Type of module:

Summary module description:

The Personal Development module is an integrated and holistic part of all MBA programmes at Henley Business School. It supports and challenges managers in all aspects of their growth and is a catalyst for reflection on learning from all other modules of the MBA.

Personal Development is defined as the identification and removal of those restraints that limit the likelihood of sustainable individual, organisational, social and environmental health and well-being


There are four ideas at the heart of the Personal Development activities at Henley:

  1. PD is a holistic activity. It starts with raising self-awareness about capabilities, motivations and ambitions in the context of universal values that create collective principles and personal beliefs. PD promotes lifelong learning and leads to a broad understanding of the role of the manager in society;

  2. Self-awareness requires the space and time to reflect;

  3. From reflection on current reality, learners find and prepare for aims and goals (at work and in life) by establishing awareness of gaps and systematically building a personal action plan;

  4. The articulation of thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements across a range of media, and the demonstration of critical thinking, are necessary outcomes to measure personal development

Assessable learning outcomes:


Intended learning outcomes:

The module encourages each Programme Member to:

  1. take control of their direction, have and pursue life and career goals;

  2. raise awareness of self and engage in open self-enquiry

  3. act with integrity to obtain maximum benefit for self and organisation from the learning opportunity;

  4. reflect up on their own learning, performance and achievement and plan for their personal, educational and career development;

Assessable learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding                       Programme Members will:

  1. develop a structured and critical approach to self-development;

  2. state and revise goals, develop a review and planning process;

  3. understand their needs, talents and beliefs as drivers in managing work-life balance and career;

  4. reflect on environmental factors driving change in organisational structure and the patterns and character of work, employment and career.

Cognitive and in tellectual skills                      Programme Members will:

  1. record experiences and achievements, reflect critically, and maintain a record with appropriate evidence incorporating a learning journal, on what has been learned and how it has been applied;

  2. identify how to be a more independent learner.

Behavioural skills                                Programme Members will:

  1. actively seek assumptions through curiosity and questions;

  2. implement an action plan


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The key topics covered in all modes of study address the aim of enabling programme members to develop an appreciation and understanding of: 

Personal development planning and self-development 

The personal development process: planning, learning, application of learning, reflection and recording


Self-awareness and reflection: & nbsp; 

Learning as an adult, and “learning to learn”: the learning cycle, lifecycle and learning styles 

Personality, Values and motivation 

Reflection in personal development

Development plans     

Dealing with personal dilemmas and choices: reconciling personality, motives, values and aspirations

Gap analysis, goal setting, action planning, reflection and recording progress     


Career & Context

Networks and Personal Brand      

Progression in role and career development

The social context of being a manager 

Personal Branding as a thought leader        


The Reflective Practitioner

Concept of the Reflective Practitioner

Four Elements of Balance  

The Integrated Leader

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Personal Development Review and Planning

The module is designed around a core process of teaching and learning by reflection to prepare Programme Members to make the most of their course overall.  Specific tasks for review, reflection and planning are built into the course materials, creating a record that is then updated iteratively throughout Stages 1, 2 and 3. Written formative and summative assessments come at the end of each stages of the programme.

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Blended Learning

The module uses a blended learning approach combining:

  • online resources and exercises, supporting a Study Guide, and subject tutors;

  • a sequence of four, one-day PD workshops;

  • self-study and interaction with learning team;

  • a series of additional online support resources are made available throughout the programme.

Contact Hours:  Executive MBA (Global)

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3





Practical Classes




Independent Study Hours (Guide)




Wider reading (independent) 




Wider reading (directed) 




Essay preparation - may include conducting research, analysing data, editing the finished product 




Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Total hours by term
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Programme members submit their first assignment near the end of Stage 1 and then further Personal Development Reviews and Plans at the end of Stages 2 and 3.  


Stage 1: PD Assignment 1 (2,000 words) 

Stage 2PD Assignment 2      (2,500 words) 

Stage 3: PD Assignment 3    (1,500 words) 

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

As a ‘gateway’ assessment, no marks or grades are awarded. The decision is either a “Proceed” or “Revise”, based on the criteria expressed above to permit an award or progression to the next Stage. Emphasis is placed on providing clear and insightful tutor feedback. 

Reassessment arrangements:

A student who requires a second or third resubmission will be encouraged to seek advice and support from the programme and tutor team.  

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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