Taught course

Educational Leadership and Change

Durham University · School of Education

Entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:1 (or equivalent). Significant relevant experience will also be considered

Months of entry


Course content

The scale and number of educational reforms, together with the speed with which they have been introduced, has made change management a key task for many of today’s educational professionals. The MA in Educational Leadership and Change is designed to engage with theory and evidence in leadership and management across the sector to inform improvements in various mechanisms, processes and practices in education at all levels.

The MA prepares you for professional career pathways that rely on combined expertise in education, leadership, and data analysis. Core modules including Leading Change in Education Organisations cover a range of critical issues around leadership development, professional learning, and leadership for equity, excellence and innovation in education. Others, such as Design and Methods in Education Research, hone your skills in the research and data analysis aspects.

The course combines innovative teaching with exceptional support. You will gain valuable insight into education across the world as you study alongside students from different countries and backgrounds. To further enhance your experience, you will learn from world-class academics who are behind some of the leading research in the field, and experienced practitioners who are involved in educational policy-making.

Upon completion of the course, you will have the ability to connect your working experience with theory in the field and compare it with real-life examples. You will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and behaviours that you need to be a high-performing leader in a changing education setting. If you’re an educational professional aspiring to positions of leadership and change, the MA in Educational Leadership and Change will equip you with the skills to progress in the sector.

Course Structure

Leading Change in Education Organisations develops your critical understanding of management, leadership and change in the context of organisation of educational institutions. This is an increasingly important part of the leadership role as the scale and number of educational reforms continues to grow.

Engaging with some of the key debates in education today, Conceptual Perspectives in Education considers the role of ‘theory’ in the research process. You will develop an understanding of the ways in which education theories and/or conceptual frameworks inform the types of questions researchers ask about education and learn how this contributes to educational research.

Design and Methods in Education Research introduces key issues, terms and ideas in education research. It teaches a range of research skills including the evaluation of research techniques across different research contexts, and the ability to conduct a high-quality study. You will learn to recognise the different purposes of education research, understand key terms and vocabulary in education research, and develop a critical standpoint in relation to research in education.

The Dissertation is an opportunity to research and report on a topic of interest, under the guidance of a supervisor. Drawing on the research skills and techniques developed in core and option modules the dissertation enables you to demonstrate your capacity for independent thought, critical thinking and analysis.

Plus two modules from:

  • Secondary Data in Education Research
  • Ethnographies of Education
  • Measurement in Education Research
  • Interviews
  • Experiments in Education
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Narrative Enquiries

You will also choose one further module from options which have previously included:

  • Student Engagement: An Agent of Change for Positive Youth Development and Learning Success
  • Effective Educational Leadership
  • Leading Reflective Organisations
  • International Development and Education in a Global World
  • The Case for Higher Education: From Precarity to Empowerment
  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Purposeful Productive Thought
  • Digital Technologies and Education: Critical Perspectives
  • Critical Perspectives in Education
  • Psychological Perspectives on Learning
  • Inclusive Pedagogies for Diverse Classrooms
  • Education Policy and Evaluation
  • Curriculum Analysis
  • Assessment
  • Arts in Education
  • Language Education and Power
  • Learning and Individual Differences

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Recruitment and Admissions