Also in this leadership qualification series:
Masters courses involve a great deal of hard work, rigorous academic intellect and a good measure of analysis. Colleges may be seen as a ‘holiday’ for some students, but masters degrees are certainly where the workload truly lives up to it’s ‘full time education’ label.
Some would argue that, given the introductory nature of the first year of a 3 year bachelors course, and a relatively low work load in the final two years – a masters degree could contain as much information as a 3 year leadership degree. It’s the most intense way to study and learn about leadership in our society.
Different leadership masters will have a different slant on the modules taught. Some course will focus on the research methodology and the science behind leadership experimentation, such as Exeter University’s Leadership Studies MSc, however some students will want to simply draw as much information about management and leadership skills as possible from their course. (Exeter also created a course for them: Leadership Studies MA).
Leadership Masters Course Requirements
Here there is a lot of inconsistency between leadership masters providers. Some universities require work experience in a management position before considering a candidate as acceptable, whereas other universities encourage business studies students to extend their degree scheme with this extra year. It would seem that universities have looked at the two user groups I identified at the beginning of this article, and tailored a course for one of them, as their needs are different. Have this in mind as you browse through leadership masters courses – ‘Is this course designed for my needs?’
It is never worth taking a course because of its title and not its real learning objectives!
Leadership Masters Course Costs
Remember earlier where I mentioned that leadership masters tend to be either research led or management skills/teaching led? Your fees will differ depending on these two types. Research led masters can actually be £’000s less than a taught course.
On a rough basis, you should be expecting to pay between £3,500 and £5,000 for a leadership masters course over its total duration, (regardless of whether this is taken full-time or part-time).
Are Leadership Masters Courses Worth It?
I personally believe that an investment in a quality, work-related degree, that will raised your overall academic level (E.g. from BSc to MSc) will always be a high-return investment. Statistics show that bachelors degrees are the best investments you can make in the UK. I believe that Masters degrees are capable of producing a similar return, but only if taken when there is a real advantage to be gained. Example: If you are working at a junior-level in an accounting firm that bases career progression heavily upon technical skill and internal networking – an MSc may not provide as clear an advantage as for someone who is changing company and is searching for a more senior management position.
Carefully evaluate your own position to work out whether a leadership masters is your perfect solution.