MA in Leadership

MA Leadership

This masters degree provides the opportunity to:

  • access high-level professional development in the area of higher education management
  • gain a relevant, portable management qualification.

This masters degree will:

  • explore and critique educational leadership and management theory, research and practice
  • reflect on and challenge your practice as an educational leader or manager
  • investigate how the intersections of policy and practice influence leaders and managers of schools, institutions and systems
  • examine how leaders and managers can improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • develop your understanding of how leaders and managers can nurture relationships with their communities
  • investigate how leaders and managers can address issues of race, gender and class within educational organisations to improve student outcomes
  • enable you to join a professional network with other participants from London and around the world.

Click here for deatils of the Independent Study Module [ISM] Leadership Accreditation Option for NPQH, NPQSL & NPQML

Who is this programme for?

Educational leaders, managers and others with educational responsibilities in schools, children's centres, colleges and other organisations.

Course Tutor: Max Coates

Where do our students go?

Graduates of this masters degree are currently working as:

  • prinicipals/headteachers
  • senior leaders in schools
  • middle leaders
  • university academics.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (or equivalent) plus two years' leadership experience. If you do not have this experience, we will ask you to demonstrate how your professional role(s) have enabled you to understand organisations and leadership, and how this programme may benefit your future career objectives.


One year full-time or two years part-time. Annual fee depends on number of credits you choose each year. PT fee is based on 90 credits. Start in October or January or April.

Visa Information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October or January

For more information click here. You can also contact (by email) the international support team for advice.


Indicative Fee
Home/EU: £7,145 Full Time
International: £15,525 Full Time


Face-to-face evening sessions.

Study Method: Full-time or Part-time

Distance learning option - It is possible to take some modules through distance learning via the MA Applied Educational Leadership and Management which is offered through the University of London International Programmes.

More Information

Watch videos of the course tutor speaking about this programme:


By coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words, including essays, critical literature reviews, case studies and work-based projects, and a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.


Core topics

  • Leading and managing change and improvement.

Related topics

  • Doing and using educational leadership and management research
  • Developing management skills and leadership insights
  • Leadership for the learning community
  • Leading in diverse cultures and communities
  • Coaching and mentoring, principles theory and application to practice.

Core modules

Recommended modules




MA Leadership

Awarding body: Institute of Education, University of London

Teaching Institutions: Institute of Education, University of London

Name of final award:
Master of Arts (MA)
Postgraduate Diploma
Postgraduate Certificate

Programme title:  Leadership
UKPASS code: P040462

Language of study
The Institute of Education teaches and assesses participants through the medium of the English language. Competence in English language is required of all applicants. Programme regulations may indicate the level of competence required
of each applicant and may make its achievement a condition of admission.

Leaders, teachers and professionals from across the children’s workforce and other educational organisations.

Aims of the Programme
The MA Leadership supports participants in:
• acquiring knowledge that will improve their understanding of educational management and leadership in educational systems and institutions;
• reflecting critically on key areas of theory, empirical research and values underpinning educational management and leadership;
• applying key theory and research to their own work;
• analysing and reflecting critically on the policy context as it impacts on educational leadership and management;
• exploring ways in which educational management and leadership can contribute to the improvement of educational systems and institutions and to the quality of teaching and learning;
• engaging with participating leaders from London, the UK and around the world.

Programme Outcomes
By the end of this programme, participants will:
• understand relevant disciplines, literature, research, issues and theories about educational leadership and management;
• be able to critically analyse the above and be able to develop and sustain a line of argument using relevant research and scholarship;
• possess a knowledge and understanding of your leadership and management skills and strategies for the effective management of organisations;
• apply and refine the skills of research literacy: critically reading and using research in education in its different forms and contexts;
• recognise the value of and use both professional and academic forms of oral and written communication;
• develop both socially and more independently the skills of academic study and enquiry.

Criteria for admission to the programme
Participants are required to have completed a good first degree (or equivalent) and we recommend that participants have at least two years’ leadership experience.
While leadership and management experience will be expected, it is not a pre-requisite. Interested applicants without the two-years leadership experience are encouraged to contact the Programme Leader to discuss submitting a personal
statement that describes their experience to date and how it has prepared them to explore organisations and leadership issues.

Applicants whose first language is a language other than English may be required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.

