Promoting and Supporting Innovation and Leadership

As the name of the course makes clear, the focus of the Dūcere MBA is Innovation and Leadership. While these are currently buzzwords and you may be seeing them consistently in the current education media and also in industry, we wanted to make sure that they weren’t just buzzwords to us.

In the Dūcere MBA students are learning advanced business concepts in a real-world context and that gives them the opportunity to really focus on innovative, blue sky thinking about real-world innovative solutions to  problems faced by major organisations.

A supportive environment is provided to encourage innovation. So rather than a commercial situation which is high risk, students are given the opportunity to take chances and really come up with something creative and different. So when they deliver the project to the industry partner they may be able to present something interesting and new that the organisation had not previously thought about. The partner organisation, in turn, gets to work with a dynamic MBA group from diverse backgrounds, drawing on varied experiences to provide ideas and solutions that are very different to a typical consultancy group.

Clearly the innovation element is extremely important and students are encouraged to reflect on how they are thinking and how they are approaching these problems innovatively throughout the course. This is done throughout the course via journaling reflections on the industry deliverables, each time they produce something for an industry partner.

With regard to the other aspect of the specialisation; Leadership, again there are a number of courses available claiming to be focused on leadership. However we don’t believe that you can simply learn theoretically about leadership. In our view fostering leadership requires an experiential learning approach. You can learn theories about leadership, but you really need to apply them to understand what works for you.

Project progression

The linear progression throughout the course is in three stages. You progress from Learner, to Manager to Leader. This means that in your first project you enter at the bottom of your project team in terms of hierarchy. You also have the mentorship of those in the team with more course experience. These are the Managers and Leaders in their second and third projects. You in then move through each stage, managing and eventually leading a project group. By your third project you have learned about various management and leadership theories and witnessed a range of approaches and skills. You are now ready for your opportunity to lead your group and undertake engagement with the client and manage the students who have joined the course at later stages.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at


Photo credit:  Follow the Leader Vinoth Chandar CC 2012


Infoxchange MBA Project

Hear from Ducere MBA students and Infoxchange’s Partnerships and Business Development Manager Brian MacLaughlin reflect on the value, challenges and discoveries they encountered through this Industry Project.

Three Revealing Case Studies from Current Dūcere MBA Students

At Dūcere MBA admin we often receive questions from candidates asking what the MBA is actually like, from a “student experience” point of view. What better way to address these questions than to ask the students themselves?

Below are three student case studies from Ben, Erin and Scott. They were all part of the inaugural Dūcere MBA cohort and they have been kind enough to share their experiences.

Case study #1: Ben K.

Age: 31

Location: Sydney, Australia

Current occupation: Management Consultant

Why did you choose to study an MBA at Dūcere?

Obtaining an MBA has been a career-long ambition for me. Personally, to have the opportunity to do this in a way that allows me to continue my professional career alongside the MBA is the perfect mix for me. What attracted me to the Dūcere MBA was the focus on Leadership and Innovation – two fundamental skills that are critical to being successful in today’s challenging business environment. I also know they are two areas I have a lot to learn in – so I am thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate with a diverse set of fellow MBA students to challenge my preconceptions and ways of thinking. I am sure the skills, experiences and lessons I learn during the course will be of direct benefit to (my organisation) and me personally in both the short and long term.


What do you find different about Dūcere from other higher education providers?

The level of interaction is far more personal and targeted that my experience with other higher education providers. Dūcere have really focused on the cohort being almost an extended family – working together to ensure everyone gets the most out of the course, irrelevant of their past experience.

The Dūcere MBA portal and content is also really engaging. While there is the ability to access the traditional management theories and frameworks, a lot of the content focuses on the current views and thinking. In doing this the course ensures real relevance to today’s business challenges, while also ensuring a sound academic foundation in what the students learn.

What do you hope the MBA will do for you and your career?

The MBA has always been a career goal for me – not just as an indication of my understanding of business dynamics and challenges, but also as a way in which to engage with others who share the same passion. While my fellow cohort share this passion they also bring a variety of points of view on every subject, based on their backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. In being able to access and understand these different points of view in a real life business challenge, such as the industry projects, I hope that I will continue to challenge my own thoughts and pre-conceptions to become a more rounded leader of the future. I have no doubt that, thanks to the way in which the Dūcere MBA course is structured, I will emerge a more enlightened and confident leader for my future career.

What are some key lessons you have gained from the Global Faculty Leaders?

