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International Education Leadership and Policy MA


This specialist programme is suitable for educators such as teachers, school leaders, lecturers, inspectors, administrators and officials who want to gain an insight into educational policy issues of current global significance and their implications for the effective leadership of educational institutions.

The policy themes are covered in the first semester, and the leadership and management implications are covered in the second semester. Both areas emphasise an international comparative perspective.

Optional modules are to be taken from across the School of Education to place your studies in a broader context, including those that cover research methods; technology, education and society; and special educational needs. There is also access to modules offered in the School of Politics and International Studies.

Participants from around the world come together to learn from each other as well as our tutors: all of whom are expert researchers in their fields. You’ll learn to apply critically educational theories to real challenges affecting schools, further and higher education worldwide.

In your first year of postgraduate study, you’ll be able to join the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS), complete with the access to leading journals and events that it provides, including its annual conference. You’ll also be encouraged to join the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration (CCEA).

In addition, we provide opportunities for educational visits, including a local school and a visit to London to discuss educational policy development with the local MP and civil servants.

Course content

The programme provides a comprehensive coverage of educational policy, leadership and management from an international comparative perspective.

There will be a wide choice of assignment topics, so that you can focus on themes of personal professional interest, including policy and leadership issues relating to schools, colleges and/or universities. 

From the beginning of the programme, you’ll develop your research skills and apply them to your critical study. This gives you the chance to conduct independent research on a topic of your choice, which may be related to your own professional background. 

You’ll be expected to sit in on our Getting Started: Research Questions and Approaches module to improve your understanding of educational research, unless your tutor believes you already have enough knowledge in this area. 

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.


Compulsory modules

  • Contemporary Global Challenges in Education Policy and Leadership Practice
  • Critical Perspectives on Leadership Theory and Practice
  • Dissertation

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Getting Started: Research Questions and Approaches in Education
  • Philosophical underpinning of educational research
  • Qualitative data: processes of collection, interpretation and analysis
  • Introduction to quantitative data analysis
  • Technology, Education and Society
  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Approaches
  • Education in Development
  • Gender, Globalisation and Development
  • Global Inequalities and Development

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules use a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, and you’ll also be able to enhance your learning by attending the visits we organise to government departments and educational institutions.


We assess the module Contemporary Global Challenges for Research-informed Education Policy and Practice through an oral presentation on an educational policy issue supported by either a PowerPoint or a Poster to the equivalent of a 3,000 word assignment (worth 50%) and a 3,000 word essay assignment (worth 50%).

The assessment for Critical Perspectives on Educational Leadership Theory and Practice is through a single essay of around 6,000 words. This will provide a transition in the preparation of a more extended piece of writing leading up to the 12,000 word critical study.

Optional modules selected from the School of Education and/or the School of Politics and International Studies may use various methods of assessment, such as assignments, reflective logs and portfolio work.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

How to apply



Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate or equivalent and transcripts.
  • Two references.
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications if English is not your first language.
  • A personal statement of 750-1000 words, explaining how you would be suited to the programme.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


  • UK/EU: £8,500 (total)
  • International: £18,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have pursued a range of careers. Most involve either gaining promotion to more senior leadership and management positions in educational institutions when they return to their own countries, or pursuing doctoral research programmes (EdD and PhD) at Leeds and elsewhere.

Visit the International Education Leadership and Policy MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!




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