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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Master of Education (Educational Leadership and Improvement) PACES entry only is no longer accepting new applications.

This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and improvement firstly through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues; and secondly through their exploration and application in the conduct of individual, often change-oriented, research projects. The teaching team draws on its members research and experience to illustrate ideas, and occasionally welcomes visiting academics and alumni from around the world to enrich the route still further. Because participants come from the UK and overseas the course combines UK and international perspectives. Students are encouraged to share their diverse experiences and to learn from each other as well as from the course content while also relating new knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts. You will also receive extensive training in educational research methods.

The educational aims of this course are to:

  • examine the theoretical frameworks used in the study of education and its constituent disciplines;
  • provide training in research methods appropriate to education and educational change;
  • advance the capacity of students for professional reflection and judgment;
  • cater for a range of specialists interested within the field of education or one of its constituent disciplines.

The route content is delivered through a number of interrelated themes which may include: 

1.      Leadership for Learning

2.     Education Policy

3.     School Effectiveness and School Improvement

4.     Perspectives on Learning, Leadership and Curriculum (double length theme)

5.     Schools, Cultures and Communities

6.     Education Evaluation

7.     Networks and system leadership

This route focuses on leadership and learning in the context of institutional and system improvement and with reference to practice, policy and theory. The concept of leadership is treated as problematic and examined as it applies to learners, teachers and non-teaching staff as well as to those with formal leadership responsibilities. It acknowledges national and international increases in competitive as well as collaborative arrangements between educational settings and their implications for leadership. The route is underpinned by the values and principles of the evidence-based "Leadership for Learning" conceptual framework that include democratic, equity driven and agentic concepts of leadership and a view of learning as a shared, dynamic enterprise redefining conventional dichotomies such as for example 'teacher' and 'learner'.

Depending on the year your join this two-year route for your one-year progression from the PPD route, you are likely to be taught either themes 1, 2, 3, and 7 or themes 4, 5 and 6.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Educational Leadership and Improvement route, students are expected to have been enabled to develop:

    (i)  Knowledge from global frameworks for gaining advanced understanding of student, professional, organisational and system learning and improvement - and the roles of values, dialogue and agency in leading this

   (ii)  A skills-set and tools for critically analysing organisational, community and cultural issues and practices within educational organisations and systems, and for promoting wellbeing and establishing equity, justice, emancipation and inclusive change for all

 (iii)  Critical awareness of contemporary global debates surrounding minoritised identities; racism; gender and sexuality; and disability.

 (iv)  An ability to harness theoretical perspectives on educational leadership and setting/system improvement, and to develop and apply informed critique of their inter-relationship so to deepen leadership understanding for change

  (v)   An ability to understand, design and conduct qualitative and quantitative empirical research to help inform decisions and solve problems in improving education

 (vi)   An ability to contribute to informed development of policy and practice in educational contexts that leads to widespread sustained change

(vii)   Opportunities to build a lasting, international network of like-minded leaders through active, support from and collaborative learning with fellow students, faculty and alumni.


Students wishing to continue from the MEd in Education to PhD are required to achieve at least a merit for the dissertation.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Key Information

1 year part-time

Master of Education

Faculty of Education

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 15, 2022
Application deadline
May 16, 2023
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

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