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Course overview

Education is one of the fundamental building blocks of any society. However, leading an educational organisation is becoming ever more complex.

Through the analysis of the latest UK and international research, this course will enable you to conduct research that drives development and change in your own professional environment. A key focus of the course is supporting practice-based inquiry and applying it to the way you work.

Much of the research that influences this course is conducted by those teaching it. Their expertise and academic knowledge allow you to see how this type of practice can have a tangible impact.

The course aims to:

  • improve your understanding of leadership practices, in social, cultural, political and policy contexts to strengthen your knowledge of leadership and change management
  • engage in critical discussion of a range of practices in the leadership and management of other adults in organisations to promote the development of you, your colleagues and your organisation

We welcome approaches from educational organisations looking for a bespoke programme for their staff.

This course is also available to study face-to-face in Nottingham.

Why choose this course?

Study fully online

Learn in an interactive digital learning environment and study at your own pace

Top 100

in the world for education

Learn from experts

who are internationally recognised for their research in this area

200 years

of experience in the field of education

3rd in the UK

with 84% of research considered world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

The taught element of this course is made up of four 30-credit modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation. It can be completed over two years part-time, plus an eight month dissertation period. There are PGDip and PGCert exit points.

Tutors

The staff listed above are supported by a larger team of tutors.

Modules

Core modules

Issues in Educational Leadership

This module is designed to meet your varying needs. 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.

Mode of teaching: Online study with tutor guidance and support.

Practice-Based Inquiry

The content will involve you 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

Mode of teaching: Online study with tutor guidance and support 

Dissertation

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.

Optional modules

Educational Leadership Policy and Practice

This module will look at:

  • the history of educational leadership policy
  • choice, markets, competition and the corporatisation of educational leadership
  • leadership and enactment of educational policy in practice
  • educational policy transfer and re-contextualisation (including policy borrowing)
  • international perspectives in education policy
  • reforming education, education policy development and the role of evidence
  • critical policy analysis and educational leadership

Mode of teaching: Online with tutor guidance and support.

Effective Leadership and Change in Education

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

Mode of teaching: Online with tutor guidance and support.

Leading Learning

The module will address the essential features of effective learning, as relevant to your 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

Mode of teaching: Online with tutor guidance and support.

Understanding Individual and Organisational Development

This module will look at:

  • the understanding of self-management
  • competence and competency
  • analysis of self in relation to national standards (for school leadership or as appropriate)
  • self-development plans
  • understanding the professional development of others in the team
  • understanding the organisation and its context
  • leading and managing change
  • communication

Mode of teaching: Online with tutor guidance and support.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Tutorials
  • Independent study
  • Discussion group

Our interactive virtual learning environment includes text, audio and video materials, online discussions and reflective tasks. The programme is designed so that you can fit your studies in around other commitments.

For each module, you will have an academic tutor who will be active online. They contribute to discussions as well as supporting you through the assessment process. There is an online masters-level toolkit to support all aspects of academic study, a dissertation preparation module available to you from the beginning of the course, and one-to-one dissertation support from your supervisor, usually via Skype or Teams.

To ensure you have the appropriate computer requirements to enable you to study online, please view our computer specification guidance notes (PDF).

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation

Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment. To complete the masters, you must achieve a pass of 50% on each assignment.

The 15,000-word dissertation is an original piece of work and should be related to one of the selected modules on an approved topic.

Contact time and study hours

Each module requires an equivalent of 30 hours of online engagement, plus 270 hours of private study, assignment preparation and tutorial support.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 (or international equivalent) or a relevant professional qualification
Work experienceA personal statement is required that demonstrates both a clear understanding of the course and relevant motivation for pursuing educational leadership and management studies plus, if possible, details of any relevant professional or work experience in an educational setting

Applying

Start dates

Start date Application deadline
10 February 2021 21 January 2021
1 September 2021 6 August 2021
14 February 2022 17 January 2022

Recognition of other Learning (ROL)

If you have prior learning or experience at an appropriate level, you may apply for exemption from some of the credit requirements of the course.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MA
Home / UK £13,000
International £13,000

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies, which you would need to factor into your budget.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Career progression

94.3% of postgraduates from the School of Education secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £28,280.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" I am fortunate and proud to work with students from all over the world, who are keen to study, research and develop their practices in educational leadership and management. Our course benefits from the wealth of experiences and perspectives our students and tutors bring, from schools, colleges, universities and other educational providers. "
Dr Phil Taylor, Course Leader

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Tuesday 10 November 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.