Leadership Foundations

Develop essential leadership and professional skills and to be able to apply them in a range of different contexts.

Male student at the UNSW campus Kensington

Become the leader you would want to follow

Leadership Foundations is AHEGS recognised and freely available to all UNSW students. Whether you are just beginning your leadership journey or looking to further develop your leadership skills, this employability development program is for you!

Employers are looking for students who can demonstrate excellent communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills as well as resilience; these skills are rated the most desirable skills for graduates entering the workforce. This program is designed to help you develop these essential leadership and professional skills and to be able to apply them in a range of different contexts.

The learning experience is designed to help you discover your leadership identity and develop practical skills including:

  • Self-awareness
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Building effective relationships
  • Creating safe and inclusive teams
  • Conflict management
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • and more...

In joining our Leadership Foundations learning community you will make connections with peers and become part of the Leadership Foundations alumni network upon successful completion of the program.

Applications now open for T1 2024

Applications close at 11:59pm on Wednesday 7 February 2024.

  • You don't need an official title (e.g. president/manager) to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader, and anyone can practice leadership skills. We believe that this program should be part of every student’s development journey as it reflects the UNSW Graduate Capabilities of becoming a globally focused graduate capable of leadership and professional practice in an international community.

    We welcome any UNSW student who is interested in discovering their leadership identity and developing their interpersonal and professional skills.

    A key strength of Leadership Foundations is the diversity of perspectives, experience and knowledge within the learning community. We encourage students from all faculties and levels of study to apply to the program. If you are a student with a disability and you have access needs, we will work with you so you are able to fully participate in the program.

  • You will join a learning community of like-minded students to progress through six blended learning modules. This will take approx. 20 hours in total to complete.  

    Each module comprises one online learning experience on Moodle, involving personal reflection tasks, readings and/or videos. Followed by a workshop encompassing group-based practice activities and discussions.

    Accompanying the learning modules are development tasks which need to be satisfactorily completed in order to successfully finish the program.

  • In Leadership Foundations, you will:

    • Create your own leadership development plan and explore what leadership means to your identity.
    • Formulate a purpose statement by reflecting on your personal values, strengths, and life experiences.
    • Co-create team agreements to encourage constructive relationships in team environments by considering factors such as psychological safety, effective communication, and conflict management.
    • Develop a team culture action plan by applying the principles of social awareness, diversity, and inclusion.
    • Construct a wellbeing and resilience action plan to expand personal capacity when encountering challenges.
    • Demonstrate the leadership development attributes of courage, growth mindset, curiosity, empathy, active listening and self-reflection.
  • Leadership Foundations is run multiple times a year, as a term program or intensive program. The term program runs online during the first six weeks of each term, with minimal interruption to normal coursework. The intensive program runs in-person for 1-week, during the break between terms.

    Term 1 2024 program dates:
    • Welcome Workshop: T1 week 1, Friday 16 February at 10am-12:30pm
    • Workshop 2: T1 week 2, Friday 23 February at 10am-12:30pm
    • Workshop 3: T1 week 3, Friday 1 March at 10am-12:30pm  
    • Workshop 4: T1 week 4, Friday 8 March at 10am-12:30pm  
    • Workshop 5: T1 week 5, Friday 15 March at 10am-12:30pm.   
    • Closing Workshop: T1 week 6, Friday 22 March at 10am-12:30pm.

    Note: all workshops are held online via Zoom, except the Closing Workshop which is hybrid.    

    The next iteration will be the T1 2024 Intensive program, workshops are in-person at Kensington campus from Friday 10 May until Friday 17 May. Applications will open early in 2024. 

    Term 1 2024 applications close at 11:59pm on Wednesday 7 February 2024.

  • Upon satisfactorily meeting the program participation and development task requires, you will be awarded AHEGS recognition, a program completion certificate, advertisement to post on your LinkedIn profile, and access to the Leadership Foundations LinkedIn Group to continue your professional and personal development.

Students share their experience

This course has helped me develop skills to foster teams that champion psychological safety. It has honed my ability to practice empathy, allowing me to listen to other people, and understand and relate to their experience.

Bachelor of Engineering

The Leadership Foundations program has completely changed my perspective of what it means to be a leader. You can ascend to the top, leading empathy towards others, while being kind to yourself.

Master of Human Rights & Law Policy

This self-discovery journey helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses to become a holistic individual. Through workshops, reflections, and peer support, I gained the insights and the tools I need to lead with authenticity.

Master of International Business

The program helped me connect with others, forge new relationships and gain valuable insights in leadership. It really helped develop that growth mindset, emphasising daily self-improvement, continuous learning and unyielding ambition.

Bachelor of Commerce/Economics

This program is amazing. You’ll meet a diverse group of individuals from various fields and countries, making it a fun experience. It also enables you to learn many practical skills that prove invaluable in the professional world.

Bachelor of Economics

I enrolled in the program with an aim to continually enhance my skills and truly understand the essence of leadership. This course has taught me the importance of empathy, as you never really know what another team member might be experiencing.

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Commerce