Educational Leadership and Management MA


Fact file

MA Educational Leadership and Management
1 year full-time including dissertation, 2 years part-time or via summer school plus dissertation
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) or a relevant professional qualification
Other requirements
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September (full-time) or July (Summer School)
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course is designed for those who have experience of working in schools, colleges, universities and other educational providers and who seek to develop a better understanding of how educational leadership influences the experiences of staff and students. It is also for those with an academic interest in studying educational leadership and management.
Read full overview

The MA Educational Leadership and Management draws on research from the UK and internationally, much of it conducted by those teaching on the programme. It seeks to:

  • improve understanding of leadership practices in national and international social, cultural, political and policy contexts
  • strengthen knowledge of leadership and change management
  • utilise existing and emerging international research-informed knowledge of educational leadership
  • engage in critical discussion of a range of practices in the leadership and management of other adults in organisations
  • enable a deeper critical understanding of the organisation, and the environment in which course members operate
  • promote the development of yourself, your colleagues and your organisation

A unique focus is the emphasis upon supporting practice-based inquiry through which theories may be applied to practice in the workplace.

You will engage with the latest education research relating to leadership and management and also learn how to conduct research in order to drive development and change your own professional content.

The School of Education has an outstanding international reputation for the quality of its teaching and research in educational leadership and management. Its staff are world leading in this field and are all involved in teaching and research.

View our student profiles page to see what our students think of the course.

Course start dates

  • Full-time: September
  • Part-time: July through Summer School


In addition to the staff listed we have a range of other expert tutors who support the programme.

Key facts

  • We are ranked 4th in the UK and 22nd in the world for education by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
  • In the latest Research Excellence Framework we ranked 3rd in the UK with 84% of our research considered world-leading or internationally excellent
  • All of our Research Excellence Framework submission relating to research impact and research environment was considered to be world-leading - our school is the only education submission to achieve this

Course details

The taught element of this course can be completed over one year full-time. Alternatively, the course can be completed over two years part-time followed by an eight-month dissertation period.

The MA comprises four 30-credit modules and a 60-credit dissertation. There are also Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma exit points.

Each of the modules has a contact time of 30 hours. In addition, there will be 270 hours private study, assignment preparation and tutorial support. The module assignments have been designed to increase skills and criticality (incrementally). View our recommended reading list.


Unless otherwise stated, each 30-credit module is assessed by a written assignment of 6,000 words. To complete the masters programme successfully, a pass of 50 must be achieved on each assignment.

The dissertation is an original piece of work and should be of 15,000 words with a margin of 10% (or their equivalent) related to one of the selected modules on an approved topic.

Full-time study

The course can be taken full-time over one academic year, with additional seminar support. You can view an example timetable but please note this is subject to change.

Part-time study

The course can be taken part-time in Education Summer School only, with additional virtual learning support. Up to two modules will be studied each year.

Cohort study

Schools/groups of schools may negotiate sequence, timings and locations for the delivery of the modules, which may be provided off-site. A minimum number of participants is required for this route. Schools or groups of schools who are interested in this should contact the course leader directly.

The pattern of attendance for those wishing to study via this route is subject to negotiation and agreement with schools. Teaching may take place in schools, the University or a mixture of both in the evenings, during the day, weekends or in intensive blocks during school holidays.


To ensure your application is considered in time, please note the following deadlines apply:

Important Dates
Student/routeStart dateApplication deadlineFee year
Full-time only
HEU students
25 September 2017 14 August 2017 2017/18
Full-time only
International students
25 September 2017 4 September 2017 2017/18
Summer School
Part-time only
July to be confirmed 1 July 2018 - to be confirmed 2017/18

Recognition of Other Learning (ROL)

If you have prior learning or experience at an appropriate level, you may apply on entry for exemption for credit requirements of the course. Please visit our ROL pages for further information.



Modules for full-time and part-time study

Leading Learning (30 credits)

The module will address the essential features of effective learning (as relevant to the participants' sector by examining: the process of learning; supporting learning (for example through adults, peers and technology) both within and beyond the educational organisation; an overview of approaches to improvement and raising achievement in educational organisations; monitoring and evaluation of learning: the use of data, target-setting, monitoring.

Effective Leadership and Change in Education (30 credits)

This module will address the nature and practice of leadership in education. It will look at six themes:

  • concepts of leadership
  • change
  • leadership qualities, behaviours and competencies
  • power and authority
  • organisational cultures and distributed leadership
  • professional development
Practice Based Inquiry (30 credits)

The content will involve students in active critical consideration of participating in and leadership of practitioner inquiry in relation to professional context mapping and workplace learning.

These processes will be achieved through: conceptualising different kinds of practitioner inquiry relevant to work-based understanding and development (purposes, processes, contexts, dilemmas, outcomes); examining a range of approaches to educational inquiry, with an emphasis on action research; developing an inquiry into your professional context.

Issues in Educational Leadership (30 credits)

This module is designed to meet the varying needs of the candidates. Such needs may have been identified prior to joining the course, through the process of self and organisational analysis, or through ongoing reflection on individual and organisational need throughout the course.

Dissertation (60 credits)

This involves the researching and writing of a substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course.

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor. The topic will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied.

Full-time study module pattern
  • Issues in Educational Leadership
  • Effective Leadership and Change in Education
Autumn Term 2016
  • Leading Learning
  • Practice Based Inquiry
Spring Term 2017
Dissertation Summer Term 2017

Part-time study module pattern
  • Leading Learning
  • Effective Leadership and Change in Education
Summer School 2017
  • Practice Based Inquiry
  • Issues in Educational Leadership
Summer School 2018
Dissertation Spring 2019


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding information is available on the school website. Funding information can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary and secondary school teachers and vocational and industrial trainers and instructors. A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study and study for professional development within their chosen career.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 91% of postgraduates in the School of Education who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation.*

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

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