Education (Leadership and Management)


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Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024

Course length

Full time: 12 months, Harcourt Hill Campus

Part time: Two / three years depending on your chosen trajectory - part-time on campus or distance learning


Progress your career in education, and step into a leadership role.

Are you ready to take on school leadership? Do you want to make the leap into your first role as a leader? This course will shape your identity and approach as a leader. 

You’ll analyse the latest research and techniques in educational leadership - in the context of your own career. You’ll learn about areas like:

  • Managing change
  • Leadership styles
  • Motivating individuals
  • Handling conflict
  • And leading a team

You’ll reflect closely on your own experiences in leadership as you learn. You’ll get to know your strengths, and you’ll understand past challenges. And you’ll have the freedom to focus your learning on the areas that matter most to you.

You’ll join a vibrant and supportive cohort of future school leaders. And you’ll build a lasting professional network- who you’ll learn from as you study. 

You’ll graduate with the self-awareness central to strong leadership - along with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead.

Male and female student listening to a lecture

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

This MA course attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, normally graduates with a recognised teaching qualification, or other educational professional experience.

Applicants should have:

  • a good honours degree
  • relevant professional experience (e.g. a supervisory or management role within education.)

Entry with credit

Credit can be made up of appropriate work completed outside the course, for example, M level credit from PGCE awards, Postgraduate Certificates or Postgraduate Diplomas in relevant educational courses. Please contact for more information.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in speaking and listening.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

International students hold a conditional offer until payment of a deposit of £3,000 is received.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£980 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£980 per single module

International full time

International distance learning
£1,850 per single module

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,030 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£1,030 per single module

International full time

International distance learning part time
£1,860 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£980 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£980 per single module

International full time

International distance learning
£1,850 per single module

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,030 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£1,030 per single module

International full time

International distance learning part time
£1,860 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

There are International Student Scholarships available for 2022 and other scholarships and funding options for postgraduate international students.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

The course follows a flexible structure within the MA Education modular programme. This structure enables you to design your course according to your particular areas of interest.

You will take five compulsory modules, including the dissertation. And you can choose two modules from the optional modules listed below.

We also offer a wide range of Postgraduate Certificates, specifically designed for part time students who work full time. Sessions typically run in the evenings, with some online discussions.

Once you have your Postgraduate Certificate, you can continue your studies for the MA Education by successfully completing:

  • a further three modules
  • a dissertation.
Group of students studying together

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods (20 credits)

    You’ll develop your knowledge of research approaches, methods and techniques for the study of children and childhood, education and language. You’ll explore the interdisciplinary nature of work in and across these areas. After taking this module, you’ll be well prepared for the methodological aspects of your dissertation.

  • Leading and Managing People in Education (20 credits)

    You’ll examine a range of themes and concerns in the leadership and management of staff in a range of educational contexts. You’ll cover theoretical perspectives and practical concerns about staff leadership, management and development. We’ll look at such topics as:

    • leadership and management in education 
    • leading teams
    • inspiring motivation and improving morale
    • staff development and performance management 
    • social justice and managing diversity 
    • managing conflict.
  • Leading Change in Education (20 credits)

    You’ll bring your own experience to this module, which examines the leadership of change in a range of educational contexts. You’ll engage with theoretical perspectives and practical concerns about organisational transformation in education. You’ll encounter topics like:

    • leading and managing change
    • effectiveness, improvement and accountability
    • organisational culture and structures in education
    • the influence of policy developments in transforming education
    • dealing with resistance: managing people in times of change
    • strategic planning and management of change.
  • Mentoring in Education (20 credits)

    You’ll explore mentoring roles in education. This includes initial teacher education as well as professional development in schools and FE and HE settings. You’ll look at models of mentoring in a professional context, and draw on work in related areas such as nursing. You’ll examine the experiences of both the mentee and mentor and how the relationship affects both parties. You’ll have the chance to share experiences with your peers, and to deepen your knowledge by focusing on the research evidence in this field.

Optional modules

Developing MA Literacies (20 credits)

You’ll develop the skills you need to be successful in your MA, in two key areas: 

  • the skills you need to operate confidently within your academic community as a researcher-practitioner
  • academic writing and critical reading skills for MA-level study.

Engaging with the academic community

The module will help you:

  • engage with the underlying beliefs and approaches to knowledge in your field of study/practice
  • become familiar with relevant journals, research articles and professional networks.

Engaging with MA-level study

The module will help you:

  • develop critical thinking and reflection in your academic reading and writing 
  • understand the strategies and conventions of writing in different academic genres.

Diversity and Achievement (20 credits)

How are children’s and young people’s achievements affected by factors like class, gender, disability and ethnicity? In this module, you’ll analyse the factors that predict educational success and failure for children and young people. You’ll then explore the implications for school policy and practice. 

