MA Educational Leadership / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

MA Educational Leadership is the ideal programme if you are - or aspire to be - an educational leader, school-based practitioner or educational policymaker. You will be taught by internationally renowned academics in the fields of leadership, management, and school improvement, as well as senior educational experts such as headteachers and policymakers.

This range of voices - and the creative pedagogies we use - will equip you with the knowledge, skills, insights and capabilities to become an inspirational and impactful leader within Education, in any context.


  • Examine current theories for examining education policy and practice from a leadership perspective.
  • Develop your understanding of the key contemporary leadership issues that influence teachers' performance.
  • Enable colleagues to identify issues and develop appropriate school improvement strategies.
  • Consider some of the issues of equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility that enable and constrain leadership practices.
  • Develop a range of transferable employability skills which integrate current research and best practice.

Special features

  • Education has been a discipline of study at Manchester since 1890.
  • Our students come from all over the globe, and our qualifications are recognised across the globe.

Teaching and learning

The course is taught by a teaching team of world-leading academics who focus on the realities of professional practice within their research. This includes:
  • Dr Amanda Heffernan (Course Unit Leader of EDUC70531 Examining Education Policy), who is a former public-school principal and an expert in the contemporary challenges that face future and current leaders, policymakers, and international researchers, in ways that highlight the important and complex work of educational leadership today;
  • Dr Bee Hughes (Course Unit Leader of EDUC70331 Contemporary Issues in Education Leadership), who is a former headteacher, and an expert in school structures, leadership, and critical policy studies;
  • Dr Claire Forbes (Course Unit Leader of EDUC70882 School Improvement), who is an expert in school-community relationships, and how schools might work more collaboratively with local communities and wider agencies to support school effectiveness and improvement;
  • Dr Catherine Atkinson (Course Unit Co-Director of EDUC70372 Educational Leadership and Diversity), who is an expert in diversity in education, particularly around gender and sexuality);
  • Dr Tee McCaldin (Course Unit Co-Director of EDUC70372 Educational Leadership and Diversity), who is an expert in assessment and examinations, student leadership and research methods.).

Course units are delivered through a range of methods, including lectures, tutorials, group work, case-based approaches and enquiry-based learning. Comprehensive training is provided in the use of electronic resources.

We encourage both individual and co-operative learning and research, in ways that will foster an ethos of lifelong learning.

We aim to build on the expertise of our students, many of whom are experienced teachers, and who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from a range of different countries.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is by eight 3,000-word assignments, or the equivalent, and a dissertation of 15,000 words.

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
Contemporary Issues in Education Leadership EDUC70331 15 Mandatory
Educational Leadership and Diversity EDUC70372 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 EDUC61712 15 Optional
Blended Learning in a Digital Age EDUC70032 15 Optional
Psychology of Language Learning EDUC70091 15 Optional
The Education of Language Teachers EDUC70132 15 Optional
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in International Education EDUC70322 15 Optional
Multimedia Design and Development EDUC70511 15 Optional
Higher Education in International Contexts EDUC70552 15 Optional
Approaches to Teaching and Learning EDUC70632 15 Optional
Introduction to Sustainability Education EDUC70661 15 Optional
International Development and Education EDUC70891 15 Optional
Intercultural Engagement at Work and in Communities EDUC71232 15 Optional
AI Perspectives on Learning EDUC71242 15 Optional
Human Resource Development & Leadership MGDI60162 15 Optional
Gender & Development MGDI70802 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 20 course units


The course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) which has its own Student Hub. Here you'll find all your teaching staff and support staff as well as a place to relax with fellow students.

MIE is based in the University's Ellen Wilkinson building, which is centrally located on the University's Oxford Road campus, close to the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and the Students' Union.

Disability support

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

For more information, email