Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship)

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate


Introduction

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) is a work-based Master’s course designed to enable aspiring school leaders and managers to gain a Master’s degree which contributes to the development of the knowledge, understanding and skills required to allow them to articulate and enact informed strategic vision, values and aims in relation to professional practice.

The MSc in Educational Leadership course has at its heart the Specialist Qualification for Headship (SQH) which is embedded in the Into Headship modules. This element of the programme will be accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and so this work-based Master’s course incorporates both a professional and academic award.

The development of the Into Headship modules is the result of an ongoing formal collaboration with the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL), Local Authorities, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), Education Scotland, four other Universities and the highly successful SQH Western Consortium (Universities of Glasgow, Stirling and Strathclyde). Building on the success and impact of previous programmes, including the MSc in Educational Leadership (with Scottish Qualification for Headship), this new programme is designed to take account of current policy and the professional standards framework (GTCS, 2012) to offer participants an opportunity to develop strategic leadership and management competencies.

The programme offers opportunities for participants to further develop their professional learning and strategic leadership and management practices in a supportive, flexible, creative and challenging learning environment.

Accreditation

The Into Headship modules EDUP021 (Into Headship 1) and EDUP022 (Into Headship 2) are accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

GTCS logo 2015

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Part-time, Mixture of online and classroom delivery, Discontinuous
  • Duration: The equivalent of three years
  • Start date:

    August: See semester dates

  • Course Director: Dr Valerie Drew
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download postgraduate prospectus

www.stir.ac.uk/social-sciences/

Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK

Course objectives

The course supports the professional growth of aspiring leaders and enables them to contribute effectively to the improvement of practice in their own professional setting and the wider professional community. Specifically, the course will enable participants to develop the means of using critical reflection to enhance their practice, develop the strategic leadership and management competencies specified by the appropriate professional standards provided by the GTCS and gain a sound understanding of school leadership and management practice and theory as it applies in school settings. The programme is designed to support the development of strong professional networks both within and beyond the course.

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. 

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.

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.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email graduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Application procedure

Applicants for the MSc Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) should be registered or eligible to register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Prospective applicants for the Postgraduate Certificate Into Headship must have demonstrated experience of significant leadership practice as appropriate in their sector and be sponsored by their Local Authority to apply through the Scottish College for Educational Leadership for this programme.

Fees and costs

The funding plan for the Into Headship modules 1 and 2 is decided by the Scottish Government.

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

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

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

EDUP021, EDUP022, EDUP023 and EDUP024 are currently funded by the Scottish Government (March 2016). 

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship) programme will comprise three stages:

  • Middle Leadership
  • Into Headship
  • Extended Induction

Prior to 2020 candidates may undertake EDUP021 Into Headship 1 and EEDUP022 Into Headship 2 as a Postgraduate Certificate. After 2020 these modules will form the Diploma stage of this qualification.

Stage one: Middle Leadership

The aim of this stage is to develop an understanding of the principles underpinning middle leadership for those aspiring to lead and manage the improvement of educational practices which impact on outcomes for children and young people in their setting and/or wider educational community. During stage one students will undertake one of the core modules, either EDUP001 Engaging critically with professional practices (20 credits at SCQF level 11) or EDUP007 Examining Professional Practices: Work-Based Learning (20 credits at SCQF level 11), then complete the Postgraduate Certificate with EDUP003 Middle Leadership: principles and practices (40 credits at SCQF level 11).

The modules:

EDUP001 Engaging critically with professional practices (20 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to introduce criticality as a foundation for effective professional learning and leadership in contemporary education in order to bring about enhanced capacity for self and system evaluation.
or  
EDUP007 Examining Professional Practices: Work-Based Learning (20 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to provide a critical overview of methods of enquiry to examine professional practices within the workplace in order to identify issues for school improvement.
Plus
EDUP003 Middle Leadership: principles and practices (40 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to provide a critical overview of theories, principles and concepts of middle leadership and the professional actions of the middle leader in order to contribute to school improvement.

Stage Two: Into Headship

The aim of this stage is to foster a future orientated strategic stance to initiate and lead change for improvement through engagement with the school community. This will be achieved through building and applying sound knowledge and understanding of strategic leadership and management theories and practices in the context of the role of the headteacher. The modules will enable participants to develop an understanding of the place of values in leading a school community and explore ways of addressing some of the challenges this poses as well as enhancing the interpersonal and personal skills, confidence and resilience for those preparing to move into headship. This stage will provide an opportunity to develop practice in the use of critical enquiry and reflection to enhance participants’ strategic leadership practices and to evaluate and strengthen the impact of these practices on the school community. This stage is designed to enable participants to develop the strategic leadership and management competences as specified by the by the appropriate professional standards provided by the GTCS in Scotland to facilitate their transition into headship.

Participants begin this stage with EDUP021 Into Headship 1 (20 credits SCQF level 11) and complete with EDUP022 Into Headship 2 (40 credits SCQF level 11).

The modules:

EDUP021 Into Headship 1 (20 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to enable participants to prepare for strategic leadership through understanding their role as a headteacher in applying the principles and practices of strategic leadership to frame and conceptualise educational problems and issues.
Plus
EDUP022 Into Headship 2 (40 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to enable participants to lead and manage a collaborative change process with members of the wider school community through mapping sets of strategies to address the educational issue identified in Module 1.

