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The Psychology of Leadership

The course covers both theoretical and practical aspects of leadership from a psychological perspective.

From a variety of starting points based on the psychological research literature, the course provides advanced knowledge of current issues relating to working life, such as the conditions of leadership and their effects for managers, employees and organisations. Issues regarding gender, ethnicity and social status will also be addressed in the course.

The course has a practical component where students will gather information from a specific context in order to highlight theories and research results in relation to a use case.

  • Course structure

    As a registered student on this course you will find detailed course information and communication in the learning platform Athena. Login with your university account.

    This course will be given in the second half of the spring semester, half-time studies.

    Course syllabus
    The Psychology of Leadership, 7,5 credits, spring 2023 (130 Kb)

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures and seminars.

    Course requirements/Mandatory components:

    • Written assignments for the seminars. The assignments should be submitted before the seminar, within the prescribed time limit.
    • Written submission of discussion questions relating to the course reading for the seminars. The questions should be submitted before the seminar, within the prescribed time limit.
    • Oral presentation of a written final assignment at the final seminar.
    • Review of another student’s assignment at the final seminar.
    • Seminar attendance is mandatory. For approved seminar attendance, the assignments must be submitted on time.

    The language of instruction is English.

    For more detailed information, please refer to the course syllabus.

    Learning outcomes

    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

    • understand, analyse and critically review the meaning, conditions and effects of leadership in organisations from a theoretical and practical psychological perspective;
    • independently define relevant questions that highlight practical aspects of leadership from a psychological perspective;
    • assess, review critically, present orally, and provide feedback on scholarly works on leadership.


    The course is examined on the basis of individual written assignments in the form of analyses of case descriptions and an essay, as well as an oral presentation using slideshow software.

    Examination will be conducted in English and/or Swedish according to the course teacher’s instructions.


    Course leader: Johnny Hellgren,

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    A complete list of course readings is found in the course syllabus.

    The list is subject to change until two months prior to the start of the course. In case the new course syllabus is missing on this page by then, please check with the course leader before you buy any expensive books etc.

  • More information

  • Contact

    Registered students should primarily use Athena for teacher communication.

    To contact the Student office or a Student Councellor, see below.

    More contacts in Education

    Student office - Master's level
    Study councellor - Master's level