With Proficiency in Leadership

University of Exeter Students from across the Streatham Campus* can get ‘with proficiency in Leadership’ added to their degree title, thanks to the Business School’s degree enhancement pathway.

While we are facing an uncertain future full of complex global, social, and environmental issues, more and more employers are looking for graduates in all fields who have additional leadership skills, and the WPI-L pathway has been designed to help you achieve this no matter your career path.

The With Proficiency in (WPI) Leadership pathway offers students with the capacity for modularity an opportunity to incorporate the study of leadership into their programmes whilst retaining the focus of their chosen academic discipline. By successfully completing 60 credits* (four 15 credit modules) in leadership during their degree a student can opt in to the programme and request that WPI Leadership is added to their degree title.For example, Sociology With Proficiency in Leadership, or Anthropology With Proficiency in Leadership.  Condoned modules will not count towards qualification for the proficiency degree title.

Gaining an understanding of leadership models, challenges and competencies, exploring the big themes in leadership, such as managing change and crisis, leading teams, managing equality and diversity at work, is vital for graduates from all disciplines. Developing your own leadership skills and experience, and learning how to apply them, is a signal to employers that you have prepared yourself to become a leader and have taken steps to ensure you are workplace ready. It is also a chance to diversify your learning and join vibrant, challenging and topical modules that engage in the ongoing debates surrounding leadership in our ever-changing and complex world.

The WPI Leadership pathway is comprised of ten modules with several options for each year of study. Most are taught in the Business School, although one option is currently offered in Law. Students should complete four modules from this list across their programme, being aware that some modules specify pre-requisites (see details for BEM3051).

Below is a list of the modules you can select within the With Proficiency in Leadership Pathway.

For further details on module content and structure please contact the listed module convenors.

For further information about the pathway please contact Chris Reedthomas c.reedthomas@exeter.ac.uk

*All efforts have been made to make the programme available across colleges and within Streatham campus. Students are responsible for opting into WPI Leadership and ensuring their course allows for the flexibility to complete the required module set.

In this module we will explore team dynamics and how the role of leadership in influencing the effectiveness of teams. Each week, using various sources (e.g. videos, activities and readings), we will review theories and models of topics like group dynamics, communication, motivation, diversity etc., and consider their implications for leadership in a team environment. In seminars/webinars participants will have the opportunity to discuss these topics with colleagues and tutors and engage with the material.

For more information, click here.

This module aims to introduce you to the key issues and concerns of leadership and leadership studies. You will examine insights from cutting edge research on the nature and character of leadership across a range of disciplines. Each week, we will explore a different leadership theory, using it as a ‘lens’ which can bring some aspects of leadership into focus, and make other aspects blurred. The module reading and discussion will focus on several questions, beginning with the most fundamental: “What is leadership?”

For more information, click here.

To work, lead, and thrive in today’s diverse and globalised business environment, it is more vital than ever for students to have ample and robust opportunities to expand their international horizons. The module “Leading in International Contexts” is designed to provide students with the knowledge, analytical capabilities, and (soft) skills needed to practice leadership in modern, international organisations.

After introducing systematic ways of understanding cultures, we will examine how national cultures influence team, managerial, and organisational performance. We will then explore the nature of leadership in terms of how individuals influence others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it and how they facilitate individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives.

For more information, click here.

Leadership Challenges and Practices addresses the more practical, active and vocational aspects of leadership. You will be encouraged to draw on your own experience of leadership in practice, and to engage in activities which enable you to develop your own leadership capacity. In this way, the course aims to enhance your employability, and to allow you to develop an action-oriented understanding of leadership as a response to personal and organizational challenges, which can be taken into your future work and organisation

For more information, click here.

The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to actively participate in a series of discussions which focus on three key contemporary leadership issues. In doing so, the module looks to challenge student’s implicit conceptions of leadership and to develop a more sophisticated understanding of real-world leadership. This will allow students to participate in advanced dialogue, grounded in critical engagement with a selection of relevant academic literature and a practical case study/perspective. Each topic will be explored through engagement with theory and research, case study analysis and real world examples. Particular attention will be paid to how a given topic plays out in society and organizations. The overarching aim of this module is to elaborate and develop your academic knowledge, inquiry and reasoning skills.

For more information, click here.

This module is a blend of practical workshops, critical inquiry and field work. Working with a range of academics and current change agents, students have the opportunity to explore the nuances of change in themselves, organisations and communities. Using experiential and critical reflection students will explore how to become a successful change agent. Throughout the  module students are asked to embark on a journey of self-development; they are invited to critically inquire change agents and they are tasked with immersing themselves in field work.

For more information, click here.

This module introduces students to the techniques and practices of organisational development.  It explores ways in which organisations can develop in order to achieve improved performance by drawing on social psychology to understand how to maximise the potential of employees and ensure they are aligned with organisational objectives.  It builds on concepts found in organisational behaviour and human resource management and would particularly appeal to students who anticipate taking on a managerial, consultancy or human resource focused career or with an interest in organisational change and change management.

Pre-requisites: BEM2020 Organizational Behaviour and BEM2021 Human Resource Management.

For more information, click here.

This module examines how organisations manage change and cope with crisis.  The complex cultural, political and ethical issues faced by leaders, managers and change agents will be examined in detail.  In addition, we will examine the role leaders, managers and consultants play in designing and facilitating organisational change.  Consideration will be given to how managers can be better prepared for the unpredictability, unintended outcomes and possible harmful consequences of change.

For more information, click here.

In this module you will learn about the various ways in which the employment relationship is regulated in the UK. We will also draw on examples from other countries (particularly EU countries). The module is very practical in its orientation, focusing primarily on what managers with direct responsibility for recruiting, supervising and dismissing employees need to do in order to avoid breaching employment law and having to defend their organisations in the courts. We will also focus on the process of settling cases ahead of a formal hearing. You will gain a good understanding of all the main principles that underpin employment law in the UK, the principle statutes and leading cases. We will also explain how employment regulation has evolved and how it is likely to continue evolving in the future.

For more information, click here.

This module is designed for Law, Psychology and Business students and intends to provide a perspective on equality and diversity that incorporates insights about the legal framework, the business environment, and the psychological dimension. You will build on your knowledge acquired in your discipline specific subjects so far, broadening your knowledge to include an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and tackling real life issues of equality and diversity. You will cover a range of equality issues and explore how and why problems arise, how these should be managed, and how you apply your broader critical perspective to enhance equality and achieve diversity. In this module you will focus on key equality themes and will give you the opportunity to engage with current critical arguments at the juncture between law, psychology and business.

For more information, click here.


If you have any questions or you would like to discuss the 'With Proficiency in Leadership' Pathway, please contact the WPiL lead, Chris Reedthomas