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"When we look around at successful companies, what stands out is really strong leadership."

A first in Australia, this new program brings together the sound foundational skills of an MBA with the cutting-edge soft skills offered by the Master of Leadership. Designed to produce the business leaders of the future, MBA Program Director Doctor Colin Higgins says this concept was born from a commitment to respond to the needs of industry, employers and the industries in which our graduates serve.

‘We see it as one of the most significant innovations to MBA programs generally for some time and I believe it demonstrates that we are connected to the business world and responsive to employers’ needs, as well as responding to industry and their feedback,’ he says.  

Higgins further explains that today’s employers consistently raise concerns around lack of soft skills, people skills and the ability to influence others and says that incorporating a solid commitment to leadership alongside our MBA is a very important component of rectifying this.

‘When we look around at successful companies locally and globally, what stands out is really strong leadership. For example, take Richard Branson, Virgin and Bill Gates, Microsoft and locally Mike Smith, ANZ and Gail Kelly, Westpac; what we see are people who have strong business skills, as well as being effective leaders and that is what we will be delivering as part of this new combined course,’ Higgins says.

The MBA/Master of Leadership is designed to take two years of full-time study to complete. Not only will students become proficient in analysing business problems and formulating solutions, they will also learn how to capture people’s imaginations in order to support new and emerging initiatives.

Professor Jon Billsberry, Program Director of the MBA/Master in Leadership combined degree, explains that upon completion of this combined degree, students will graduate with two master’s degrees: an MBA and a Master of Leadership.

‘This will set graduates apart from their competitors and give them a real edge in the executive job market.

‘At any one time there are around 250,000 people worldwide studying for an MBA and this combined degree will help students differentiate themselves from the mass. Not only will they know how to develop outstanding technical skills as expected of an MBA graduate, they will also prove that they know how to bring about change, lead people, and transform organisations,’ he says.

The new MBA/Master of Leadership will be available from Trimester 2, 2015