Applied Educational Leadership and Management (MA, PGDip and PGCert)
Study for a prestigious MA in Applied Educational Leadership and Management by distance learning
For educational professionals based anywhere in the world who wish to become:
- a leader or manager in a school or college;
- an educational consultant;
- working in an educational planning, development or inspection role for a national or regional organisation.
This course is available via distance learning, allowing you to study flexibly whilst balancing work and personal commitments.
|You study||Study period||Cost (2016-2017)|
|MA||4 modules + dissertation||3-5 years||£11,450|
|Postgraduate Diploma||4 modules||2-5 years||£8,990|
|Postgraduate Certificate||2 modules||1-5 years||£5,070|
|Individual modules||All core and optional modules are offered as credit-bearing Individual modules. This is an ideal option if you're keen to update your professional knowledge, enhance your career or sample the programme. The Individual module fee is £2,285 in 2016-2017.|
The course will:
- equip you with the knowledge to improve your understanding of educational management and leadership;
- enable you to apply theory and research in your job;
- foster your continuing professional development through reflection on practice;
- allow you to consider issues related to the policy context of education;
- give you the chance to contribute towards improvement of educational systems and institutions and to reflect on the quality of learning and teaching.
Your time commitment
We estimate that you will need to study for about 10-15 hours a week.
The course has been developed by the UCL Institute of Education, the largest institution in the UK devoted to the study of education and related areas. Founded in 1902, the Institute is a world-class centre of excellence for teacher training, higher degrees, research and consultancy in education and related areas of professional practice and the social sciences.
The Institute hosts over 100 research and consultancy projects at any one time. The UCL Institute of Education was ranked number one worldwide for Education in the QS 2015 World University Rankings.
Students on the AELM programme can become Affiliate members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which provides access to a wide range of resources and services. On completion of the MA degree, students will be eligible to apply for fast track professional recognition (ACMI or MCMI with three years’ management experience).
The AELM programme has gained recognition for the International Baccalaureate advanced certificate in leadership research. If you are an International Baccalaureate teacher, or interested in gaining this additional qualification, please visit: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/pd/certificates
Comprehensive study materials and support
The learning strategy for this course is collaborative insofar as you share your skills and experience with other students. You are supported by an online learning environment which incorporates focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module. There are also informal discussion areas and links to online resources including library support. Study materials and course readings are provided.
Summary of key dates
|Applied Educational Leadership and Management|
|Application deadline||19 August||31 October|
|Registration deadline||31 August||30 November|
|Online induction session starts||September||January|
|Examinations take place||May/June||May/June|
You may commence your studies in September or January. We allow you up to five years to complete your qualification. However, a typical route through the MA is shown below:
|September modules||January modules|
|Leading and managing educational change and improvement||
Leadership for the learning
Finance and resource management
Developing personal leadership skills
Exploring education policy
Values, vision and moral purpose
|Year 3 (Dissertation)||
You will be supported by your tutor to produce a Dissertation of 15,000 words
Free education-related Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
As part of our portfolio of online courses offered through Coursera, we have three education courses led by academics from the Institute of Education. Registration and participation in these online courses is free, with a small fee paid at the end of the course if you wish to receive a certificate from Coursera.
Course start dates vary but for more information and to sign up for future sessions, please visit the following pages:
Teaching EFL/ESL Reading: A Task Based Approach
This course explores ways of teaching reading skills in English as Second and Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) using a task-based approach.
Supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing.
A short course for teachers to learn why some children have difficulties with reading and writing, often called 'dyslexia'.
What future for education?
Looking at how education will change in the future and drawing on material from one of the early modules in the MA in Education programme.
Structure and syllabus
MA: 4 modules (2 core, 2 optional) plus a dissertation
Postgraduate Diploma: 4 modules (2 core, 2 optional)
Postgraduate Certificate: 2 core modules
Individual modules: the modules can also be taken individually for continuing professional development.
- Leading and managing educational change and improvement
This module introduces some of the basic theories relating to leadership and management in educational settings and considers how they might work in a range of situations and national cultures. Students are made aware that most theories of leadership and management are ‘Western’ in nature and are encouraged to consider their applicability to their own cultural context.
The individual organisation is looked at from the point of view of its structures, its own institutional culture and the way power is distributed. The implications of the changing division and allocation of power between national and regional government and the individual educational institution are considered. The key themes of institutional effectiveness and educational improvement and change are introduced in this module along with the related concept of evaluation.
- Leadership for the learning community
This module starts by considering the question: what do we mean by learning? It then goes on to consider the implications for leaders and managers if they are to promote effective learning and the role of the wider community in supporting and enabling learning. The role of the staff within a school, college or educational system is key to success, and this module considers two ways in which human resource management links to learning and the implications of this for leaders and managers. The importance of continuing professional development for staff and the support and growth of learning communities is stressed. Finally, the module considers the importance of practitioners both using available research evidence and data from outside and from inside the institution and system.
- Finance and resource management
This module explores the way in which resources for education are financed, in particular by central and local government, as well as with the management of finance and resources within educational organisations. Emphasis is placed on the criteria of efficiency and equity as guiding principles for the allocation of resources at all levels of decision making. Each of the sessions is concerned with a particular aspect of financial and resource management but all are underpinned by the need to plan, implement and evaluate resource use. By the end of the module you should: be more aware of how to make your institution more efficient, effective and equitable; have an improved understanding of financial management and the financial systems within which you operate; and have developed skills of costing, budgeting and planning. In all of the sessions you will be looking critically at literature on managing finance and resources in education, some of which is theoretical and some of which reports research and practice. You will also be asked to consider the implications of what you are studying for your own practice.
