Master of Leadership

How the course is structured

You will complete four core units, two Professional Practice Credentials and four stackable short courses, or four core units, four Professional Practice credentials and two stackable short courses.

To gain a Professional Practice Credential, you must demonstrate the capabilities you’ve acquired in a leadership role. 


Download the course guide to find out more about the units and the Professional Practice credentials.


Leadership Practice with Impact

The purpose of this unit is to deliver a thorough grounding in the main leadership theories, concepts, and issues. It is intended as an introduction to leadership and will be the theoretical foundation that the other leadership units are built on.

The Deakin Advantage: Leadership and Professional Development

This unit brings together career development, personal development and professional development. Students commence with a personalised 360-degree feedback diagnosis which provides the foundation for the selection of personal and professional development opportunities that are completed over the duration of their study program. 

Leadership Research Methods

This unit will explore the relevance of leadership theory to your experience of leadership issues. This unit will focus on the contemporary challenges leaders face such as issues such as power and influence, leading teams, diversity, ethics, leading under crisis, and leadership development.

Leadership Research Project

This is a professional project that demonstrates your expertise and contributes to your field in a meaningful way by showing how leadership can contribute to addressing strategic-level issues.

Please note: As part of any master’s degree at Deakin University, you need to complete the compulsory, zero-credit-point unit Academic Integrity. This unit requires you to pass an online multiple-choice test.

Download the course guide for more details about the Master of Leadership from Deakin University.

  • Adaptive Mindsets (Advanced) 

  • Driving Strategic Results (Advanced) 

  • Leading and Developing People (Advanced) 

  • Empowering Others (Advanced) 


Download the course guide to learn more about Professional Practice Credentials and the course structure.

Stackable Short Courses
  • Crisis Leadership

  • Innovation and Leadership

  • Innovation and Organisational Change

  • Sustainable Leadership to 2030

  • Skill Up to Lead Culturally Diverse Teams

  • Digital Transformation Leadership


Download the course guide to learn more about the stackable short courses and course structure.


Flexible and 100% online

This leading-edge master’s degree is designed for leaders who need flexibility for when and where they complete their studies.

  • This course has no exams and is designed specifically for a 100% online experience
  • Study while you work, immediately apply what you learn to your workplace


One-on-one support

You’ll be supported every step of the way.

Each student is provided with a Success Adviser, who provides help and support from enrolment through to graduation.

From tackling the capstone unit to submitting a testimony, your academics are available to provide support whenever you need it.

Frequently asked questions
What's the difference between this course and an MBA?

If you already know enough about accounting, finance, marketing and operations management, or can learn these on the job, but want to improve your ability to build high-performing teams, then the Master of Leadership is for you. This course will build on your existing leadership experience and provide you with an understanding on how to have a strategic impact on your business with leadership skills that deliver positive change. You will be able to apply your learning whether you're working in business, the not-for-profit sector, as a school principal or in government. In this way, the Master of Leadership is a shorter course that recognises your pre-established leadership experience while allowing you to learn new concepts. You can learn more by visiting our blog.

Do I need to be in a current leadership position?

Yes, you need to be in a current leadership position where you hold operational and strategic responsibilities. You also need to have at least three years of relevant work experience.

How do I gain Professional Practice Credentials? What's involved?

To earn a credential, you will draw on your recent leadership experience (i.e. within the last two years) and go through a three step process of identifying and documenting your skills, experience and knowledge. You will obtain each credential by writing a short reflective essay, submitting evidence and providing an additional video testimony about your professional experience, where you will describe how they demonstrate each criterion. You are free to prepare for and submit multiple credentials at the same time – credentials are designed to be completed between work and other commitments, and you can work on them at any time throughout the year. We recommend you spend around 8-10 hours over a 4-5 week period for each credential. Get ahead with your submissions by compiling your evidence and writing your reflection during your trimester breaks, and submit them once the new trimester starts. Preparing for the first credential may take the longest, but you will find that the process gets easier as you move through your submissions.

What does the research project entail?

This 15,000-word research project comprises three smaller assignments that you will complete over one to two trimesters. It will give you the opportunity to investigate and address a real-life issue by creating a strategic plan for it. You may pick an issue that you are facing as a leader, or you may pick one that you find interesting in your workplace, giving you also the opportunity to work with your colleagues or managers in your organisation. You will gain additional support through an academic supervisor, who will help you refine the scope of and support you through your research project. In this way, you will demonstrate your expertise and contribute to your field in a meaningful way.

Are my study hours flexible? Can I fit study around life commitments?

We've designed this course so that you have flexibility in the way you study and manage it amid other life and work responsibilities. Aside from having no exams, the course is designed specifically for a 100 per cent online experience.

Will I still be eligible for the course if I don't have a bachelor's degree?

You may. If you haven't done an undergraduate degree, then the Graduate Certificate of Leadership might be a good option for you. Starting with the graduate certificate will not require any extra study or cost you any more than starting directly in the master's degree.

How many intakes do you have in a year?

We have three intakes in a year: March, July and November. When you submit your application early, you can take your time in finalising your FEE-HELP application, make full use of your Orientation Week and get ahead in familiarising yourself with your study plan. Should you not have completed your application before the closing date, our Student Enrolment Advisers will get in touch with you to offer any assistance through the enrolment process and answer any questions you may have.