The Institute of Education is committed to admitting and supporting participants with disabilities and welcomes applications from them. Participants do not need to be “registered disabled” to draw on these services, though in order to provide services in the long-term we will need to ask for medical or other evidence, as appropriate.
Disabilities Support can also support people who have a temporary mobility / dexterity impairment / other difficulty as a result of an accident, injury, illness or surgery.
We aim to treat every person as an individual, with needs which may differ from those of other people with a superficially similar disability. We do not therefore have standard procedures for participants with dyslexia, nor standard procedures for
visually impaired participants: each person's needs are considered individually.

Mode of study
The MA Leadership is available for full or part – time study.
Core modules are offered in the autumn term and new participants typically begin the programme in October. However, participants have the option of beginning the programme at the start of the spring or summer terms.
The MA Leadership also recruits cohorts of participants from schools and Federations in London and offers bespoke versions of the programme in several different countries throughout the world.
Alternatively, core and optional modules are may be offered at summer school in four-day intensive blocks.

Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards
For a Master's degree to be awarded, successful completion of a minimum of 180 credits is required. (The Institute of Education uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), as a guide to support periods of study undertaken abroad and to assist student mobility. Currently it is assumed that two UK credits equate to one ECTS. Therefore a module of 30 credits would typically equate to 15 ECTS credits).
All participants must complete the following required core modules:
• Leading and Managing Change and Improvement (30 credits)
• Report (30 credits) or a Dissertation (60 credits) in their area of specialisation.
We recommend that participants take their additional modules from within the MA Leadership. However, in consultation with the Programme Leader, participants may elect to complete their programme with modules from across the IOE.

Core modules / Programme elements Credit value:
Leading and managing change and improvement (30 credits) Report (30 credits)  Or Dissertation 60 credits

Optional modules/Programme elements:
The programme offers several optional modules throughout the year including:
Leading in Diverse Cultures and Communities, Leadership for the Learning
Community and Coaching and Mentoring principles theory and application to practice.
These modules are not offered each year so participants are advised to consult the Programme Handbook for the final schedule.
Additional optional modules are available from across the IOE.
Participants who for academic or personal reasons are unable to successfully complete the 180 credits required for the masters award may exit with the completion of 60 or 120 credits respectively and be awarded a Postgraduate
Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in the subject area.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to he achieved and demonstrated
The MA Leadership team is committed to providing participants with an acadmically challenging and interactive instructional experience. Within face-to-face sessions, participants will engage in lectures, case studies, group activities, presentations and debates. In class, participants will spend time working with guest tutors as well as their colleagues from across London and around the world. Between sessions, participants are responsible for completing assigned readings and tasks in preparation for class and the final assignment. At this time, all MA Leadership modules are assessed by a final 5000-word written assignment or equivalent.
Participants are encouraged to submit drafts of their assignments to receive feedback prior to submitting their final work to ensure they take advantage of all available support.

Information about assessment regulations
Participants must successfully complete all elements of the programme, to achieve the minimum credits required for the award. All coursework, is assessed according to the grade-related criteria for the programme level, found in the programme handbook.
Two staff members independently mark all assignments and agree final grades.
Assignments are graded from A to D, with D being a failing grade. Participants are permitted to represent a failed assignment on one further occasion, within 12 months of the original submission.
An external examiner is appointed by Senate and plays an important role in monitoring the quality of the programme and evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and support provided for the programme participants and the reliability
of the judgements made in assessing them.
Further details about assessment regulations can be found at

Support for learning
Participants are supported via traditional in class, learner-centred teaching methods and support during the assignment writing process. We offer our full-time participants the opportunity to participate in fortnightly seminars with LCLL faculty members and associates during the autumn term. We also offer annual, and/or termly, writing support sessions for new participants and those at the report/dissertation stage.

Methods for evaluating and improving the programme
The MA Leadership team uses a variety of different methods to gather and analyse data to support our on-going development of the programme including:
• module evaluation by participants
• termly meetings of the Programme Team
• annual programme review prepared by Programme Team and considered by
Faculty Quality Assurance Committee
• periodic programme review and revalidation involving external panel members
• staff review and development
• peer observation of teaching
• external examiner reports

We gather participant feedback on the overall quality of teaching and learning experiences across the programme via the following methods:
• on-going dialogue within modules
• student module evaluation within modules and the end of the programme
• student representation on Programme Committees.

Indicators of quality and standards
• Progression to higher level award programmes
• Promotion to management or higher level roles in their place of work
• Programme participants teaching other practitioners in their own institutions or on a regional or national basis
• Participation in continuing professional development programmes
• Publication of outstanding programme work in peer reviewed journals
• External examiner’s appraisal of how standards compare with other universities

Last modified: Thursday, 12 January 2017, 1:49 PM