Education with Leadership and Management MA

Postgraduate degree

Develop an expert understanding of educational leadership, enhance your skills and advance your career in an educational setting with our Masters in Education Leadership.

  • Our MA Educational leadership gives you the flexibility to study around your life commitments
  • Benefit from the experience of educational leaders
  • Develop the skills to enhance your professional experience and grow your career in educational organisations.
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your MA Education Leadership and Management

This 100% online Masters in Education Leadership is ideal if you're passionate about driving education forward. You'll further your understanding of management in education, enhance your leadership, research and operational skills, and apply your learnings directly to your workplace. Studying online gives you the flexibility to develop your career around your other commitments.

Anglia Ruskin University has been named as one of the UK’s top ten universities for Education courses in the Guardian League Table 2023.

Course highlights

  • Develop expert leadership, research and operational skills that will help you take your career to new heights
  • Tailor your studies and your research project to focus on your professional interests
  • Enhance your critical thinking and your ability to create sophisticated academic arguments
  • Choose to study over 1 or 2 years depending on your other commitments

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course lengthChoose to study over 1 or 2 years
Start datesStart in January or September
Application deadlineOur next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Leadership and management in education has never been more important. This course will grow your understanding of educational leadership within a broad context, and explore and critique varying approaches to driving education forward.

You’ll explore both national and international research methods in educational leadership and related fields, learn to reflect on the connections between theory, policy and practice, as well as carry out your own project.

Our specialist tutors will support you in enhancing your critical thinking and creating sophisticated academic arguments.

You'll have the opportunity to tailor your studies and carry out research to focus on your particular interests, as well as finding opportunities to link the new theoretical frameworks you learn with your everyday practice. By studying with us, you’ll learn to question and justify your everyday actions, increasing your own enjoyment and job satisfaction, as well as improving the pupil or student experience in your place of work.

This course will support your career progression within your existing role and open up new opportunities in a wide range of roles including management, mentoring, lecturing and consultancy. This could include specialist progression in subject, year group or phase leadership, as well as broader leadership as a deputy head teacher or principal / head teacher. Early career teachers who take the course may progress to become specialist coordinators.

No prior experience in leadership and management is necessary for this course, although experience in these areas will benefit your application and evaluation of the principles taught.

Part of the assessment for this course requires reflection upon and analysis of a current place of work within a wider educational context, although this does not need to be your own.

You may also be interested in the following courses:

MA Education with Early Childhood Studies

MA Education

MA Education with Special Educational Needs and Disability

MA Education with Montessori

Our advisers will be happy to answer any questions you have about the MA Education with Leadership and Management course, studying online or any other aspect of distance learning.


Leading Education

Designed to deepen your understanding of educational leadership both nationally and internationally. Engage in theory and wider research with relation to leadership and management, including change management, performance evaluation and improvement planning. You’ll use key indicators and knowledge and understanding of benchmarking performance in order to identify an area of practice that would benefit from improvement. This practice does not necessarily need to be within your own organisation and can be linked to education in a broader sense. By the end of the module, you’ll have a rooted understanding of key principles within educational leadership, leadership for social justice and the importance of context within leadership.

Exploring Educational Research

Designed to familiarise you with the various research approaches that you may read about, critique and use during your Masters course and beyond. It will provide a forum for exploring, discussing and evaluating different types of education research. You’ll have the opportunity to: look at a range of research methodologies; to find, read and review research studies; and to discuss the relevance of research for practice in education across different sectors (from birth to life-long learning). You’ll be encouraged to learn about research methodologies and methods through critical reflection on published work.

Specialist Studies in Learning and Teaching

You’ll build on developments in learning technologies and explore the context and issues of the pedagogy of technology-enhanced learning. Following an initial consideration of learning, teaching and assessment issues and practices of technology-enhanced learning you’ll consider issues underpinning the development and design of learning materials for electronic delivery. This will include multimedia learning and learning using different learning technologies. You’ll pay particular attention to developing, monitoring and evaluation skills and procedures to ensure the quality and suitability of a flexible technology-enhanced experience. E-learning or technology-enhanced learning can be defined as the use of electronic technology and media to facilitate, support and enhance learning, teaching, assessment and research. You’ll take this module if you join us in January.

Developing Educational Research

You’ll be supported to develop a high quality research proposal to implement for your postgraduate major project. A workbook approach will guide you through the various elements you’ll need to consider during the process of planning and preparation for a small-scale educational research study. There will be opportunities to discuss your ideas with your tutor and peers and to present your developing research proposal for feedback. You’ll also learn by giving constructive feedback to your peers. By the end of the module, you’ll be prepared to submit an application for ethical review, to the appropriate research ethics panel, and to embark upon research for the postgraduate major project.

