Educational Leadership


Leadership in schools is associated with fostering an environment where students can achieve their full potential and where educational staff are supported, motivated and can professionally develop. Effective school leaders are often described as having the capacity to transform and motivate others, they are traditionally seen as those able to communicate vision and strategy, they are typically experienced and viewed as having accrued knowledge and expertise over time which positions them as being able to lead. This course takes the view that effective schools have leaders that can be found throughout a school and not necessarily confined only to those formally assigned to senior positions. Key ideas explored in this course are that leadership should be adaptable and distributed across schools; that interaction, collaboration, and networks are important and that leaders are those that manage change and help schools transform and improve. Leaders are those who manage conflict and resistance to change. There is a growing recognition of the importance of being emotionally intelligent and the need to demonstrate integrity and authenticity alongside ethical practice.

The MSc in Educational Leadership recognises that schools and more broadly educational systems depend on leaders from all walks of life and all types of positions, regardless of assigned title. The programme has been designed to help teachers, middle and senior leaders to progress and professionally develop. The programme is also suitable for those who work at the educational authority level, policy makers and those with a direct interest or experience in education.

The programme focuses on three elements: leadership theory, issues related to leadership in practice and the role that leaders play in the process of managing change and encouraging improvement.

It is expected that graduates will be able to inform their professional practice with the latest research evidence in the field to nurture meaningful relationships in educational communities, address issues of equity and diversity, support teaching and learning, and ultimately ensure quality outcomes which are tailored to contextual needs within schools. We seek to develop in students the ability to critique current leadership practices and to enact changes that will improve education for all.

Subjects taught

Core Modules

• Leadership: Theoretical Perspectives (20 credits)

• Dissertation (60 credits)

• Leadership in Practice (20 credits)

• Leadership for School Improvement and Change (20 credits)

• An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (20 credits)

Optional Modules

• Understanding Adults with ASD (20 credits)

• Understanding Children with ASD (20 credits)

• Social Justice in Special Needs Education and Inclusion: A Capability Approach (20 credits)

• Bilingualism, Literacy and Disciplinary Literacy Development (20 credits)

• E-learning: Concepts and Pract (20 credits)

• Epistemic Injustice: The Ethics of Knowing in Special Educational Needs/ Inclusion (20 credits)

• Fundamental elements of behaviour change (20 credits)

• Digital Literacy and Communication (20 credits)

• Behaviour Change in Education and Supervising Others (20 credits)

• Reflective Practice and Action Research (10 credits)

• Deconstructing Special Needs Education and Inclusion (20 credits)

• Curriculum: Theory, Policy and Practice (20 credits)

Course Structure

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (3 years) basis. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

Two optional taught modules may be chosen from the Educational Studies (MEd) programme.

Dissertation – 60 CATS (15,000 words max.). Students choose to work on a topic of interest under the supervision of an academic member of staff.

The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 15,000 word research dissertation (60 CATS points).

Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Leadership by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.

Entry requirements


A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline.

Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context.

Application dates

Closing date for applications: Friday 28th June 2024 at 4pm

Late applications may be considered.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


1 year (Full Time)

3 years (Part Time)

Contact Teaching Hours:

Medium Group Teaching: 2 (hours maximum) lectures.

Teaching Times

A combination of face-to-face sessions and online learning formats.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects

Some graduates have found this degree beneficial for improving leadership practice in their workplace. Others have found it beneficial in expanding the roles they undertake at work, and in gaining employment or promotion. Some progress to doctoral-level studies and research.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Daytime,Evening,Full time,Part time

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