Become more globally-minded and self-aware as you support sustainability and social purpose initiatives. Develop your leadership skills to work in multicultural contexts and understand global systems.
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The Graduate Diploma in Global Leadership is a 16-month, 18-credit program for professionals, who work in an international setting or have a global focus in their work. You care about sustainability and social purpose. You want to become more self-aware, so you can lead effectively — and make a difference — in global or multicultural contexts.
Building on the foundation of the courses in the Graduate Certificate in Global Leadership you'll focus on systems thinking and expand your capacity for cross-cultural communication.
Through this program, you'll learn what it means to be a global leader and how to adapt to global change. Build your personal resilience, as well as your leadership ability, so you can serve in positions with government agencies, international NGOs, social enterprises, community organizations, private organizations, higher education or the military.
You'll study with others from around the world with online courses and a short residency on campus.
You can build from here
This diploma program builds on the foundation of the Graduate Certificate in Global Leadership and offers elective options to expand your learning.
You can take this as a standalone program and receive a diploma as your credential or apply credits toward the two-year Master of Arts in Global Leadership.
Once you have completed this program, you'll have be able to apply practical tools and strategies to address current issues, challenges and opportunities related to global leadership.
In addition, you'll be able to do the following:
- use tools you learn to improve your career versatility, resiliency and adaptability
- apply sought after soft skills needed in the age of artificial intelligence
- work with cross-cultural awareness in increasingly culturally-diverse environments
- work effectively across teams
- understand systems thinking and approaches important for 21st century complex challenges
- lead change with knowledge of global socio-political and economic systems drivers
The Graduate Diploma in Global Leadership is a nine-month, 18 credit program.
You can choose to complete this program in one of two ways:
- through a blend of online courses and a two-week residency on campus
- on campus, including a two-week residency with students in the blended program
The blended program includes the following:
- Online learning for the first 10 weeks — You'll take a 3-credit foundational course on theoretical and personal foundations of global leadership.
- Blended learning for 10 weeks — You'll take a 9-credit course to develop your personal capacity to work in complex global systems. The course begins with three weeks of online learning, which are followed by a two-week residency on campus and five additional weeks of online learning.
- Online learning — After this, you'll choose two global leadership elective courses.
The on-campus program includes the following:
- On-campus learning for the first 10 weeks — You'll take a 3-credit foundational course on theoretical and personal foundations of global leadership.
- Blended learning for 10 weeks — You'll take a 9-credit course to develop your personal capacity to work in complex global systems. The course begins with three weeks of online learning, which are followed by a two-week residency on campus with the students in the blended program, and five additional weeks of online learning.
- On-campus or online learning — After this, you'll choose two global leadership elective courses. You can choose to take both online, or to take one on campus and one online.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
Normally, you'll take one or two online courses at a time for a period of 10 weeks. Each online course requires approximately10 hours of work per week.
This blended program has a two-week residency
Blended programs include online courses and on-campus residencies.
Residencies are intensive and immersive. Many students say this time together is the highlight of their program.
During your residency, you can expect to:
- attend classes full time (e.g., Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- complete homework and individual and team assignments outside of class hours
- take part in extracurricular activities
Studying on campus brings you together with your class colleagues and instructors. Expect the program to be rigorous. You’ll do homework, readings and team assignments outside of your full-time class hours.
Introduction to Academic Integrity
Personal and Theoretical Foundations to Global Leadership
Personal Capacities for Working in Complex Global Systems
Blended, On Campus
- GBLD538 option for 24 month program only
Navigating Geo-Political Dynamics of Global Communities
On Campus, Online
Community Development in a Global Context
On Campus, Online
Strategic Analysis, Decision Making and Evaluation
Managing Difficult Relationships Within and Across Community Dynamics
On Campus, Online
International Cultural Leadership Field Trip
Blended, Directed, Field, Lab or Major Project
Evaluation in a Global Context
- Four year (or comparable) undergraduate degree from a recognized post-secondary institution, with a minimum GPA of B (3.00/4.33).
- A minimum of three years of general leadership* experience.
- Demonstrate significant cross-cultural experience gained through travel or work.
- Applicants who meet the degree requirement but who been away from academic writing for more than 10 years will normally be required to take the “Academic Writing and Critical Thinking” course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University, and must obtain a minimum B+ (77%), prior to commencing the program.
Applicants who do not meet the standard admission requirements will be considered for flexible admission and assessed as follows:
- At least 10 years of professional experience, with three years of leadership* experience.
- Demonstrate significant cross-cultural experience gained through travel or work.
- Applicants who are assessed under flexible admission, including those who meet the degree requirement, but not the GPA, will normally be required to take the Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University, and must obtain a minimum B+ (77%), prior to commencing the program.
*Leadership experience could include one or more of the following:
- Formal organizational leadership roles in which you directly supervise staff or complete performance-oriented work with individuals, groups, or teams.
- Leadership roles in volunteer organizations.
- Roles in which you consult, negotiate with, or manage diverse interest groups through relationship, in a complex environment.
- Roles in which you lead others toward shared goals and outcomes.
- Roles in which you influence, organize, and coordinate groups of people.
