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Global Leader – Graduate Diploma in Management

Skills and Confidence for Managing Across Functions in a Global Context

Global Leader is a general management training program that can be adapted to your personal development needs and time frame. The program is for developing your business management skills, strategic decision-making abilities, leadership expertise, and professional confidence in an international operating environment.

Studying in the Global Leader program offers many benefits, not only for those who simply wish to study in a compact and efficient general management program, but also for those who are planning to pursue future studies in our EMBA or MBA programs. Global Leader has a very similar program structure, participant profile, and study format to our MBA programs and is often utilized as a springboard to MBA studies, especially Aalto EMBA studies.

Up to six Global Leader modules (27 ECTS credits) can be transferred from the Global Leader program to the Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program.

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The program is designed to enhance the participants’ personal skills and competencies as leaders and individuals. The modules also broaden understanding of key management issues, especially in an international business environment.

Enhance performance through improved strategic, financial, and marketing capabilities
Build a network and be engaged in a dialogue with international instructors and a peer group of experienced professionals – your fellow participants
Increase your ability to lead change effectively
Achieve strategic agility and new dynamic capabilities for your organization
Widen your global perspective by participating in optional study tours to, for example, Yale


The Global Leader program is designed for experienced business and team leaders who require the skills to manage global business operations across borders and functions.

It is also relevant for seasoned experts who aspire to build competencies and confidence in making strategic decisions.

Contents and Schedule

The program has a modular structure, consisting of four core modules and two elective modules. Each of the core modules are held once a year and you can start the program with any of the modules. Elective modules can be chosen from the electives in the Aalto EMBA and Aalto MBA programs. Each program module is worth 4.5 ECTS study credits.

The program is geared towards practical hands-on learning by using case studies and real-world exercises to complement theories. The instruction methods enable the integration of theory and practice. A typical learning module consists of pre- and post-assignments, lectures, discussions, case studies, and group work.

All Global Leader study modules can also be taken as stand-alone programs.

Program Structure

Pre-module period of 2-3 weeks

Individual preparation

Three-day module

Intensive contact learning session with instructor and peers

Post-module period

Take-home assignment

Core Modules

Elective Modules

As a full program participant of Global Leader, you may choose two elective modules from a large selection offered in the Global Leader, Aalto EMBA, and Aalto MBA programs. You can pick your favorites from a selection of more than 15 topics.

Elective modules available include, for example,

  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Design Thinking
  • Digital Strategy and Transformation
  • Managing Creativity
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • International study tours and Aalto Executive Summit event

Study Tours

A study tour normally involves a 4 or 5-day study period designed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the international business environment. These tours have taken participants to locations such as New Haven and Palo Alto in the USA. The study tour module program includes lectures by academics – in New Haven professors from Yale and in Palo Alto professors from Stanford University – typically related to the current topics of international corporate strategies, leadership, innovation, and the characteristics of the local business environment. Time is also allocated for extracurricular activities to give participants an opportunity to network and meet with the local business community.

There is a separate registration process (limited seats available) and a separate fee for study tours.

Aalto Executive Summit

The annual Aalto Executive Summit brings together Aalto EMBA, MBA, and Global Leader participants and alumni from around the world. During the Summit, you will learn about cutting-edge Aalto University research and innovations on current topics while enjoying a unique opportunity to meet business leaders and network with Summit participants.

There is a separate registration process and a separate fee for the Summit. 

Program Fee and Registration

Program start

Global Leader Stand-Alone Modules

You can take the complete Global Leader program, including all four core modules and the two elective modules of your choice, or register for individual stand-alone Global Leader modules.