Personal Transformations

Module description

This module aims to kick start your personal transformation process and help you prepare for your career and personal development by integrating practice into the MBA curriculum, promoting critical reflective skills as well as leadership and executive and professional skills.

Internationalisation: All topics are explored in a global context to reflect the variety of countries and cultures in which you may wish to pursue your career.  

Employability: You will develop a number of valuable transferable skills, including: self-awareness, cultural awareness, influencing, communication, networking (in person and via social media), negotiating, leadership, and the capacity for personal reflection on personal skills, competencies and experience.  You will also develop a number of career management skills which will enable you to make informed career choices and help you succeed in securing your next job.

External Engagement: Workshops are delivered by a wide range of practitioners and recruiting managers

Research in Teaching:  The module builds on recent research and scholarship in the field of Leadership, in particular Authentic Leadership Development and Situational Leadership Models.

Full module specification

Module title:Personal Transformations
Module code:MBAM924A
Module level:M
Academic year:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno - Convenor
Module credit:24
ECTS value:






Duration of module:

Module aims

Through an emphasis on experiential learning the module aims to equip you with the leadership, executive and professional skills you will require in order to redirect your career and/or develop into more senior leadership roles.  To support you in your personal transformation process you will be guided by your personal tutor and the MBA Career Adviser through one-to-one career coaching, career development workshops and seminars, mentoring and personal tutoring.

Through reflective experiential learning, you will embark on a journey of discovery, self-awareness and personal development. For inspiration, guidance and support a series of leadership lectures, seminars, workshops and facilitated group sessions will be offered.

The aim of the module is to enable you to

  • Acquire and refine key interpersonal and study skills to facilitate the return to study
  • Develop yourself, personally and professionally to facilitate your career development
  • Refine key executive and professional skills
  • Acquire and practice leadership skills
  • Make use of extensive career resources specially developed for MBA participants
  • Integrate feedback while applying for jobs
  • Develop self-reflection ability on personal, competencies and experience

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. articulate and evaluate a range of theories and perspectives on leadership and leadership development
  • 2. critically evaluate the potential impact of these theories and perspectives on leadership practice
  • 3. demonstrate a capacity for practical leadership
  • 4. derive lessons from the exchange experience that you will be able to implement in your own organisation by way of modelling new behaviours and demonstrating new thinking to others
  • 5. be able to undertake research within organisations as an observer or participant observer
  • 6. reflect upon personal resources and challenges
  • 7. acquire, refine and demonstrate evidence of study, interpersonal and professional skills
  • 8. act proactively and take responsibility for your own career and professional development, establishing good habits and practices for the future, as well as accessing effective techniques during your MBA
  • 9. further integrate the academic content of the programme with your and others’ work experience

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 10. engage in critical reflection and debate on one’s own leadership practice in the light of new conceptual and practical insights
  • 11. have gained a deeper understanding of the process of leadership in your own and your partner's organisation
  • 12. have developed greater insight into your own situated subjectivity and leadership style/practice
  • 13. have identified learning and leadership development needs and planned future actions
  • 14. develop the ability to practice reflection
  • 15. enhance the ability to learn from experience

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 16. undertake observation and give feedback
  • 17. apply inductive and deductive reasoning based on observational data
  • 18. give and receive feedback
  • 19. manage yourself in the achievement of goals – reviewing own learning
  • 20. use reflective process to ask questions and open up own thinking
  • 21. critically appraise your own actions through self-awareness
  • 22. reflect on your personal strengths and weaknesses, and integrate insights generated by self-assessment tools in your career development process

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Lectures/sessions
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Personal reflection and one to one development
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Exchange visit
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Workshops
Guided Independent Study180Reading, Research, Writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Reflective Essay750 words6, 8, 19, 20Written feedback
Career Leader and Oral DiscussionEnd of Sept8, 18 - 21Oral discussion
Observation Log500 words10, 11, 12Notes from Tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Essay403000 words1 - 3, 6, 13, 19Written feedback
Learning Log302000 words 1 - 22Written feedback
Leadership Exchange Learning Log301750 words4, 5, 6, 10 - 12, 15 - 17Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual EssayIndividual essay 3000 words1 - 3, 6, 12, 15, 166 weeks from briefing
Lerning LogReflective essay 2000 words1 - 226 weeks from briefing
Leadership Exchange Learning LogIndividual Assignment 1750 words4, 5, 6, 10 - 12, 15 - 176 weeks from briefing

Syllabus plan

This module is delivered throughout the duration of your MBA programme

YEAR 1                        

  • Kickstarting your personal transformation
    • Career planning
    • Self and career option analysis
    • Job search
    • Personal and professional development plan
    • Networking, locally and globally
    • Self presentation: LinkedIn and CV
    • Powerful applications: cover letters, application forms, assessment centres
    • Career coaching


  • Executive and Professional Skills
    • Effective communication skills
    • Professional and academic writing skills
    • Reading skills
    • Effective team working skills
    • Negotiating and influencing skills
    • Presentation skills


  • Exploring Leadership
    • Individual perspectives: overview of leadership theory; personality, identity and authenticity in leadership; when leaders derail.
    • Organisational perspectives: leadership and performance; leadership and power in organizations; culture, strategy and context.
    • Societal perspectives: leadership in and of communities; global and worldly leadership; leading for a sustainable future; emerging perspectives and enduring dilemmas; gender, power and toxicity; leadership and spirituality; re-routing leadership studies.


  • Leadership Exchange: Insights into the deeper process of leadership
    • Revisiting the reflective and worldly mindsets
    • Observation skills, participation methods, ethnography
    • Inductive and deductive reasoning
    • Anthropological perspectives on change management, leadership effectiveness and research
    • The ethics in action
    • Giving & receiving feedback; active listening
    • Creating valued contributions from research and consultancy


  • Your Personal Transformation
    • Interview techniques and practice employment interviews
    • Negotiating your deal
    • LinkedIn and B2B
    • Career coaching
    • Practice assessment centres and psychometric testing

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bolden, R., Hawkins, B., Gosling, J. and Taylor, S. (2011) Exploring Leadership,  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Czarniawska, B. (2007), Shadowing and other Techniques for doing Fieldwork in Modern Societies Copenhagen Business School Press, Denmark.

Clark T., Osterwader A and Pigneur Y. (2012) Business Model You: a One Page Method for Reinventing your Career, John Wiley & Sons

Grint, K. (2005) Leadership: Limits and Possibilities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Haslam, S. A. et al (2010) The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, influence and power. Psychology Press.

Haslam S. A., Reicher S. D., & Platow M.J. (2011) The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power. Psychology Press

Jackson, B and Parry, K (2008) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Leadership, Sage.

Sinclair, A. (2007) Leadership for the Disillusioned: Moving beyond myths and heroes to leading that liberates, Allen and Unwin.


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