You’ll look at data from case study material, which may draw on your own working context, or your peers’. Using these data, you’ll consider issues at the level of the individual child, the family, the school and the neighbourhood. You’ll go on to compare the analysis at the level of an individual in a particular place to educational outcomes from national and international data sources.


The Inclusive Curriculum (20 credits)

You’ll explore key aspects of curriculum design and delivery, in relation to access, equality of learning opportunity and inclusion. You’ll look at how cultural values influence curriculum content and organisation, and explore theories of decolonising the curriculum. The module content is relevant whether you’re a primary, secondary, FE or HE practitioner.

Mind and Brain (20 credits)

You’ll explore fascinating developments in educational neuroscience, beginning with developmental changes that occur throughout our lifespan. We’ll discuss pre- and post-natal development, followed by the changes that occur in childhood, adolescence and beyond. 

You’ll explore current insights from cognitive neuroscience that have implications for education, in areas like creativity, and gaming and ICT in learning. You’ll also think about the relationships between mind, brain, self and body using philosophical perspectives. And you’ll investigate case studies, opening up discussion and debate about this complex and controversial field.


Investigating Professional Practice (40 credits)

You’ll undertake an action research project of your choice, with the ultimate aim of improving your own practice. First, you’ll learn about a range of action research approaches and methods. You’ll be supported throughout the project, from establishing a viable focus to planning, designing and carrying out your action research, and writing up your report. You’ll strengthen your research skills, and also make a contribution in your practice area – as we intend your research results to feed into a wider network of good practice.

Independent Study: Investigating Practice (20 credits)

This is a chance to carry out an independent study/practice investigation. You’ll choose your own topic, with approval from your module leader / subject co-ordinator. The topic will be relevant to your own practice, but areas of investigation might include (for example):

  • developing pedagogical approaches or curriculum materials 
  • evaluating learners’ achievement levels
  • reviewing the evidence base for changes to educational practice
  • appraising learning environments and learning opportunities.

It’s also possible to carry out retrospective a evaluation of a project, provided the project took place within the last five years. This might be on:

  • the impact of a professional development programme or initiative
  • the experience of designing and delivering a new scheme of work 
  • the process of implementing an educational change or project. 

Policy and purposes of Higher Education (20 credits)

Higher education (HE) is one of the great institutions of society. As well as providing places of learning and teaching, higher education is the subject of  much political debate. Why is this? We examine contemporary policy frameworks and their influences on HE.

This module is intended for:

  • People working in senior administration and learning, teaching and research or support roles in HE – such as subject librarians, learning technologists, student support coordinators, quality assurance officers, admissions tutors, business development officers, academic and institution managers.
  • People entering HE from business and the professions.
  • People interested in the wider context of higher education in society, the impact that HE has on society and that society has on HE.

Through this module you can develop your knowledge and confidence in all areas of your HE activity, helping you to make informed decisions in the workplace.


Final project

Compulsory modules

  • The Dissertation (60 credits)

    In your dissertation or project, you’ll carry out a sustained piece of educational research. You’ll analyse and report your findings at a high critical level, justifying and supporting them with detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts. This work will comprise one third of the work for your degree.  

    If you’re writing a dissertation, you'll focus on a research problem of particular interest. If you’re enrolled on a named route of the MA Education, your topic will be relevant to your route (e.g. childhood and youth, L&M, SEND, TESOL, higher education). 

    If you’re working on a project, you’ll undertake a shorter piece of independent investigative or literature-based research. You’ll also produce a creative piece or artefact.


Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

If you choose the on-campus mode of study, you’ll learn at Harcourt Hill, our Education campus. You’ll learn via a mix of collaborative and independent methods - like:

  • workshops
  • presentations
  • peer evaluations
  • project work
  • lectures
  • directed reading

Classes are held mainly in the evenings, helping you balance study with work commitments. If you study full-time, Thursdays are key study days. And if you can’t make a class, you can access materials and discussions online.

If you choose to do the course via distance learning, you’ll learn via interactive and high quality online resources - with pre-recorded lectures, online readings and forums as well as online workshops at key points in the module. You’ll be able to learn at your own pace. Most students study by distance part-time over 3 years whilst working full time.


Assessment methods used on this course

Each coursework-based course module is assessed separately. Assessment methods include:

  • individual essays
  • seminar presentations
  • reports
  • portfolios
  • investigative research
  • group work.


The School of Education, Humanities and Languages is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School’s six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education, Humanities and Languages

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After you graduate

Career prospects

Completion of the course shows a commitment to professional development and should lead to improved prospects for career progression.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.