One thing that has really struck me from the Global Faculty Leaders is the way in which these leaders, across multiple disciplines and areas, manage to convey simple messages to change the way we think about extremely complex and dynamic problems. Most of the content is less than 2 minutes long, which makes them extremely easy to watch, but at the same time the insight that can be conveyed in that time is often staggering. Besides this – listening to the thoughts and opinions of some of the world’s greatest leaders is always going to be inspiring.

What business skills or insight have you gained from working with MBA Industry Partners?

Most of my business skills and insight to date has come from my MBA Project Team. The diverse background of the team has brought new insights to the table that I certainly wouldn’t have considered before the MBA course started. That being said, working with a Not-for-Profit in Save the Children has also forced me to re-align my expectations about what is truly valuable to the client – with a focus on more socially and ethically beneficial outcomes rather than on improving the bottom line.

What are the benefits of having the option to study 100% online?

The main benefit is that fact that you can have flexibility in when and where you study. Whether it is sitting in the library, on the bus on the way to work or even on the beach you are able to access the material wherever and whenever you feel like it. This is a great asset to the course as not only does it mean you can manage your own time, but you can also choose to pick up and drop off studying when you wish – this has been really valuable to me as it helps ensure I study when I am in the mood for it, rather than having to force myself to study when I am not appropriately engaged.

Case study #2: Erin P.

Age: 37

Location: Melbourne

Current occupation: Personal Banking Sales Program Owner

Why did you choose to study an MBA at Dūcere?

For me there were 2 specific reasons.

1) I had never previously studied at university so was very much a personal test of aptitude of learning academic material

2) I had identified as part of my 5-year plan that an MBA will significantly improve my employability when my husband and I look to move to Live/Work in UK/Europe when my daughter finishes high school and embarks on basketball scholarship in Portugal

What do you find different about Dūcere from other higher education providers?

I enjoy the blended and experiential approach to learning. I discovered quite later in life my preferred learning styles. On the job learning and application enhances theory and in the moment feedback of learning. With a cohort of varied experience and background this provides great opportunities to not only test and apply learning but to connect to communities more broadly.

What do you hope the MBA will do for you and your career?

Personally, my aim was confidence and a thirst for learning. I have almost envied people who have a twinkle in their eye who early on discovered the area of focus or expertise that energised them and intrinsically motived them to do and be more. I was looking for this spark.

Professionally, I was seeking justification of my experience in a qualification to enhance or progress my career goals (work in UK and travel). I begrudge the fact that most employers advertise a role with X qualification rather than the aptitude and attitude to learning or improvement – common sense and real life application. In this aspect, I was looking for compliance. In the process I have in the Dūcere MBA learned skills that enhance my current experience and also access extra material if needed for my current role. This has provided significant exposure to the value that I have created for our customers.

What are some key lessons you have gained from the Global Faculty Leaders?

The stories from real experience provides a sense of comfort to know that there are gradual steps and reasons for a pathway. These are applicable in both career and role specific. What is most valuable is the humble and honest portrayal of events and the reflection – this I now find myself subconsciously reflecting.

What business skills or insight have you gained from working with MBA Industry Partners?

Where do I start…?

I found that I continue to develop stakeholder management skills – working with brand new people to achieve the right outcome for the customer. There are always lessons in this and is undervalued as a skill.

Whilst not mathematically motivated, I found the analysis and statistics quite fascinating. I had many ‘aha’ moments looking back on projects and wondering where the gaps where. This has also shaped what has changed currently.

Innovation can be thrown around as something a company or individuals should improve – what I found through the learning is the variation in the understanding of innovation and the role it has to play in Leadership. I have sat back and observed from the balcony many leaders around me looking for these traits (or lack of) and then reflecting internally – what do I keep, stop or start doing…

What are the benefits of having the option to study 100% online?

Overall the transparent learning and material is conducive to my learning style and my operating rhythm at work and home. I have found having access to this material anywhere and anytime supports me in the required deliverables for the personal and project related milestones.

Whilst in the beginning I felt a little like a techno-dinosaur, I am now really comfortable with the different touch points or mediums and the value they provide. I really enjoy watching the Global Leaders talk about their topics – this feels personalised. I like that there are a wide variety of learning material and not all Academic papers or readings. There is a real balance.

I also look back on the materials when something crops up at work, what is the theory and strategies to overcome. Brilliant!!

