Diploma in Leadership Development

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

How long?

  • 234 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School


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Who should attend

  • Experienced managers with responsibility for leading others and making important decisions.
  • Recently promoted executives who are facing new leadership challenges.
  • Individuals with at least 5 years work experience leading and managing teams in an organisational context.
  • Participants who are open to critically examining and building upon their own approach to leadership.

About the course

The Diploma in Leadership Development helps participants to become better leaders. It is about understanding how they themselves contribute to their eventual success and that of their teams and organisations.

Participants will develop insight into their current leadership style, actively shift any leadership obstacles and bring about a renewed sense of leadership empowerment and purpose.

Built on strong theoretical principles that are brought to life and tested in participative module sessions, the programme is challenging and highly experiential. Participants are required to examine, share and learn from their own experiences, utilising and implementing fresh insight, tools and techniques.

Programme Content

Module 1: Exploring My Leadership Impact – The Personal Dimension

  • Examine the concept of leadership, its various definitions and approaches;
  • Understand the participant’s way of engaging and how their patterns of behaviour inform their leadership and what that means for their future potential;
  • Develop a capacity for reflection to embed the learnings from the programme as well as from other ongoing organisational experiences.

Module 2: Enhancing My Leadership Impact - The Relationship Dimension

  • Address the relational aspects of leadership – focus on the leader’s ability to really engage with others within and outside the organisation;
  • Understand the importance of trust, how it is built and its centrality to leadership;
  • Examine at a theoretical and experiential level, conversations as a building block for social processes in organisations;
  • Manage difficult conversations.

Module 3: Building My Leadership Impact - The Team Dimension

  • Focus fully on the team dimension, how the participants are viewed as leaders of teams and how this impacts their performance overall;
  • Understand how teams operate and learn how to apply a framework for understanding high performing teams;
  • Participate in a number of team experiences which will reinforce the learning from the theory and feedback.

Module 4: Aligning for Organisational Impact - The Systems Dimension

  • Examine the organisational challenges facing the leader – how can the leader influence the whole organisation;
  • Gain knowledge with regard to organisational cultures and what we need to be mindful of when navigating different types of organisations;
  • Understand the participant’s role in the successful implementation of strategy.

Module 5: Sustaining My Leadership Impact - The Resilience Dimension

  • Gain an understanding of the impact of stress in today’s organisational climates;
  • Understand leader derailment and how this might impact the participant;
  • Discover what the most appropriate coping techniques are and the importance of cultivating these techniques as part of the participant’s ongoing leadership practice.

Module 6: Committing To Leadership Impact - The Future Dimension

  • Capture the learning of the overall programme;
  • Focus on feedback as an input to the participant’s leadership journey in addition to receiving feedback from peer participants;
  • Reflect on the experiences overall and what has been important;
  • Develop and communicate a Personal Leadership Learning Statement.

Programme Benefits

On completion of this programme, participants will have the skills to explore and find their leadership style in order to meet the challenges they face in their role and their organisation. It will enable the participant to build awareness of their leadership challenges, while identifying a range of approaches to explore and the necessary skills to implement interventions to good effect.

Specifically, the modules will:

  • Enhance awareness of the participant as a leader;
  • Facilitate the acquisition of the practical skills required to develop productive relationships among their team and organisational network;
  • Provide feedback and support to make successful behavioural changes;
  • Develop the capacity to understand the organisational challenges facing leaders today;
  • Enhance self-awareness of the emotional, physical and behavioural challenges facing the participant as a leader.

Programme Structure

This programme is delivered over a series of 6 two-day workshops within a 10–month period. Workshops are held on Fridays and Saturdays to minimise interference with busy work schedules. The programme structure is designed in order to facilitate work/lifestyles and to assist participants integrating study into their working lives while enhancing their contribution as a member of the management team.

Assessments and Workload

This programme involves no examinations – instead the emphasis throughout is on the practical application of knowledge to benefit you and your organisation. Assessment workload is spread across the duration of the programme to enable you to combine learning with work and life demands. In order to accelerate learning, between modules participants are expected to complete assigned reading from texts, cases and articles.

All continuous assessment is completed by participants either individually or in groups and this is set out in the study guide for each module. Some modules require pre-coursework in addition to the post-coursework which is set for each taught modules.


Camilla Beglan

Camilla spent the first 10 years of her career in international sales, setting up distribution channels in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. The next significant part of her career was as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, during which she advised both private and public sector organization...

Eamonn Ward

Eamonn is a highly experienced consultant and coach who works internationally supporting clients from various sectors in working more effectively. Prior to establishing his own practice, he spent 18 years in various roles in Retailing with an emphasis on Fashion and Department Store activities. H...

Helen Brophy

Helen is Director of Smurfit Executive Development at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She holds direct responsibility for the management and strategic development of Smurfit Executive Development and is a member of the Smurfit School’s Irish Advisory Board and the School’s Senior Ma...

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Diploma in Leadership Development at The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

From  EUR 10 200$12,416
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