Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme



Writing an Outstanding Courses Application


We have read thousands of course applications over the years and we've compiled some advice that might help you write the best application you can, help us assess whether this course is the right one for you, and whether it is right for you now.

Is this the right course for you?

First things first, it's important to think about which of our programmes is right for you. You can read about the eligibility criteria for each course in the relevant section, and to help you work out which is right for you, we also created a little quiz. Broadly speaking, if you're early in your career (have been working in the sector for 2-5 years) you should apply for the Emerging Leaders Course. If you're further into your career, you should look at the Short Course or the Fellowships. We don't want you to put lots of effort into an application for a course you aren't eligible for, so if you aren't sure, get in touch

Right, now you're sure you're in the right place...

How is the application structured?
The application form consists of some details about you and your working life, three questions about you as a leader and a nomination form from your current employer (if applicable) or someone who you have worked with. Over the course of the application and nomination, we are looking for someone who:

  • Has an ambition to lead, sense of purpose and vision.
  • Shows an understanding of Leadership.
  • Demonstrates authenticity and self-awareness.

Your application will be assessed on how well you demonstrate these attributes across the three questions about you as a leader (14a-14c), and on the level of support you receive from your nominator.

These three questions aren’t long, but you should read them carefully and answer them as honestly and openly as you can.

While doing that, it might be helpful to bear in mind the attributes outlined on our Looking for Leaders page and to think about the following guidance.

Be brave and honest with yourself
We’re not looking for perfectly formed leaders but above all those with appetite, curiosity and a willingness to develop and grow. This is not a job application; we are looking for potential, rather than just assessing your achievements to date. Be brave, be honest and take the time to really think about whether this is the right programme and the right time for you, and if so why.

Be open to learning
Participants on Clore Leadership Programme Courses are regularly taken outside of their comfort zone, and we want you to demonstrate your curiosity and openness to learning so that we know you’ll be able to make the most of this opportunity. Leadership isn’t about having all of the answers, and your application should express how and where you’d like to expand, and improve your skills and knowledge.

Write as yourself
‘Authentic leadership’ is a core principle of the Clore Leadership Programme, and we are looking for leaders who know and are true to themselves. Make sure that you are writing in your true voice and try and allow your personality to come across. Remember: successful leadership isn’t all about bravado – humility, honesty and generosity are vital qualities to lead.

Pick the right nominator
When choosing a nominator, it might be tempting to ask a senior colleague whose name and position carries weight. However, think hard about what will strengthen your application and what could weaken it: a detailed and considered endorsement from a colleague who knows you well, or a few hasty lines from someone who is not familiar with your leadership potential.

The extra imaginative "spark"
At the bottom of our Looking for Leaders page, we explain we are also looking for the extra imaginative "spark" that marks an outstanding potential leader. Consider why you want to lead - what do you want to change about arts and culture? What do you want to change about the world? Tell us!

That may seem a lot to fit into a few short questions, so the key is to remember that this is not a job application: we want to hear about you, your strengths and the areas you want to develop. Consider the questions carefully and answer them as honestly and openly as you can. How are you going to grow? How are you going to develop? Why is this the right course for you?

Right, now you have heard all our guidance. Make sure you check out some other more practical information about the course and how to apply and get in touch if you have any more questions. 


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Telephone: 00 44 (0) 20 7420 9430

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