Programme outline


The diploma combines the highest standards of academic rigour with a practical approach to resilient and strategic leadership.

Central to the design of the Oxford Executive Diplomas is the dual focus on the academic theory (and 'thinking') behind current organisational and global challenges, and the practical approaches ('doing') through which to successfully navigate them.  

Led by Professor Sue Dopson, the Oxford Executive Diploma in Organisational Leadership offers a unique focus on the twin topics of leadership and the organisational landscape over four core modules.


Leadership fundamentals

12-15 February 2025

  • Managing change
  • Motivation and incentives
  • Groups and teams
  • Organisational culture
  • Managing with power
  • Organisational design

The strategic mindset

7-10 May 2025

  • Goals and strategies
  • Competitive advantage
  • Industry analysis
  • Strategy and change
  • Global strategy
  • Managing the multi-business enterprise
  • New ways of engaging people in strategy processes

The strategic leader

16-19 July 2025

  • Foundational approaches to the work of leading
  • Leading through formal structures, including hybrid organisations
  • Leading through networks and relationships
  • Leading through meaning and sense-making
  • Speciality topics from cutting-edge Oxford research, for example:
    • global mindset for leaders
    • ‘both/and’ thinking and action
    • social networks for action
    • implementing on distributed innovation
    • governance and ambiguity
    • managing risk

Building resilience as a leader

22-25 October 2025

  • Creating high-quality connections
  • Managing toxic relationships at work
  • Building individual resilience
  • Capacities and capabilities for organisational resilience
  • Developing a generative approach to leadership


Diploma in Organisational Leadership graduation

Modules one, two and three are assessed by submissions and/or examinations. Module four is assessed by an extended Final Integrative Assignment (FIA) related to your organisation or industry.

Participants must pass all four modules to be awarded the diploma certificate (an accredited EQF Level 7 qualification) at a traditional University of Oxford end-of-course ceremony.


Study commitments


Previous participants have estimated that the study commitment in between modules is approximately six to eight hours per week for the duration of the diploma programme. This time is spent completing the allocated pre-reading prior to each module and preparing for the four assessments.

Potential changes to this programme

There may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary to make changes to the provision of the programme, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to programme requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your diploma. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

Further information about changes to programmes and provisions of the student contract.