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Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) [MSc, PGDip, PGCert]

  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Business & Management


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    3 years

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    The funding plan for the Into Headship modules 1 and 2 is decided by the Scottish Government.

  • Last Updated

    04 September 2017

Course content

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) is a work-based Master’s course designed to enable aspiring school leaders and managers to gain a Master’s degree which contributes to the development of the knowledge, understanding and skills required to allow them to articulate and enact informed strategic vision, values and aims in relation to professional practice.

The MSc in Educational Leadership course has at its heart the Specialist Qualification for Headship (SQH) which is embedded in the Into Headship modules. This element of the programme will be accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and so this work-based Master’s course incorporates both a professional and academic award.

The development of the Into Headship modules is the result of an ongoing formal collaboration with the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL), Local Authorities, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), Education Scotland, four other Universities and the highly successful SQH Western Consortium (Universities of Glasgow, Stirling and Strathclyde). Building on the success and impact of previous programmes, including the MSc in Educational Leadership (with Scottish Qualification for Headship), this new programme is designed to take account of current policy and the professional standards framework (GTCS, 2012) to offer participants an opportunity to develop strategic leadership and management competencies.

The programme, which is introduced for the first time in 2015, offers an opportunity for participants to further develop their professional learning and strategic leadership and management practices in a supportive, flexible, creative and challenging learning environment.


The Into Headship modules EDUP021 (Into Headship 1) and EDUP022 (Into Headship 2) will be accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Structure and content

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) programme will comprise three stages:

Middle Leadership

Into Headship

Extended Induction

Prior to 2018, candidates may undertake EDUP021 Into Headship 1 and EEDUP022 Into Headship 2 as a Postgraduate Certificate. After 2018 these modules will form the Diploma stage of this qualification.

Stage one: Middle Leadership

The aim of this stage is to develop an understanding of the principles underpinning middle leadership for those aspiring to lead and manage the improvement of educational practices which impact on outcomes for children and young people in their setting and/or wider educational community. During stage one students will undertake one of the core modules, either EDUP001 Engaging critically with professional practices (20 credits at SCQF level 11) or EDUP007 Examining Professional Practices: Work-Based Learning (20 credits at SCQF level 11), then complete the Postgraduate Certificate with EDUP003 Middle Leadership: principles and practices (40 credits at SCQF level 11).

Stage Two: Into Headship

The aim of this stage is to foster a future orientated strategic stance to initiate and lead change for improvement through engagement with the school community. This will be achieved through building and applying sound knowledge and understanding of strategic leadership and management theories and practices in the context of the role of the headteacher. The modules will enable participants to develop an understanding of the place of values in leading a school community and explore ways of addressing some of the challenges this poses as well as enhancing the interpersonal and personal skills, confidence and resilience for those preparing to move into headship. This stage will provide an opportunity to develop practice in the use of critical enquiry and reflection to enhance participants’ strategic leadership practices and to evaluate and strengthen the impact of these practices on the school community. This stage is designed to enable participants to develop the strategic leadership and management competences as specified by the by the appropriate professional standards provided by the GTCS in Scotland to facilitate their transition into headship.

Stage Three: Extended Induction

During stage three participants will complete the MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) through undertaking the final two modules in the programme EDUP023 Extended Induction 1 (20 credits SCQF level 11) and EDUP024 Extended Induction 2 (40 credits SCQF level 11)

Delivery and assessment

This course is offered on a part-time basis only. The period of study is normally three years for the MSc, although this programme is unlikely to be taken over three consecutive years. Candidates must complete six modules for the MSc degree. The modules will be delivered through a blended learning format designed to facilitate both individual and collaborative work. The format is a mix of face-to-face seminar days, guided self-study, online and work-based learning.


The MSc in Educational Leadership (with SQH) develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance leadership and management practices and support career-long professional development.


Visit the Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) [MSc, PGDip, PGCert] page on the University of Stirling website for more details!






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