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Local government is experiencing significant changes, not least because of austerity, public funding changes, government policy, BREXIT and a changing demography. Increasingly, lawyers and those working in local government legal services, including Monitoring Officers and Practice Managers, are tasked with leading teams, change management and implementing strategy. Traditional legal education does not necessarily prepare lawyers for these leadership and management roles.

The Masters in Local Government Legal Professional Leadership is an innovative new postgraduate programme co-designed by Northumbria University Faculty of Business and Law and Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) Enterprises Ltd. This is a two year distance learning programme, designed for those who wish to gain a postgraduate degree whilst balancing employment and a range of other commitments.

Course Information

Award Type MSc

Delivery Method Distance Learning

Mode of Study
Online Workshops

Start TBC |

Two years

Financial and Legal Services, Leadership and Management

The programme will be delivered by Newcastle Business School, which has a global reputation for delivering some of the best leadership and management education in the UK. To ensure its relevance to lawyers, the programme has been co-designed with legal practitioners in the Northumbria School of Law. Unlike a generic Leadership programme, or a MBA, this bespoke programme recognises the particular context of local government legal services and the professional standards of lawyers.

The programme commences with an online or face-to-face introductory session. This is an opportunity for you to clearly understand what the programme is designed to do, how it will work, meet the team, learn more about the modules and assessments and gain a detailed introduction to the learning resources and support available. We will also spend time developing your academic skills such as report writing, referencing, and making best use of academic learning materials and critical review. You will also be able to meet and get to know fellow learners. Attendance is not required and all the sessions will be available on-line. There is an expectation that students will spend 7-9 hours per week on a module (12 week module).

On successful completion of this programme, you will emerge as a highly capable legal professional leader that applies best practices to the complex organisational and business challenges facing local government and be able to grow and progress in that fast-changing environment.


Stage one modules:

Leader Identity and Leadership:

The first twelve-week module considers the traits and characteristics of an effective strategic leader. Specifically you will consider your leader identity; exploring your values, motives and goals for becoming a leader. Through a range of tools and diagnostic techniques, you will develop intra and interpersonal awareness through critical reflection and will evaluate your existing or potential leadership style in terms of impact on others and the organizational context. Assessment is by means of a self-analysis and personal development plan.

Creating the Dynamic Organisation:

This twelve-week module considers contemporary approaches in the management and development of organisations. Specifically you will develop an applied understanding of contemporary management practices including organisational transformation, innovation, knowledge creation and learning, social networks, high performing workplaces, team dynamics and forward thinking cultures. Assessment is by means of a 5000 word work based improvement report.

Stage two modules:

Leading for Organisational Performance:

This module is intended to develop the your ability to understand leadership and followership as an emergent process and your own actions as leader and coach with individuals, teams and organisational dynamics. Content will be shaped by debates about leadership and followership emergence in complex adaptive systems and relevant practitioner based and academic literature. You will undertake a substantial amount of directed and independent learning based around the module specific-self supported learning materials. You will complete formative assessment, working alongside your employer in the analysis of contemporary case studies. Summative assessment will take the form of an assessment of their own practice in developing leadership/followership in individual, team and functional relationships underpinned with reference to relevant academic theory.

Implementing Strategy in Local Government Legal Practice:

This twelve week module is designed to develop your ability to apply and evaluate concepts and techniques related to organisational strategy, improvement and the strategic leadership of change. With an aim of ensuring you make an effective contribution to your organisation, you will be introduced to a managerial view of strategic processes including how to identify, optimise and add value to the organisation. The module will enable you to apply a proven frameworks to diagnose the barriers to innovation and strategy implementation in your local government organisation. It will also help you discover examples of best practice and learn how to adapt them to your organisation. You will also undertake significant directed and independent learning, based on module-specific self supported learning materials

Stage three modules:

Management Investigation:

You will learn how to conduct a research led investigation into a management issue, topic or problem guided by your programme of study and framed in the context of an organisation.


You must be in employment in  local government legal services.


You should either be a professionally qualified:

  • Solicitor; or
  • Barrister;
  • Member of the Institute of Legal Executives


Alternatively you must have an undergraduate degree and have suitable experience in local government (i.e. as a Monitoring Officer or Practice Manager).


If your first language is not English, evidence of having reached the equivalent of IELTS 7.0 or a Pearson Test score of 62.  Alternatively, all of the UG degree must have been taught and assessed in English.


Applications will be considered on an individual basis and where appropriate, you are able to contact programme leaders to discuss your suitability for the programme.

Please register your interest for this course and we will be in touch once we have confirmed dates.

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