Blended online course

Educational Leadership in Practice

  • Qualification: MA
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Delivery: Online with two conferences annually
  • Workload: Approx 20 hours per week
  • Next enrolment: February 2022
  • Fees: £12,000
Woman working with school children

Introduction

Be the positive change your educational organisation needs

Education is constantly under pressure to conform to external requirements, especially with standardisation and teach to test sweeping the globe, steering policy and pressurising educational leaders.

This course will build your intellectual and practical confidence in all interactions; with teachers, parents, students, managers, board members and policymakers, to engage at a higher level and influence change.

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Key features

Learn on the job

Take a critical and theoretical approach with practice-based learning that enables you create change in the workplace from day one.

Build a global network

Network with peers and experts during conferences held twice a year at our prestigious Manchester Centre.

Practise new skills

Learn from world-leading academics in educational policy and educational leadership including Prof Helen Gunter and Dr Alexander Gardner-McTaggart.

Try our free MOOC: Educational Leadership: Working for Good

Woman learning online

Our free MOOC covers the following topics

  • Researching leadership in the context of education and individual professional contexts.
  • Comparing and evaluating leadership models within education and how education, as an industry, is changing.
  • Comparison between national and international schools leadership.

Join the course for free

Key information

  • Delivery

    A mix of online content with face-to-face conferences twice a year

  • Duration

    Master’s - 24 month, part-time.

  • Enrolment dates

    Master’s – February and September.

  • Applications

    Applications are now open. Complete the contact form below and we'll email you with the details about the course or click Apply now at the top of the page.

  • Workload

    Approx 20 hours per week

  • Course director

    Dr Alexander Gardner-McTaggart

Fees and funding

Feb 2022 - Manchester Centre is £12,000

The early application deadline for Feb 2022 intake is 29 Nov 2021

Alumni Loyalty Bursary: If you have successfully graduated from The University of Manchester, you can receive a 15% alumni bursary (£1,800)

The University offers a one-discount policy. You will be awarded the discount that offers the largest amount.

The course fees for China is £16,000. 

The course fees for Middle East is £12,000 plus 5% VAT (paid in 4 instalments)

The advertised fee covers your tuition. It does not cover your accommodation and flight costs when travelling to the face-to-face workshops/conferences.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (minimum 2:1) or the overseas equivalent, in a related area. An initial qualification in teaching, or at least one year's professional experience in a public or private educational organisation, are desirable but not essential requirements.

Two satisfactory professional or academic references and a copy of your CV detailing your full work experience.

Find out more

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Course overview

Who this course is for

If you’re a teacher or an educator looking to move into a leadership role within an education organisation, this course is for you. It will give you vital knowledge and skills to take your career to the next level, empowering you to lead with confidence and have a real impact. 

What you will learn

  • Gain a deep understanding of theories, research, intellectual debates, and best practice from across the globe.
  • Reflect on how these could apply to your own practice.
  • Develop higher-order thinking skills to inspire you as a leader of education.
  • Apply educational leadership skills and find solutions to real-world problems from local and global education organisations.

Where and when you will study

This fully-online, part-time master's means you can study from anywhere in the world and fit it around your day-to-day life. You will be expected to learn while you continue to work, and to use examples from your work throughout your study.

You will complete four taught units in year one, followed by two taught units and a research project in year two. You'll learn through a mix of interactive teaching and have plenty of opportunities to work collaboratively with your peers.

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The benefits of a blended course

How it will benefit your career

  • Gain a deep understanding of theories, research, intellectual debates, and best practice from across the globe.
  • Reflect on how these could apply to your own practice.
  • Develop higher-order thinking skills to inspire you as a leader of education.
  • Apply educational leadership skills and find solutions to real-world problems from local and global education organisations.

