Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: Up to 2 years

UK/EU fee

£600 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Our new MA Educational Leadership is an excellent choice for anyone pursuing a career in middle or senior leadership within an educational context.

Inspiring you to inspire others 

The course will be of interest to UK and international graduates of teacher education, education, childhood and allied subjects. It is also a natural next step if you are currently working as a leader within the education sector and wish to enhance your skills or accelerate your career progression.

Our course takes the approach that leadership is about influence, something which develops a sense of power in others. It will help you develop your capacity to inspire and motivate others to reach their full potential.

You will study specialist modules which offer an insightful journey and build your understanding of the concept of leadership. These detail and embed leadership theory and philosophy while also equipping you with the transferable skills you need to take on a leadership role – from communication to coaching strategies and performance management. 

Furthering critical debate

We will develop your ability to critically understand and challenge the dominant institutional forms and cultures of different educational sectors in specific local, national and international contexts.

Each module allows for and encourages critical debate, drawing on multiple perspectives of policies and practice so that you can build your own personal reflexive approach to leadership in the context of complex, embedded and emerging environments.

A solid grounding in research

Underpinning the course are core modules which give you the confidence and academic skills to craft your studies and succeed at masters level.

They include an essential introduction to social sciences research and the strategies you need to design, implement and evaluate your own research project. This culminates in a supervised independent study into an educational leadership theme of your choice. It could also provide a platform for you to pursue further study at doctoral level and ultimately a career in educational research.

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

Crafting your Masters Study

This module is concerned with identifying and developing the key personal and academic competencies associated with successful study at masters level in a global context of continuous educational change.

Designing Social Sciences Research

We will provide an essential introduction to social sciences research by exploring both its philosophical background and its practice. The aim is to build your confidence and skills as you prepare to design your own independent research project.

Social Sciences Independent Research

The independent research study provides an exciting opportunity for you to engage first hand in a small-scale research project related to your social sciences discipline. Through supervised study you will be guided in how to design, implement and evaluate a research project.

Revelation and Rhetoric of Educational Leadership

We will explore the concepts and practice of contemporary educational leadership theories and strategies – and how these translate and play out in leadership roles. The module will encourage you to determine effective communication strategies in a digital age and how leadership can be enhanced through the use of these strategies.

Emerging Educational Landscapes

This module locates educational leadership practice within landscapes that are visibly regulated by education policy but also mediated by institutional forms that may have developed over considerable periods. You will use multiple perspectives on policy and organisations to develop your personal reflexive approach to leadership in the context of complex, embedded and emerging environments.

Leading Learning and the Curricula

You will consider the complexities in leading curricula and learning and gain a deeper understanding of curriculum theory and curriculum models. This module also explores how curricula leadership can have a direct impact on leading learning.

Leading Performance Improvement

This module examines strategic and operational planning, performance management and coaching strategies. You will consider contemporary leadership and the challenging decisions that have to be made through leading change and problem solving.

How you will learn

Our emphasis is on active learning approaches. This includes sharing experiences through collaborative working, case studies, reflection and other problem-solving activities.

Workshops, group work, discussions and face-to-face lectures will provide opportunities for formative feedback as well as peer networking and the development of reflective practice. 

How you're assessed

All modules are assessed both formatively and summatively. 

Formative assessment strategies include – but are not limited to – tutorials, discussions and feedback on proposals for summative assignments. Their prime purpose is as an integral part of the learning process.

Summative assessment reflects the professional nature and academic level of this programme. You will experience different approaches to assessment depending upon the nature of the module. This could include case studies, reports, reflective accounts, academic posters or presentations.

Entry requirements

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£600 per 20 credits*

£600 per 20 credits*


£13,500 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

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Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

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Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

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How to apply

UK/EU students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

International students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for a postgraduate degree


This MA equips you with the skills, knowledge and insights to excel in an educational leadership role. It is ideal for anyone seeking to enter management and senior administrative positions in educational institutions.

Your studies will also provide a valuable foundation if you aspire to middle or senior leadership roles with organisations such as:

In addition, the MA could pave the way to research careers with universities or consultancies. It may even provide the springboard to study at doctoral level to achieve the EdD or PhD.  

Contact details

EnquiryEmailPhone (0)1332 591167 (0)1332 590500

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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