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Leadership in Action 20 Credit Unit

Unit code: UCOL20020
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by University College for Interdisciplinary Learning
Available as a free choice unit?: Y




This 20 credit academic unit forms part of The Manchester Leadership Programme.

Students who successfully complete this unit, and also undertake up to 60 hours of approved and verified community service/voluntary activity, will qualify for the Manchester Leadership Award (MLA).

N.B. The volunteering element does not form part of the assessment of the academic unit.

The course unit aims to:

- Explore issues of leadership from a local, national and international perspective
through a series of interactive lectures and seminars delivered by leading experts
in their field.

- Develop a range of leadership skills, including communication, project management and teamwork, which will support and enrich students' future careers and give them the tools for decision-making in a complex world.

- Provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the moral dimension of professional and civic life and to help them to develop a sense of social and environmental responsibility, so that they are equipped with a balanced and liberal understanding of wider issues facing 21st century societies.

A 10 credit unit is also available in both semester 1 (MLPX20021) and semester 2 (MLPX20022) which contributes towards the MLA. The 10 credit unit is a one-semester unit and does not include an individual practical research assignment.


The 20 credit unit is split into two parts. Part 1 in semester 1 is taught via a series of lectures and interactive case studies.
Guest lecturers will include world-class internal and external speakers from the public, private and voluntary sectors. The course will be practical in nature and the emphasis will be on real-life case studies.

The unit will explore a range of leadership and social responsibility issues including:

- Defining Leadership
- Sustainable Urban Development
- Social Equity and educational opportunity
- Globalisation, Poverty and Environmental Degradation
- Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Social Entrepreneurship

In part 2 in semester 2, students take part in an Individual Practical Research Report which is supported by an E tutor.

Teaching and learning methods

The module will utilise a variety of teaching methods including:
Lectures, case studies, seminars and Blackboard support.

Lectures/core inputs 11 x 1.5 hours per week (semester 1)
Tutorial hours 6 x 1 hour (mixture of face-to- face and online)
Blackboard and E Tutor support

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome Students should be able :

* Knowledge and understanding :

Demonstrate awareness of how leaders have brought about positive changes in society.
Describe how different organisations approach broad concepts such as leadership and social, economic and environmental sustainability.

* Intellectual skills :

Analyse and synthesize data presented and discussed in case studies.
Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking in seminars, lectures and discussion groups.
Research and present information as part of group research project and individual research project.

* Practical skills :

Present a group research project effectively.
Present a convincing argument on a given subject demonstrating influencing and communication skills.
Work effectively within a group context.
Transferable skills and personal qualities Develop an understanding of their own leadership style and that of others using a variety of tools.
Develop skills that contribute to effective leadership, including teamworking, influencing, and communication skills.
Develop the confidence to question and critique.

Assessment Further Information

Assessment tasks : (a and b count for 50% each)

a) Group Research project (50%)
- E-poster
- Assessed discussions

b) Individual Practical Research Report of 4,000 words (50%)
Attendance at sessions will be mandatory

Recommended reading

Main text:

Rickards, T. & Clark, M. (2005) Dilemmas of Leadership. London: Routledge

Further reading:

Child, J. (2005) Organization: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Chapter 12: Effecting Organizational Change.

Harvard Business Review (2001) Harvard Business Review on What Makes a Leader. Harvard, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Thomas, A.B. (2003) Controversies in Management: Issues, Debates, Answers. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. Chapter 8: Organizational leadership: Does it make a difference?

Van Maurik, J. (2001) Writers on Leadership. London: Penguin Business.

In addition, pre-session reading will be provided in advance of each session.

Study hours

  • Independent study hours - 0 hours

Teaching staff


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