The LaunchPad Leadership Development Programme is unique and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills - allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

Since its establishment in 2011, Launchpad was exclusively open to second year students within the Lancashire Business School, but now also operates across the School of Law and Social Science and the School of Social Work, Care and Community. Every year, Launchpad recruits a new cohort of up to 30 highly motivated second year students from across the three Schools.


LaunchPad students learn about the challenges of the current job market from employer and graduate perspectives and the leadership approaches needed to address them, in both theory and practice.

The programme helps students to develop their skills through a mixture of workshops, events and company visits. 

Hannah Whittaker

"My experience with LaunchPad has been so insightful! I have learnt a lot about my strengths as a person in both a personal and work setting, and I’ve been able to improve my weaknesses and turn them into my strengths."

Hannah Whittaker, BA (Hons) Event Management student
Read Hannah's full case study

What do LaunchPadders do?

Students on the programme attend regular workshops every fortnight during term time, and these focus upon their personal development, professional skills and employability enhancing techniques.

Students learn about personal branding, the importance of online presence, CV and interviewing techniques as well as successful business networking strategies. They experience a range of different activities around and outside the campus. Throughout the programme, students have opportunities to manage projects of their choice, which usually include organising and managing events, planning and promoting LaunchPad recruitment and putting the itinerary together for each year’s study tour destination.

LaunchPadders also meet high profile speakers, successful entrepreneurs and industry figures who share tips and hints on how to boost their employability and become successful leaders.

In the past students had audiences with Paul Heathcote MBE, chef, restaurateur and food consultant, Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Lieutenant Coronel Johnny Litton MBE and Steve Rook, an employability guru.

Launchpad students

Launchpad students

Launchpad students

Established links

LaunchPad students have built up good links with professional bodies including the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Institute of Directors (IoD) and a range of businesses.

In 2012, students were the first ones in the country to be invited to join the newly established IoD Student Membership Programme that offers a range of benefits to supporting their studies and their future career.

Students participating in the LaunchPad programme also have the opportunity to complete a CMI award as part of their studies.

Company & overseas visits

Students are presented with opportunities to visit various companies and the option to undertake an overseas study tour at the end of the programme. The international trip allows them to get first-hand knowledge about running and managing business outside the UK. It also gives them a global outlook, which contributes towards making students not only global graduates but also global leaders.

In previous years, LaunchPad students have visited a number of UCLan partner institutions across the world, sharing their experiences as UCLan students, meeting business and professional bodies to enhance their understanding of the global market.