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Introduction to Head of Department

Explore the contemporary contexts and challenges of being a Head of Department

What makes an effective head of department? It is a pivotal role in any higher education institution, but what do you have to know and do?

Enquire about IHoD

Exploring the challenges of being a head of department

IHoD is about quickly getting aspirant, new, or returning heads of departments into leadership mode so they can deliver effectively in their new role. It will cover the issues that you need to sharpen your skills, focusing for example on issues such as conflict management and building internal networks. 

By the end of the programme participants will have had an opportunity to:

  • Review the changing face of higher education throughout the UK and how these changes are effecting HEIs
  • Explore the role of head of department in its various guises and raise their awareness of different leadership styles
  • Identify their conflict mode preferences and develop strategies for difficult conversations
  • Explore the nature of change and models for implementation
  • Discuss a change or conflict scenario and work on strategies for addressing it
  • Work in small groups to discuss specific leadership issues and plan actions to address these
  • Share experience and ideas with a set of fellow-leaders
  • Develop their self-awareness and confidence as a leader

The course significantly improved my confidence and my ability to take on the role of Head of Department. I had been very dubious about it beforehand, but both the facilitators and the participants taught me a lot about my strengths and about the role."

Kirstein Rummery, Professor of Social Policy and Director of Research, University of Stirling

How is the programme delivered

IHoD is an open programme delivered in a cohort structure. Over two programme days and one action learning set day delegates will develop their knowledge and skills in the leadership of people and the management of change.

The programme includes case studies, diagnostics, individual and small group work, and plenary exercises. Participants are invited to prepare a change or conflict scenario to be worked-on during the programme and to identify their individual and institutional learning objectives in relation to the programme.

Alternatively this programme can be delivered in-house - find out more.

What are the programme outcomes

Successful completion of IHoD benefits the participant and their institution.

The institution benefits from the programme providing support to recently promoted staff and the guidance it provides at times of radical transformation and change.

Participants are able to explore the nature of change and discuss models for implementing your own change project and develop their self-awareness and confidence as a leader.

Participants will leave this programme with a much better understanding of the latest survival skills that they need to excel in their role, based upon the current contexts of higher education.


Enquire about Introduction to Head of Department

Complete the form below and we will email you more information on the programme.

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