This master’s programme is available completely online with online support from your University tutor, including live online meetings once a month via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or another similar online platform. It is designed for those seeking to gain a level 7 qualification (this programme carries a credit value of 180 at level 7) and wish to either to progress or pursue a career in leadership within an education setting.
What will I gain?
- You will acquire a new set of skills. In particular, it is incredibly useful for developing critical thinking skills and also the ability to write critically as a reflective practitioner. You are also required to engage with a wide range of arguments and be prepared to be critical of them, to synthesise arguments and perhaps most importantly to begin to develop your own critical voice.
- A fresh challenge can stop you becoming stale. Once you have been teaching for a while you can easily build up a lot of experience and expertise with the delivery of your work. Whilst it is great to be able to build upon that confidence it can also mean that you can become comfortable. This can mean, although not always, that you can become stale and possibly even out of date with your thinking. Ideas are always changing in Education; new research is always coming into effect and sometimes it is easy to fall behind and not be aware of new ideas. By undertaking a Master’s it will keep you fresh and up to date.
- Research gives you an authoritative voice. As you develop your critical voice it becomes even more possible for you to speak confidently on a range of issues. This can give you a real boost, opening up new career opportunities to you.
- You will connect with people outside of your comfort zone. Engaging with a Master’s programme enables you to connect to a whole new group of people. These can be people we can then network with not only across the country, but across the globe.
- You can study something you are genuinely interested in. Lots of people have different areas of interest, or problems they want to solve, or challenges they want to face, and these are often a product of the work and experience that you bring to the course. It is a great idea to work to discover more about these particular areas of interest and even to become an expert on that topic. This too might seem indulgent, but the great thing about carrying out research in Education is that there is a good chance that your discoveries can have a positive impact in the workplace.
- It is an investment in yourself. Not necessarily in the monetary sense, it is more about thinking about yourself, the kind of person you are and what you want out of life. Are there things that you want to investigate further? It is about recognising the complexity of our identities in that we are more than our jobs and that we have a lot to offer the world. Spending the time (and money) on taking part in a Master’s programme is worth it if you want to develop yourself and the way that you think.
The course is distance-learning with the expectation that you will attend online 8 trainee study days over the course of the 18-months and these will be followed by an online discussion as well as an essay. Throughout the programme, each student will be assigned a supervisor who will support them through the assignments and with the final dissertation. The course covers the following topics:
Module 1: The Leadership Landscape: Role, Responsibilities and Relationships
This module sets the MEd in the broader context of the range of theory that currently exists relating to Educational Leadership and Management. We will consider how this is reflected in different forms of leadership within schools. We will look at it means to want to be a leader and how leadership is often portrayed in conflict with management. The course will also look at your role as a reflective practitioner and how this can enhance your understanding of the course.
Module 2: Leadership in Action: Making Changes
This module introduces the concept of change management and its place within educational leadership. This is linked to the challenges facing schools today and ways in which the educational landscape has changed over the last fifty years. This module looks at the different ways in which leaders can bring change about in their institutions and how this links to the different kinds of contexts that you can find in modern schools. An understanding of these processes includes practical applications to modern leadership challenges, for example with regard to finance and funding concerns.
Module 3: Developing Strategy
The module begins with a focus on different styles of leadership and the effect that this would have on decision-making in schools. This is then linked to a unit on managing people, whether this is working with staff or with the parental community. The module looks at managing underperformance and connects this back to work on change management. Strategic thinking is looked at and how this links to organisational structures and whether there are alternative ways of this being organised. The module links all of this to teaching and learning issues and how leadership is linked to pedagogy. The research project is introduced in more detail at this point.
Module 4: Researching Leadership and Management
The focus of this module is the development of the research project in relation to each student’s educational context. This looks at research topics such as finding your critical voice, exploring research paradigms and methodologies, how data can be analysed and confidence in relation to ethics and validity. The project is set in the context of the educational leadership academic community and the implications for the immediate and wider settings. These issues are linked to educational research and the organisations that exist looking at these topics.
Module 5: Dissertation
This is the culmination of the programme and the production of a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation. The students will work independently on this whilst also being supported by their supervisor and with the option of attending online webinars.