Build the skills you need to succeed as a first-line manager and beyond.

Led by the University’s experienced Staff Development Team, you’ll tackle leadership from three angles:

  • Personal leadership: understanding your own behaviours and actions, and what leadership means to you.
  • How you lead in relation to others: examining how you communicate, interact, direct and influence.
  • Leadership in context: taking an organisational view of the role your leadership plays in motivation, engagement and team success.

Designed to fit into busy working lives, this course is 100% online and always-on.

It’s available 24/7, all year round. You can enrol whenever you like, set your own pace and study when it suits you — on smartphone and tablet as well as laptop and desktop.

We also offer an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management online. It’s designed for practising and aspiring middle managers.

ILM Approved Centre logo

ILM approved training

The University of Aberdeen has been approved by the Institute of Leadership & Management since 2012. This partnership means our programmes in Leadership and Management Development are coupled with a formal ILM qualification.

Find out more about the ILM

What you’ll study

Your course is delivered in three distinct modules:

Understanding leadership

Designed for practising or aspiring first-line managers. Develops your knowledge and understanding of the concept of leadership.

  • Examine different leadership styles and the effects they have on teams.
  • Learn to evaluate your own leadership styles and qualities.
  • We’ll show you how these can be enhanced to ensure you’re getting the most from your team.

Building an effective team

Learn how to build an effective team.

  • Explore ways to build trust and communication with your team.
  • Learn to build more effective working relationships.
  • You’ll use the Belbin Team Roles model to understand how teams benefit from diverse skills and experience.
  • You’ll also receive a Belbin Team Roles profile and individual feedback from a Belbin-accredited practitioner.

Motivating and engaging staff

Get to grips with motivation theory and how you can apply it in the workplace to improve performance.

By the end of this course, you will...

  • Have developed the knowledge and understanding of leadership you need as a practising or aspiring first-line manager.
  • Understand motivation theory and how to apply it in your workplace to improve performance.
  • Understand how to act as a team builder.
  • Have gained confidence as a new leader in your organisation.
Belbin Team Roles accredited. Issued by: Belbin UK.

Belbin Team Roles

This course gives you the chance to complete a personal Belbin Team Roles profile. You’ll also receive one-to-one feedback from a Belbin-accredited practitioner. They’ll help you examine:

  • how you work as part of a team
  • how to get the most from your team.

How you’ll study

Our ILM Level 3 course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

The course is taught at undergraduate level. You’ll learn from experienced ILM-accredited training professionals from the University of Aberdeen.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • videos
  • video lectures to stream or download
  • online one-to-one tutorials
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your course tutor

Where this will take you

Your ILM Level 3 award

Once you’ve completed this course successfully and received your final mark, you’ll receive a Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management from the ILM.

The ILM is the UK’s leading provider of leadership, management and coaching qualifications, with over 50 years’ experience in learning and development. Every year they improve the leadership skills and success levels of over 90,000 managers.

I would definitely recommend the course. It was good training and I feel more confident handling certain situations with more senior staff.

Shona Fielding, former ILM Level 3 student

Build your learning

You can continue building your qualifications with our CV-enhancing online Leadership courses, including further ILM courses.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications.


This qualification is ideal if you have management responsibilities but no formal training. It will give you the skills and knowledge to lead, organise and motivate teams.

If you’re a practising team leader, it will help you move up to the next level of management. As a manager, it will help you lead people through organisational change, budget cuts or other pressures.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this course, but knowledge of your organisation to support assignment reflection is necessary.

You’ll normally be a practising or aspiring first-line manager who is able to complete a work-based assignment as part of the course.

You will need a level of reading and writing comprehension equivalent to National 3, Standard Grade or GCSE.

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