The Professional Education and Leadership team in the Faculty of Social Sciences has worked in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders over a number of years to develop this highly regarded professional education course. This Masters in Professional Education and Leadership is designed to impact directly on professional practices and pupils’ learning experiences and outcomes.

This course draws upon current research to help you develop a critical and enquiring approach to leading professional practice in the current policy context.

Building on the success and impact of previous courses, the modules you’ll take on this course take account of current policy and the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) Professional Standards framework (2012) providing the opportunity to practice leadership at all levels.

The benefits of this course do not just extend to participants but also to colleagues and the wider school community and will lead to the development of strong professional networks both within and beyond the course.

Individual pathways

The following optional pathways have been developed to meet your own professional learning interests and career aspirations.

  • Advanced Professional Practice – aims to support your leadership development through critical engagement with research, policy and practice
  • Middle Leadership – aims to develop an understanding of the principles underpinning middle leadership
  • Coaching and Mentoring – aims to support the leadership development of practitioners to support the professional growth of others in their setting and/or wider education community
  • Curriculum – aims to support practitioners’ leadership development through critical engagement with curriculum theories and principles leading to changing practices and improvement in outcomes for children and young people in their setting and/or wider educational community
  • Digital Social Trends and Professional Practices – aims to help practitioners develop a critical overview of theories, principles and concepts of digital technologies in professional practices. This module is designed for students interested in how digital technologies and data are challenging and transforming professional and pedagogic practices and decision-making

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Having different optional pathways means you can choose modules tailored to your interests and career aspirations

#2 University of Stirling is ranked 1st in Scotland for Education Studies (The Guardian University Guide 2018)

#3 The course has been developed in collaboration with partnership with local authorities and stakeholders

Course details

In years one and two you have an opportunity to select one of five pathways, Advanced Professional Practice, Middle Leadership, Curriculum, Coaching and Mentoring, and Digital Social Trends and Professional Practices, to meet your individual professional learning interests and career aspirations.

In year three you undertake the final modules in the course which give you the opportunity to put leadership into practice through planning and leading a critical, collaborative, professional enquiry in your own work setting.

You must successfully complete six modules for the award of the MSc degree.


The modules will be delivered through a blended learning format designed to facilitate both individual and collaborative work. The format is a mix of:

  • face-to-face seminar days on campus
  • guided self-study
  • online and work-based learning

In the most recent study by QS, staff from the University of Stirling received a 5 out of 5 star rating for teaching (QS World University Rankings 2018).

Course director

Dr Valerie Drew

+44 (0) 1786 466270


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas: £420 per module
  • Home/EU: £800 per module
Program taught in:

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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
36 months
420 GBP
Overseas: £420 per module - Home/EU: £800 per module
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