The MA Educational Leadership is designed primarily for educators serving in all types of schools (including academies and Free Schools), colleges, independent training providers as well as professionals working in Children's Services, who already have a responsibility for leading or aspire to a leadership role and who wish to study at Postgraduate Level.
The programme comprises a series of 20 credit modules allowing students to select modules that align to their own organisations context and their personal interests. Modules include:
The Professional Development Review (PDR) module which enables participants to review their personal biography and to reflect critically on their professional learning journey so far.
Leadership Theory into Practice provides the foundations for developing a deeper understanding of how key leadership theories impact on the practical work of modern leaders of education. This module particularly supports those who wish to bring in credits through the APEL process.
Leading Change, supports individuals in acquiring the skills necessary to led change effectively.
Leading Change in Faith Schools, supports individuals in acquiring the skills necessary to led change effectively in a faith school setting.
Leading Faith Schools, is a mandatory unit for those who wish to gain the Faith Schools named award and looks at the distinctive nature of leadership and management in faith schools which make up over a third of schools in England.
Power, Policy and Politics in Educational Leadership, looks at the interplay between these three related dimensions and there impact on leadership in a education system which is complex and undergoing continuous radical change.
Creativity, Innovation and Leadership, explores leadership through the context of innovative and creatives practices. Key theoretical practices will be drawn from reflexivity, values based education, and creative pedagogy.
The Psychology of Leadership, considers the psychological basis that underpins leadership, including notions of authentic leadership, trait theory and elements of neuroscience and leadership.
Leading Governance, focuses on the key role that governance has in educational leadership and considers how it should be more than stewardship and frames governance within a regulatory and accountability framework.
Globalisation of Education, explores how globalisation and trans-national policies inform state led regulations which subsequently impact on education in the UK. This module considers the similarities between the UK education system and those of other countries.
Systems Leadership, and multi-agency working should enhance the outcomes for children and young people. A key political driver, enacted through SLE, LLE and NLEs, this module allows individuals to consider systems leadership in the context of school/college improvement.
Coaching and Mentoring, is key to developing outstanding leadership and high performing teams. In this module you will learn about key coaching and mentoring theories and participate in coaching staff.
All students will complete a 60 credit dissertation based on an area of study of interest.
All students throughout the programme gain an increased self-awareness derived from a critically reflective analysis of experience of leadership and which supports the professional practice and helps to set goals for future professional development. Students are supported to use this needs diagnosis to inform their construction of the most suitable MA study pathway, including the appropriate use of the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and/or Negotiated Experiential Learning Modules (NELMs) in their personalised learning programme.
NELMs: Where a National College leadership programme has not been completed, a student will be advised to take one or more NELMs.
In engaging students in critical reflection on real-time aspects of their leadership role, NELMs provide a vehicle for developing theory-informed practice and enable students to enhance their workplace capability.
Educational Leadership MA Educational Leadership: 180 credits Dissertation @ 60 credits is compulsory Modules / NELMs 20/40 credits (Optional)
Exit award of Postgraduate Diploma Educational Leadership: 120 credits Modules /NELMs @ 20/40 credits (Optional)
Exit award of Postgraduate Certificate Educational Leadership: 60 credits Modules /NELMs @ 20/40 credits (Optional)
The programme is designed to recognise former certificated and experiential learning through the Accreditation of Prior Learning process.
The MA in Educational Leadership has been accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. Students successfully completing the MA programme will also receive a CMI award in Strategic Leadership and Management at Level 7. This award is fully embedded within the MA progamme, so students will not have to undertake any additional work. Registration with the CMI will be done at the time of module registrations.
The MA Educational Leadership is open to both graduates and non-graduates with professional experience although applicants will normally be graduates. Non-graduates will be invited for interview.
Applicants will normally be in a leadership role in an educational setting or be aspiring to leadership. It is possible for applicants who are not in work to undertake the Programme through a combination of university -based taught modules.
International students will need to evidence a recent IELTS score of no less than 7.0
There are no QAA benchmark statements for postgraduate study specific to Education. The MA Educational Leadership draws on and extends the QAA (2010) Master's degree characteristics at Level 7 assuring the achievements represented by the qualification are appropriate and represented consistently.
