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.

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.

This course totals around 35 hours of study and assessment time.

It is an always-on course, with no fixed hours. Your learning materials are available 24/7, all year round. This means you’re free to set your own hours and dip in and study when it suits you.

Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll have 12 months to complete the course at your own pace.

As a guide, studying for three to five hours per week means you should complete the course within 12 weeks.

You’ll be assessed via a series of work-based assignments. These must be based on actual situations in the workplace.

There will be one assignment for each of your course units.

Assignment questions are spread across each unit to support you in managing your learning time.

Getting your results

We mark assignments for this course at fixed points throughout the year, called exit points.

You can submit your assignments at any time and your work will be marked at the next available exit point.

Exit point 1

  • Exit point closes: 26 February
  • Feedback and mark received by: 26 March

Exit point 2

  • Exit point closes: 30 April
  • Feedback and mark received by: 30 May

Exit point 3

  • Exit point closes: 30 June
  • Feedback and mark received by: 30 July

Exit point 4

  • Exit point closes: 31 August
  • Feedback and mark received by: 30 September

Exit point 5

  • Exit point closes: 31 October
  • Feedback and mark received by: 30 November

Exit point 6

  • Exit point closes: 31 December
  • Feedback and mark received by: 31 January

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your course coordinator throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

Your course tutor

Clare Trembleau

Clare is a Staff Development Partner with the University of Aberdeen. She is an experienced Learning & Development professional who has worked in the public, private and third sector. Clare specialises in designing and delivering leadership and management courses. She has over 10 years’ experience as an ILM Level 5 qualified coach and mentor.

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 with more short courses

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

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your studies each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Fee payment

Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.

We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.

Ways to save

You may be able to get help funding this course via:

  • discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
  • employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

Annual fee increases

Fees for this course will rise a little at the start of each academic year, on 1 August. This increase is typically 5%.

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.

Apply for this course

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