What you will study
This course is a concentrated overview and practice in some of the key skills and knowledge required to develop an effective leadership style and is based around a number of sessions of online study. These include learning materials in a variety of formats including articles and video clips. You will develop knowledge and understanding of different approaches to leadership which can apply across sectors and industries and enhance your employability.
The areas you will study are:
- Defining leadership. What makes it different to management? You will have an opportunity to explore your own thinking on what leadership is, and what makes it effective (or not).
- Different theories about leadership - You will explore the relevance of these theories to your own practice.
- Leadership for 21st century organisations. An introduction to theories which particularly respond to an environment in which organisations are characterised increasingly by flatter structures and complex matrix arrangements.
- Adaptive leadership which focuses on how individuals lead without or beyond authority to address complex problems.
- The practice of leadership.
You will be asked to complete a series of activities as you work through the course. These activities will help you to prepare a work-based activity, which you need to complete at the end of the course.
Through the activities, you will be able to demonstrate application of theories and approaches within your own work based context and you will also have an opportunity to identify where further personal development may be required. There will be several opportunities to relate what you are studying to your practice at work. Your work context and all aspects of your organisation and the people there form a rich learning environment. You can learn by comparing the ideas from the course with what is happening in practice. The work-based activity offers you the opportunity to practice using the tools in your own leadership situation and also enables you to identify and plan any further development areas.
The strong link between course learning and your work practice creates relevant, enduring and transferable outcomes. It requires no more than 25 hours of your time in total, over whatever period suits you. Register online today and start tomorrow – no need to wait!
The course features the distinctive strengths of The Open University (OU) from its years of expertise in work-based learning:
- The convenience of accessing its clearly presented and sequenced materials, activities and support whenever suits you and wherever you have access to the dedicated website – if you prefer, you can print key materials to work on them offline.
- The support of an expert learning adviser who can clarify study materials, answer questions and help you relate the course to your specific needs.
- A work-based activity helping you to connect the course to your individual and organisational context and needs. A learning adviser will review your work-based activity and provide personal feedback.
- Certification of completion from the OU for those who complete the course. You can use this to demonstrate your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to your employer and/or professional body. (NB The course does not carry academic credit points.)
You will learn
After completing this course you should be able to:
- Define leadership in different ways
- Understand different theoretical approaches to leadership
- Evaluate their relevance and apply them to your own context
- Identify areas of further personal development to enhance your leadership practice
- Plan the next stages of your own leadership development, drawing on the theories you encounter in the course.
Successful completion of the course enables us to recognise your achievement of the course learning by issuing an OU certificate that you can use to document your commitment to continuing professional development in your personal portfolio, or to provide evidence to employers or professional body.
Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser, who will respond to you direct within 24 hours. Other support is available via the course forum, library, StudentHome website and computing helpdesk.
The work-based activity for this course has been designed as an integrated ongoing activity that you submit at the end of your study. It will allow you to reflect on your learning and how to use it in your professional work.