Working Strategically

Working Strategically involves identifying opportunities across different areas of activity and proactively connecting the dots. Developing a vision for the School/Unit and translating this vision into action, by aligning the School/Unit objectives with the College and University’s goals and objectives.

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Aurora is a leadership development training programme aimed at women and those who identify as a woman. It aims to encourage those in academic and professional roles to think of themselves as leaders; to develop leadership skills and to help institutions like UCD optimise the leadership potential of women and those who identify as a woman.

Aurora originated through the Leadership Foundation in the UK, in response to Professor Louise Morley’s (2012) stimulus paper called ‘Women in Higher Education Leadership’ Absences and Aspirations’

The programme is now delivered by Advance HE and it provides, in an interactive online learning environment, core and adaptive leadership skills and knowledge over six stand-alone days. These sessions are delivered online over a five month period.

The Aurora programme comprises of a combination of development days; self-directed learning from on-line resources; cross-institutional action learning sets and in-house mentoring. Training is delivered in an online format with attendance of between 80-100 participants.


The programme was established in 2013 and has run in a number of venues in the UK and Ireland, including London; Manchester; Bristol and Glasgow and Dublin. UCD has supported over 121 women to participate in the programme since 2015,  demonstrating the University's commitment to leadership development and gender equality.


Aurora requires that the University puts systems in place to help support and develop participants on their Aurora experience. This includes having mentors in place to work with participants; having an overall UCD Aurora Champion and also support and liaison through the People and Organisation Development, UCD HR.  Although the development days are run over 5 months, the mentoring arrangement continues throughout a calendar year to help participants maximise the benefit of the programme.

Prof Joe Carthy is the overall Aurora Programme Champion and Fiona McGuinness, People and Organisation Development Specialist is your contact in HR.  Should you have any queries in relation to Aurora in UCD, please contact

Making an application for 2020-21

Please note the application window for the 2020-21 intake has now closed. 


For more information about Aurora, you can visit the AdvanceHE website.

If you have questions relating to other leadership or management development please discuss this with your Line Manager or Head of School/Unit at your annual P4G conversaiton.


Who should attend? This course is aimed at all staff members. 

Description: This half-day Stakeholder Management course is designed to enable staff to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders, through key written and verbal communication channels.

The course has a focus on adapting the message to suit different stakeholder groups and their varying requirements.

Finally, the course highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement and looks at how professional communications are a key element to this.

Course Notes: To gain the maximum benefit from the course each learner will be asked to complete a draft Stakeholder Map, listing all of their stakeholders and how they should be prioritised.

At the end of the course each learner will receive a Communications Plan template to guide them through their own Stakeholder analysis where they will identify, prioritise and consider channels for communication for each.

Scheduling Notes:  3.5-hours 

Places: 20


For details of upcoming events or to book your place on available courses, please visit the HR - Professional Development booking centre  If your chosen course is fully booked or no longer available, you can access the UCD LinkedIn learning portal via your UCD Connect login where you will find a range of eLearning courses. The 2021/22 training course catalogue will be launched and available to book from the start of the next Academic Year

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact or call ext 4919.

Aimed at:  Heads of School and Organisational Units, and Senior Managers reporting to the UMT.

The Leadership & People Management Programme has been designed specifically for members of our University Management Team (UMT) and Senior Leaders & Managers in the University to give them an opportunity to look at their individual leadership styles. The programme aims to assist them in supporting and enhancing good people management practices and building a strong performance and feedback culture.

The programme consists of attendance at four development half days and a number of coaching set sessions. There are also optional Elective modules 20/21 available for participants to choose from.

This programme aims to refresh and enhance our leadership and people management thinking and capability and create the environment and culture that enables people to thrive.


If you have any queries relating to this programme, please contact or call +353 1 716 4919.
To book on to this programme, please visit the dedicated booking centre. Please note only eligible Staff will have access to this page.


