International Leadership Programme

What if the world's greatest challenges were in your hands?

Coronavirus update:

This programme was postponed from summer 2020 due to Coronavirus. We are provisionally planning to run this programme in Spring/Summer 2021 and all students accepted on the June 2020 programme will be guaranteed a place. A final decision about whether to run this programme will be made in February 2021. However, all students need to be aware that programme cancellations due to sudden COVID-19 travel restrictions and safety considerations may still be possible in Spring 2021 as the health and safety students and staff is a key priority for the University. All updates will be posted on these webpages. 

Programme at a glance

When? Spring/Summer 2021 - date TBC
Where? Madrid, Spain
How much? The programme is funded for all students. You will need to cover other costs such as flights, accommodation, living costs etc. See our costs section below for more details.

Who?: Open to all undergraduates, not in their final year. You do not need to speak any Spanish to take part. Priority will be given to students not on a Study Abroad course.

Applications: This programme was postponed from summer 2020 and is currently full. If spaces become available, details on how to apply will be posted to this webpage. Register your interest to stay up to date on any available spaces. 

What you'll be doing

This four-day leadership programme, run in partnership with Common Purpose will challenge you to thrive in a new context. Working with students from Bristol and Universidad Complutense de Madrid, you will play a part in tackling the biggest issues facing businesses, governments and societies today. 

You will explore a major world challenge form a local perspective, such as 'How do we ensure that technological innovation delivers societal as well as eceonomic value in cities?' You will visit local organisations including businesses, NGOs and social enterprises and meet with leaders to get their perspective and insight. Working in teams you will be tasked with creating an innovative solution to the challenge.

Why you should go

  • Grow Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
  • Discover what it takes to lead across boundaries
  • Develop your cross-cultural skills
  • Build a global network
  • Develop your presentation skills

The skills and experiences you will gain will help set you apart from other students and strengthen your CV for future job applications.


Thanks to Santander, the four-day Common Purpose programme is funded for all participants so you will not need to pay a tuition fee.

You will need to pay an accommodation cost of approximately £250, which includes six nights' accommodation and 1 group dinner.

You will also need to organise and pay for:

  • flights
  • insurance
  • living costs
  • visa (if applicable)


There are a limited number of bursaries available for students who come from a background where participation in study or work abroad has been low. The bursary of approximately £400 is to help cover your accommodation fee, flights and other costs. 

I became more conscious of my cultural and emotional intelligence and have improved my team-working and leadership skills.

Mohammed (International Leadership Programme participant)

Santander Bank

Santander Bank provides grants to some students to help cover costs.

Contact us


Tel: +44 (0) 117 39 40205
Office: 3rd Floor, 31 Great George Street, University of Bristol, BS1 5QD

Office hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
Book an online appointment

How to apply

This programme was postponed from summer 2020 and is currently full. If places become available, you will be able to apply in February 2021. Updates will be posted on this webpage. Register your interest to receive updates via email. 

Edit this page