Personal Leadership Journey


The business world is facing a skills gap, with companies preparing for a capability shortfall. Harnessing technology and increasing hiring are important responses to this, but, according to Manpower data, lifelong learning is the key solution employers are turning to, investing in workforces through upskilling and reskilling.

At Imperial College Business School, we provide lifelong learning through our Executive Education division, alongside corporate partnerships and philanthropic courses that benefit wider society. We offer open programmes for individuals, customised programmes for organisations, and apprenticeship programmes. This means we can provide true lifelong learning that fits into any stage of an executive’s career.

Our online courses, on-campus teaching and live virtual programmes help organisations and their staff stay up to date, broaden their knowledge, and meet critical challenges. In a business world defined by change, this flexibility allows participants to integrate lifelong learning into wherever they are in their careers.

Open programmes

We offer open programmes in specialties, including: finance and economics; healthcare; leadership; marketing; innovation and strategy; sustainability and climate; and technology, analytics and data science. These areas cover the range of emerging skills that modern executives need to keep abreast of in order to stand out from the competition.

For example, our upcoming three-month course in Executing Sustainability Strategies will equip participants to develop future-proof sustainability strategies geared to their organisations’ objectives – a key skill for leaders that highlights the importance of lifelong learning in a changing global economy. The programme will be delivered through a blended online, on-campus and virtual learning journey, integrating meditation, mentoring and coaching.

“Through knowledge sharing and experiential learning with my fellow participants, I have gained invaluable insights and a deeper understanding of effective leadership,” said Irina Tolstova, a Senior Programme Manager who took part in our Leadership in a Technology Driven World course. “Not only has the programme expanded my horizons, it has also equipped me with the tools and insights for both career advancement and leadership excellence.”

Customised programmes

Our custom executive education offer sees us partner with organisations to provide access to our knowledge, expertise and industry connections. We work with you to understand your business context, the challenges your organisation faces, and your strategic and cultural profile in order to create bespoke programmes.

In line with the ethos of lifelong learning, our speciality areas include leadership and change, finance and economics, technology and innovation, sustainability and climate, and healthcare and environment – topics that help your staff stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing marketplace.

We recently collaborated with management consultancy firm Bain & Company to provide a world-class learning programme on ESG and sustainable development for its consultants. Imperial faculty led four virtual knowledge sessions, challenging consultants to explore the big picture in ESG, trends and data in low-carbon business, and the challenges ahead in embedding sustainable business practices.

Culminating in an immersive on-campus training day at Imperial College Business School, the programme encouraged participants to experiment with new ideas, and empowered them to consult and advise on ESG and sustainability with confidence and clarity.

“Executive Education delivered a transformational learning experience for our people,” said Harry Morrison, Partner at Bain. “The programme was immeasurably enriched by expert speakers from Imperial’s Grantham Institute, and perspectives broadened by a chance to interact with next-generation entrepreneurs – Imperial alumni – who are pushing the boundaries in the ESG space.”

Apprenticeship programmes

We provide apprenticeship programmes in leadership, data and analytics, and healthcare, funded through the Apprenticeship Levy. These programmes are designed to help businesses upskill and develop their workforces throughout their careers, from aspiring professionals and leaders of the future, through to senior managers and executives.

For example, our Executive Development Programme provides one-to-one online coaching, group workshops, and virtual masterclasses delivered by leading Imperial academics. The programme is designed for managers, typically with five or more years of professional experience, looking to gain the strategic and commercial skills to progress into senior leadership.

Participants leave with a Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship, a Chartered Management Institute Level 7 Award in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice, and CMI Chartered Fellow Status. Fully funded through the Apprenticeship Levy, the programme represents a £14,000 investment in each employee’s development – a significant commitment to a culture of lifelong learning within an organisation.

Low-Carbon lessons

Lifelong learning has a particularly important role to play in helping the business world contribute to global climate targets. In 2020, in collaboration with Singapore Management University, we launched the Singapore Green Finance Centre.

Supported by corporate partners including Bank of China, BNP Paribas, Fullerton, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Schroders, SMBC, Standard Chartered and UBS, the Centre undertakes multidisciplinary research to support markets to transition to a low-carbon future, and offers courses to equip professionals with the knowledge of climate finance and practical skills needed to make this a reality. Upcoming online programmes include climate change management, sustainable investment management, and sustainability stewardship development.

Similarly, our Centre for Climate Finance and Investment, supported by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, offers online training in the financial risks and opportunities of climate change – a free executive education programme produced in partnership with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s Climate-KIC.

Get involved

The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs report notes that businesses are increasingly keen for staff to embrace “a culture of lifelong learning”. At Imperial College Business School, we work with you to find or create the right programme to build this culture, providing a competitive edge through keeping staff abreast of key social changes and trends, and by embedding an entrepreneurial mindset at all levels of your organisation.

If you are interested in any of our programmes, keen to discuss a bespoke course, or have any feedback on our lifelong learning and executive education offer, please contact José Rosario (Director of Business Development – Open Programmes) to discuss your requirements. If you are interested in how we might work together more broadly, for example by funding and collaborating important research in this area, do reach out to our Development or Industry Partnership teams.