Our MA Educational Leadership masters is a flexible course for anyone interested in critically exploring educational leadership. We offer a full-time, on-campus route and a part-time, blended learning route so you can study at a pace that suits you.
Whether you are a current or aspiring leader in education or a related field, our course appeals to a variety of backgrounds and professions. You’ll be joining a diverse and thriving community of postgraduate students from the UK and across the world.
Critically analyse the key approaches and debates in the field of educational leadership from the UK and global perspectives and develop your understanding of different leadership models.
You will evaluate and learn to think with a range of theoretical frameworks to deepen your critical analysis of leadership. You’ll also use theory to examine and challenge your own beliefs and assumptions. This enables you to reframe how educational leadership is practised and contribute to new and innovative methods for the future.
We aim to empower you to approach your own research with confidence. You’ll extend your understanding of research techniques to prepare you for completing your own dissertation. You’ll be supported by active researchers in our internationally renowned Educational and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
We’ve designed this postgraduate course to allow you to specialise and focus on areas of education that interest you. You can specialise by choosing an option unit based on work by world-class researchers in the Faculty of Education. Your option units may include topics such as literacy and language, educational philosophy, learning in informal settings, or international perspectives in education.
When you graduate, you’ll achieve a masters degree that highlights areas of your personal and professional interest.
Features and Benefits
World-class research-informed teaching – you’ll be taught by teacher-researchers, many of whom are global experts in their fields. This includes researchers from our internationally renowned Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in the Faculty of Education.
Expert dissertation support – you can work closely with expert researchers from ESRI as part of your dissertation to help you shape and carry out your own research project. Expertise spans areas such as early childhood, literacy, STEM, and global educational trends.
Join a diverse postgraduate community – you’ll become a part of a thriving community of postgraduate learners from a variety of professional backgrounds in the UK and across the world. This network helps to enhance your learning experience and further support you through your studies.
Flexible learning – study either part-time or full-time so that you can fit your masters around your other commitments.
Tailored to you – we’ve designed this course so that you can shape your learning journey to your individual interests. Choose option units and coursework topics to reflect specialisms in your personal and professional interest.
Expand your knowledge – focus on the field of educational leadership and use your learning to reframe how educational leadership is practised and contribute to new and innovative perspectives for the future.
Study in a thriving education city – with a diverse and energetic scene, Manchester is one of the UK’s largest and most popular student cities. Our University shares the city’s strong national and international education links which can support and enhance your learning.
Recognition of prior learning – if you have a National Professional Qualification in Leadership, apply for the learning to be recognised as a contribution towards your MA and reduce the number of taught units you need to complete.
Whether you take our part-time or full-time course, you will start your MA Educational Leadership with two core units.
In your first unit, you’ll critically explore current key issues in educational leadership. You’ll develop your understanding of, and critically analyse, a wide range of different leadership concepts such as transformational, transformative, democratic, and ethical leadership models.
And in the second core unit, you’ll engage with theoretical frameworks to deepen your analysis of educational leadership. And you’ll explore how theory informs how we interpret and analyse key issues in education today. Exploring these different theoretical lenses will help you think about educational leadership in relation to contemporary challenges of globalisation, power, agency, inequality and diversity, and sustainability.
You’ll join students from other education-based masters courses in a third core unit, Principles and Practice of Educational Research. We’ve designed this unit to develop your understanding of critical issues and methodologies within research and help prepare you for completing your own dissertation.
In the fourth unit, you’ll pursue your own individual interests by choosing one of a series of option units. Our option units are designed and delivered by active researchers from within our internationally renowned Educational and Social Research Institute (ESRI). We’ve designed these option units to reflect our world-class research carried out at the Faculty of Education.
Our taught units are assessed by coursework. This allows you to focus on the topic of your work on areas that suit your professional and personal interests.
The final part of your masters is a dissertation. For many students, this is the most challenging part of the course, but also the most interesting and most rewarding.
With guidance from your expert teaching and support team, you’ll design and carry out a research project of your own and complete a written thesis. Some recent examples of topics include:
an interview-based analysis of educational leadership in schools in Iraq
a critical analytical review of UK literacy policies
teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of school readiness
women and leadership in further education in the UK
leadership in American education: race, gender and social justice
You’ll also benefit from our integrated support network of services offered at Manchester Met, as well as our programme-specific support provided by your programme team. You’ll have a personal tutor to accompany you throughout your studies. Your tutor aims to provide tailored support and advice from start to finish.
As a student at Manchester Met, you’ll also be able to access Masterclass. Masterclass is a wide range of optional year-round discussion groups, reading groups, writing workshops and events designed specifically for and with masters students in the Faculty of Education.
Throughout your course, you’ll study four core units including a dissertation, and one optional unit. If you are coming to the course with advanced standing of 60 credits from your PGCE, you’ll complete two units before progressing to your dissertation.
Principles and practice of educational research
Conceptualise, critique, create: thinking with theory in educational leadership
Key debates and discourses in educational leadership
Study and assessment breakdown
10 credits equate to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:
Full-time (on-campus): 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 80% independent study
Part-time (blended learning): 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 80% independent study
Full-time (on-campus): 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
Part-time (blended learning): 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
You must have a first degree, postgraduate diploma or professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an undergraduate UK honours degree of at least a 2:2. Other qualifications or experience may be considered.
If you’ve completed a PGCE within the last five years, you can normally join the course with advanced standing. This means you’ll put 60 credits from your PGCE towards your masters and complete fewer units to achieve your MA. Usually, this means you’ll complete just two core units before progressing to your Dissertation.
With the agreement of your programme leader, other relevant and recent level seven qualifications may also permit advanced standing via recognition of prior learning and prior experiential learning (e.g. relevant work experience). Further advice and guidance on this will be available after you enrol.
If you have a National Professional Qualification in Leadership, apply for the learning to be recognised as a contribution towards your MA and reduce the number of taught units you need to complete. For more information, please contact Michaela Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applicants whose first language is not English must have IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.
Fees and Funding
UK and Channel Island Students
Full-time (on-campus) fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Part-time (blended learning) fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
EU and non-EU Students
Full-time (on-campus) fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Part-time (blended learning) fee: £2750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Depending on where you live, if you are attending in mode 2 you may need to pay for travel to the University and accommodation for weekend conferences up to three times a year.
You may wish to buy books, although purchase is not required.
You’ll gain skills to help you pursue a leadership or management position in education and develop a clear understanding of the role a leader plays in education to define your vision as a leader.
By choosing your own topics and option units, you can focus on your areas of interest – your priorities, targets and aspirations.
Our graduates have used our courses to help further careers, either in their current sector, or to make an informed move into a different role or field of education. If you’re considering pursuing a research degree in education, this masters course is a good foundation towards that ambition.