Postgraduate Major Project in Education

The Major Project enables you to demonstrate your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your specialism which may involve working at the current limits of theoretical and/or research understanding. It will involve the ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice. Gaining an understanding of an appropriate methodology, appropriate methods and an ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information that may be complex or contradictory. Expand or redefine your existing knowledge, to develop new approaches to changing workplace situations and/or to contribute to the development of best practice. You’ll communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion, and evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. Research topics will be negotiated with your appointed supervisor. The project may take the form of a written dissertation, a formal presentation and full research paper, an exhibition, a performance, an artefact or the development of software, or other written, aural or visual material. The project may be formed from a combination of these modes but will normally include a written component.


Instead of sitting exams, you’ll benefit from individual and collaborative assessments, including research projects and presentations. You’ll also complete an extended evaluation of issues applied directly to your specific interests and context.

How you'll study

Our Education with Leadership and Management MA is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, PC or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

You can choose to study our MA Education with Leadership and Management over 1 or 2 years. Please note that if you choose the 1-year option this is the equivalent of full-time study and may be a challenge if you’re employed full-time or have other life commitments. Our advisers will be happy to talk through your options in more detail.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your Masters in Education Leadership remotely, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist educational leadership tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your Masters in Education Leadership, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


What could an Education with Leadership & Management MA do for my career?

With our course, you’ll build the foundations for your next career move and gain skills that will allow you to progress into senior roles.

This course will give directions to your ambitions by equipping you with the knowledge to handle the challenges of leadership in education. You’ll explore factors like change management, performance evaluation and improvement planning, and learn to identify areas for improvement, as well as responding to opportunities for change and evaluating situations to find solutions.

And with your Major Project, you’ll not only have the opportunity to put into practice your learning regarding research methodologies, but a chance to explore areas of interest relevant to your ambitions and develop your specialist knowledge.

As you study through our distance learning platform, you’ll develop skills and explore concepts which will help you grow in your current role whilst sowing the seeds for future development and progression. As this online masters in education leadership fits flexibly around your work, you’ll be able to implement your learnings in your workplace as you study, whilst gaining the skills to pursue your future career. Whether you aspire to managerial or consultancy positions, or are aiming for a Head of Subject, Head of Year, Principal or Headteacher role, this course will equip you with a range of essential skills to lead in education.

Whether you have extensive experience in education or are newly embarking in your career in education, this course will hone your existing abilities to prepare you for a promising future in management and leadership.

What job roles can I consider with an Education with Leadership & Management MA postgraduate degree?

An Education with Leadership & Management MA can lead to a wide range of career opportunities. For those already working in an education leadership role, this MA will strengthen their knowledge and authority. Subject or phase leaders will deepen their understanding of leadership and may look towards management, mentoring or consultancy roles. Teachers who are starting their careers could use this course to help springboard them to specialist co-ordinator positions and advance their career.

What skills will I get from an Education with Leadership & Management MA to help my career?

Choosing to study an Education with Leadership & Management MA will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • The ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Improve your verbal and written communication skills
  • Develop your critical and creative thinking skills
  • Master your presentation skills
  • Hone your research and project management
  • Increase your self-confidence.

What can I study after an Education with Leadership & Management MA?

Depending on your long-term academic career goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a masters degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to further postgraduate study.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

  • You’re expected to have a first degree, with honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2) or equivalent.
  • You will be required to obtain a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check through the University.
  • If you have lived outside of the UK for 6 months or more within the last 5 years, then you will need to provide a police check from the country/countries previously resided in.
  • If you are completing placements overseas you will be required to obtain a police check/certificate of good conduct from the relevant country.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by ARU.
  • As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.

Please note: Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this course is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be between £4,100 and £8,200 depending on how long you take to complete the course. You can choose to study our MA Education Leadership and Management in either 1 or 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your course can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Jacob - ARU Student

I would recommend ARU in a heartbeat. The material is at the cutting edge, the tutors are at the top of their game, and the support is second to none.

Read Roy's story
Shipa - ARU Distance Learning Student
ARU is very supportive. Staff understand students’ needs and provide an excellent service to them.
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Emily Gray - ARU Student
I was able to fit the course around my work and it gave me the skills and confidence to go for a leadership job, and I haven’t looked back.
Read Emily's story
Daniel - ARU Distance Learning Student
The support services were always willing to help and there was always lots of positive communication from ARU which felt inclusive and made remote learning feel less remote!
Read Daniel's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.
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