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Postgraduate course

Educational Leadership & Management MA

Do you have what it takes to lead and inspire teams of educational professionals? We will prepare you to take on this challenge.

Student reading a book

Enhance your employability by growing your leadership skills with a focus on the specific context of educational settings. Learn to lead, manage, instigate change and develop positive relationships to improve educational provision.The course content is designed to reflect the changing needs of schools and other educational settings.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Education

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500

    International 2020-21 £12,750

Course overview

Where appropriate each aspect of the programme, from the module content to the learning outcomes, has been aligned with the National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers (DFE 2015). This makes it ideal for those wishing to pursue professional development opportunities and qualifications.

You will engage with legislative, practical and theoretical aspects of school leadership and management. The course team will support you in the development of critical awareness and understanding of key issues in leadership and management. There is a focus on collaborative learning with opportunities to reflect on current practice to better understand pertinent underlying values, beliefs and principles.

You will have the chance to apply your current expertise and shape the course to complement your professional practice and academic interests.

Our MA in Educational Leadership & Management can be studied full-time (typically over three terms, one year) or part-time (typically two years). You will study three compulsory 30 credit modules and one compulsory 60 credit module and a 60 credit dissertation.

Course structure

Level 1


Developing Self and Others

30 credits | Compulsory module 

On this module, explore the drivers of human behaviour, the conception of self and issues of identity construction. Develop a critical self-awareness to engage with the consequences of behavioural patterns. Learn about alternative responses and how these work in practice. You will consider the relationship between 'emotional intelligence' and leadership. Explore and question how this impacts decision making in education.

Leading and Managing Change Through a Project

30 credits | Compulsory module 

Change is constant in everyday and organisational life. It creates both uncertainty and opportunity. We will introduce you to research approaches and aims to analyse the different influencing change. You will do this by focusing on various dimensions of social justice. Develop your ability to lead innovation and change as part of strategic development and management. As part of the module, you will propose, plan and undertake a project that implements change. 

Contemporary Issues in Educational Leadership

30 credits | Compulsory module 

This module looks at furthering the development of your research knowledge and practice. It will assist you in evaluating evidence sources and developing your research skills. Explore and review data and plans in the context of various issues affecting educational settings. Gain experience in critiquing evidence sources and reviewing skills for research.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment
The learning and teaching strategies include lectures, masterclasses given by visiting professors and speakers, tutorials, seminars, workshops and e-learning activities via our virtual learning environment (VLE). There will be particular emphasis on engagement in individual and group enquiry to develop skills in critical questioning, creative thinking and problem-solving.

Delivery is structured to include two weekends each semester and some evening teaching for full-time students.

Self-study time
Outside of taught sessions, you are encouraged to undertake further study which may include reading journal articles, engaging in online discussions, and preparing for assessments.

Assessment methods
Our assessments have been externally commended for being innovative yet rigorous, and we’ve received very positive feedback from our students.

On some modules you will be able to negotiate the assessment type so that it aligns to your interests and needs. For example, you could choose to write a funding bid, a proposal for a small-scale investigation, a report or another agreed assessment type.

Your final study for the Education MA award is your dissertation or major project. This offers you the chance to further study a topic of particular interest and importance to you.

Entry requirements


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in Education or another related subject.

If your degree is not in Education or a related discipline but you can demonstrate extensive work experience in the field, your application may be considered.

If you have a PGCE which you gained within the last five years then we can recognise up to 60 relevant M level credits for this to provide exemption from two of the modules normally studied in the second year of part-time study. This means that you would complete and pass the first year modules and then proceed straight to your dissertation study.

International students

If you're an international student, you'll need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent (with no skill below 5.5).


Entry onto this postgraduate course will require you to attend an interview.

We are happy to arrange interviews via Skype for overseas students.

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and funding

UK & EU 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £6,500

    International 2020-21 £12,750

Alumni Scholarships

If you are an alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

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