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Durham University

Leadership Framework

Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is a highly competitive year-long programme designed to help your personal, leadership, and professional development. Student leaders on the Academy programme can benefit from:

This programme is aimed at committed student leaders who are investing in upholding the University’s values and culture of excellence. If you will be accountable for a team or a project in the upcoming academic year, or if you've completed the Emerging Leadership Programme, the Academy is an excellent opportunity for you.

The Academy and COVID-19

In past years, the Leadership Academy has run a number of large in-person events. Due to the ongoing lockdown, we have adapted a number of our programme's elements to accommodate a new approach.

Our Speaker Series and workshops are now being run virtually.


If you are accepted into the Leadership Academy, our team will personally match you to a Durham alumnus or a partner of the University who will mentor you throughout the academic year. Your mentor will help you prepare for your career and make plans for after university, as well as providing you with guidance on leading a team or committee of students in your time here.

Our mentors are leaders in their fields, and your mentor will work closely with you throughout the year to provide support across a number of key areas:

  • your personal development as an ethical and responsibility member of the University community,
  • your development as a student leader throughout your time at Durham,
  • and how to make preparations for your career plans after uni.

Your mentor will help you develop key graduate attributes that will serve you well in the future, and provide you with insights and expert advice that will be a massive benefit to you in the long run. Click here to find out more about our mentoring scheme and how it works.

You will get a chance to meet your mentor at a networking event in November. Throughout the year, we will assist you in working with them to get the most out of the process for your personal and professional development.

Ongoing events

Drop-in sessions and workshops happen twice a term, both at Maiden Castle and on the Bailey. These workshops help you to become a better, more responsible leader through engaging with topics such as networking, diversity and inclusion, sponsorship, branding, and negotiation. Some workshops are led external speakers, such as Emily Walter of upReach

You will also be invited to regular drop-in sessions. At these events, you and other students can share leadership strategies, such as conflict resolution, while receiving assistance and advice.

Visit our Events page.