MA Education (Leadership)

Develop the expertise in education policy and leadership needed to lead change in educational settings, while developing as a forward-thinking education professional on a programme delivered using a hybrid learning model.

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    • Overview

      Course Length: 3 Years Part-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Education and Teaching
      Location: Edge Hill University

      The MA Education (Leadership) has been designed to meet the interests and professional development needs of a range of professionals who are working in education and related settings, such as health and social care and social services. The programme examines the changing relationship between education policies and leadership practice and explores how to identify, initiate and implement positive change in a range of educational settings. You will also engage in meaningful and impactful research and enhance your understanding of the nature of educational enquiry and the analytical processes that support research-informed practice. If you are seeking to develop your practice and gain expertise in the field of educational leadership, then this is the programme for you.

      You will benefit from exceptional personalised support, tailored to your individual professional interests and needs, and a flexible hybrid delivery model where you will normally attend classes online and on campus. The blend of students from different professional backgrounds will enable discussion, debate and the sharing of experiences in a supportive and welcoming environment, facilitated by staff who are experts in education theory and educational leadership. You will also develop essential transferable skills, from purposeful and effective communication to utilising a range of media, making justifiable decisions in complex and unpredictable situations, and planning appropriate targets for improvement.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The overall focus of the programme is on equipping you with comprehensive, theoretical, research-informed knowledge and an understanding of differing educational perspectives and diverse contexts.

      Key themes include the nature of reflective and reflexive practice, educational leadership, the relationship between education policies and leadership practice, and how to lead change in educational settings.

      Supporting your personal professional development and enhancing your research skills are essential elements of the programme, preparing you for the completion of an independent research project on a relevant topic of your choice.

      How will I study?

      An innovative hybrid blend of practical workshops, lectures and tutorial support provides a rich mix of experiences and modes of learning. The hybrid delivery model means that tutors will present sessions face-to-face and/or via a virtual classroom, ensuring a flexible approach where the location and mode of delivery can fit around the busy schedules of working professionals.

      Taught sessions are built around dialogue, discussion and collaborative learning, with tutor support and expertise immediately at hand. Teaching is interactive, experiential and innovative, using a variety of technologies to enhance your learning, from presentation tools and virtual classrooms to mixed media, social media and mobile technologies. The programme will be tailored to enable you to focus your learning on your individual interests and professional requirements.

      Each 30-credit module may typically involve four face-to-face or virtual classroom sessions, a significant amount of private study and reading, as well as independent research.

      How will I be assessed?

      You will be assessed through a combination of 5,000-word written assignments, project work, portfolios and presentations, as well as a 15,000-word dissertation. Opportunities to receive formative feedback are embedded into each module.

      Who will be teaching me?

      The programme is delivered by a team of research-active academic staff who have extensive expertise in education and its related disciplines.

      The work of the programme team has national and international impact, contributing to and informing education curricula and learning techniques, both in the UK and overseas.

      Their research interests include reflexivity and learning, educational policy and practice, educational leadership, as well as research methods and methodologies.


      Housed in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education enjoys a stunning setting from both its lakeside and piazza buildings.

      Facilities in the lakeside building include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology. The lakeside building is also home to a popular vegan and vegetarian cafe where students can meet to socialise and discuss their studies.

      The nearby piazza building offers modern facilities including a lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.


      You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.


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      Compulsory modules:

      PRL4021Developing Practice: The Dissertation (60 credits)

      Developing Practice: The Dissertation provides an opportunity to synthesise the knowledge and skills you have gained on the programme and demonstrate a sound understanding of the links between theory, policy and practice. You will carry out a sustained piece of independent research on a relevant topic of your choice. You will also have the opportunity to undertake data collection and analysis in a way which is appropriate to your research question and report on the significance of your findings.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      PRL4030Educational Leadership in Context (30 credits)

      Educational Leadership in Context enables you to critically analyse educational leadership from multiple theoretical perspectives. The module will equip you with a broad understanding of the factors that affect leaders’ ability to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organisation in which they are members. The aim is to enable you to develop a persuasive critical argument that extends and challenges contemporary understanding of leadership practice. The module will engage you in a critical and evaluative discussion of contemporary leadership theories and frameworks, as well as their application in practice, through linking to your own educational practice and future career development. You will gain insight into the multi-faceted nature of leadership, with a particular focus on its role in advancing social justice and enacting effective change in national and international contexts.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      PRL4020Research Planning in Education (30 credits)

      Research Planning in Education introduces you to research design in professional practice and research. The module will build your understanding of research design to enable you to generate and frame clear and theoretically robust research proposals. You will apply and develop knowledge of educational research paradigms, ethics, values and methodologies. Developing academic literacy, as well as critical and analytical skills. you will formulate and prepare a research proposal and ethics application.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      PRL4015The Reflexive Practitioner (30 credits)

      The Reflexive Practitioner introduces you to what it means to critically reflect on practice, in diverse ways, in a range of professional settings. You will consider the nature and features of critically reflective practice, identify models of reflective practice and be guided in how to explore the relevance and application of these models to your own practice. You will examine ‘problems of practice’ and discover how to interrogate both your own thinking and its articulation in practice. The theory and practice from this module will facilitate your professional development and learning throughout your career.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      You will select one of the following optional modules:

      PRL4036Leadership of Educational Change (30 credits)

      Leadership of Educational Change explores educational leadership in relation to identifying, initiating and implementing a positive change in a range of educational settings. You will have an opportunity to engage in critical discussions associated with the theories and models of change in light of contemporary theoretical perspectives and research. The module challenges some commonly held notions of what it means to be a leader of change and you will analyse the practice(s) in your own setting, considering concepts such as ethical leadership, transformational leadership, followership, and sustainability. The module will also enable you to comprehensively understand, as well as critically analyse, the drivers of individual behaviour and performance for creating a motivated and productive team as one of the key aspects of leading a positive change. The analysis of different approaches to educational change will ensure you gain critical insights into the key aspects of change and understand their implications for effective leadership practice.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      PRL4035Power, Politics and Policy in Educational Leadership (30 credits)

      Power, Politics and Policy in Educational Leadership focuses on three key interrelated dimensions of educational leadership, enabling you to engage in a critical discussion of associated issues from a global perspective. You will examine the changing relationship between education policies and leadership practice and consider how these are shaped by global political, social and cultural processes. The rise of new levels of leadership have resulted in the redistribution of the various activities in educational settings along with the appearance of new tools and technologies of power that are now reshaping the field of education across the world. The module has a strong emphasis on the implications of the changing scales of educational leadership on social justice, equipping you with a deeper understanding of global education policies and identifying key explanatory concepts in the relationship between leadership, education, power and societal good. Development of a distinctive personal voice in relation to the critical study of educational leadership in a wider socio-political context forms the core aim of the module. The module will help you to develop a deep critical understanding of the global factors that affect the ability of leaders to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of educational institutions and settings.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject or have a Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant field.

      If you do not meet the above requirements but have two or more years of relevant work experience, you are encouraged to apply. Relevant work experience could include working in a school or other educational setting, youth and community work, or an educational role in the public or private sector.

      All applicants must be employed in, or have sustained and appropriate voluntary access to, a relevant professional setting.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      Preparing you for a wide variety of roles across the education workforce in the UK and internationally, this MA can enhance your professional career opportunities and employability.

      On successful completion of the programme, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to make a significant and positive contribution to a range of education settings and education-related contexts.

      You will graduate well placed to apply for more senior positions both within your current workplace and with other providers. The skills and experience acquired through this MA will also provide you with essential preparation for progressing onto research qualifications, such as a PhD or Professional Doctorate.


      Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for part-time study on this MA are £39 per credit for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23. This is equivalent to £1,170 per 30 credit module.

      180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      Financial Support

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see for further details.


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

      The deadline for applications for September 2022 entry is Friday 29 July 2022.

      Visit for more information about the application process.

      Visit to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

      If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      17th February 2022 - Change of Module Status

      PRL4030 Educational Leadership in Context (30 credits) has changed from optional to compulsory.

      4th November 2021 - Change of Location

      Face-to-face sessions will typically be delivered at Edge Hill University, rather than St James\’ in Manchester, with effect from 2022 entry.

      22nd June 2021 - Clarification of Entry Requirements

      Recognition of Prior Learning updated to clarify that opportunities may be available on a case-by-case basis.

      Covid-19 - Education (Leadership) Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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