Course units

  • Models of Educational Leadership

    • Explore conceptualising educational leadership practice as adjectival models
    • Consider what this means in diverse international contexts
    • Examine and evaluate a range of key models
  • Engaging with Research in Educational Leadership

    • What is educational leadership research?
    • What topics can be researched in education?
    • Why should research in education be taken seriously?
  • Leading Educational Change

    • Examining what is meant by ‘change’
    • Counter-productive and productive motivators for and mechanisms for change
    • Critical perspective on leading change
  • Education Policy and Leadership

    • What is policy and how is it ‘done’?
    • Policy architecture
    • Welfarism, social democracy and neoliberalism as policy architecture
  • Educational Leadership as a Social Practice

    • Educational leadership practice in a globalising education system
    • Getting and doing the job
    • Using research evidence
  • Optional Course Units

    • Digital Technologies and Educational Leadership
    • Leadership of International Schools
  • Independent Supervised Study/Project

    • Research Skills and the application of research to professional practice (30 credits)
    • Project-based enquiry (30 credits)

Course structure

Our online learning MA in Educational Leadership in Practice caters to the training needs of professionals around the world, whether you're looking to enhance your skills in leadership within schools or further your career in this area.

Successful leaders in education require a wide range of transferable skills and subject-specific knowledge in areas such as in education and social policy, leading organisational and educational change. 

At the start of your course in February or September, you'll have the chance to network with academics teaching the course, meet your peers and grow your network of global educational practitioners at a three-day conference in Manchester.

The Master's teaching comprises of five core 20-credit units, one APL 20-credit unit or select an optional unit and a 60-credit research project. 

Course learning aims

The course will equip you and develop:

  • A deep understanding of the theories, research and intellectual debates of the best leadership practice across the globe;
  • The oppportunity to develop networking opportunities with educational leaders in academia and within the sector;
  • A personal development plan for the year ahead;
  • The skills and knowledge to be the positive change your educational organisation requires by developing a critical approach to educational leadership and not a functionalist one;
  • The skills to use collaborative tools for online interaction;
  • Flexible and relevant tranferable skills of leadership that educational leaders require in their career and beyond.
The aim of the MA is to equip you with the skills and knowledge that educators and other similar education practitioners require for a successful career in your education organisations.  The course will offer you:
  • a balance between strategic focus, theoretical foundations and practical applications to apply directly into the workplace;
  • the chance to study a sector-inspired course that uses a Practice-Based-Learning approach;
  • practical experience is gained through the use of case studies and other hands-on activities, requiring the ability to process and find solutions to real-world problems;
  • insight into recent research and experience in the sector.

Teaching and learning

The course is mostly delivered online, allowing you to study flexibly and at a pace that suits your own requirements and lifestyle.

You will also participate and attend a conference at the start of the year in our Manchester centre. 

The course itself is taught from a critical and applied perspective, meaning practical elements such as problem solving and case studies will be able to be applied directly and immediately into your workplace.

Your teaching material and your study is via the University's e-learning system, which provides study materials, online resources and interactive online tutorial discussions with the module tutor and other course participants. 

You benefit from access to the University's Library, with more than 25,000 electronic journals and 400,000 e-books. 

Coursework and assessment

Each unit consists of 20 credits (excluding the final project) and requires a total of 150 hours of study per unit.

The units are mainly delivered in web-based format with each unit being studied over a three-month format period with a total of 150 hours of study (approximately 15 hours per week). There is also a three-day conference which takes place at the start of the teaching period each year.

There are no exams within the MA. Summative assessment comprises of individual and group courseworks, with two assessments per unit. We will provide online quizzes and activities through each unit as a method of formative assessments.

A final supervised project will consist of a 30-credit report on a literature or practice based enquiry. This will be an individual project whereby you will investigate some element of your educational leadership practice. 

The remaining 30 credits will be made up of three of the University's Research Skills Modules:

  1. Module 1 - Selecting and formulating a dissertation question/topic;
  2. Module 2 - Study design and methodology;
  3. Module 3 - Ethical, safety, social responsibility issues;

Each unit will be taught by an academic with extensive and valuable educational leadership experience delivering education courses nationally and globally.