Master's degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:
A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of research around educational leadership
A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship
Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge about leadership
Conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship about leadership and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:
Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level
Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
The MA Educational Leadership aims to develop an individual's professional knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to leadership and management in their current context by building on the significant experience and expertise which students will bring with them to the course. It is recognised that in practice this requires tutors to facilitate situated learning, much of which will be experiential in nature and driven by the learner themselves and this will influence the learning and teaching methodologies to be utilised. The desired pedagogy moves away from traditional notions of learning towards supporting the development of reflective, autonomous learners engaged in contextualised, work-based learning. From the very start of their course, students will be supported by a University tutor and have access to University facilities and resources.
At the heart of all teaching and learning on the MA Educational Leadership are the essential skills of critical analysis and reflection. The programme's learning and teaching strategies aim to enable students to draw on the knowledge and experience they gain in the context of their own professional environment in order to draw out the learning and to help them to link this to theory, research and policy. In doing so, a reflective and critical approach to professional issues and concerns is fostered. To do this, tutors will provide 'safe' opportunities for views and beliefs to be discussed and challenged and for both understanding and insight to be achieved.
Approaches used on the programme are informed by accepted adult learning principles and teaching and learning methods are designed to engage self-directed learners in utilising previous experience and drawing on prior learning to address real-life issues and problems in their own workplace. This student-centred approach, which emphasises a process- rather than a content-driven curriculum, is characterised by active learning, participative groupwork and creative methods of encouraging learning, together with the setting of tasks that are relevant to the individual student's needs. A range of methodologies is employed which takes account of best practice and is compliant with the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy. These methodologies include:
Presentations, discussions, debates
Setting-based teaching and learning activities
Personal contextualised reflection
Individual or group tutorials
Students leading parts of sessions
Formative self- and peer assessment
Use of the University 's Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) including dedicated module sites providing a range of specific materials to support learning.
Learning undertaken at the University is in a technology-rich environment that creates a flexible approach to learning for part-time students.
We will maximise the advantages of module learning spaces for group and individual online activity linked to learning tasks. Reflection and online aspects of teaching, learning and assessment will increase in line with the advancement of the University's VLE. We are committed to offering a range of teaching and learning experiences and will continue to accommodate face-to-face interaction, peer learning and group work.
The Faculty of Education and Children's Services is committed to principles of assessment that:
Support formative assessments that provide feedback and constructive guidance;
Support summative assessments that indicate clearly how criteria have been met and that are consistent and comparable;
Enable students to demonstrate their achievements against the Level at which they are studying and national agendas;
Inform planning and Programme development;
Support manageable assessment tasks within an agreed timeframe;
Enable students to reflect on and take personal responsibility for their own learning.
(Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy, 2011)
Assessment of Prior Learning
Students may apply for credit as a result of undertaking NCTL programmes, or credit for work-based activities, as part of the MA in Educational Leadership. In all cases of claims for credit, evidence must be provided to demonstrate that the learning for which a student claims credit has been appropriately audited and attested. Credit for prior learning can be claimed where this learning is appropriate to the MA Educational Leadership programme, which will be governed by the University's Principles and Regulations, in particular Section F Regulations Governing the Assessment of Students.
In assessing AP(E)L at Level 7, submissions will be awarded credit when they:
Clearly identify, evidence and critically reflect on key areas of learning.
Critically examine and analyse how the learning has been informed by wider theory and/or practice, for example with reference to chosen theoretical perspectives, peer reviewed sources of opinion, external information or review.
Demonstrate original/innovative thinking or ways of working in relation to current best practice.
The Programme will offer the following assessment palette:
Assessment tasks on the MA Educational Leadership are based on an ‘assessment palette' of seven assessment methods. Each will comprise one component.
Assessment methods A-G
Assessment task A
An Essay (100%)
Assessment task B
A Reflexive Journal (100%)
Assessment task C
A Reflective Sketchbook (100%)
Assessment task D
An Analytical Case Study (100%)
Assessment task E
A Presentation and Oral Examination (100%)
Assessment task F
A Dissertation (100%)
Assessment task G
Element 1 A Professional Portfolio
Element 2 A Critical Commentary (100% combined)
Holders of the qualification will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for leading educational organisations requiring the exercise of initiative and responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations. Students will be independent learners with a commitment to their own continuing professional development and that of others.
The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
All participants in and contributors to the Programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the Programme. Students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will:
Act as the student's contact with the University
Maintain an overview of a student's academic progress
Provide academic advice and guidance to students
Provide specific advice regarding module choice and review academic progress. This can be provided by face-to-face tutorial(s), email tutorial(s) or telephone tutorial(s)
Discuss academic strengths and areas which need development based on examples of work
Develop a relationship based on shared knowledge of the student's progress
Assist in completing the e-Portfolio
Provide a reference, if required, based on information provided by the student
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