The Well-being of Future Generations Act challenges Welsh public bodies to take action on the biggest threats facing Wales, working collaboratively and taking a partnership approach to support services in delivering our work wherever possible.

At the heart of that is a demand to work across organisational boundaries to address the biggest challenges. Silo working is no longer an option. This is a leadership development challenge in itself. How do we imbue the next generation of leaders with the resources to lead challenges across organisational boundaries?

At Cardiff Business School we have been thinking precisely about these issues. We have developed an Executive MSc in Public Leadership to be taught part-time over two years. While it will attract students from across the UK and internationally, Welsh public bodies will recognise within it the unique principles of the Well-being of Future Generations Act’s commitment to sustainability, the seven well-being goals and the five ways of working.

The MSc in Public Leadership will be a unique, challenge-based learning programme that reflects Cardiff Business School’s commitment to our Public Value strategy – working to deliver social improvement alongside economic development, recognising the role that business and management has to play in tackling some of the grand challenges in contemporary society.

The MSc will be taught in three day blocks across a two year period. Participants will take four modules – Contemporary Challenges in Public Service Leadership; Leading Public Service Change; Turning Policy into Delivery; Innovation and Creativity in Public Service. Each module will be based around three three-day blocks.

Each module will be facilitated by a team consisting of internationally-recognised academics representing different disciplines from within Cardiff Business School and across the University, along with a wide range of experienced practitioners from different services, advisory bodies and think tanks.Participants will also undertake a work-based project.

Modules will use challenges as a stimulus for learning. These will arise from issues identified during field trips to unfamiliar organisations, case studies, scenario-based provocations for policy implementation or user-centred consultancy challenges.

Drawing on techniques arising from action, problem-based and similar learning methodologies, participants will be encouraged to move between ‘the balcony and the battlefield’, focussing on issues such as the quality of evidence, approaches to data analysis, identifying key interdependencies, contrasting value assumptions, building influence and legitimacy, initiating and maintaining action.

The programme is targeted at employees across a wide range of public services with five to ten years’ experience and aspirations to progress to senior roles, and who are motivated to make a difference in response to the complex and interdependent issues arising in the current and future service environment.

  • Designed around a series of modules that will be facilitated by academic and practitioner teams, the focus will be on evaluating evidence from research and practice in live settings, case studies and consultancy problems arising from participant’s own organisation. Participants will also benefit from masterclasses with high profile public service leaders.
  • Using a range of policy and delivery challenges that cut across disciplinary, geographic, organisational and sectoral boundaries, we will support participants to reflect critically on how insights into theory and practice can generate and sustain individual development, organisational improvement and enhanced citizen outcomes. Participants’ individual leadership capacity will be supported through sponsorship, developmental workshops and peer and individual coaching. They will learn about the challenges of working in a political environment.
  • This programme champions the creation of public value and ethical engagement in public, private and third sector collaborations. The overall ethos of this programme will focus on developing participants and enabling them to put their learning into good effect within their organisations simultaneously.

Cardiff University Business School has a strong portfolio of public leadership development teaching, scholarship and research. We are involved in innovative practice, innovative treatment and interventions, innovative city and cultural initiatives, and public service innovation, with Wales’s first public policy laboratory, Y Lab, also based at Cardiff University.

To find out more about new MSc in Public Leadership, please contact Professor Leighton Andrews or Dr Sarah Hurlow to set up a discussion on how this course can help your aspiring leaders develop. Further details on the course can be found here: