Launch of free online course in public leadership

MOOC from Open University Business School and FutureLearn is new asset for aspiring leaders

The new free Massive Open Online Course(MOOC) An Introduction to Public Leadership from The Open University Business School, on the FutureLearn social learning platform is a new asset to help leaders and aspiring leaders. 

The MOOC gives learners the chance to understand more about leadership, what is distinctive about leadership in the public sphere, political astuteness and how to create public value in this distinct sector.

The course launches today (12 September) and involves 12 hours study over 3 weeks.  It can be taken by anyone, anywhere, for free.

The course explores the importance of leadership for organisations, communities and civil and political bodies involved in the development and delivery of any area of public service.  The course helps learners gain skills in leading change, handling conflict and working in collaboration – all tailored to the public service context.

Professor of Public Leadership, Jean Hartley, said: “Working to enhance the public sphere brings a unique set of challenges to leaders and managers – not least recognising and generating public value, working with the public, and helping guide organisations through change.  The Open University Business School has a strong track record of innovation in developing the skills and knowledge of public leaders, and it is this experience and expertise we bring to the MOOC.  This course presents an exciting opportunity for those working in and around the public sphere to boost their skills and knowledge whilst in the workplace.”

The MOOC illustrates some of the challenges and skills of public leadership through a number of interviews with police leaders and includes a detailed study of how to lead change in relation to alcohol misuse in night-time city centres.  Many of the issues facing policing – working with elected and appointed politicians, working with partners, leading high performing teams, addressing accountability for public services or leading in situations where conflict is present – are all relevant to a range of leaders who aim to shape public services and public governance. 

Founded in 1983, The Open University Business School (OUBS) has become one of the leading business schools in the world and a pioneer in distance learning business and management education.

The OUBS offers part time and distance learning business and management courses leading to internationally recognised MBA, MSc, BA, BSc qualifications and professional certificates. Its True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) also contributes courses (MOOCS) to the online learning platform, FutureLearn. The OUBS has a sister law school, The Open University Law School (OULS).

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers over 4 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset and European Space Agency.