Leadership programmes

We run four different in-house leadership programmes which are focused on exploring what it means to demonstrate effective leadership within academia. This includes both discovering what leadership means within your own context as well as the more practical people and project management aspects of leadership.

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."- John F. Kennedy

All these programmes encourage leaders and managers to approach leadership with their own authentic style. Becoming an authentic leader is often as much about personal development and self-awareness as it is about developing skills. Our programmes provide the time and space required to explore leadership in-depth with a group of supportive peers.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each programme is designed to stand alone and you are encouraged to attend the one that matches your stage of career and the type of leadership that you are currently undertaking. The programmes are also designed to build on each other so that you could attend each one as you progress through your career, exploring different aspects and contexts of leadership. A strong element of these programmes is peer learning, drawing significantly on the experience and ideas that the cohort of participants brings and building a network for future sharing and support.

Find out which programme would be most suitable for you by reading the descriptions below. To guide you further, you could also read our overview of Academic Leadership levels or get in contact with us:asd-leadership@bristol.ac.uk. You will need to fill in an application form for your chosen programme (the specific process differs for each programme so please read this carefully) and you will be put forward into a selection process as outlined on the full details of each programme (some of these details will follow at a later date).

Contact asd-leadership@bristol.ac.uk if you have any specific queries regarding leadership and management development opportunities for academic staff.


I recently joined the University and was keen to advance my career by acquiring the skills relevant to academic leadership. I was fortunate to apply for the Academic Staff Development leadership programme and attended both the Cultivating Leadership and the Stepping into Leadership courses. They proved to be an excellent fit for my needs, as they provided both the theoretical and the practical skills necessary to work towards effective leadership practice. While I was introduced to strategies for improved communication, planning, and collaboration, I was particularly impressed by how much I learned about myself. I came to appreciate that effective leadership was not a solitary pursuit, but a collaborative one, and that it was important to discover and nurture one’s own style. These leadership programmes have given me the confidence to initiate meaningful connections between my department and the wider University community, to work more productively with my colleagues, and feel more prepared to deal with challenging situations.

Dr Stephen Mawdsley, Lecturer in Modern American History, Department of History (Historical Studies)

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the Stepping into Leadership programme, and I have come away with several tools I can use to help me with my leadership roles. The experience also inspired me to request an increase to my working hours (I've worked part time for several years) and given me the confidence to apply for promotion to Associate Professor.

Dr Sam Leary, Senior Lecturer in Statistics