Entry requirements

Students normally require a first degree.

Months of entry


Course content

This course is aimed at middle-management level leaders in schools (heads of department, key stage co-ordinators, pastoral managers).

It provides an overview of up-to-date research and educational theory to inform the process of leadership and management. It also offers opportunities for the practical application of theory in a school setting.

This course consists of three modules:

Professionalism in the Lifelong Learning Sector
You will have the opportunity to examine in depth the context of professional practice in the Lifelong Learning Sector and to relate it to your own values and experience. You will consider the historical backgrounds of the sector and how these, along with recent initiatives, have shaped current understandings of professional identity and practice. You will examine the pressures for professional status and recognition for teachers in the sector, the drives for regulation and subsequent deregulation.
You will be encouraged to engage with a range of critical theoretical perspectives which will enable you to interrogate ideologies which operate through the discourse of 'professionalism' and to develop your own viewpoint.
The module comes together around two interlinked questions:
  1. What is a professional identity
  2. How is this related to practice and the disciplinary regimes which shape the activity and subjectivity of the practitioner
Pedagogy in the Lifelong Learning Sector
You will focus on pedagogy in the FE context with the aim of expanding the repertoire of approaches to teaching and learning for FE professionals. This is informed by a range of theories of learning and models of teaching. You will explore key issues and challenges raised by the complex and fast changing environment of FE.
For example:
  • Definitions of pedagogy and its role in effective teaching and learning with comparisons of different international approaches to pedagogical approaches.
  • The importance of 'knowledge' in pedagogical practice
  • A critical analysis of the way that theories of learning - behaviorist, cognitivist, constructivist and humanist inform pedagogical choice and practice.
  • A critical analysis of a range of models of learning and their appropriateness to the FE context including experiential, inductive and problem based.
  • Consideration of the theory of analogy and its place in FE teaching and learning.
  • The role of technology in changing pedagogical approaches.
  • The academic divide, vocational pedagogy and communities of practice and changing localities for pedagogy.
Investigating practice
You will have an opportunity to develop an inquiry related to your own practice which can be assessed through either a report or a portfolio of work. This might include the development of pedagogical approaches or curriculum materials, or investigations into the achievement levels or opportunities provided for particular groups of learners. It could also include the development of professional practice through shadowing others or engaging in collaborative work across organisations. The syllabus will be determined by the focus of the inquiries selected by yourself adopting a 'learning set' approach.

Information for international students

As this is a part time course we cannot usually consider international applications.

Fees and funding

Please visit: Oxford Brookes Finance.

Qualification and course duration


part time
12 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
01865 488617