The Applied Educational Leadership and Management MA is designed for education leaders or managers who work in a school or college, or work in an educational planning, development or inspection role for a national or regional organisation. It will enable students to contribute towards the improvement of educational systems and institutions, and to reflect on the quality of the learning and teaching they manage.
As an applied programme, this MA will improve a student's understanding of educational management and leadership whilst enabling them to apply theory and research to their own working environment. It will foster a student's continuing professional development, allowing them to consider issues related to the policy context of education. It will also give them the chance to contribute towards the improvement of educational systems and institutions.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) consisting of two core modules (60 credits) and two optional modules (60 credits) is also offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) consisting of two core modules is also offered.
Students choose two of the following:
All students submit a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered via online learning, allowing you to study flexibly whilst balancing work and personal commitments.
The learning strategy for this programme is collaborative in that students share their skills and experience with others. Students are supported by an online learning environment which incorporates focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module. There are also informal discussion areas and links to online resources including library support. Study materials and readings are provided.
Study time is estimated at about 10-15 hours a week.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Applied Educational Leadership and Management MA
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as senior and middle leaders in education institutions worldwide, while others have jobs as government ministers and advisers. Graduates can also be found working as local government leaders and consultants.
The Department of Learning and Leadership's excellent reputation stems from the quality, depth and breadth of its research and development work, and from its promotion of educational leadership both nationally and internationally.
The department supports educational and public sector leadership to improve the life chances of individuals and communities, and works with practitioners and policymakers at the centre of research and practice.
The department is at the forefront of developing research, new knowledge and publications for and about leadership and learning.
The MA AELM is administered by University of London International Programmes, and taught by the UCL Institute of Education. The awarding body is the University of London.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Learning & Leadership
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
For educational professionals who may be based in the UK or anywhere in the world and are likely to be, or aspire to be:
- a leader or manager in a school or college
- an educational consultant
- working in an educational planning, development or inspection role for a national or regional organisation.
This course is available via distance learning, allowing you to study flexibly whilst balancing work and personal commitments.
The course will:
- equip you with the knowledge to improve your understanding of educational management and leadership
- enable you to apply theory and research in your job
- foster your continuing professional development through reflection on practice
- allow you to consider issues related to the policy context of education
- give you the chance to contribute towards improvement of educational systems and institutions and to reflect on the quality of learning and teaching.
We estimate that you will need to study for about 10-15 hours a week.
The course has been developed by the Institute of Education (IOE), the largest institution in the UK devoted to the study of education and related areas. Founded in 1902, the Institute is a world-class centre of excellence for teacher training, higher degrees, research and consultancy in education and related areas of professional practice and the social sciences. The Institute hosts over 100 research and consultancy projects at any one time.
Students on the AELM programme can become Affiliate members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which provides access to a wide range of resources and services. On completion of the MA degree, students will be eligible to apply for fast track professional recognition (ACMI or MCMI with three years’ management experience).
The AELM programme has gained recognition for the International Baccalaureate advanced certificate in leadership research. If you are an International Baccalaureate teacher, or interested in gaining this additional qualification, please visit the IB website.
The learning strategy for this course is collaborative in that you share your skills and experience with other students. You are supported by an online learning environment which incorporates focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module. There are also informal discussion areas and links to online resources including library support. Study materials and course readings are provided.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.