Sheffield University Management School’s MSc in Leadership and Management is available as a one year full-time programme. Our team of world-class academics will focus on developing your leadership skills and teach you how to be at the helm in today’s challenging times as an effective, engaging leader.

Exploring established theories of leadership is a key element of this programme, but students also explore cutting edge research at the school in areas such as positive organisational behaviour, authentic and entrepreneurial leadership.

Key facts

Study mode: Full time
Duration: 12 months
Next available start date: September 2017


Our programme content is designed to closely reflect the real-world business environment, focusing on the applied skills and expertise sought by today’s employers. It has three distinct features:

  • Focus on skill-building and action learning (two dedicated modules, case study and teamwork)
  • Focus on practical relevance (guest speakers and site visits to leading companies/organisations)
  • Focus on research excellence and research-led teaching (insight from the world-renowned Institute of Work Psychology).

You also have the option to undertake an organisational project, giving you real-world work experience within a company.


Core modules

Managing People in Organisations

Led by Mr Michael Frize

Autumn semester, 15 credits


This module aims to introduce students to key aspects of human behaviour in organisations underpinning the developments of the Human Resource Management (HRM) and Organisational Behaviour (OB) disciplines. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, different theories relating to dimensions of workplace human behaviour are explored. In the context of this understanding of human behaviour in organisations, core aspects of HRM/OB are introduced, using research-informed teaching to critically assess relevant models, tools and techniques. Students are encouraged to engage with current debates and provide a reflective analysis of HRM/OB today. Supporting aims of the module are to enable participants to deepen their knowledge and understanding of HRM/OB issues, to develop insights into the changing role of practitioners in the context of ongoing organisational change, and to think about the issues involved in managing people in organisational contexts.

Foundations of Leadership and Teamwork

Led by Dr Anna Topakas

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Individual essay and group report

This module lays the foundations for your development as a leader. It provides an overview of the most important leadership theories, and also covers cutting-edge research on “hot topics” in the world of leadership, for example, authentic and ethical leadership. Practical exercises and self-reflection will encourage you to relate these leadership theories to your own development as a leader. This module focuses in particular on direct relationships between leaders and followers, and leadership in the context of team. Groups and teams are ever present in organisations. Learning how to design, manage, and lead teams is therefore critical in your development as effective leader. This module will teach you the theory of group processes and behaviour in teams so that you will be able to successfully manage teams and work well in group settings. This unit aims to provide candidates with: A broad knowledge foundation in leadership- and team work theories, including cutting-edge topics in leadership and team work; an understanding of the application of leadership- and team working theories to complex real world situations, and self-awareness of their leadership style, and awareness of future directions for their development as a leader.

Research Methods

Led by Mrs Rose Shepherd

Autumn and spring semesters, 15 credits

Appreciating research is important for a variety of reasons; in particular, evaluating research reports and papers written by others, commissioning research to help inform management decisions, and planning and undertaking one’s own research. Important aspects of this are understanding how knowledge is produced, the assumptions underpinning the research process, and its limitations. Research design is often based on competing assumptions about the nature of knowledge, and will therefore be conducted with varying methods and degrees of technical expertise. An understanding of the process of knowledge production will enable students to critically evaluate research results – whether other people’s or their own – and to plan a realistic research project for their dissertation.

Strategic Management

Led by Dr David Littlewood

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Individual report

Today's modern managers and organisations face a multitude of complex decisions, challenges and ‘problems’ on a daily basis. Making effective decisions can be a complex process, relying upon many skills and techniques which need to be drawn upon. The rapid rate of change in organisations, globalisation and deregulation has led to unstable environments and the constant need for modern managers to innovate and use more creative methods of working in order to solve problems more effectively, enable product innovation and maintain competitive advantage in the 21st century. The main focus of the module is strategic issues, particularly in terms of encouraging you, as a student/manager to recognise enterprising skills and how they may be developed and nurtured in both individuals and companies. However, a wider understanding will be provided in relation to the contribution that innovators and entrepreneurs and their activities make to the industrial, economic and social development of the UK and how the concepts of enterprise and innovation have matured over time. Strategy has many guises. It is important to stress that throughout this module you will encounter different interpretations of what we mean by ‘Strategy’, ‘Strategic Management’ and ‘Strategic Practice’. It is important to recognise that there is more than one form of strategy and more than one way of acting ‘strategically’ in different organisational contexts; it is open to a variety of perceptions from a range of people therefore we want you to adopt a critical approach and explore these angles as you progress through the module. Most crucially, this module is about you, how you practice strategy through personal experience and how you can develop as an entrepreneurial leader in your own way using various tools, methods and theories we will encounter.

Advanced Topics in Leadership - Leading in Challenging Times

Led by Dr Anna Topakas

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination and individual essay

This module focuses on leadership in the face of uncertainty, threats, and change, and other current trends in the world of work such as globalisation and the increased need for cross-culturally competent leadership. The module explores leaders’ role in creating, supporting and successfully managing organisational change and innovation. It elaborates on the role of entrepreneurial leadership, particularly to respond effectively to uncertainty. Students develop an understanding of how to develop compelling visions and motivate individuals and groups to achieve them; how to stimulate innovation and initiative in organisations; and how to manage the human factor in organisational change processes. The module equips future leaders with the knowledge required to deal with challenges and difficult situations. It features a learning-method mix of lectures, case-studies, in-class experiential exercises, an online simulation, and an individual interview-based case-study project. The module also provides space to get feedback on and develop candidates’ personal leadership capabilities. This module aims to provide candidates with the knowledge required to lead in times of uncertainty and change.

