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MSc Professional Education and Leadership

Further develop your professional learning and leadership practices at all levels in a supportive, flexible, creative and challenging learning environment.

Professional Education and Leadership

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date August
  • Duration MSc part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules, Mixture of online and classroom delivery

The Professional Education and Leadership team in the Faculty of Social Sciences has worked in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders over a number of years to develop this highly regarded professional education course. This Masters in Professional Education and Leadership is designed to impact directly on professional practices and pupils’ learning experiences and outcomes.

This course draws upon current research to help you develop a critical and enquiring approach to leading professional practice in the current policy context.

Building on the success and impact of previous courses, the modules you’ll take on this course take account of current policy and the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) Professional Standards framework (2012) providing the opportunity to practice leadership at all levels.

The benefits of this course do not just extend to participants but also to colleagues and the wider school community and will lead to the development of strong professional networks both within and beyond the course.

Individual pathways

The following optional pathways have been developed to meet your own professional learning interests and career aspirations.

  • Advanced Professional Practice – aims to support your leadership development through critical engagement with research, policy and practice
  • Middle Leadership – aims to develop an understanding of the principles underpinning middle leadership
  • Coaching and Mentoring – aims to support the leadership development of practitioners to support the professional growth of others in their setting and/or wider education community
  • Curriculum – aims to support practitioners’ leadership development through critical engagement with curriculum theories and principles leading to changing practices and improvement in outcomes for children and young people in their setting and/or wider educational community
  • Digital Social Trends and Professional Practices – aims to help practitioners develop a critical overview of theories, principles and concepts of digital technologies in professional practices. This module is designed for students interested in how digital technologies and data are challenging and transforming professional and pedagogic practices and decision-making
  • Promoting Equity
  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Educational research at the University of Stirling had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

    Students on the course must have access to, or be employed in an appropriate work environment, e.g. a school.

    Please note, if you’re a student from overseas and applying with a Tier 4 student visa, we unfortunately cannot 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 sub-skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with 56 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

In years one and two you have an opportunity to select one of five pathways, Advanced Professional Practice, Middle Leadership, Curriculum, Coaching and Mentoring, Digital Social Trends and Professional Practices, and Promoting Equity to meet your individual professional learning interests and career aspirations.

In year three you undertake the final modules in the course which give you the opportunity to put leadership into practice through planning and leading a critical, collaborative, professional enquiry in your own work setting.

You must successfully complete six modules for the award of the MSc degree.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Fees and costs
    2020/21 fees
     Home/EU studentsOverseas students

    20-credit module fee



    40-credit module fee



    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    For more information on courses invoiced on a modular fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.
  • Scholarships and funding

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

This Masters provides high-quality, careerlong professional learning for those working in the education sector. It will develop and enhance knowledge, understanding and skills which support professional development.

The course is designed in partnership with local authorities to make sure it is up to date and relevant for furthering your career and improving your prospects.

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