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 2022
  • Duration MSc part-time: 36 months
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery hybrid


This Masters in Professional Education and Leadership is designed to impact directly on professional practices and pupils’ learning experiences and outcomes. 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 course draws upon current research to help you develop a critical, collaborative 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 routes

The following optional routes 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 through critical engagement with research, policy and practice.
  • 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 leadership – 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
  • Coaching and mentoring – aims to support the leadership development of practitioners through using coaching and/or mentoring to support the professional growth of others in their setting and/or wider education community through critical engagement with research, policy and practice.
  • Promoting equity - aims to help practitioners develop a critical understanding of the theories and principles  of equity with regard to improvement in attainment, closing the attainment gap, health and wellbeing and employability through critical engagement with research, policy and practice.

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 overview

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, Educational research at the University of Stirling was ranked top 20 in the UK for impact and research environment, 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.

Entry requirements

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.

If you’re a student from overseas and applying with a 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.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 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) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 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
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 95 in each sub-skill
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass with a minimum of 152/200 overall and 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 24 March 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

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.

Course details

In years one and two you have an opportunity to select one of five routes, 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 Masters degree.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2021). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


The modules will be delivered through a blended learning format designed to facilitate both individual and collaborative work. The format is a mix of:

  • face-to-face seminar days on campus
  • guided self-study
  • online and work-based learning

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2022/23 fees
 UK studentsOverseas/EU 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 or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

This fee is charged as a module fee. For more information on courses invoiced on a modular fee basis, please read our tuition fees policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

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.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

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.

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.

European Union 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

After you graduate

91% of Education students at the University of Stirling felt their course has enhanced their employability

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021

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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MSc Professional Education and Leadership

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