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Leadership & Development MSc

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Our Leadership & Development MSc focuses on the issues that highlight leadership’s central position in the dynamics of development. It will give you an understanding of the increasingly key role leadership plays in the developmental challenges that confront developing societies.

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 Key benefits

• Innovative approach to the interdisciplinary study of leadership as it relates to development.
• Opportunity to network with the African Leadership Centre’s (ALC) wide range of institutional partners that include universities, international organisations, and research and policy institutions from across the world.
• Taught by key intellectuals and experts on leadership, peace and security from both the global north and south. 
• Access to a broad selection of optional modules from across King’s, particularly our Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy.
• Interact with the ALC’s global network of renowned academics, practitioners and activists.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 1 year FT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Programme accreditations King's College London

Course intake tbc

Course leaders Ekaette Ikpe & Abiodun Alao 

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department African Leadership Centre



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Course detail


Through our Leadership & Development MSc, you will investigate various forms of leadership from key individuals to institutions, including states and key international development organisations and networks. You will study the various patterns of development in developing societies, with some references to emerging economies and the developed world, in great detail, through the perspective of leadership. In addition to the focus on development and leadership, our course investigates area studies as it cross-references various developing regions including Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our course provides you with high-quality postgraduate training that builds your critical analysis skills and your independent judgement on leadership and development.

If you have an interest in understanding how leadership patterns interact with historical factors, local cultures and global influences as they inform and are informed by development outcomes and processes across the world, or if you are interested in the debate which surrounds the interaction between leadership and development globally, particularly in the global south, this course is ideal for you.



This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus. We are located right in the heart of London, one of the most exciting, dynamic and internationally connected cities in the world. You will have access to our institution’s extensive resources, along with all the cultural and academic opportunities of the capital

Further literature

Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

For every 15-credit module, we will provide 15-20 hours of lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 120-135 hours of independent study. A typical 30 credit module will involve 20-30 hours of lectures/seminars plus 270 hours of self-guided or group-based learning/project work. For your dissertation, we will provide 10 hours of discussion time with your supervisor, and we will expect you to undertake 590 hours of independent study and project work. Students should note that the self-study aspect of every module is extremely important: the readings given to students are a compulsory and key component of the learning experience

Module Lectures, seminars and feedbackSelf-study 
 Per 15-credit taught module  Typically 15-20 hours  180 hours (including engaging with specially prepared course materials and self-guided learning).
 Dissertation module  10 hours discussion time with supervisor  590 hours


As part of their two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the Leadership & Society module and 45 credits of modules in Year 1, and the Dissertation module and 45 credits of modules in Year 2.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


We assess our Leadership & Society module through one essay, an exam, group presentations and an individual presentation. We assess our 15-credit modules in different ways according to the modules. They each contain one essay and an additional component. This additional component varies and might be another essay or written assignment, a presentation, group work activity etc. This format may be different for modules of other departments. The dissertation module assessment will be on the dissertation alone (up to 12,000 words). Research methods will be assessed by means of a 2000-word assignment and a 1000-word dissertation proposal.

Regulating body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.

Required Modules
You are required to take the following modules:
  • Leadership & Society (30 credits)
  • The State & Development in Africa & Asia (15 credits)
  • Emerging Powers in Global Leadership (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Research Methods (15 credits) 
If you are a part-time student, you will take Leadership & Society in your first year, and the Dissertation and Research Methods in your second. You must choose three more modules in year 1, and two more modules in year 2, from both the list above and the list below.
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take three modules (totalling 45 credits) from a range of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • Gender, Leadership & Society (15 credits)
  • Youth and Society in the Development World (15 credits)
  • African Issues in Global Affairs (15 credits)
  • Interpreting India - offered by India Institute (15 credits)
  • Globalisation, Development, and the Americas - offered by Brazil Institute (15 credits)
  • Applied Global Leadership (15 credits) 
  • Principal’s Global Leadership Award (15 credits) 

You are required to take a service/applied leadership module. You may replace up to 15 of the remaining credits from modules offered by other departments/institutes across the university, subject to approval.

Please note that there are certain module choices that students on the Leadership and Development MSc cannot take. These are:

  • Natural Resource Governance
  • Governance of Security

This is because these are compulsory modules for the Security, Leadership and Society MSc programme also offered by the African Leadership Centre. These are separate and distinct programmes with specific criteria and qualifications attached to them. You are welcome to speak to the convener of these restricted modules and ask to audit them, but you cannot take them as part of your 180 credit choices.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Leardership Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1 Minimum of a 2:1 Degree in the social sciences, arts and humanities, law and other relevant disciplines.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

To apply for most of our postgraduate programmes at King's you will need to complete our postgraduate online application form. A minority of programmes have a different application procedure. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.

King's does not normally accept paper copies of the postgraduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online postgraduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/school office at King's for advice.

If you have already applied to King's through our online application form you can check the status of your application by logging into myApplication.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes Please provide a personal statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Graduates of our MSc course use the skills and knowledge that they develop to build careers in further academic research, teaching, public and private sectors, transnational corporations, international organisations (UN, EU, AU and worldwide regional organisations) and non-governmental organisations.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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