Course Overview

The Leadership course aims to develop you as an effective and responsible leader who has the capacity to develop and implement strategic plans, lead and manage organisational change, enhance employee performance, engage in effective business negotiations, creatively solve complex problems and embed ethical approaches to deliver excellence.

The MSc in Leadership is competed in two stages:
Stage 1: You register for the 1 year Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership Development.

Stage 2: Following successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate you are automatically registered for the Postgraduate Diploma.

Stage 3: Following successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma you are automatically registered for the Year 3, Dissertation in order to complete the Msc Leadership Development.

NB: Participants may exit with a Postgraduate Certificate on successful completion of 30 ECTS (after 1 year) and a Postgraduate Diploma on successful completion of 60 ECTS (after 2 years).

Notice: due to COVID-19 restrictions Semester 1 teaching in 2020/21 will take place in a fully online mode.

Applications and Selections

Apply Online

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.

Early application is advised as offers will be made on a rolling basis. A limited number of applications may be accepted after the official application closing date, subject to the availability of places. Candidates for entry may be required to attend for interview prior to being offered a place on the course.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment involves online activities, written reports, essays, presentations, reflective journals, individual projects, group projects, portfolios.

Notice: with the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have decided to move classroom-based courses and blended learning seminars to a fully online teaching mode for Semester 1 of the academic year 2020/21. The Semester 2 teaching schedule will be reviewed over the coming months in line with government restrictions and social distancing guidelines. This decision has been made to ensure the safety of students & staff and our desire to continue to provide upskilling and professional development opportunities for all. If you have any queries regarding the format of online delivery mode, please contact your course administrator for further details.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to be currently employed in a managerial or supervisory role for a minimum of three years and hold a 2.2 primary honours primary degree or equivalent. Applicants who do not meet the primary degree or equivalent requirement will be required to compile a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their ability to study at postgraduate level.

Additional Requirements

Demonstrate English Language fluency: International students are required to provide evidence of English language proficiency.

3 years, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

18th September

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting



Master of Business in Leadership Development


Course code

Course Outline

Leadership Development Timetable 19/20

This course will help you build your professional competence, you will learn how to:

  • Critically assess your personal strengths, characteristics and skills to define your leadership style;
  • Employ a range of effective leadership competencies aimed at communicating a vision, creating a climate of trust, empowering people and taking responsibility;
  • Instigate actions and solutions to successfully manage internal and external change;
  • Challenge assumptions and perspectives to effectively manage information in ways that sustain relationships and enhance performance;
  • Collaborate across the organisation to successfully implement strategies and plans that provide vision and direction;
  • Leverage negotiation skills to successfully resolve complex situations and achieve productive solutions to conflicting and differing viewpoints;
  • Motivate staff to embed a performance-oriented culture, individually and in teams, within internal and external environments;
  • Integrate roles and responsibilities that are underpinned by value-based principles and ethical approaches.

You will have to attend 1-day and 2-day workshops throughout the academic year (see below). This usually amounts to 7-8 days in total.

Modules - YEAR 1 ECTS Workshops
Management Skills 10 2-days
Effective Leadership 5 1-day
Leading Organisational Change 10 2-days
Critical Thinking for Leaders 5 2-days
Modules - YEAR 2    
Leading and Managing Strategically 10 2-days
Business Negotiations 5 3-days
Performance Management 10 2-days

The Ethical Leader

5 1-day
Modules - YEAR 3    
Dissertation 30 3-days

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (30 Credits)

Required ED410: Dissertation

Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

The dissertation provides learners with the opportunity to carry out research on an adult learning and/or development topic of choice. Learners are expected to apply the knowledge, skills and competence gained throughout the course to their completion of their research.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically analyse the main concepts of the research process as they relate to the role of a competent researcher in undertaking a work-based research project relating to work practices in the field of adult learning and/or development.
  2. Critically evaluate the essential theory and knowledge that are an integral part of a project proposal, individual chapters in a work-based research project and their application and implementation in the research work.
  3. Formulate the research skills required for a competent researcher to plan, design, source, select, undertake and submit a research proposal and work-based research project based on the implementation of specific research guidelines, aimed at achieving successful learning outcomes, including the skills required for a presentation of the research work.
  4. Select and modify the research skills required for undertaking a comprehensive and relevant literature review, conducting different types of methodology research work, analysis and interpretation of research data and implementation in the work-based research project.
  5. Take responsibility and initiative for how the researcher selects and incorporates specific research and methodology contents in the writing of the project proposal and in the submission requirements for individual chapters in the work-based research project.
  6. Exercise autonomy and judgement in the identification of selecting relevant literature review material, showing engagement with the review contents and in the adaptation of a critical perspective to the literature review discussion.
  7. Reflectively appraise the knowledge and skills learned in undertaking the work-based research project and showing how this learning can be utilised in your continuous professional development as a researcher.
  8. Express a professional commitment to the value of research work in contributing to and in the advancement of knowledge in society.
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module ED410: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Who’s Suited to This Course

The course is specifically designed for those who have managerial or supervisory responsibility and/or experience and are;

  • Leaders, managers and supervisors in public or private organisations.
  • Leaders, managers, administrators and co-ordinators involved in organisational change.

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,915 p.a. (Year 1 & 2), €1,955 (Year 3)

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€4,415 p.a. (Year 1 & 2), €2,445 (Year 3)

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2020_21 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Berna Morgan

Adult Training and Education Studies
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 494055


What Our Students Say


Clare Power |   Graduate

Studying part-time at NUI Galway provided me with a safe outlet to develop my leadership style. The taught modules both online and face-to-face equipped me with the necessary theory, tools and techniques to lead people, projects, teams and change, more confidently. The support of a varied faculty of industry practitioners and subject matter experts along with the network of peer participants on the course, facilitated a critical thinking space to reflect on my leadership practice and most importantly, raise my ambition for future professional leadership opportunities within my industry.

Siobhan . |   Current Student

I chose the MSc (Leadership Development) as the course syllabus is varied and interesting. As the course is part-time with blended learning, this enables me to combine study with personal commitments and full time work. The Blackboard virtual learning system is user friendly and lecture days facilitate peer support. The lecturers are very supportive and there is a great sense of camaraderie amongst my fellow students. The subjects covered on the MSc course include change management and critical thinking. These are transferable skills which are invaluable in any workplace.


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