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Master of Secondary School Leadership – MSSL

Course content

Gain the skills you need to become a principal. Learn to lead a secondary school and raise student achievement through effective management, curriculum analysis and research-based decision making.

You'll benefit from the research and teaching strengths of the Faculty of Education and the management acumen of the Victoria Business School. By combining educational and business thinking, you'll gain the tools you need to develop innovative solutions to issues you'll face in the management of a secondary school.

Learn to use sophisticated data-analysis techniques to make sound, evidence-based decisions about school organisation and management. Examine the role of leadership and how to foster leadership in others. You'll develop techniques for planning and goal-setting and explore the different strategies for building strong relationships with community and stakeholders.

Research project

You'll complete a 60-point dissertation with the support of an academic supervisor. This will be either a research project on a contemporary issue in secondary school leadership or an evaluation of the implementation of a new initiative in a secondary school.

To qualify for entry into this programme, you'll need to be in a middle or senior manager position in a secondary school and have the support of your principal. You'll also need to hold a Bachelor's degree with a B average, or have completed a postgraduate qualification.

How you'll study

Designed so you can continue working while you study, the courses are delivered through a mix of block format and online. Block courses are held on weekends and during school holidays. You'll need a computer with access to the internet as you'll use online conferencing during your study.

Valuable mentoring

Throughout the programme you'll have the opportunity to complete three, one week placements at secondary schools other than your own. During your placements, you'll shadow and be mentored by experienced senior staff in the school.


You'll most likely study part time, studying two courses per trimester which will take you around 20–23 hours of work a week. You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.




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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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