- Developing personal leadership skills
This module builds on the theories presented in the core modules to develop leadership skills that will benefit your organisation. Improve your skills and insights as a leader and manager of people utilising a range of case studies. Understand team building, decision-making and conflict resolution. Gain personal skills such as time and stress management and action planning.
- Exploring educational policy
Identify how your institution is affected by national and international policy and change, including initiatives of access, equity and social justice. Understand national and global forces and how they impact on you and your institution.
- Values, vision and moral purpose
Values and ethics are central to educational leadership and management. Moral philosophy is applied to real life situations to help you understand and examine your own values. Work with others to develop a vision and mission for your organisation. Examine strategies for change and improvement of organisational culture. Gain new insights into your role.
Dissertation (MA only)
- Dissertation IOE
You will be supported by your tutor and through online seminars to develop a small research project on a topic of your choice related to educational leadership and management. The dissertation provides the opportunity for an extended piece of writing that will be valuable to you and your institution and will also provide excellent experience if you wish to continue your studies at doctoral level.
Please note that modules are offered in September and January as follows:
YEAR 1: Leading and managing educational change and improvement (Core module 1) YEAR 2: Finance and resource management OR Developing personal leadership skills.
YEAR 1: Leadership for the learning community (Core module 2) YEAR 2: Exploring education policy OR Values, vision and moral purpose.
How you study
The programme is supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which incorporates:
- focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module
- informal discussion areas
- online learner support
- links to online resources including library support.
When you register, you will have access to materials specially written for the course by a team of academic experts in the field of educational management and leadership. You will also be given additional readings, specially selected to complement and extend the dedicated written material.
The teaching and learning strategy for the programme stresses the importance of working with colleagues in the VLE to develop your understanding of the areas of study. Comparing experience with colleagues in a range of locations and cultures will allow you insights into professional practice.
In your work you will be supported by tutors who will mediate the online conferences and who will also provide advice and responses to individual queries. Working within a VLE will provide you with a unique opportunity of acquiring a range of skills associated with online learning including group working skills and technical skills.
An online community
Working from your own home and/or place of work, you will become part of a virtual learning community, studying collaboratively with your fellow students and an online tutor. The VLE allows you to access learning materials, share documents, and interact with colleagues and tutors. The online environment also links to other resources such as the Online Library (which includes journals, databases and referencing tools) and informal discussion areas. Here you can share insights and support each other as you progress through the programme.
What our students say
" It's important to me that we can communicate with the tutors. They are always willing to provide help. Their support gives you a lot of courage."
Demetra Ioannou current student, Cyprus
The fees below refer to the 2016-2017 academic year only and are effective from 1 March 2016. Fees are subject to annual review.
|Registration fee||£ 1,150|
|Fee per module||£ 1,960|
|Fee for dissertation (MA only)||£ 2,460|
|Total Postgraduate Certificate||£ 5,070|
|Total Postgraduate Diploma||£ 8,990|
|Total MA||£ 11,450|
|Total per Individual module (taken on a stand-alone basis)||£ 2,285|
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When to pay
Fees may be paid in one of two ways:
How to pay
All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:
- Western Union - Quick Pay
- Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
- Sterling banker's draft/cheque
- International money/postal order
Further details are given in payment methods.
In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.
The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
Each individual module (except for the dissertation) will be examined by a combination of a three-hour unseen written paper and coursework. The dissertation will be assessed by submission of a 15,000-word research project.
Examinations take place once a year in May/June. If you fail an examination at the first sitting you will be allowed one further attempt. Examinations are normally held in a student's country of residence. We have examinations centres in over 140 countries worldwide. For further details please see the Assessment and examinations section of our website.
- An undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK second class honours degree, in any subject, from an institution acceptable to the University, together with at least two years relevant work experience.
Please note we accept qualifications from around the world. For further guidance please see our UCL Institute of Education Qualifications for Entrance.
If you do not meet the entrance requirement you may still apply. Each application will be considered on an individual basis.
Word-processing, Internet and email skills are all basic requirements of this programme. No previous experience of computer conferencing is required as these skills will be developed during the course.
Before submitting an application, informal queries regarding the course entrance requirements can be submitted to the Student Advice Centre and queries regarding the content of the course can be addressed to C.Vera-Valderrama@ioe.ac.uk.
You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:
- (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.5 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 in the Reading and Writing sub tests.
- (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 115 or above with at least 28 in both Reading and Writing Skills sub-tests and at least 27 in both Speaking and Listening sub tests.
You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.
To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification:
- screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
- sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB
and the following applications installed:
- a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
- Adobe, or other pdf reader.
* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.
Academic leadership: UCL Institute of Education
UCL Institute of Education is the largest institution in the UK devoted to the study of education and related areas. Founded in 1902, the Institute is a world-class centre of excellence for teacher training, higher degrees, research and consultancy in education and related areas of professional practice and the social sciences.
Liz Wood, Programme Director
Liz is a Consultant/Senior Lecturer in Education Leadership and Management. She developed and updated the MBA for Bursars at Lincoln University before joining London Centre for Leadership in Learning where she is currently also director of the MBA Education Business Management (International). She was involved in developing the National College’s school business management blended learning programmes which include a strong distance-learning element.
Liz’s main interest and research is focused on school business management and professional development. She has presented at conferences in the UK, US and Jamaica, is a member of the Training and Development Agency’s School Business Management Development Group and was contracted to the TDA as school business management development programme manager.