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Defence Leadership MSc - DLMSC



Start Date: Sun 7 Jan 18, study spread over 3 years.

This course is delivered by Cranfield University on behalf of Shrivenham Leadership Centre, Defence Academy.

An executive part-time modular masters Degree in Defence Leadership studies.


The Defence Leadership MSc is designed to broaden knowledge and understanding of leadership theory, develop the skills of critical analysis and examine contemporary national and global contexts in order to improve personal leadership practice.


By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Develop a broad understanding of the variety of approaches to leadership.
  • Be aware of, and to develop a critical understanding of the nature of their own leadership.
  • Understand the causes of leadership success and failure.
  • Understand and lead successful organisational change.
  • Have the practical knowledge and skills to be able to analyse widely different contexts and situations.
  • Develop leadership in others.
  • Develop a critical analysis of contemporary leadership theory and practice.
  • Have the knowledge and skills to understand and shape the development of leadership in war, conflict and crisis situations.
  • Be able to design and construct a research project to address pertinent organisational issues in leadership studies.
  • Develop an area of specialisation through the conduct of in-depth investigation.
  • Be able to critically appraise and apply leadership studies, ideas, theories and concepts to a specific organisational context.
  • Develop a critical analysis of the research methods and philosophies that underpin leadership studies.

Business Benefits

A key development course to support the needs of the business.
Entry Requirements


The academic year begins in January by which time candidates must have completed the application process.


There are no exemptions for this course.


Normally a 1st or 2nd Class Honours Degree or professional equivalent. Students with 3rd Class Honours or an Ordinary Degree with 3 or 5 years respectively of suitable postgraduate experience are also qualified for enrolment.


  • British Army
    • OF-8
      • Lieutenant General
    • OF-7
      • Major General
    • OF-6
      • Brigadier
    • OF-5
      • Colonel
    • OF-4
      • Lieutenant Colonel
    • OF-3
      • Major
  • Civil Servant
    • OF-8
      • SCS Pay Band 3
    • OF-7
      • SCS Pay Band 2
    • OF-6
      • B1
      • SCS Pay Band 1
    • OF-5
      • B2
      • B2 MSF
      • B2 PR LEC
    • OF-4
      • C1
      • C1 MSF
      • C1 SNR LEC
    • OF-3
      • C2
      • C2 LEC
      • C2 MSF
  • Royal Air Force
    • OF-8
      • Air Marshal
    • OF-7
      • Air Vice Marshal
    • OF-6
      • Air Commodore
    • OF-5
      • Group Captain
    • OF-4
      • Wing Commander
    • OF-3
      • Squadron Leader
  • Royal Marines
    • OF-8
      • Lieutenant General
    • OF-7
      • Major General
    • OF-6
      • Brigadier
    • OF-5
      • Colonel
    • OF-4
      • Lieutenant Colonel
    • OF-3
      • Major
  • Royal Navy
    • OF-8
      • Vice Admiral
    • OF-7
      • Rear Admiral
    • OF-6
      • Commodore
    • OF-5
      • Captain
    • OF-4
      • Commander
    • OF-3
      • Lieutenant Commander
The primary audience will be those who already have some personal experience of leadership practice from the defence and wider security sectors. This course is centrally funded less T&S and is primarily aimed at mid career officers (Major (OF3) rank) and above, equivalent grade MOD Civil Servants, in an associated career field or employment.
Course Details

Course Elements

  • Study Skills
  • Leadership Studies: Classical and Modern 
  • Strategic Management in Defence 
  • The Psychology of Leadership
  • Defence Sector and Organisational Behaviour
  • Programme and Project Management
  • Leading Change and Innovation 
  • National Security: Resilience and Crisis 
  • Global Security: Culture and Complexity 
  • Global Security: Emerging Challenges 
  • Leadership Development in Defence 
  • Contemporary Defence Leadership Studies 
  • Research Methods 
  • Dissertation

Accreditation / Assessments

The course uses a range of assessment types.  Students can expect to have up to 4 written examinations, up to 9 pieces of assessment by submitted work and case study elements of assessment by presentation or viva.  This approach has been adopted in order to ensure that students demonstrate their understanding through a wide range of learning techniques, but are not disadvantaged through any one approach.

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) has accredited the degree as meeting the requirements of the Level 7 Award in Strategic Leadership. Students, at the start of their Year Two studies, will be invited to take up Student Membership of the ILM, the cost of which will be borne by Cranfield University. Student membership lasts for approx. twelve months, during which time students can access ILM online resources. Upon successful completion of Year Two, or the Post Graduate Diploma stage, students will also be awarded the ILM Level 7 in Strategic Leadership and become eligible for corporate ILM membership at the level of Fellow.

Further Course Information

This course is part time residential attendance.

For further course information please refer to the flyer below.



Application Form

Further Information

Application Process:

RN – applications through 2016DIN07-149 by 6 Mar 17.

Army –  applications through Army Command Order 2017/04.  Closing date extended until 29 Apr at the request of the document Author.  Should you have difficulty accessing this document please request a copy by emailing the admin team at:   

RAF – applications through 2017DIN07-050 by 30 Apr 17.

MOD CS – applications direct to: between 1 Feb 17 and COP Fri 12 May 17.

Applications received outside of these dates will not be processed. Where the course is oversubscribed with applications a Selection Board will be convened by the Training and Education Team at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham, with academic input from Cranfield University staff to prioritise nominations. Applicants will be notified of the results by COP Fri 30 Jun 17. 


Pre-joining Material

There are no pre-joining materials

Key Information

Delivered By

Shrivenham Leadership Centre


Leadership and Management




The course is offered in an Executive part-time modular format:

One year consisting of three one-week residentials. Each residential runs from Sunday to Friday.
In addition to the PgCert, this requires a second year of three one week residentials. Each residential runs from Sunday to Friday.
In addition to the PgDip, this requires a further year, with a one residential module on Social Science Research Methods, followed by a dissertation phase. This is non residential.

Course Price

Please contact the course administrator for more information.


Delivery Method

Blended Learning

Course Contact Details

Name: Cranfield Course Enquiries
Email: email contact
Enquiry Address:
Registration Address:

Related Courses

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Planned Dates

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on planned dates for this course.

Course Modules

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