Claire Barraclough

Katarina Zajacova

Lee Williams




Who is this for: People Managers

Description: Managers often under pressure to complete their own workload, struggle to lead others through the challenges of the ‘do more with less’ culture of the recent times combined with the challenges of remote/hybrid working.  This programme introduces the skillset to manage teams effectively through change, creating a culture, from the top down, where team members are engaged, resilient and equipped to create an environment for effective transformation in whatever format they face.


  • Understanding the managers role in modelling and supporting team resilience, engagement and performance
  • Exploring the different stages of change and the targeted strategies for success
  • Skills for Identifying colleagues under pressure
  • Understanding the role of resilience in making change successful.
  •  Examining the role of effective communication strategies during Volatility Uncertainty Complexity and Ambiguity associated with change 
  • Analysing the Human Performance Curve and evaluate the overall position of the team on the curve
  • Developing awareness of team dynamics during period of change/uncertainty and the impact on physical emotional and cognitive states
  • Designing short medium and long term strategies  for effective change and transformation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Create a mindset for embracing change within self and team members
  • Identify and manage symptoms of pressure and stress in the team around change
  • Motivate team members to embrace Volatility Uncertainty Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA)
  • Provide clear communication strategies around change
  • Practice authentic behaviour for developing trust within the team
  • Build teams that are resilient in the face of challenge
  • Create higher performance teams: Utilising trust and team engagement under pressure
  • Promote Resilient Thinking within their teams: Develop the underpinnings of creative, innovative and solution focused thinking.
  • Manage negativity in a constructive manner
  • Manage the essentials of feedback
  • Deliver an implementation strategy that is adaptive and aligns with the strategy vision of the University.

Course Notes: To gain the maximum benefit and subsequent impact from the course each learner will be asked to undertake some light pre and post course work.


For details of upcoming events or to book your place, please visit the People Development booking centre.

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact or call ext 4919.

Aimed at: 
The course is aimed at those who are People Managers and Project Leaders.


This online programme will explore key principles which underpin managing and influencing people. It will include a profiling instrument aimed at raising self-awareness of our own style and how this impacts how we engage with others; exposure to and development of key coaching skills and effective use of these, as well as many opportunities for networking with and learning from UCD colleagues across the University.

The programme entails a number of different online elements the first of which will be a two day core module entitled Positive Influence - getting the best from myself and others. 

Optional Modules:

Managing Challenging Interactions

Building Successful Teams

Leadership Skills


If you have any queries relating to this programme, please contact or call +353 1 716 4919.
To book on to this programme, please visit the dedicated booking centre. Please note only eligible Staff will have access to this page.

Who should attend? All Faculty 

Description: This programme is designed to deliver the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for academics to build resilience and manage pressure during an intense period of change/progress whilst reducing the impact of working remotely.

Content: The training will be facilitative in nature and delivered in a high energy engaging format designed especially for academics managing the increasing challenges of COVID times. 

Learning Outcomes - In this training participants will:

  • Understand and identify sources of personal & professional pressure
  • Identify individual skills for facilitating greater resilience in personal and professional challenge
  • Understand the relationship between pressure performance and resilience
  • Understand the competencies for reducing the impact of remote/hybrid working in an academic environment.
  • Understand the skills for managing pressure and performance including work/home boundaries and transitions
  • Understand how to communicate/feedback effectively in remote hybrid academia
  • Implement strategies for improving engagement and reducing pressure within self and students
  • Reduce “Cognitive load” and develop a realistic positive mental attitude
  • Critically analyse their own patterns of behaviour and introduce fast effective techniques proven to improve performance from a cognitive emotional perspective
  • Integrate the pillars of Resilience into their remote/hybrid working lives
  • Improve performance, creativity, and self-management under pressure without impacting on personal health, well-being, and vitality
  • Develop an effective plan for improved self -care in the short, medium and long term

Course notes: This workshop requires pre-course work.

Scheduling notes: This is a 3-hour workshop.

Places: 20


For details of upcoming events or to book your place, please visit the People Development booking centre.

If you have any further queries on this programme, please contact or call ext 4919.

Learning Path: Strategic Leadership

Click here for more information on LinkedIn Learning.