- Overcoming a challenging life experience (for self or others), which involved navigating complex systems and resulted in positive community change beyond the individual.
Please ensure that you demonstrate your leadership experience in your detailed resume, and clearly indicate how your years of experience meet the standard or flexible admission requirements.
English language proficiency
If English is not your primary language, please review our English language requirements
- Graduate level English writing/composition skills are required for success in the program. If you are considering upgrading your writing skills, we recommend the Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Continuing Studies.
- Provide evidence in your personal statement and resume of where you may have needed to adapt in different human situations and work in multi-cultural contexts, illustrating an understanding values, perspectives, and methods.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. A non-refundable application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations. Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution’s original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should consist of a two-page letter indicating your motivation for seeking entrance to the program.
Your statement should comment upon your personal and career goals. You might consider describing passions for personal, community, or global change. Tell us how you see the program and its courses helping you learn the tools and create the capacities you need to achieve your goals.
Please offer in detail the strengths you feel you can bring to the program, and in particular those experiences related to global leadership and diversity (e.g., intercultural, gender, community, economic, social, political, and/or other intersectionalities). These can be through work, research, advocacy, activism, or volunteer engagements, as well leading through individual challenges or initiatives. Please describe the insights and learnings that you have gained from these experiences. Please consider the contexts and number of months or years you were engaged in such capacities.
Guiding questions for the personal statement (please respond to all):
- Why do you wish to enroll in the Global Leadership program?
- How is this program relevant to your career or future goals?
- What global, international, intercultural or diversity-related experiences have you had that support your current leadership capacities and inspire goals for further education or work?
- What academic courses and/or training have you done that relate to development of global leadership?
- What other strengths or experiences do you bring to the program that you think might be relevant?
There are three options for your writing sample:
- You may include a recent (within the last 2 years) writing sample from your professional or academic work that includes citations and a list of references.
- If you do not have a recent writing sample on file, you may write an original, maximum 500-word academic essay addressing the question: “What is my leadership philosophy?” Your writing should be clearly organized, should take a position substantiated with evidence from academic books and/or peer-reviewed articles, and use examples from your relevant life experience. The paper should be formatted using APA 7 style, which is the preferred referencing style in the School of Leadership Studies. (Note that a sample APA essay is also available through Owl Purdue.
- In lieu of a writing sample, applicants may register in the Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course offered through Continuing Studies at Royal Roads University. Your course may be in progress at the time of application. However, course completion with a minimum “B+” (77%) is required as a condition for entry to the Leadership program. Please select a course offering that ends a minimum of five weeks prior to your desired program start date.
Please note: Applicants must submit a Writing Sample OR proof of enrolment in RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course as a part of their application package. Applicants who have previously completed RRU Continuing Studies’ Academic Writing and Critical Thinking course with a “B+” (77%) or above should submit their final grade confirmation letter.
A detailed or structured résumé is one that provides a comprehensive professional profile of applicants, targeted towards their intended program of study. We are interested in knowing where applicants have worked, for how long, and what they were responsible for in the positions held. Provide as much information as possible, with special attention to demonstrating three years of leadership experience (and a minimum of 10 years of professional experience for flexible admission) as described on the admission requirements page. Personal strengths and experiences included in your personal statement should also be explicitly captured under applicable categories in your resume. Your detailed resume should include the following:
- Education: List all post-secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Work experience: Please include name of organization, position, length of service (month and year), and a brief description of duties.
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties, and, in particular, any leadership responsibilities. List positions you have held in this service.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information: Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee in assessing what you could contribute to the learning community.
Your two letters of reference should consist of the following:
- Professional reference: This letter should be completed by someone from your current professional network (within the past five years) who can attest to your commitment, knowledge, skills, and ability to complete a demanding academic program. References from direct supervisors are preferred wherever possible.
- Personal reference: This letter should be from someone who has known you for several years outside of the context of work. Please ask the writer to indicate the length of time and context in which they have known you, and provide examples that demonstrate the following attributes about you: honesty, integrity, responsibility, adaptability, concern and respect for others, sense of self-esteem, and confidence.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
Award for Diversity and Community Building
To recognize and support Afro-Heritage students who serve their communities through volunteering, applied scholarship or leadership.
Active students (In-course)
B.C. Access Grant
Upfront, non-repayable financial assistance to low- and middle-income students enrolled in studies in B.C. public post-secondary.
$29.41 - $117.65 per week
BC Graduate Scholarship
This limited time funding supports excellence in British Columbia’s graduate programs, with an emphasis on research-based programming.
Student research funding
BC Provincial Tuition Waiver Program
Tuition for former youth in care may be waived for B.C. students
Tuition and mandatory fees
BC Scholarship Society One World International Scholarship
These scholarships are designed to support students from BC in studying abroad in support of their Canadian education.
$2,000 to $5,000
Student research funding
BC Scholarship Society Premier's International Scholarship
Awarded to students who are BC residents demonstrating exceptional academic achievement and community service.
$6,000 – $10,000
BC Scholarship Society Transition Award
For students completing a Adult Basic Education program and planning to enroll in full-time post-secondary studies.
BC Study Abroad Scholarship
The BC Study Abroad Scholarship celebrates the study abroad experience through student-generated content and financial support.