Education: Leadership and Management

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How to Apply

Designed for those who aspire to become, or are currently working as, a middle or senior leader in a school or other educational organisation, either in the UK and internationally.

  • Opportunity to reflect on and challenge your professional experience.
  • Lively discussions on contemporary educational issues.
  • Early evening classes to accommodate students who may be working.

“The lecturers on the course were inspiring and I received excellent supervision for my dissertation research project. The campus is also a beautiful and peaceful place to study. Having this master’s qualification opens more doors and potentially new directions for my career.”
– Gillian Sargent, Education: Leadership and Management graduate

Why study Education: Leadership and Management?

In a globally connected and rapidly changing world, education offers each individual the best chance of navigating an unknown future. You’ll explore the opportunities and challenges that educational leaders face as they are given greater autonomy to have a positive impact on pupils and learners.

The MA Education: Leadership and Management is designed for those who aspire to, or are presently working as, a middle or senior leader in schools and other educational organisations in the UK and internationally. Drawing on theory and research this course offers a critical understanding of leadership as a culturally based, social and ethical practice.

Course structure

We’ll help you develop and improve your expertise as an educational leader through practice based inquiry, in which you will relate theory and research your own working environment. You’ll gain a critical understanding of the practices that characterise effective leadership and learn how to bring about change and improvement.


  • Trimester 1
    You’ll gain a broad understanding of the ways in which economics, politics and society inform educational policy and determine the context in which leaders operate.
    We’ll introduce you to the key practices of effective leadership. You’ll use this knowledge to critically explore how leadership strategically brings about educational change through understanding theories of change and drawing on your own professional experience.
  • Trimester 2
    You’ll learn how to undertake research within educational settings. A range of different methodologies will be explored, and we’ll support you to write a proposal for your own research project.
    In this trimester you’ll also have the opportunity to study for two elective modules, one of which may be chosen from one of the other MA Education pathways.
  • Trimester 3
    In your final trimester, you’ll write a dissertation (15,000 - 20,000 words) on a aspect of educational leadership that particularly interests you. You’ll be supported by a tutor and benefit from one-to-one tutorials. You’ll also be able to attend optional research seminars.

Course assessment

There are no written exams on this course; each module is assessed through coursework. This typically involves an essay of 3,500 to 5,000 words for a 15 credit module or 7,000 to 10,000 words for a 30 credit module. In some modules you may be assessed by presentations or online activity. The 60 credit dissertation is 15,000 – 20,000 words in length and focuses on an area agreed with a specialist tutor, who will offer guidance on structure and academic writing.

Research seminars

The Institute for Education runs a series of research seminars throughout the academic year where staff and postgraduate students present their research. You’ll be welcome to attend these seminars and there is the opportunity for you to talk about your own research interests within an informal and supportive setting.

Professional masters programme

If you’re looking for a more flexible learning option, you can study modules from this course as part of our Professional Masters Programme.

Teaching methods

All modules are taught through lectures, small-group seminars and individual tutorials.

Lectures and seminars typically take place in the early evening, to accommodate students who may be working.

Staff / Tutors

  • Nicholas Sorensen: Award Leader for Educational Leadership and Management: Nicholas has over 25 years of professional experiences working in secondary schools, including six years as the headteacher of a large comprehensive school in Wiltshire. He joined Bath Spa University in September 2008 as a Senior Lecturer in Continuing Professional Development and he also teaches undergraduates on the Education Studies degree course. He is currently undertaking research into expert teachers and has a particular interest in the improvisational nature of teaching and leadership.

  • Sara Layen: Senior Lecturer: Early Years: Sara has been involved in the field of education for more than 20 years, with experience of teaching, primary school leadership, Local Authority early years consultancy and as Early Years Advisor (Wiltshire LA). She joined Bath Spa University as Senior Lecturer on the Early Years Professional status programme in June 2010 and currently teaches on the Educational Studies undergraduate programme. Her research interests include exploring the role of autobiography and narrative life stories in leadership development.

  • Dr Richard Riddell: In an educational career that spans over 37 years Richard has gained considerable leadership experience at Local Authority level, he was a Director of Education in the City of Bristol for seven years. Since then he has combined academic scholarship and research with being an education consultant and as joint Head of the Education and Student Team at Amnesty International UK. His research interests are focussed on the concept of ‘urban pedagogy’ and the ways in which educational leaders can and should address the needs to disadvantaged children.

  • Dr Ghazala Bhatti: Ghazala has been involved in education for well over two decades. She has taught in schools, further education and then since 1996 in higher education. She has been Director of different Master’s Programmes at two British universities for over 15 years before joining Bath Spa University in 2012. Ghazala has supervised Master’s dissertations of several local and international students from many countries in Europe, South East Asia, the Far East and Africa. Some of these students developed their Master’s work further and went on to complete their doctoral degrees. Ghazala’s research is concerned with social justice in educational setting- including schools and universities.

Application method

Download the application form from

For special information for international students, including entry requirements, visits to your country, fees and scholarships go to

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For all enquiries please contact the CPD Administrator:

Telephone: +44 1225 875593


Entry requirements

You will need to have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised higher education institution. The content and subject matter of your degree is open. For overseas, non-native speakers of English, a minimum language level of IELTS 6.5, or equivalent, is required.

Career opportunities

You’ll graduate with practical and theoretical knowledge, well placed to apply for middle, senior or leadership roles in schools or other educational institutions. Many students on our educational leadership awards gain promotion within 12 months of completing the course.

The grounding in academic work provides a foundation for further research at PhD level which can lead to employment in Higher Education.

What students say...

This is a new MA and it will start in the academic year 2013-14.