Creating Entrepreneurial Ventures

Led by Ms Andreana Drencheva

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: individual essay, group business plan and "elevator pitch" presentation

This module seeks to provide students with an introduction to creating entrepreneurial ventures from the perspective of the entrepreneur with an emphasis on the theory and practice of venture planning. Focusing on the development of a business plan, covering at least the first three years of the new venture, the module explores different aspects and components over the duration of the course. Although entrepreneurial ventures can emerge from a variety of different contexts, this module is focuses on the entrepreneurial process in terms of the creation of a completely new and independent venture. Using the development of a business plan as the structure of the module, each session considers a key feature, including opportunity recognition, human resource management, marketing, finance, and management/leadership. By drawing together theories and practice relating to aspects of venture creation this elective module seeks to examine some of the myths that surround entrepreneurship. While there is no ‘blueprint’ for perfectly creating a new entrepreneurial venture, this module considers a number of critical issues to provide students with an understanding of those factors that can affect entrepreneurial success.

Leader and Leadership Development

Led by Dr Kristin Hildenbrand

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Individual assignment

This module aims to introduce students to the theory and practical operation of learning, training and development (LTD) initiatives that focus on developing individual leaders as well as enhancing organisational leadership capacity. The module aims to provide participants with a strong foundation of whole LTD process from needs analysis to evaluation. Methods and tools for leader development will be critically analysed and their impact on individual and organisational outcomes assessed. Supporting aims are to enable students to develop a critical understanding of leader and leadership development and to provide them with practical and theoretical insight into the design, delivery and evaluation of learning and development initiatives for leaders.


Summer semester, 45 credits

The dissertation is the culmination of your master’s study and recognition of your capability to conduct a research project independently. Students can apply to undertake an organisation based dissertation project, arranged by the Management School. Working with an organisation, students can structure their project around a real business issue of challenge set by the host organisation. A student project will develop your employability skills, enhance your CV and give you the chance to use your insight to help an organisation develop.

Optional modules (Choose one autumn semester module and one spring semester module)

Accounting and Financial Management

Led by Mr Barry Pierce

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination and group assignment

Whether you’re contemplating self-employment or any career in the field of management, an ability to interpret accounting reports and exercise financial judgement is essential. The aim of the module is to equip non-financial students with an appropriate level of financial competence – and confidence – and hence views finance from the perspective of general management: that is, as users of financial information. This means that learning does not take the form of a series of technical exercises but grasping concepts and applying them to the real world, as demonstrated by the module tutors. The accounting element of the module is concerned primarily with the uses and limitations of published financial statements and internal accounting reports & controls. The financial management element of the module examines the role of accounting and market data to support decisions on funding, investment, organisational control and performance monitoring.


Led by Dr Nicki Newman

Autumn semester, 15 credits

This module introduces the subject of Marketing and seeks to place marketing and consumption practices in their political, economic, technological, social and cultural context.

International Human Resource Studies

Led by Professor Pauline Dibben

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination and individual report

This module investigates labour market trends and human resource practices within diverse political, economic, social and regulatory contexts. In addition to analysing the impacts of globalisation, international institutions and national governments on employment policy and regulation, it also examines the human resource practices of foreign direct investors, multinational corporations, and public sector organisations in both developed and developing countries. Particular attention is accorded to trends in the deployment of people across the world of work, and to how recruitment, retention and training practices can be utilised within different cultural contexts.

International Management

Led by Dr Peter Rodgers

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination and group presentation.

The module exposes students to the challenges and opportunities of managing in an international business environment. It provides students with the relevant management tools and frameworks that will enhance their effectiveness when operating internationally. It enables the students to identify, compare and contrast different management practices adopted internationally and appreciate the impact of national cultures and business systems on leadership styles, decision making styles, and interpersonal dynamics across cultures. The aim of this module is to assist students in gaining a broad understanding of how cultural factors and business systems impact the management of organisations within and across cultures and provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of managing in an international business environment.

The example course structure listed above may be subject to change in future years. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant.

Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Careers and employability

At Sheffield University Management School, we are committed to focusing on employability and our postgraduate students’ future career prospects. We have two specialist careers advisors in the School, dedicated to providing full-time career support throughout your programme.

You will have many opportunities during your course to engage in personal and professional development. Our programmes are designed to enable you to acquire the transferable skills essential for employment: communication, organisation, the ability to deal with complex issues creatively and systematically; and the conceptual understanding required to evaluate current scholarship and research techniques.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees for 2017-18 are:

GBP 10,970 for EU Students
GBP 20,470 non-EU Students

You may incur fees for late registration, re-examination and re-submission. Click here to find out more.


There are a number of scholarships which students may be eligible for, visit the following links for more information:
Sheffield University Management School Scholarships
University of Sheffield Scholarships
International Student Scholarships
For more information about fees and funding your studies, click here.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Whether you are looking to develop your skills for promotion or have ambitions in leadership and people management, the MSc in Leadership and Management is aimed at current and future managers who are looking to develop their leadership skills.

You will have a 2:1 honours degree in any subject, or an approved professional qualification, combined with a desire to learn about the principles and practices of management. Prior management experience is desirable, but not essential. For overseas students, Sheffield University Management School’s standard English requirement is IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6 in each part). For detailed information on our English language requirements, click here.

Apply now

If you have any enquiries about your suitability, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 3349