Professional Learning and Leadership

Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MSc


Admission to this course is suspended for 2015

The Master’s course is suitable for:

  • Experienced lecturers working in the FE Sector
  • Experienced educators working in the wider post-16 education and training sector

The course has been designed with the aim of providing a challenging but rewarding qualification that reflects the contemporary developments which are taking place in Scotland’s post-16 education sector.

Key information

  • Degree type: Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MSc
  • Study methods: Part-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Up to three years.
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Richard Dockrell

Laura Adam University of Stirling
+44 (0) 1786 467958

View fees and finance

Course objectives

Each module within the course has its own set of specific objectives. However, overall the course sets itself objectives which will enable participants to:

  • Reflect, analyse and evaluate policies and practices within the sector
  • Develop their own knowledge and skills for future continuous advancement

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

At least one years' teaching experience is required.

Please note: If you are a student from overseas and applying with a Tier 4 student visa, we unfortunately can not accept your application for this course as it falls into the category of being part-time, delivered online or a distance learning course.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Length of study will normally be three years, but those who are awarded postgraduate entry credit will differ. For further information please contact the Course Director.

Delivery and assessment

The course is taught using a combination of lectures, seminars and online. Materials are made available via Succeed.

The attendance requirement for most modules is equivalent to four half days per module, with all course materials available online in advance.


Academic Year 2015/16

The MSc in Professional Learning and Leadership is currently in the process of being re-development for academic year 15/16 and will be updated towards the end the summer when more detail is available. The areas/topics that will be covered within the course will be:

  • Strategic Multi-Professional Learning and Working 
  • Leading People and Organisations
  • Developing People and Organisations 
  • Strategic Planning and Finance 
  • Professional Enquiry 
  • Enquiring into Public Service Professional Practice 

Recommended reading

This will be provided on enrolment for the course.

Modes of study


Study method

Part-time; Campus based

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

Modules are taught over the equivalent of four half days with tutorial support as appropriate and some self-study and online learning involved.

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

In The Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF), the School of Education had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish University, with 100% of research impact activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In The Guardian University Guide, the School of Education is ranked first in Scotland and eighth in the UK. Criteria include; Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months.

The Independent Complete University Guide for 2015 has rated the School of Education, as fourth in the UK as a provider of Education programmes and for its research in Education.

Our staff

The open minded and dynamic thinking encouraged on our course is aimed at creating leaders who are inclusive and focused on impact.

Dr Richard Dockrell, Programme Director

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The Master’s course of study is designed to equip those engaged in education and training in the post-16 sector to enhance and develop their knowledge and skills. For those working in this sector, there is an increasing demand for expertise not only within the classroom environment but also for management roles. The achievement of a Master’s degree may be perceived as a career advantage.


During this course students develop understanding of their broader professional community and personal professional practice. They will use theory to support a critical examination of their position and responsibilities, helping them develop a more strategic perspective and preparing them for a more strategic role.

Industry connections

The MSc is Professional Learning and Leadership draws on practitioners and best practice from across the public sector, focusing on the development of advanced professional capabilities and knowledge in learning and leadership. 

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2015/16 Overseas Suspended for 2015/16
2015/16 Home/EU Suspended for 2015/16

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarships & funding

information on possible sources of funding

Scholarship finder
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