MSc Educational Leadership (Specialist Qualification for Headship)

Develop your professional learning and practice in educational leadership with our accredited part-time Masters course.

Educational Leadership (Specialist Qualification for Headship)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date August 2022
  • Duration MSc part-time: 36 months (not continuous)
  • Mode of study Part-time, Mixture of online and classroom delivery


General Teaching Council Scotland

GTC Scotland Logo

Our Masters in Educational Leadership is a practice-based course for aspiring and early-career school leaders. The Specialist Qualification for Headship is a nationally approved course developed in partnership with Education Scotland and other stakeholders across the education community. 

The course cultivates the knowledge and understanding you’ll need to put informed strategic vision, values and aims into practice – helping you to lead change for improvement wherever you work. Through your studies, you’ll further develop your leadership and management practices in supportive, creative and challenging learning environments.

A flexible study route and a combination of face-to-face and online teaching makes it easier for you to fit your coursework around existing commitments, while the practice-based learning is set within your Professional Standards framework.

Please note: Prospective candidates for the Postgraduate Certificates “Into Headship” and “In Headship” must be sponsored by their local authority to apply for this Masters through Education Scotland.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The course supports the professional growth of aspiring educational leaders and will enable you to contribute effectively to the improvement of practice in your own setting and the wider professional community. Specifically, it will help you to develop the means of using critical reflection to enhance your practice and develop the strategic leadership and management competencies specified by the GTCS. The course is also designed to support the development of strong professional networks both within and beyond the course.

Professional accreditation

The PG Certificate Into Headship enables candidates to demonstrate the Standard for Headship and is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Into Headship – one of the core components of this Masters – is a mandatory qualification for candidates applying for head teacher positions in Scotland from August 2020

Flexible learning

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 overview

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.

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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