Future Leaders Innovation Programme

The Future Leaders Innovation Programme (FLIP) is a skills development programme from the Oxford University Careers Service and EnSpire Oxford, open to students who want to gain skills, knowledge, and positive behaviours to innovate and drive change in the future. 

Hilary term 2024 programme

Applications closed on Thursday 26 October 2023.

The programme will run over Hilary term and the spring vacation 2024. Students who successfully complete the Future Leaders Innovation Programme will gain an ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management.

The programme consists in a blend of learning activities and practical experiences. You will learn and work individually, in a small team, and as part of a group.

  • Individual online learning with mentoring support tailored to you.
  • Work on a client innovation-themed consultancy project in a small team.
  • Events for the whole group with guest speakers, learning activities and networking opportunities.

The programme is open to Oxford University undergraduate and postgraduate students. There are 25 places available and applicants must go through a selection process.

Benefits of the programme

The programme will provide you with an insight into innovation and leadership with development opportunities across other key employment skills: team working, communication, initiative, creativity, planning, self-management, and business awareness.

On the programme, you will hear from guest speakers, grow your network, and get real-world client consulting experience. Everything is a learning experience, and this includes the application and selection process. The content and experiences will consider innovation and entrepreneurial activity in a wide context, including in business, social enterprise, and the charity sector.

At the end of the programme, you will get recognition for your learning with a formal qualification: ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management.

Get inspired

The Future Leaders Innovation Programme ran for the first time in Hilary term and the spring vacation 2023, with a cohort of 25 undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Oxford. Read the 2023 yearbook for testimonials from the students who completed the programme about their experiences, lasting impressions and advice for future participants.


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The programme begins with an application form and video assessment task. You will be invited to submit a 2-minute video with your responses to questions set.

After the application deadline, applicants will be shortlisted for the next interview stage. Interviews will be conducted in-person and take 20 minutes.

Successful applicants will be offered a place on the programme and attend a Launch Reception for the programme.

The leadership and innovation learning activities are integrated and will run in parallel through Hilary term and the spring vacation. All activities will be completed by the start of Trinity term.  

Leadership and management qualification

Learning is delivered individually with activities covering a range of content on: leadership qualities and behaviours, being ready and able to lead, working with others and making a difference.

There are online videos, reflection exercises and tasks allowing you to work around your other commitments. Alongside this, there is mentoring support with four sessions through the programme to relate good practice to your context and help you use the tools and ideas with confidence.

To achieve the qualification, there are two assignments to complete on firstly, Understanding leadership and secondly, Understanding innovation and change. The assignments are essay-based, around 1,200 words each.

Upon completion, you will gain an ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management. ILM is UK’s leading provider of specialist leadership qualifications.

The innovation consultancy project

 You will work in a small team providing consultancy on an innovation-themed project for an organisation. The project will be important to your client. It is a chance to gain hands-on client experience and make a real contribution to an organisation.

The project work will be undertaken over six weeks through Hilary Term. Participants will receive training to prepare for the activity at the first whole group Saturday session. We will wrap up the consulting project at the second whole group Saturday session.

Whole group Saturday sessions

There will be two in person Saturday events for the whole participant group. These will be half days, from 10:00-14:00. The sessions will be an interactive mix of presentations, guest speakers and learning activities on innovation and leadership.

Graduation event

We will wrap up the programme with an in-person graduation event for you to network with others and share your experience and feedback.

The programme schedule is below, and you are expected to ensure that you are available for all elements.

Application deadline

Applications for Hilary term 2024 are now closed.


The assessment task consists of a short 2-minute video which you will be asked to record and submit via CareerConnect. There will be an opportunity for feedback on your assessment submission at the end of the programme.

Successful applicants will be invited to interviews by Wednesday 29 November 2023.


Interviews will take place on Monday 4 December 2023 via Teams. They will be 20 minute in duration. Applicants that are invited to interview will be able to book an interview slot directly.

Whole group events

The half day Saturday sessions will take place on Saturday 20 January 2024 and Saturday 2 March 2024 at the Careers Service. Lunch will be provided.

Graduation event

There will be an in-person graduation event for the programme in a central Oxford location. Date to be confirmed. 

Will it cost me anything?

There is no cost to you for participating in the programme. The leadership and management qualification programme is fully funded.

The consultancy is an experiential learning activity, and we will not charge our clients for the service provided. Participants will not receive a consultancy payment for the work undertaken. 

How much time will it take?

This is a demanding programme and will run through Hilary Term and the vacation. It will be completed by the start of Trinity Term.

There is individual learning with mentoring support (allow around 40 hours) and team working on a consultancy project (allow 2-4 hours each week over six weeks of Hilary Term). Scheduling of the work and participation is flexible.

In addition, there are whole group activities and networking experiences: a Launch Reception (allow 2 hours), two Saturday sessions (4 hours each) and a Graduation event (allow 2 hours).

We understand that programme participants will be undertaking the programme alongside academic work and that academic commitments take priority. Participants are encouraged to proactively discuss capacity with their leadership mentor and consulting team colleagues throughout the programme. The Careers Service is available to answer queries during the programme.

Does it matter what subject I'm studying or what year I am in? 

No – we welcome current students at all levels from 1st years to DPhils; from English to Medical sciences students - with everything in between.

We cannot accept applications from Saïd Business School students, Visiting Students, Research Staff, or alumni.


If you have any further questions that are not covered on this page, please email debra.popperwell@careers.ox.ac.uk

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