Staff profile

Orla Kelleher

Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Strategy

A head shot of Senior Leadership and Strategy Lecturer, Orla Kelleher standing by a bookshelf


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Executive Education and Enterprise Development



I am a senior lectuturer in Leadership and Strategy and work in the Executive Education and Enterprise Development Department, College of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

I specialise in work-based learning (WBL) and work primarly with professionals in the workplace. WBL focuses on developing specialised and innovative Higher Education programmes (Masters, Degree programmes, tailored courses) for businesses. 

Typically, my role involves working with a corporate client to design, develop and deliver executive education programmes with a specific focus on leadership and business management. This means I also draw on my previous industry experience to ensure programmes are relevant, impactful and innovative.

I programme lead and teach on postgraduate business management programmes developed for Corporate Clients. I also provide business coaching to external clients and module leadership on University of Derby's DBA programme for progressionals in the workplace aiming to achieve a postdoctoral qualification. 

Teaching responsibilities

I am programme leader for a Masters Professional Practice (Business Management) and module leader for the Work-Based Investigation (dissertation) module. 

I am module leader for two work-based learning modules in the DBA - Doctor of Business Administration programme.

I am supervisor for Master's students across a number of University programmes. I also programme lead and teach on specific executive education programmes developed for our corporate clients


Research interests

I am interested in how businesses can become a force for good by joining the movement to operate in an ethical and sustainable way. My specific area of interest is in sustainable and ethical leadership and business strategy. 

Membership of professional bodies


Experience in industry

I have worked extensively with large corporates in the private and public sector in UK and Ireland specialising in education, learning and development. This includes over 20 years of working in various roles including senior lecturer, business consultant, workforce development fellow, professional facilitator, trainer and L&D consultant, policy manager, business owner and director.   


growing piles of coins in soil with plant shoots on top of them

Orla Kelleher, Senior Lecturer in Responsible Management at the University of Derby, investigates the challenges business leaders face in light of the urgent need to address sustainability.