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School of Environment, Education and Development

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MA Educational Leadership
Gain valuable leadership skills and knowledge for a variety of educational settings.

MA Educational Leadership / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

MA Educational Leadership is ideal if you're an educational professional currently working in, or aspiring to work in, a leadership position.

The course is taught by leading academics in the field of leadership, management, school effectiveness and improvement. Senior educational experts also contribute, including head teachers, inspectors, local authority officers and policy-makers.

Teaching encourages student participation, shared experiences and opportunities for practical application. Depending on your background and experience, you may find the approach rather different from your previous experiences of university.


  • Provide an overview of current theories/frameworks for examining education policy and practice from a leadership perspective
  • Develop your understanding of key leadership issues that influence teachers' performance in primary and secondary schools and other educational settings.
  • Enable colleagues at all levels within educational institutions to identify issues and develop appropriate strategies to generate and sustain school improvement.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of practical approaches to school improvement and school effectiveness and of current theories, issues and debates in the field.
  • Develop a range of learning and transferrable skills which integrate current research and best practice in the areas of school leadership and school improvement applicable to different students on different programmes.

Special features

The programme is taught by leading academics in the field of leadership, management, school effectiveness and improvement. Senior educational experts also contribute, including head teachers, inspectors, local authority officers and policy-makers.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by world-leading researchers who focus on the realities of professional practice through using the social sciences. This includes Professor Mel Ainscow (an international expert in inclusive education), Professor Michael Apple (the world's leading critical educationalist), Steve Courtney (an expert on school restructuring, change and leadership), Professor Helen Gunter (known internationally for her work on policy and leadership), Professor David Hall (an expert in policy enactment and distributed leadership), Ruth McGinity (an expert on localised policymaking, change and leadership), Dr Susie Miles (known internationally for her specialist knowledge of inclusion and disability in developing country contexts), Professor Mel West (an international expert in school improvement and school effectiveness).

The course units are delivered through lectures, tutorials, group-work, case-based approaches, and enquiry-based learning, associated with school visits. Comprehensive training is provided in the use of electronic databases, library resources. We encourage both individual and co-operative learning and research and hope to foster an ethos of lifelong learning. We aim to build on the expertise of our students, many of whom are experienced leaders in education, and who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from a wide range of different countries.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment for the full-time course is by 8 x 3000 word assignments and a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Course unit details

Typical course units include: Educational Leadership; Examining Educational Policy; Contemporary issue sin Educational Leadership and Policy Development; Research Methods in Education; Leading Educational Change and Development; International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion; Inclusive Education.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Engaging with Education Research EDUC60011 15 Mandatory
Research Methods II EDUC60452 15 Mandatory
Education Leadership EDUC70331 15 Mandatory
Leading Educational Change and Development EDUC70352 15 Mandatory
School Improvement EDUC70382 15 Mandatory
Education Policy EDUC70531 15 Mandatory
School Improvement EDUC70882 15 Mandatory
Theories of Teaching and Learning EDUC60491 15 Optional
Digital Media and Information Literacy EDUC61711 15 Optional
Blended Learning in a Digital Age EDUC70032 15 Optional
Language Learning and Technology EDUC70061 15 Optional
The Education of Language Teachers EDUC70132 15 Optional
International Perspectives on Equity and Diversity in Education EDUC70322 15 Optional
Multimedia Design and Development EDUC70510 15 Optional
Higher Education in International Contexts EDUC70552 15 Optional
International Development and Education EDUC70891 15 Optional
Educating for Sustainability EDUC71212 15 Optional
Intercultural Engagement at Work and in Communities EDUC71230 15 Optional
Human Resource Development & Leadership MGDI60162 15 Optional
Gender & Development MGDI70802 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: