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Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Leadership Studies

(PALS) and the doctoral phase for the PhD degree in Leadership




The 'PALS' is a Postgraduate programme in Advanced Leadership Studies. The specialist programme is of a post-master's doctoral-level, and offered by distance learning, plus one or two residence modules. The PALS + PhD dual track builds up to a minimum of 180 ECTS (72 US credits). 


Audience. The single PALS, or dual track PALS + PhD programmes, are intended for professionally active and experienced individuals, around the world, and who wish to undertake advanced studies in leadership and change. Our PALS students have on average 15 years of work experience (range: 10 to 30 years). 


PhD path (dual track).  Upon successful completion of the PALS programme the graduate is awarded the institute's postgraduate diploma in advanced leadership studies. Subsequently, the doctoral research phase and candidacy stage is crowned by the PhD degree in leadership. That final phase comprises the research towards the PhD thesis (dissertation), and manuscript, and its successful oral defence (viva). The PALS + Ph.D. programme can be attended in a single track (PALS only) or dual track mode. In the dual track the doctoral phase is started as soon as the PALS diploma-curriculum is successfully completed. 


Individual studyIn the distance learning mode, most of the PALS course units are offered in a self-paced mode. Course participants start and complete the courses individually, harmonised with their professional agendas and personal lives, with fixed or flexible online course completion timings, yet within an overall curriculum completion timeframe. Alternatively, the programme can be offered in a synchronous mode, for small groups[1] Throughout the entire programme each participant benefits from personalised study guidance and e-coaching by expert faculty members in leadership, and who are also experienced in distance learning.


Source. The entire and unabridged PALS curriculum, and the unique Four Pillars Ph.D. structure, originate from the conceptual knowledge base of INSIL's affiliate, the THIERRY Graduate School of Leadership, the most genuine leadership school based in Belgium. The PhD in Leadership programme, launched in 2004, was the first one of its type in Europe, and has a record of proven success. THIERRY and INSIL share human and educational resources for the distance learning course delivery and for the study guidance and coachingTo read the programme's history background: on the THIERRY website


Language. English is the language of instruction for all of the course materials and the examinations in the PALS programme, and for the PhD thesis stage. The personalised study guidance and coaching is also in English. For students of French mother-tongue the coaching can be offered in either or both languages. There is also a bilingual programme version that includes examinations and papers in French, on the basis of the English course materials.  


Residence. Of the fourteen course units in the PALS curriculum, there are two residence requirements. They are of 2.5 to 3 days each, and usually take place in the course of the 2nd and of the 4th year of study. The residence is in France. 


DurationThree to five PALS course units are expected to be completed per year. The completion of the entire PALS curriculum requires approx. 2 ½  to 3 ½ years of part-time study. The subsequent PhD phase usually is of 1 ½ to 3  years, depending on part- and/or full time allocation for the research, the thesis manuscript preparation and approval, and the timing (year) of the viva.


More information: please contact us    or on the THIERRY website




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© Copyright 2017, O.G. INSIL, Charleville-Mezieres, France. Where applicable text and pictorial rights on behalf of Jean-Pierre Bal or of The Thierry Graduate School of Leadership Belgium (incl. the Better Leaders for a Better World motto © copyright 2000). All rights reserved for all countries, incl. possible raTer-erTra references.  Page update: 2017-01-31