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The International and Multidisciplinary Postgraduate Diploma Program in Leadership,

 and PhD Degree-phase thesis focusing on Leadership Education Entrepreneurship,  

or the Design and Implementation of Leadership Development Programs,

or on Environmental Leadership Initiatives in Sustainability

|  foreword |  focus | specifications | modes | admission |  fees |  PhD path  | 



1. Institutional provider


The THIERRY-sourced postgraduate programme is offered only by the school's French affiliate, the International Higher Institute for Leadership INSIL there leading towards earning a postgraduate diploma in advanced leadership studies, and to a PhD degree in Leadership. As of 2017 the completion of all course units and other programmatic requirements takes place solely at INSIL. [1]


2. Programme's roots


Designed at and originally launched in 2004 by THIERRY, and in the leadership discipline of study, the school's pioneering doctoral curriculum was Europe's first post-graduate PhD programme in the domain of leadership and offered in distance education. Entirely created by the senior faculty at THIERRY, and while embedding the school's masters in leadership courses, the curriculum is also an intercontinental and cross-disciplinary one. 


3. Focal areas


The main focus of the PhD Field Project and thesis (dissertation) is that of 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, for instance the concept of Leadership Talent Development.


Since 2017 another focus is also available, namely that of Environmental Leadership Initiatives in Sustainability, including environmental leadership awareness and development (ELAD). It also comprises entrepreneurship that merges leadership development with any of the five fundamental 'LAWFS' tenets from the i2LN: Light, Air, Water, Food, and Shelter. Any of those can be articulated with current and future issues, for example agricultural expansion, resources shortage, emissions control, pollution prevention, crisis leadership, and so forth.


4. Two-phases structure


The entire 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). By means of the PALS + PhD system a 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 entire curriculum is thus composed of Four Pillars. Each Pillar comprises a number of course units. The Four Pillars structure, the entire curriculum, and its course units' contents, have been entirely designed by the senior faculty at THIERRY. 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).


5. Course delivery modes


The programme is a part-time one, thus combined with relevant professional activity. 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.


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:


·   e-coached distance learning mode, comprising two residence modules (of 2.5 to 3 days each) or one Summer residence (of 4 to 7 days) 


·   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 very comprehensive and practice-oriented type of long-essay), whereupon the graduate earns the institute's Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Leadership Studies attesting the successful completion of a comprehensive higher education studies curriculum at the post-master's level.


6. PhD phase


The description of the subsequent PhD thesis phase (Fourth Pillar) composed of the research towards the thesis, is highlighted on some other pages of our website.  


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[1] Note: the pre-2017 students who attend the postgraduate diploma-curriculum at THIERRY can still complete those courses there, while transferring to INSIL by 31 August 2017. 


|  foreword |  focus | specifications | modes | admission |  fees |  PhD path  | 


Related page on the INSIL website Intro




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