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Free upskilling courses in leadership and management for individuals impacted by COVID-19

Queen’s University Belfast has launched free upskilling courses in leadership and management for individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19.

Courses in leadership and management

The Department for the Economy will be funding 215 places, offering meaningful upskilling that will enhance current job roles and enrich future career opportunities. This is part of the Department’s skills initiative to offer over 5,000 free, short-term courses for those impacted by Covid-19.

The places are available to individuals in Northern Ireland who have been impacted by the pandemic through furlough, redundancy, or those who have been unable to gain employment in their field.

The courses will be delivered by the Graduate School and the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s Management School, and include:

  • Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Strategic Leadership and Management Programme
  • Strategic Change Leadership for Digital Transformation
  • Negotiation and Influencing Skills
  • Finance for Non-Financial Managers
  • Aspiring Leaders Programme
  • Emerging Leaders Programme
  • Senior Executive Programme
  • Mini MBA Programme.

They will cover a range of areas including leadership, strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, digital transformation, and management. Participants will receive a Queen’s certificate and those who complete the CMI Strategic Leadership and Management Programme will gain CMI Level 7 accreditation and Foundation Chartered Manager (fCMgr) status.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said: “Today’s launch of leadership and management courses by Queen’s University Belfast is the outworking of my Department’s skills response to the pandemic. Upskilling those impacted by Covid-19 can help build a pathway to economic recovery and support those whose jobs have been affected in the hardest hit sectors during the economic crisis. 

“Skills support the exploitation of key drivers in our economy and help encourage greater investment and innovation. They help firms compete successfully in export markets and, ultimately, they support economic recovery and enhanced productivity.  I encourage people who are eligible to apply for these courses and benefit from this opportunity to gain new skills.”

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast commented: “Queen’s has an important leadership role to play in supporting and upskilling the members of our community most impacted by the pandemic. These fully-funded courses in leadership and management will ensure that individuals in Northern Ireland can access upskilling in areas that will enhance their current job roles and develop their future career opportunities, thus supporting the regrowth of our economy as we emerge from this global crisis.”

Aileen McAvoy, Head of Organisational Effectiveness at Danske Bank said: “In Danske Bank we are passionate about supporting our leaders to grow skills not just for today, but skills that will enable them to lead into the future. The William J. Clinton Leadership Institute has been invaluable through both their open programmes – which have offered a great opportunity to connect and learn from other leaders – and through some of the bespoke interventions they have delivered to our teams. A great blend of thought-provoking inputs and pragmatic application. This is a super initiative for those adversely affected by the pandemic to boost their leadership skills and employability for the future.”

The funding follows the success of the previous Department for the Economy funded COVID-19 response Postgraduate Certificates at Queen’s which commenced last year and were provided to aid individuals impacted by furlough or job loss due to the pandemic. These included programmes in Software Development, Applied Cyber Security, Audio-Visual Post Production, Data Analytics, Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, Engineering a Zero Carbon Transition, Advanced Chemical Analysis, and Materials Science & Engineering, and Operations and Supply Chain Management.

The courses in leadership and management will commence from March to May/June 2021.

Applications are now open until Monday 15 March at 4.00pm. All applicants must have access to a computer and internet connection. Teaching will be delivered in a COVID-safe manner, primarily through flexible distance-based delivery.

For more information about the courses available, including admissions and application information, please visit:



Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office on email: and Mob: 07795676858