masters degree at USW, based on the training and knowledge they acquired while serving. More details on our Armed Forces scheme.

International Entry Requirements

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Please register and apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement.


The MSc Strategic Leadership will equip students with a range of knowledge and transferable skills that will benefit any modern/future working environment, thus improving quality of service. Graduates of this course will, with continued practitioner experience, become more skilled in strategic leadership techniques and have opportunities to tailor their practice to their professional requirements with special interest and enhanced skills.

There is currently significant demand for professional development in the area of Strategic Leadership and this field is moving toward the postgraduate arena in order to ensure that the body of academic knowledge and skill-base increases. It is anticipated that students who enrol onto the MSc will complete the course of study. However, it is recognised that some practitioners may already hold a Level 7 qualification and may wish to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma award which may be attractive to present and future employers.