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Develop the skills you need to lead change successfully in your sector.

Implementing and managing change has become an ongoing leadership task. Coping with the complexity, ambiguity and stress that change can generate is seen as a key leadership skill.

Discover the latest research and techniques in leading change. Study the theory behind change management and explore ways of adapting and applying your knowledge to your own workplace.

Learn from successful leaders across a wide range of sectors who have faced their own challenges and achieved positive change in their own organisations.

You can use the credits you earn on this course towards our Masters in Leadership in Professional Contexts, which is also available online.

What will I study?

You’ll cover five core topics on this course:

  • School culture
  • Change models
  • Situational analysis and change
  • Change, resistance and conflict
  • Re-culturing organisations

You’ll study a range of theoretical approaches and learn how you can apply these in your own professional practice.

On this course, you’ll:

  • review and critically appraise current conceptual understandings of change
  • gain an understanding of change management
  • evaluate change processes in your own organisational setting
  • grow your knowledge and understanding of leadership for change, and link theory to practice in your own role.

All this will be well illustrated in the contributions of real leaders in industry, public and third sector, discussing their approaches and experiences in leading change.


This is a popular element of the course, where we pair together participants from very different work environments.

You’ll learn about your partner’s work sector and its challenges, and develop a critical, objective view of your own. This helps you develop coaching skills in a safe learning environment prior to adapting and using them as part of your normal working day.

How will I study?

Leading Change is a 12-week course that’s delivered entirely online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our Masters in Leadership in Professional Contexts, this course is taught at Masters level. You’ll learn from experienced academics and senior leaders across a range of different organisational models. They’ll contribute their own experiences, whether in education, local authority, NHS, police, or high-profile international business.

One of the key benefits of this online course is that participants span not only industries and sectors, but the globe. You’ll learn as part of an international online community, gaining fresh perspectives and insights every day.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Also available as an app, you can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and mobile device 24/7.

Your course features a range of resources, including:

  • podcasts of lectures
  • online workshops
  • case studies
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Where will this take me?

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 30 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards further study, including our:

MSc Leadership in Professional Contexts (180 credits)

  • Available to study online.
  • Available to study to Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) and Postgraduate Diploma level (120 credits).

Further short courses

We offer a range of specialist online Leadership short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications.


Whatever your background, and whatever your career goals, this course will help you develop the skills you need to lead improvement now and in the future.

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 careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 January 2021