Academic Leadership Programme - Intensive

Supporting the 'next generation' of academic leaders


The focus for the Academic Leadership Programme (ALP) is on helping you reflect on the nature of academic leadership in your particular contexts and situations, and on the conditions you need to create to enable you to become an effective academic leader.

The one-week intensive programme will introduce you to the most important dimensions of academic leadership and give you time and space to think about ‘shifting gear’ from successfully thinking about your leadership role, to ensuring that your leadership outputs and outcomes are firmly embedded in a future practice that will help deliver your University’s strategic objectives.

Academic Leadership Programme - Intensive

Complete the form below and we will call you back to discuss your requirements.

* TodayTomorrow
E.g., 15/12/2017

The information you provide will be held by the Higher Education Academy and used for general business purposes. If you provide us with your telephone number or email address we may contact you about our services and products.


If you have a question or comment, please send us a message and we will get back to you shortly.

The information you provide will be held by the Higher Education Academy and used for general business purposes. If you provide us with your telephone number or email address we may contact you about our services and products.


If you are interested in our residential programmes, please complete the enquiry form below and we will get back to you to discuss your needs. 

The information you provide will be held by the Higher Education Academy and used for general business purposes. If you provide us with your telephone number or email address we may contact you about our services and products.


Learning outcomes

The Academic Leadership Programme moves away from management training practices toward instilling and supporting greater emphasis on values in alignment with the PSF. The programme is highly interactive and discursive but leads to very practical outcomes including the development of very confident and competent academic heads.

We want to help those participating in the programme to:

Be ready; we aim to create conditions to enable conversations to take place that will help participants develop an understanding of academic leadership and the enhancement of the student experience in a variety of contexts and situations.

Be confident; we aim to help participants become effective academic leaders with a deeper understanding of the complexity and unpredictability of academic leadership. We want you to have confidence and to give you some practical ideas and tools to accomplish your leadership aspirations. The programme draws upon the expertise of participants and seeks to enhance this learning through facilitated discussion and ongoing collaborative enquiry.

To develop and refine your aims; developing aims is a continuous process of refinement rather than a single act.  It is the trusting relationships and shared beliefs that will ultimately energise and sustain major change initiatives. Our aim is to help you construct deeper and more meaningful understandings of your aims and develop a variety of ways to achieve your goals.

Course content

Our approach is to introduce ideas and techniques in the plenary sessions and in workshops and then encourage you to try these out in your own department. The programme team aims to be responsive and we are prepared to adapt the process if the feedback we receive suggests that it is appropriate to do so.
Day 1 and 2 - Devolving Leadership; The overall aim of day one and two is to enable participants to understand their individual leadership context and challenges and then to develop an action plan to develop and implement leadership practice. Participants will explore the nature of academic leadership; different leadership models and how they might be applied to different academic situations and the importance of devolved and distributed leadership. As an integral part of this module participants will develop their influencing skills and how to work effectively with stakeholders – skills that will be developed further in subsequent modules.

Day 3 - Turning Problems into Opportunities and Making Things Happen Differently; The overall aim of day three is to enable participants to explore their emerging leadership roles and to develop their practice through analysing and articulating a learning and teaching problem and identifying potential solutions in order to make things happen differently.

Day 4 - Involving Students; The overall aim of day four is to enable participants to develop a rationale and actionable plans in eliciting ideas and processes for student engagement, in the development of learning and teaching in HE, and in ways that are meaningful to their own context.

Day 5 – Becoming Sustainable; The overall aim of day five is to consolidate all the sessions of the previous days and outline ways in which participants can make their initiatives sustainable as well as enhance their own capabilities.


Whether you would like to view the full programme or enquire about booking

Find Out More

Who should attend?

Having effective heads of department and heads of academic sections is vital for all higher education providers yet the opportunities for the professional development of this group of academic staff remain limited. The Academic Leadership Programme is designed to support these colleagues; the next generation of academic leaders.

The emphasis of the programme is on future leadership rather than leaders, reinforcing the HEA belief that leadership can be demonstrated at any level and is value-driven not hierarchical in nature.

Who will deliver the programme?

The programme will be delivered by an experienced team of academics including:

Steve Outram: Steve is an experienced academic and organisational developer who has successfully worked with universities and colleges across the UK and internationally. This has included work supporting lasting, transformational change, pedagogic innovation and quality enhancement. Having worked in universities for over 30 years Steve spent a number of years as Academic Lead for Institutional Strategy and Change at the HEA and now works as an independent consultant and HEA Associate as well as being the Director of the Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA).

Caroline Ackroyd: Caroline spent 16 years in Higher Education occupying a range of roles in Faculties, Schools and a Professional Services Directorate; most recently as a Head of People and Organisational Development. Caroline joined the HEA as the Academic Lead for Staff Development in January 2016 and leads on the upper levels of the HEA’s Professional Learning Curve. Caroline is an accomplished coach and facilitator in her own right.

HEA Associates: A distinctive and unique feature of this programme is that it has been developed by and will be delivered by senior academic colleagues in the sector who have experienced the challenges that any new head of department or section faces. These colleagues have been carefully selected not only for their knowledge and experience but also for their abilities to reflect critically on these experiences and for their remarkable facilitation skills in supporting others.