The International and Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Diploma Program in Leadership,
and PhD Degree phase with a focus on Leadership Education Entrepreneurship,
and on the Design and Implementation of Leadership Development Programs
1. Programme's roots
Launched in 2004, and in the leadership discipline of study, THIERRY's pioneering doctoral curriculum was Europe's first postgraduate PhD programme in leadership and offered in distance education. Designed at THIERRY, the programme is also an intercontinental and interdisciplinary one. From 2010 onwards the courses were offered by INSIL and THIERRY conjointly. Since 2012 the online programme is offered only at INSIL. Courses can still be attended at THIERRY, but only if the curriculum is completed in the blended learning delivery mode (see footnote #1).
2. Overall structure
The programme is a part-time one, and is combined with relevant professional activity. The entire curriculum (180 ECTS - 72 US credits) is composed of Four Pillars. Each Pillar comprises a number of course units. The programme is partitioned into two phases: the 'PALS' phase (Postgraduate diploma in Advanced Leadership Studies, consisting of three pillars), and then the PhD phase proper (being the fourth pillar, with the doctorate research and thesis candidacy). The Four Pillars structure, the entire curriculum, and its course units' contents, have been entirely designed by the senior faculty at THIERRY.
The course delivery and completion is individually-oriented (not group-based). With the exception of the residence modules, the distance learning courses are thus completed on a self-paced basis, but within agreed completion timelines for the course units and the curriculum as a whole.
With the PALS + PhD system special emphasis is placed on: (1) extensive formal knowledge; (2) personal leadership growth; (3) thesis' subject practice-orientation; (4) research in leadership development; (5) thesis design and writing; (6) quality of the thesis, and its relevance aligned with the graduate's career evolution.
The completion of the initial PALS curriculum leads to the earning of a Postgraduate diploma in Advanced Leadership Studies (it is equivalent to a specialised post-master's degree). The fourth pillar is the doctoral research one, called the Field Project, and culminating in the PhD thesis (dissertation in some countries' terminology).
Since 2012 the focus of the PhD Field Project and thesis is on leadership education development, with its related intrapreneurial or entrepreneurship initiatives, and/or on the design and implementation of leadership development programmes, or specific components thereof ( see also: focal areas).
THIERRY and INSIL actively endorse entrepreneurial ventures in leadership development initiated by their graduates. Through a specific cooperation process with the institution the graduate can, upon completion of his/her studies, earn back tuition fees in a time-span that varies between 1.5 to 4 years.
3. Programme specifications
The main specifications of the PALS curriculum programme (i.e. the first three pillars) are as follows:
· The programme is usually attended part-time. Distance learning on a full-time basis is possible only if the entirety of the PALS programme is attended in that way.
· The PALS is course-based, and is offered in three possible learning modes. The curriculum's course units can be attended and completed in:
· an e-coached distance learning mode, comprising two residence modules (of 2.5 to 3 days each); or
· a blended learning mode, comprising at least six residence modules.
· Since most courses are offered on a continuous basis (year-round), they are not being subject to academic-year type of limitations. Study-breaks follow the participant's and the faculty's holiday planning at given moments during the calendar year.
· There are fourteen course units to be completed in the PALS curriculum, including the residence modules and the course unit in learning facilitation undertaken at another institution or in an approved training and development environment, in the participant's country of residence or work-region.
· The course materials are made available by the institution, and are sufficiently comprehensive to enable the satisfactory completion of the course examinations. The purchase of optional or supplemental textbooks or e-texts is optional (i.e. not mandatory; left to the participant's own choice), while further reading on the worldwide web or in libraries is habitual.
· For most of the course units the learning examination is constituted by three study-assignments, and in a few other course units there is only one comprehensive assignment. A written review by the faculty is provided for all examinations.
· The distance education guidance is provided by means of e-coaching and mentorship, by means of telecommunication (phone, email,...).
· The PALS curriculum ends with the successful completion of a Final Paper (a comprehensive and practice-oriented type of essay), whereupon the graduate earns the institute's Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Leadership Studies attesting the successful completion of comprehensive higher education studies at the post-master's level.
4. PhD phase
The description of the subsequent PhD thesis phase (Fourth Pillar) composed of the research towards the thesis, is highlighted on the other pages of our website.
Footnote #1: The student's choice of attending courses at THIERRY rather than at INSIL requires special approval from the faculty.
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