This course is unavailable through clearing

This course is now full for our 2021 entry, but have a look at our clearing vacancies to see if a similar course has space.

Search all clearing vacancies

BSc Actuarial Science and Mathematics / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Leadership in Action Online Unit

Unit code UCIL20031
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by University College for Interdisciplinary Learning
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Leadership in Action (LIA) units aim to help you understand what it means to be a leader in the 21st century. The units explore complex current problems and ask: How does change happen? Who makes it happen? What does that tell us about leadership and how we do it?

This unit will equip you with the tools to critically evaluate models and approaches to leadership and to apply these to a range of complex 21st century problems such as poverty, inequality and climate change. The unit will also help you to develop a toolkit of transferable skills that will boost your employability.

You will hear from leaders who are influencing change in the world around us, including some of the university's leading academics and leaders from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The LIA 10 credit online unit is delivered entirely via Blackboard and is available in both semester 1 and 2. You will work through online learning modules, released at intervals through the semester. Each learning module uses a range of bespoke audio/video inputs, case studies, and interactive elearning activities designed to enhance your learning and understanding. You will discuss the topics covered in the learning modules in online discussion boards, as part of an interdisciplinary group of around 25 students, supported throughout by a dedicated eTutor.

Alternatively, you can opt to take the 20 credit version of the unit, which runs over both semesters. You will complete the LIA online unit in semester 1 and, supported by your eTutor, will complete an independent research project on a topic of your own choosing in semester 2.

Students who successfully complete an LIA unit and 15, 25 or 40 hours of approved volunteering will be awarded the prestigious Manchester Leadership Programme Certificate (Bronze, Silver or Gold).


Year 1 students (with the exception of Study Abroad and Exchange students) are not eligible to take this unit.


The course unit aims to:

  • Encourage an understanding of the importance of leadership of self and others
  • Broaden intellectual and cultural interests
  • Challenge and equip students to confront personal values and make ethical judgements
  • Prepare graduates for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments
  • Enhance employability



Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • Evaluate different models and theories of leadership, within a 21st century global context
  • Analyse the ways in which leaders influence change and how leadership skills may be applied in both learning and occupational contexts
  • Employ reflective learning skills in order to relate models of leadership to personal practice
  • Analyse complex, `wicked¿, problems and leadership in response to them


The online unit content is delivered via learning modules released at intervals over weeks 1-10 of the semester.

The learning modules in the first half of the semester will introduce and examine:

  • A definition of leadership in action
  • Key leadership models and theories
  • The concept of tame and wicked problems, and leadership in response to them
  • How change happens and how leaders both respond to, and influence, change
  • Leadership and ethics
  • Leadership, politics and the media

The learning modules in the second half of the semester will examine leadership and complex problems, from different perspectives, covering a range of leadership issues and challenges for the 21st century, such as:

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Homelessness
  • Humanitarian disaster response
  • Environmental sustainability and climate change
  • Business ethics and responsibility
  • Urban regeneration, social inclusion and sustainable communities

Facilitated discussion boards, released at intervals alongside the learning modules, will ask you to think about problems and challenges for leaders, and to analyse them, applying your understanding of leadership theory, in particular leadership in response to wicked problems.

Teaching and learning methods


  • The unit is delivered entirely via Blackboard. It is a highly interactive and innovative unit that adopts a blended approach with a range of audio and video inputs, interactive activities and case studies from world-class internal and external contributors.

    The unit content is supported by elearning activities designed to enhance learning and understanding including:

  • Tutor-facilitated online discussion forums examining issues raised by related weekly module content
  • Questionnaires and quizzes

Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to:

  • understand and critically evaluate a range of different models and theories of leadership
  • relate models and theories of leadership to personal practice and context
  • identify ways in which leaders influence change in a range of contexts
  • appreciate different styles of leadership within a cultural context

Intellectual skills

Students should be able to:

  • develop critical evaluation skills through the analysis of models and theories of leadership
  • develop reflective learning skills through the application of models and theories to personal context
  • critically evaluate different leadership approaches to social, economic and environmental sustainability

Practical skills

Students should be able to:

  • understand, reflect on and evaluate their own leadership style using a variety of tools
  • appreciate how to apply leadership skills in an academic and occupational context
  • appreciate the importance of teamwork and cultural diversity
  • contribute effectively to electronically-mediated discussions and debates

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to:

  • understand themselves and their leadership styles
  • understand the styles, preferences and tendencies of others and how these impact upon management and employability
  • demonstrating skills that contribute to effective leadership, including influencing, critical thinking and communication skills

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Written communication

Assessment methods

  1. Ongoing, end of module assessments, including discussions and short online tests (20%)
  2. 2x written assignments: Choice of tasks with a leadership focus (80%

Feedback methods

Via Blackboard


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 50
Lectures 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 48

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Samantha Hemsley Unit coordinator
Sian Yeowell Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Students who successfully complete an LIA unit and 15, 25 or 40 hours of approved volunteering will be awarded the prestigious Manchester Leadership Programme Certificate (Bronze, Silver or Gold).


Return to course details