MA in Educational Leadership and Management


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

How do we understand the complexity of leadership in educational organisations? How do we develop ourselves as more reflective leaders and managers? How can we contribute to the development of socially just educational systems?


Develop your understanding of leadership practices both nationally and internationally. Critically engage with theories of leadership and management including models of change. Develop the skills and knowledge to pursue a leadership role across the education sector.

You might be a recent graduate hoping to become a leader in education. Through this course, we aim to develop your skills as a reflective practitioner and prepare you for an educational leadership position.

You’ll critique the space you work in (or hope to pursue a career in), studying theories that will disrupt your assumptions about education and challenge your ways of thinking. This is so that you can understand the different ways you might lead and manage in the workplace.

You’ll develop an understanding of the main educational leadership theories including transformational, transformative and ethical leadership. This involves exploring the relationship between leadership and developing effective organisations. You’ll also consider how educational context can influence leadership practice and how you can shape educational futures.

Typically, you’ll study three core units and two option units. These option units give you the opportunity to delve deeper into areas you’re passionate about, such as global policy or a practical community project.

Features and Benefits

  • Our course is designed for people aspiring to, or currently in, leadership and management roles in educational settings.
  • You can choose option units that reflect your career aspirations and interests.
  • Our Practice-Based optional unit enables students to undertake an independent study based on involvement in a practice setting and/or with practitioners.
  • This course is one of four courses that make up our full-time masters in education courses. You’ll have some study sessions with students on our other full-time courses allowing you to collaborate across specialisms and be part of a lively, postgraduate community of learners.

Career Prospects

You’ll develop skills to help you pursue a leadership or management position in education. As a graduate of MA Educational Leadership and Management, some of the career paths you could choose, include becoming headteacher or running an international school.

Entry Requirements

Standard Manchester Met admission requirements for taught postgraduate programmes apply: Applicants need to have an honours degree, or a postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification recognised as being equivalent to a UK honours degree. Other qualifications or experience may be acceptable if students are able to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills to a UK honours degree standard.

Language Requirements

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Course Details

Our full-time master's degree gives you the opportunity to explore theories of leadership and management, and critique how they relate to your working environment. You’ll also develop the practical skills to apply your theoretical knowledge to your workplace.

In the first term, you’ll typically study the research design process, including how to formulate research questions and data collection approaches. This is to help you learn the skills you’ll need for your dissertation.

In the second term (January onwards), you’ll normally have the opportunity to choose two option units.

You might choose the Practice-Based Project, where you can develop a practical community project. You could investigate global issues affecting policy and childhood, perhaps exploring how children living in poverty develop skills. Or, you might conduct a critical analysis of social justice in a particular region.

Your final assignment is a dissertation and you’ll choose the topic. Past dissertation topics have included how data is used to judge effective education, and how is leadership enacted through educational networks and school chains.

You’ll usually begin working on your dissertation in the second term, too. You’re allocated a supervisor and you’ll have enhancement sessions to support you with tasks such as literature reviews, writing for academic purposes, and data analysis.

Year 1

Over your one year course, you'll cover the following units:

Core Units

  • Leadership and Management in Educational Settings
  • Introduction to Educational and Social Research Design
  • Dissertation

Option Units

You'll choose two option units from:

  • Collaborative Research Project
  • Globalisation, Social Justice and Social Change
  • Identity, Equality and Empowerment in Childhood
  • Independent Study
  • Key Issues in Managing Diversity, Disability and Special Educational Needs
  • Practice-Based Project
  • Transformative and Ethical Leadership in Educational Settings
Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

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 of 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: 55% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 45% independent study


  • Full-time: 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
Placement Options

Although there isn’t a formal placement for this course, you can visit an educational setting to observe lessons and teaching methods through the option unit Practice-Based Project.

Usually, you’ll identify an area of interest and create a proposal that includes the location you’d like to visit. For example, you might observe science lessons in a secondary school.

School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

Our School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies specialises in teaching and research around education disciplines focused on children, young people, families and communities.

The department works collaboratively with communities, partners, local authorities and arts organisations on social enterprise projects, and has been at the forefront of developments in its field for over 20 years.


UK and EU Students
  • UK and EU students: Full-time 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).
Non-EU and Channel Island Students
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £15,500 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).
Additional Information

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).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5 pence per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop, up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Manchester Met has a proud heritage dating back to 1824. We are also one of the largest universities in the UK with over 38,000 students. We have over 3,500 international students from more than 140 c ... Read More

Manchester Met has a proud heritage dating back to 1824. We are also one of the largest universities in the UK with over 38,000 students. We have over 3,500 international students from more than 140 countries. We are ranked amongst the world’s top 200 universities under 50 years old according to the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2019 which is a measure of our commitment to delivering and supporting quality research and teaching. Read less