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Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

This programme is an innovative leadership development programme and is the first of its type in Northern Ireland.


Study Civic Leadership and Community Planning at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This programme has been developed to meet the need for a practical accredited programme for key players involved in developing and implementing community planning. The programme will provide participants with the knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of community planning and effective leadership to enable them to make a strategic contribution to attaining organisational objectives and improved performance.

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About this course

In this section


The programme has been developed for elected members and officers in district councils, officers in statutory agencies and representatives from the community and voluntary sectors. Private sector applicants who are interested should discuss this with the Course Director.


The programme is delivered through six modules over eighteen months. The modules are delivered over two separate one day workshops from 1.15pm to 7.15pm at Jordanstown. There is also one off-site action learning set meeting per module.

Start dates

  • March 2017
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

There is no A Level requirement for this course. Please refer to the Additional Entry Requirements for detailed information on this course.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants must:

(a) have gained a Certificate of Higher Education or an equivalent standard in an approved alternative qualification;

(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);


(c) be employed in a civic leadership role or have substantial experience in and be aspiring to work in such a role;

or, as an alternative to (a) and/or (b):

(d) provide evidence of their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL). All applicants seeking admission through the APEL process shall be required to attend a selection interview to assess their suitability to undertake the programme.

Teaching and learning assessment

This programme requires the successful completion of six modules:

Personal Leadership Competence

Civic Leadership People and Place

Effective Personal and Communication Skills

Consensus Building and Partnerships

Community Engagement

Change Management

Participants will be guided in their learning through the use of case-studies, presentations from practitioners and study visits.

All modules are assessed by coursework.

Exemptions and transferability

The integrated framework proposed by the Business Institute has, as its starting point, the Advanced Certificate, with progression to the Advanced Diploma in Civic Leadership and Community Planning.

On completion of the Advanced Diploma in Civic Leadership and Community Planning, students wanting to continue their education will be eligible to proceed with some exemptions on to a related degree programmes, such as the BSc Hons Social Policy and, potentially, the integrated Master's in Planning and Property Development.

Students having completed six modules at level 5 may also be eligible for some exemptions on the BSc Business Studies degree with the approval of the Course Director.

There are no exemptions from the programme.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

The programme prepares participants for a career in politics and/or a leadership role in local government, the community sector and the statutory agencies who work in collaboration with each other.


Please complete the University's on-line application form.

Elected members and officers in district councils should also contact their Member Services Officer and Training Liaison Officer respectively.

How to apply

Start dates

  • March 2017


Course Director: Steve Pollard

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6572

M: 077 1071 7161



"Community Planning is a developing subject area I knew I needed to learn more about in my role as leader of a community development organisation. This course is relevant to those who want a realistic course of study. It enables input and ideas from real work situations to be included as a valuable addition to the academic matters." Katie Hanlon - Ballynafeigh Development Association

"I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in this area as I believe you will be challenged in your thinking and gain from networking." Jackie Patton - Ballymena Borough Council