While teaching on the course focuses on practical applications, it is informed by recent research and experience in the sector. A significant strength of our course is our institution access to research-led teaching and of the best collections of Manchester databases and learning materials in Europe. 

Admissions information

From your initial expression of interest right through to graduation, you’ll receive all the support you need. We can support you with enrolment and subject assistance, administrative logistics and fee options, online learning skills, workload management and special circumstances including a possible professional entry route.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

A good honours degree (minimum 2:1) or the overseas equivalent. An initial qualification in teaching, or at least one year's professional experience in a public or private educational organisation, are desirable but not essential requirements.

Please provide two satisfactory professional or academic references and a copy of your CV detailing your full work experience. You will also need to provide a personal statement (approx. 500 words) detailing why you're interested in studying on the course.

English language

In the case of non-native speakers of English an IELTS profile of 6.5 overall with no less that 6.5 in the writing component and no other subsection below 6.0

Or 

TOEFL internet-based score of 90 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 22 and no other section below 20.

Or

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169

Or

Grade C if taken before January 2015 (the Cambridge First Certificate in English is not acceptable).

Or

Pearson test of English score of 59 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 59 and no other subsection below 51

 

English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

To apply for the next intake of Educational Leadership in Practice, click here    

The early application deadline for February 2022 intake is 29th November 2021.

Alumni Loyalty Bursary (15% discount) If you have successfully graduated from a credit-bearing qualification at the University of Manchester or UMIST you can receive an alumni loyalty bursary, which is a 15% discount on the tuition fees that you are personally funding

One-discount policy:   We operate a one discount policy; Early Application, Alumni Loyalty Bursary and Scholarships are not accumulative. If you qualify for more than one discount or scholarship, you will be awarded the one that is the highest amount. 

If you have any questions regarding the course, please contact us on studyonline@manchester.ac.uk

For courses starting in late February, applications will close in early February.

For courses starting in September, applications will close at the mid-end of August.

Advice to applicants

To apply for the next intake of Educational Leadership in Practice, click here  

The advertised fee covers your tuition. It does not cover your accommodation and flight costs when travelling to the face-to-face workshops/conferences in Manchester or Dubai or any of our international centres.

If you are applying to the China Centre please contact crystal.cheng@uom.ac.cn

If you are applying to the Middle East Centre please contact elip@manchester.ac.ae    

To speed up the application process, please submit the following documents with your completed application form:

Copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English, please provide official translations;

Your CV with details of your work experience;

Copies of English Language Certification, eg IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report;

Two written references, stamped by the referee and on official headed paper;

We also require a personal supporting statement (maximum 500 words) and should explain what attracts you to apply to this course, what you hope to gain from this course and how it will help you achieve your aims or inspirations.  

How your application is considered

Once your application has been received, our Admissions team will contact you. We may ask you to submit additional information, if necessary.

Scholarships and bursaries

One-discount policy:   We operate a one discount policy; Early Application, Alumni Loyalty Bursary and Scholarships are not accumulative. If you qualify for more than one discount or scholarship, you will be awarded the one that is the highest amount.

The early application deadline for February 2022 intake is 29th November 2021.

Alumni Loyalty Bursary (15% discount)

If you have successfully graduated from a credit-bearing qualification at the University of Manchester or UMIST you can receive an alumni loyalty bursary, which is a 15% discount on the tuition fees that you are personally funding.

Postgraduate loans (UK/EU)

If you're an English or EU student living in the UK, you may be eligible for a loan from the government.

Postgraduate loans (outside England)

If you're a UK resident living in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey, you may be able to secure a loan from the local authorities.

Manchester Master's Bursary (UK only)

We're committed to helping talented students access further education, regardless of background.

Equity and Merit Scholarships (international only)

If you're joining us from Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda or Tanzania and want to make a difference in your home country, you can apply for this scholarship.

Additional cost information

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website.

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.