UCL Careers



Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to work together, often to achieve a common goal.

Three students sat in discussion
Explore your understanding

Leadership qualities are important to have in the workplace. Being able to motivate those around you, to guide the development of others to help them reach their full potential, and to take control of a task and look ahead at the bigger picture are all qualities that employers value in the workplace.

Employers are looking for candidates who can inspire those around them and be able to identify priorities for other employees they are working with as well as for the organisation.  

Find and develop your skill

Where can you improve your leadership skills at UCL? 
There is a lot of support here to help you develop this skill!

Attend an employer-led skills session

Understand what employers mean by leadership and how they will look for evidence of it in the application process. Attend a Employer-led skills session delivered by employers on developing Leadership Skills. Learn about the different Leadership styles and how they may be applied in different business scenarios.

Employer-led skills sessions

Use LinkedIn Learning to grow your skillset

LinkedIn Learning has a huge range of video courses supporting learning in software, creative and business skills – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students.

Access LinkedIn Learning

Widening Participation

Become a programme mentor, or an ambassador with the UCL Widening Participation Office. Increase your opportunities to inspire others, and develop your abilities in this area by supporting other students.  UCL students who are involved in WP activities receive appropriate training and gain experience of Leadership. 

Widening Participation

Gain work experience / do an internship

Applying for work experience may give you a chance to develop your Leadership skills. You can find more about internships and other opportunities available to you through UCL Careers.

Your department also may be able to tell you about internships and opportunities as part of your course.

Work experience and internships via UCL Careers

Join a club or society

Join a club or society within the Students’ Union. Take on a Leadership role within a committee and contribute to the operations and success of the group. They also offer a great range of workshops and skills sessions to help you develop your Leadership skills such as Taking the Initiative, Motivating Volunteers and Being a Leader.

Clubs and societies directory

Students' Union UCL skills sessions

UCL’s Volunteering Services Unit partners with more than 400 local charities to promote their volunteering opportunities. Use the Volunteering Service’s skills explorer to find volunteering opportunities where you can develop new skills and build on existing ones. It’s a great tool to use in conjunction with your wider career planning.

Search volunteering opportunities

Developing your leadership skills as a Researcher

Access courses related to Leadership to further develop skills within this area. The UCL Doc Skills Programme is open to all postgraduate research students at UCL. You’ll find more information on all the courses available.

UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme

You will also be able to browse the scheduled events for researchers and those for doctoral students.  Research students can also access courses mapped to the Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and one-to-one advice, practice interviews and workshops tailored to researchers.

Prepare your examples

Ask yourself:

Can you describe a time where you have had to delegate responsibility?

Can you talk about a time you have had to demonstrate leadership skills and what did you learn from this?

How would you describe your style of leadership?

Next steps:

Need some support on how to evidence your leadership skills in a written application? 

Visit our Applications Advice page.

Applications advice

If you have written a draft application for any type of opportunity, our team can provide personalised and practical tips and advice to help you better understand how recruiters will shortlist your application, and how you can best demonstrate your motivation and your most relevant skills / experience.

Get one-to-one advice