Anything else you would like to share with us?

This MBA is truly exciting. It is demonstrative of the commitment Dūcere and UC have to building a nation of learners – irrespective of your age or academic status. Through education we really do see the opportunities in front of us – and work respectfully together to dream, believe and achieve.

Case study #3: Scott D.

Age: 40

Location: Brisbane, Queensland.

Current occupation: Management Consultant

Why did you choose to study an MBA at Dūcere?

I first read about the Dūcere MBA program in an article of the Australian newspaper. It immediately got my attention because it seemed to offer a point of difference to other traditional academic avenues.

Some of the determining reasons why I sought inclusion into the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – Leadership and Innovation, were the following:

  • To be connected and integrated in a team of diverse and dynamic professionals.
  • The innovative ‘learn on the job’ concept suited one of my preferred learning styles – kinaesthetic (or experiential).
  • To continue my learning and passion for leadership, group dynamics and managing complexity.
  • To be involved with such a passionate, philanthropic and innovative organisation such as Dūcere.

What do you find different about Dūcere from other higher education providers?

It is clear that Dūcere care about my learning. Every part of the program is thought out with the best intentions to maximise our experience and growth as individuals and future leaders. I have never been part of an academic pursuit like this one, where the balance of practicality and theory are so well considered and integrated.

What do you hope the MBA will do for you and your career?

I’ve always believed that our future is what we make of it. However, having great mentors, opportunities and being part of elite environments (like the Dūcere MBA program), significantly increase the probability of a bright future.

I hope that I will continue my learning in leadership, innovation and business so that I can impact individuals, teams and organisations in a way that ‘pays forward’ what I’ve learned.

What are some key lessons you have gained from the Global Faculty Leaders?

  • Firm beliefs
  • Ability to turn the complex into simplicity.
  • Passionate
  • Open/authentic
  • When talking about leadership, it was personal to all of them. Whilst their messages/beliefs were quite similar, the way I received them was subtlety, but yet noticeably different. It made me think a lot about how impactful our tone, delivery, essence or vibe can be, over and above the message.

What business skills or insight have you gained from working with MBA Industry Partners?

So far (implicit and/or explicit)…

  • Project management
  • Change management
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Culture

What are the benefits of having the option to study 100% online?

It is hugely beneficial having a flexible, on-line program that you can manage in concert with your own career and family commitments. If it were more rigid, study would be not as enjoyable or as easy to juggle as it is currently.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

Loving it!

If you would like to discuss how the Dūcere MBA program may fit in to your career ambitions email us at to open a discussion.


Video Testimonial from Save the Children Australia

Hear from the Director of People and Culture,  Dianne Francois and Paul Ronalds, CEO  at Save the Children Australia, about the powerful contribution the Ducere MBA project group made for this important organization. Hear too from current student Ryan about the value of this experience in his personal and professional development.

This video again illustrates how the Ducere MBA – Innovation and Leadership delivers real world professional development like no other academic experience can.


Innovation and Entrepreneurship Event

Innovation eventDūcere, the University of Canberra, and NAB announce a special event centred on entrepreneurship and innovation. The event will be held in the Melbourne CBD and feature leading experts engaging in panel discussions with our invited guests.

MBA industry project partners, MBA candidates and guests will be provided with an opportunity to gain insights from our guest speakers.

The discussion panel will be chaired by Prof Lawrence Pratchett, Dean, Faculty of Business, Government and Law and will feature expert insight from several special guests including Genevieve George, founder and chief executive of One Shift; Matthew Lazarus-Hall, CEO of Chugg Entertainment and Leonard Hamersfeld, Director and Founder of Buzz Products.

The panel discussion will conclude at 5:30 PM followed by a networking event over drinks and canapés.

Places are strictly limited and priority will be given to current students and candidates. If you are a current MBA student or you have applied to University of Canberra by June 30th you will be eligible to attend.

For further information please contact


MBA webinar recording now available

Below is the link to a webinar recording featuring: Ducere Head of Postgraduate Studies, Jack Hylands, Ducere MBA Student Experience Manager, Lara Pinto and current MBA student Vanessa Cohen discussing the University of Canberra and Ducere MBA course.

Topics such as course delivery, assessment, MBA events and student experience are covered.

The video has been edited down to just 30 minutes to ensure that the information is efficiently delivered on a break or during your daily commute.

The next project starts on June 1st, and a few places are still available for this intake.

Follow this link to watch the recording