School Leadership - Online

Ulster University - Belfast

School Leadership - Online

Intended to enhance professional practice, this course is aimed at individuals already engaged in a teaching or training environment and aspiring to school or college leadership roles, including principal positions. Study is complemented by participant reflection on real situations and is supported by an experienced tutor, ensuring that successful graduates are extremely well-prepared to take up school principal positions.

The course focuses on four key areas:
- Building teams and managing resources: Personality interaction in relation to team theory; systems and their development

- Leadership for learning: The leadership challenge of focusing on improvement at the teacher-student interface

- Strategic development planning: Involving colleagues in ownership of the vision and strategy for system improvement

- Managing the organisation: Skills and competences in matters of legal and financial challenges; personal competences in communication, negotiation and problem solving.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Leadership for learning
The key theme of the module is that leadership at all levels of the school matters in enhancing student learning. Distributed leadership and learning-centred leadership are important concepts for leaders in helping improve learning and teaching in classrooms and schools.

Building Teams and Managing Resources
Building Teams Increasingly, schools require teachers to operate as a team and communicate effectively. This module provides an opportunity to acquire the methods and skills for effective team presentations, as well as providing a chance for personal development in the company of other teachers. Managing Resources The effective management of resources is an important element in raising the quality of learning in schools. Education managers need to understand the methods of managing financial and other resources to enhance the effectiveness of learning. The module provides opportunities to develop new approaches to resource management in schools.

Year two
Managing the Organisation (PGDSL)
The key theme of the module is that school and college management at all levels of the school matters in terms of effecting improvement. School and college leaders must build competence in the various aspects of managing the organisation to ensure successful outcomes for stakeholders.

Strategic Development Planning
This module analyses the concept of strategic planning in school improvement. It provides practical guidelines for using strategic planning techniques and tools. Opportunities are given to participants to practice using the techniques and tools. Case studies and examples of strategic planning in action in schools and colleges are provided. The possible future of schools in 10 to 20 years is considered.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University's General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

Applicants must normally:
(a) have gained

(i) a degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

(ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma or an approved alternative qualification, e.g. a professional qualification; and

(b) be currently working in a teaching or training environment.

(c) be currently working in a significant leadership role, e.g. Head of Year, Head of Department or similar.

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit for more details.

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Please note: Applications close at the end of August each year.

Post Course Info

Career options
In addition to improving the successful candidate's career portfolio, this course will allow development of higher level skills of argument and critical thinking as well as improving academic writing skills and research capability. Having a Diploma level qualification in Headship should enhance potential career advancement.

Past students who have completed these Leadership and Management modules have been successful in gaining Vice-Principal and Principal posts both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Other pathways have also led to enhanced professional practice and career advancement.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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