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Postgraduate Admissions

This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and school improvement, both through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues, and through their application in the conduct of individual research projects. The teaching team draw on their research and experience to illustrate ideas, and occasionally welcome visiting academics to enrich the route still further. Students are encouraged to share their experiences and perceptions, and to learn from each other while relating knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts. Participants come with varied backgrounds, from the UK and overseas, and as such the course has national and international perspectives.

The educational aims are:

  • to examine the theoretical frameworks used in the study of education and its constituent disciplines;
  • provide training in research methods appropriate to education;
  • advance students’ capacity 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 covered 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 school improvement and with reference to practice, policy and theory. The concept of leadership is treated as problematic and examined as it applies to pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff as well as those with formal leadership responsibilities. It recognises the increase in collaborative arrangements between schools and the implications they have for leadership. The route is underpinned by the values and principles of the "Leadership for Learning" conceptual framework that includes democratic and agentic concepts of leadership and a view of learning as a shared enterprise redefining such conventional dichotomies as 'teacher' and 'learner'.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • a comprehensive understanding of research techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature applicable to their specific educational domain;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Continuing

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


Open Days

The Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. The event is suitable for those considering applying for postgraduate study at the University. It provides opportunities to meet with academics, explore the Colleges, and find out more about the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

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Key Information


10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Education

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
Feb. 28, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2020
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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