MA Educational Leadership

Degree Programmes

100% Online MA Educational Leadership

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  • TOTAL FEES / PER MODULE FEES : £7,284 / £607


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Flexible online master’s programmes

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Study from anywhere, anytime

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Pay per module

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Six starts per year

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Top 3 in Scotland and Top 10 in UK for Nursing*

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100% of research impact in Nursing and Allied Health Professions rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'**

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Top 5 universities in the UK for social inclusion (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)

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Benefit from our links to vibrant city of Edinburgh

*Guardian University Guide, 2024

**REF, 2021


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About the programme

The master's in education leadership programme at Queen Margaret University takes a critical theory-informed perspective on the engagement with educational leadership at a micro, meso and macro level of synthesis and analysis, and is aimed at professionals seeking to deepen their knowledge of education leadership and its role in society. This programme will provide professionals working in the education sector with the theoretical basis of education leadership in order to inform their practice, and understand the role of effective leadership as a catalyst for social change. 

The freedom and flexibility to study from anywhere, anytime

The Master’s programmes are delivered entirely online and can be studied from anywhere in the world, with no need to ever attend campus. They have been carefully designed to fit around the busy schedules of working professionals, ensuring that work and family commitments need not be reasons to put your ambitions on hold. You can study whilst continuing in your current role and immediately apply what you learn to your professional context.

Programme Modules

Critical Education in the 21st Century

This module provides a broad introduction to education from a range of different theoretical, political and historical perspectives enabling you to critically analyse contemporary educational issues in your home countries and internationally. 

Digital Literacies for Education

The aim of the module is to provide you with a range of specialised skills and knowledge in the use of digital technologies. This module will provide a critical appreciation of how to use digital tools within educational contexts.

Being a Reflective Practitioner in Intercultural Settings

This module aims to introduce you to the notion of the ‘reflective practitioner’ and teachers as ‘agents of change’. Brookfield’s lenses of reflective practice are revisited as a model for developing a critically reflective questioning stance towards practice. Important issues of teacher professionalism, professional values and identity are explored through political, policy and theoretical perspectives giving you an understanding of what it means to be an ‘activist teacher’ in the 21st century. You will learn about the role of reflective practice within the wider professional development agenda, including the need for CPD over the career span and for professional learning leading to achievement of the Standard for Full Registration.

Inclusive Education: Global Perspectives

This module will introduce and explore the complex relationship between the ideals of inclusive education and the realities of educational practice. Activities will be designed to include consideration of implications for a range of stakeholders and education policy, in addition to theory and practice.

Shared Leadership for Sustainable Development in a Global World

This module focuses on strategic thinking and planning to meet the challenges of the 21st century in our global world. Disruption continues to challenge even the most robust educational systems around the world and therefore school leaders will need to be prepared to face these challenges effectively. During tumultuous times we need to move beyond crisis management and engage in strategic leadership to meet the needs of learners and communities during emergencies. Therefore, you will be introduced to strategic leadership thinking and planning for times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. You will gain a deep understanding of the role strategic leadership plays in sustaining effective teaching and learning that enhances outcomes for all learners even during the most disruptive times, but also how strategic leadership can move us beyond reactionary crisis management and develop resilient systems.

Leadership Theories and Practice

This module will explore the theories that inform our understanding of educational leadership and how these can be used to inform practice. The focus being to critically engage you in a deep understanding of the role school leadership plays in developing inclusive, equitable and justice societies. Leadership will be explored at the school and systems level and be underpinned by exploring both theory informed practice and policy to enhance outcomes for all leaners.

Inclusive Educational Leadership

This module focuses on introducing and developing your understanding of how leaders can leverage the ‘Pedagogical Core’ for student engagement and the Circle Framework for capacity building to meet the needs of teachers, learners, parents and the broader community. In addition, you will become familiar with the four pillars of effective educational leadership: 1) Prioritising Improvement of Teaching and Learning; 2) Capacity Building Through Support; 3) Sustaining an Open and Collaborative Culture; and 4) Promoting System-Wide Learning and Improvement.

Leading Cycles of Improvement

This module will focus on research-informed decision making at the school and system levels of analysis. You will be introduced to the Theory-of-Action and Theory-of-Change approaches to develop research-informed action plans to engage in a continuous cycle of improvement at the school and systems level. Critical perspectives on school and systems improvement will be explored to enhance the understanding of how to propose and test theories related to improving outcomes for all learners.

Research Methodology and Methods

This module will provide opportunities for you to critically reflect upon the research methods used in education, as well as the duties of the researcher in terms of ethical practice, research integrity, and communication of findings.

Ethical Research

This module will explore ethics for the social sciences and working with human participants across a variety of culturally informed social settings. You will understand the importance of ethical principles in order to protect the dignity, rights and welfare of research participants throughout the planning, organising, managing and disseminating research.


The dissertation will provide the opportunity for you to choose a topic of personal interest within education suited to your pathway of study, for purpose of developing a systematic literature review. The systematic review of the topic of interest will result in a meta-analysis, meta-narrative or meta-synthesis to provide a detailed and scientifically rigour understanding of the topic under investigation.

Admission requirements
  • A recognised undergraduate or postgraduate degree (or equivalent qualification) from an accredited college, institution or university, equivalent to or higher than a UK Bachelor Honours degree qualification. This includes 3rd class honours degrees.


  • We may also consider applicants who do not hold a recognised degree but who can demonstrate at least two years of relevant work experience - professional, managerial or supervisory role.

English Language Requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you will need to provide evidence of English language ability.

  • IELTS (Academic) at 6.0 overall with no individual component below 5.5
  • Pearson PTE (Academic) overall minimum 59 with 59 in all components
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CCAE & CPE) with minimum scores of 162 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • TOEFL iBT overall minimum 80 with 18 in Reading; 17 in listening, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) II: Merit or Distinction
  • Duolingo minimum overall score of 100 with no individual component of literacy, comprehension, conversation and production below 90
  • IGCSE - ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE need minimum grade C
  • IGCSE - ENGLISH LANGUAGE minimum grade C
  • Degree - Taught and Assessed in English and completed within the last three years with transcript confirming language of study is English
  • O-Level English Language or GCSE English Language Grade C or above (UK Exam Board)
  • Malaysian SPM 1119 Grade C or above
  • If you are a national of a UKVI listed English speaking country, you are exempt from providing a language certificate

Get enrolled

Start the application process here. You have the option to either pay for your degree in full at the start, or pay per module.

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