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Henley MA Board Practice and Directorship

At a glance

Subject area(s)
Course length
24 months (full MA)
Suitable for
Experienced practising board members from across the private, public and third sectors. The programme may also suit senior managers with directorship potential, noting that at Stage 3 each participant needs access to a current real-world, board-level governance issue


The Henley MA Board Practice and Directorship (MA BPD) is a post-experience, practice-focused programme that aims to enhance your value as a board director.

Focusing on governance and strategic oversight as a board-level stewardship responsibility, the programme provides you with the knowledge and skills to support effective judgements in board-level decision-making and promote longer-term resilient governance.

Each board and the organisational context it faces is unique. As a result, the MA BPD considers what it takes to deliver highly effective boards, director behaviours and governance frameworks across different sectors and settings.

The programme is delivered by expert academic faculty, with insights from highly experienced board practitioners. It also draws extensively on the top-team governance research conducted at Henley Business School, which covers more than 19,000 boards across 37 countries.

If you would like to register interest in this programme, please contact our programme advisors:

We have partnered with ENVISIA to offer Stage 1 of this programme (the PGCert BPD) in Romania, click here for more information.

Key benefits

  • Good first or second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent)
  • Organisational leadership/board experience, or at least three years’ senior management experience with board-level access
  • Access to a live board-level governance challenge identified in your proposal
  • English language proficiency (IELTS 7.0, with no element below 6.0 – see note below)

Applicants who possess exceptional organisational experience but do not meet the standard academic requirements are welcome to apply and may be considered for entry on to the programme on a case-by-case basis.

Note: If English is not your first language, you may be required to take an IELTS test and achieve an overall score of 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in each element. The University also accepts a number of other tests instead of IELTS. A full list of equivalent tests and scores can be found at Alternatively, a completed declaration i.e. the English proficiency at work form (confirming that English is the main language of the business and that you are required to work in English to a high level on a daily basis) from a current employer may also be considered acceptable in lieu of one of the acceptable official tests.

For participants who may require top-up courses for entry on to the programme, there is the potential to run two modules (subject to demand):

  • Finance for Board Directors (two-day programme)
  • Basic Governance for Directors (two-day programme)

Who is the programme for?

The programme is designed for experienced practising board members (chairs, chief executive officers (CEOs), senior independent directors (SIDs), chief financial officers (CFOs), non-executive directors (NEDs) and company secretaries) from across the private, public and third sectors. The programme may also suit senior managers with directorship potential, noting that at Stage 3 each participant needs access to a current real-world, board-level governance issue.

Credit for prior learning

No exemptions or credits for prior learning are available for this programme.

What qualification can I earn?

Depending on which stages you complete, you will be awarded an internationally recognised qualification from a triple-accredited, global business school.

You can choose to commit to the full MA or apply to complete one stage at a time. The registration period is 4 years. Participants are able to exit after PGCert and PGDip or can take stage breaks and return to the next level at a later date (within 5 years).

Qualification Stages Length Focus
Postgraduate Certificate Stage 1 8 months, part time Director development and understanding your board
Postgraduate Diploma Stages 1 and 2 16 months, part time Board dynamics and offers mentoring for you as a director
Henley MA Board Practice and Directorship Stages 1, 2 and 3 24 months, part time Specialist sector expertise (private, public and third sectors), and applied research into a real-world board-level governance issue

Programme content

The Henley MA BPD is a part-time programme consisting of one- or two-day workshops combined with self-study. It is expected that participants will be currently employed.

Programme content flyer

Stage 1 - Postgraduate Certificate
Stage 2 - Postgraduate Diploma
Stage 3 - MA

* You will select from one of three options for Module 7b, which is held off-site at a private, public or third sector-based location. This enables you to learn and network with practitioner panels from within a particular sector and gives you an opportunity for deeper study of relevant topics.

Programme Director Dr Nadeem Khan lectures in governance, policy and leadership at Henley Business School. He completed his PhD research at Henley in the field of strategy and strategic behaviour of the firm. He gained professional experience in the UK and international multinational environments prior to running his own business.

Other teaching staff include:

For more information please contact

Why choose Henley?

No.4 in the UK
of Executive Education providers for open programmes
(Financial Times Executive Education open enrolment programmes rankings 2020)
World top 25
of Executive Education providers for combined open and custom programmes
(Financial Times Executive Education 2020 - The Top 50 Schools [combining Custom and Open programmes ranking])
UK no.2
for course design, new skills & learning, and participants' aims achieved
(Financial Times Executive Education open enrolment programmes rankings 2020)

For 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders. Executive Education at Henley is:

  • Practical: we combine academic rigour with a strong practical focus, so you can immediately apply what you have learned back in your organisation.
  • Relevant: Henley faculty are experienced practitioners who can support you in exploring solutions to your organisation’s challenges.
  • Collaborative: Open programmes enable you to expand your network, gain new perspectives and share ideas with peers from a range of backgrounds and sectors.
  • Personal: deliberately small learning groups allow you to benefit from individual attention and a confidential environment. We encourage you to understand your unique strengths, leadership style, and areas for development.

Contact us

Open Programmes

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the programme, please contact our programme advisors.

Telephone: 01491 418767