Stage Three: In Headship

The focus of this stage is on the role of head teacher as a strategic leader within, across and beyond the school community.  It is designed to facilitate and support head teachers in the transition through the early stages of headship, to enable them to develop as effective strategic leaders who contribute to system leadership.  The main aims of In Headship are to enable participants to:

  • engage in critical reflection on their transition to headship
  • recognise, understand and adapt to the complex challenges and opportunities of headship through critical engagement with a wide range of academic literature and research
  • develop a culture of sustained professional growth for self and others
  • demonstrate professional values and personal commitment as stated in the GTCS Standard for Headship
  • build on critical understandings of a core set of professional and academic literacies including research, data, political, as well as knowledge and understanding of evaluative and interpersonal skills
  • develop a critical understanding of professional learning as collective and emergent, to facilitate school and system improvement
  • understand the significance of strategic and system leadership in driving change and improvement.

During stage three participants will complete the MSc in Educational Leadership (leading to Specialist Qualification for Headship) through undertaking the final two modules in the programme EDUP023 In Headship 1 (20 credits SCQF level 11) and EDUP024 In Headship 2 (40 credits SCQF level 11).

The modules:

EDUP023 In Headship 1 (20 credits SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to enable participants to engage critically and reflect on their transition to headship as they pursue equity and excellence through building capacity in self and others.
Plus  
EDUP024 In Headship 2 (40 credits SCQF level 11)

This module comprises two units; Pursuing equity and excellence in practice and Building capacity in self and others. 

The aim of this module is to enable participants to reflect critically on their professional learning during early headship, drawing upon a range of data to evidence professional growth in strategic leadership, leading to a strategic plan for professional learning in a period of complex change. 


For the award of the MSc in Educational Leadership (with Specialist Qualification for Headship), you must complete the above three stages.

Delivery and assessment

This course is offered on a part-time basis only. The period of study is normally three years for the MSc, although this programme is unlikely to be taken over three consecutive years. Candidates must complete six modules for the MSc degree.

Recommended reading

This will be provided on enrolment for the course.

Modes of study

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, guided self-study, online and work-based learning.

Why Stirling?

REF2014

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 (REF) 2014, our Educational research had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

Currently, Education studies ranks as:

  • 1st in Scotland and 9th in the UK, The Guardian University Guide, 2017
  • 12th in the UK, The Independent Complete University Guide, 2017
  • 9th in the UK, The Times Good University Guide, 2016

Displaying our commitment to achieve a high level of; Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months, and research in Education. In the most recent study by QS, staff from the University of Stirling received 5 out of 5-star rating for teaching.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Strengths

When attending study days on campus at the University of Stirling, a number of facilities are available to make your stay easier and more enjoyable.

The University of Stirling has an outstanding range of accommodation and catering facilities. Located within the historic Airthrey Estate, the stunning 330 acre campus grounds include an 18th Century Castle, loch and golf course and have been described as ‘an exceptional place to study and work’.

Accommodation

The Stirling Court Hotel - one of only two venues in Scotland awarded the highly coveted Conference Centre of Excellence Award provides 100 bedrooms, 365 days a year and features conference, accommodation and dining facilities.

Other accommodation options in and around Stirling can be found at Destination Stirling.

Catering

The University of Stirling offers a wide range of catering options for students, staff and visitors, to suit all tastes and budgets.

The Pathfoot and Haldane's eateries are ideally suited for larger group lunches while other smaller coffee shop/café outlets such as Stir Café and The Bite Costa offer a lighter ‘on the move’ option.

  • Situated in the Atrium:
    • Haldanes Eatery
    • Stir Café
    • Market Street
    • Sidewalk
  • Pathfoot Eatery
  • Willow Court ‘Refresh Bar & Bistro’
  • Bite Costa
  • Café bars within the Macrobert arts centre and Sports Centre
  • Stirling Court Hotel
    • Abbeycraig restaurant
    • Bar menu 

Facilities

University of Stirling students have access to a wide range of facilities and activities within the stunning campus grounds including:

Our staff

Dr Valerie Drew is Programme Director for the MSc in Professional Education and Leadership and the MSc in Educational Leadership (leading to Scottish Qualification for Headship) in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling. She is a member of the Scottish College for Educational Leadership national design group for the new mandatory Specialist Qualification for Headship. Her research interests span educational leadership and professional and workspace learning as well as curriculum and pedagogy. She is a member of the Standing Committee for ProPEL, an International Network for Research into Professional Practice, Education and Learning based in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She also leads on partnership projects with local authorities in school-based curriculum development through critical collaborative professional enquiry. 

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The Specialist Qualification for Headship is a nationally approved course for demonstrating the Standard for Headship.

Employability

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with SQH) develops knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance leadership and management practices and support career-long professional development.

Industry connections

The MSc in Educational Leadership (with SQH) has been designed and developed in partnership with SCEL and other stakeholders across the education community and is accredited by the GTCS.

Graduates may also wish to pursue further education in the form of the Doctorate in Education.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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