The objective of the OTHM Level 8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice qualification is to develop strategic management and leadership skills for managers who have the authority and personal attributes to translate organisational strategy into effective operational performance.

This qualification reflects current practice in Strategic Management and Leadership and allows learners to develop and expand their high-level understanding of strategic management and leadership in the workplace. This qualification is suitable for mature learners with a background in academic study or industry. The qualification has a clear work-related emphasis on practical skills development alongside theoretical fundamentals.

The qualification will enable learners to become independent, self-directed learners with tools and motivation to continue learning, developing, and reflecting on practice throughout their careers.

The course aims for the following:

  • To enable learners to apply analytical and evaluative techniques to business in private and public sectors.
  • To enhance analytical and evaluative skills relating to business across a number of industries.
  • To develop the learners ability to recognise and reflect on the process of personal learning and development which facilitates the enhancement of key personal, sociable and other transferable skills.
  • To develop the learners ability to formulate and use appropriate methodologies and approaches.
  • To ensure the learner understands how to initiate, design and undertake research, development or strategic activities that extend or produce significant change in the field of work or study.
  • To ensure the learner can critically evaluate actions, methods and results and their short and long-term implications for the field of work or knowledge and its wider context.

Learners completing the OTHM Level 8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice can progress to a university partner to discuss a research proposal for DBA/DProf/PhD or directly into employment in an associated profession.

Entry requirements

If English is not your first language, either evidence that the master’s degree was taught mainly or entirely in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 101 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, or an equivalent English language qualification.


The OTHM approved Centre must ensure that learners are enrolled with integrity. Entry to the qualification will be considered on the basis of

  • an up-to-date and comprehensive CV
  • submission of a personal statement and
  • centre interview to assess suitability and potential to achieve
  • details of 2 referees or 2 references, one of which should ideally be an academic reference
  • ability to demonstrate appropriate links to the practice the proposed research refers to.


OTHM qualifications at RQF Level 8 portray practice skills and competencies that are rated in academic terms as being comparable to Doctoral Degrees and Vocational Qualifications at Level 8.

Qualification structure

The OTHM Level 8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership consists of 5 mandatory units and 3 optional units making a combined total of 180 credits, 1800 hours Total Qualification Time (TQT) and 900 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the completed qualification.

Mandatory units

  • Developing Strategic Management and Leadership Potential (20 credits)
  • Managing Strategic Change (20 credits)
  • Project Development, Planning and Management (20 credits)
  • Advanced Research Design and Methodologies (40 credits)
  • Developing Research Capability (20 credits)

Optional units: Choose any THREE:

  • Globalisation and Corporate Governance (20 credits)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation (20 credits
  • Strategic Human Resource Management (20 credits)
  • Supply Chain and Operations Management (20 credits)
  • Strategic Financial Management (20 credits)
  • Strategic Marketing (20 credits)

Duration and delivery

The qualification is designed to be delivered over 18 months academic for full-time study, but it is also flexible in its delivery in order to accommodate part-time and distance learning.

The qualification is delivered face-to-face, through lectures, tutorials, seminars, distance, online by approved centres only.

Assessment and verification

All units within this qualification are internally assessed by the centre and externally verified by OTHM. The qualifications are criterion referenced, based on the achievement of all the specified learning outcomes.

To achieve a ‘pass’ for a unit, learners must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have fulfilled all the learning outcomes and meet the standards specified by all assessment criteria. Judgement that the learners have successfully fulfilled the assessment criteria is made by the Assessor.

The Assessor should provide an audit trail showing how the judgement of the learners’ overall achievement has been arrived at.


Learners completing the OTHM Level 8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice can progress to a university partner to discuss a research proposal for DBA/DProf/PhD or directly into employment in an associated profession. The qualification is approved and regulated by Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulation).

Quality, Standards & Recognitions

By complying with our regulators and meeting university progression requirements we ensure the high-quality standards of all our qualifications and assessments.

University Progressions

The local and global recognition has enabled our graduates to enhance their employability skills as well as to join degree and master top-up programmes.

Become an Approved Centre

If you are a college or a private training provider wishing to offer our qualifications, you will need to become an approved centre first.

Find out how
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