Educational Leadership and Management MBA

Postgraduate degree

Expand your educational leadership and management skills to an advanced level with our flexible online MBA in educational leadership.

  • Supported online learning gives you the flexibility to study around your schedule
  • Learn from skilled and passionate tutors with experience in educational contexts
  • Gain the knowledge, confidence and recognition to advance your career
  • Combine teaching and learning with leadership skills, giving you the knowledge, confidence and recognition to advance in your career
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your MBA education

Whether you are new to educational management, stepping up to a leadership role through teaching, or an experienced leader, this unique MBA education course is the one for you. You'll tailor your study and assignments to focus closely on your current role to heighten your capabilities, improve your existing practices, implement new initiatives and enhance your personal effectiveness. This is an online course, providing ultimate flexibility wherever you work.

Course highlights

  • Advance your theoretical skills and learn how to put them into practice
  • Explore how you can change and improve your working and teaching environment
  • Develop the skills and knowledge to prepare you for roles in education management

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online

Course length

Study this course over 2 years

Start datesStart in September
Application deadlineOur next deadline is

30th April 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Learn the importance of strategic management in education and how this applies to developing effective management systems. Discover how you can become an agent of change and develop the skills to improve your working and teaching environment in an educational context.

Benefits to you:

  • Develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to be an innovative, collaborative and effective leader and manager
  • Provide opportunities to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based strategy that can effectively transform and sustain excellence in your institution
  • Develop your contacts with other like-minded professionals and the international education leadership community
  • Experience full support as an agent of change as you transform your working environment by engaging in research-based and holistic critical reflection in and on practice
  • Enable you to push forward in a leadership or management role in your workplace for the benefit of both pupils and staff, and your career progression

Benefits to your organisation:

  • You will develop a more enquiring, reflective, critical and innovative approach to leadership and management in your organisation
  • You will have the ability to use data for critical evaluation of a situation and implementation of measurable improvement
  • Your understanding of strategic planning will enable you to lead teams through change processes for improvement
  • You will possess the ability to make significant contributions to your place of work through research, and to apply enhanced professional knowledge and skills

Our course is designed for educational professionals who want to advance their theoretical skills and learn how to put them into practice. It's a fantastic choice for continuing professional development, for both compulsory education teachers and those teaching post-compulsory courses as well as leaders and managers within the educational system. It's also open to NQTs who want to advance their learning whilst still completing their first teaching year. This course can also be your first step towards working in research or university lecturing and it can be a pathway to your PhD or EdD.

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Leading Educational Change and Improvement

Engage in theory and wider research in relation to performance evaluation, leading change, and improvement planning and change management. You will identify an area of practice in your role or setting that would benefit from improvement and produce a critically reflective commentary that will provide the underpinning rationale for an action plan, linked to models of good practice.

Strategic Management in Education

You will develop a deeper understanding of effective strategic planning in order to achieve organisational aims, making clear links between the strategic planning and the strategic vision of your institution. This will include the evaluation and review of existing processes and planning for improved management.

Professional Enquiry in Education

You will have the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in an area of personal and professional interest, relating to education, either individually or in a small (virtual) group.

Developing Effective Management Systems

You will engage in a process of critical evaluation and analysis to focus upon systems for managing information, relationships including staff and stakeholders, communication and reporting. The effective management of knowledge facilitates efficient leadership and management in relation to staff, stakeholders, finance, facilities and measures for dealing with wider policy issues. You will focus on internal and external systems in order to engage in a meaningful review of your own organisation whilst drilling down to evaluate procedural systems and the effectiveness of information management.

Research Methodology for Learning and Teaching

You'll explore diverse approaches to educational research including research ethics, methodologies, methods and design. The module draws upon a range of research literature and theory to expose you to the idea of challenging existing theoretical stances and philosophical aspects of educational research, to prepare you for your major project proposal.

Major Project

The Major Project is central to the Masters award. You will demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules and use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This project provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  1. Your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your subject
  2. Depth of knowledge
  3. Critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge
  4. The ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice
  5. The ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information which may be complex or contradictory
  6. The capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge to develop new approaches to changing situations and contribute to the development of good practice
  7. The ability to communicate these processes in a clear and sophisticated fashion
  8. The capability to evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner.

Modules are subject to change and availability.


You'll be assessed in a variety of ways. Individual, creative responses to the tasks are welcomed but they’ll also give you the chance to refine your academic writing skills. Assessments will mainly be written, focused on practice and drawn upon evidence from practice in line with the subject benchmarks of the MBA.

Meet your tutors

Phil Kirkman

Principle Lecturer

Phil Kirkman was previously a Subject Lecturer and International Projects Consultant at the University of Cambridge, UK. Before this, Phil worked for over a decade as a department leader, pastoral manager and teacher in UK secondary schools. He regularly leads events for education professionals in the UK and internationally and has consulted on Curriculum and Pedagogy for several Education NGO's and Government Departments. Phil's current research interests include educational technologies, innovative pedagogy, dialogic education and practitioner research.

How you'll study

Our Educational Leadership and Management MBA is studied 100% online.

You’ll study online through Canvas, our world-class 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.

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 part of your MBA educational leadership online, 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 and management tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your MBA education, 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 MBA Educational Leadership and Management do for my career?

This course is for you if you are already work in education, in a junior, mid-level, or senior leadership role and wish to progress your knowledge and understanding of leadership theory and application to the educational sector.

This course is also appropriate for ambitious teachers who have their sights firmly set on leadership from the start and want to gain the deep understanding of strategic planning, leading teams, and implementing and managing change. This postgraduate qualification will give you the knowledge, confidence and recognition to progress quickly in your career.

What job roles can I consider with an MBA Education postgraduate degree?

Graduates will already be working in the education sector either in schools, further education, higher education or in an educational role within the public sector. This course will help you to progress to more senior roles, such as those described below, potentially with more training and experience depending on the starting point:

  • Subject or Curriculum Leader
  • Specialist Co-ordinator
  • Director of Professional Development
  • Senior Administrator
  • Assistant or Deputy Principal
  • Headteacher or Principal
  • Education Consultant

What skills will I get from an MBA Education to help my career?

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

  • Develop an enquiring, reflective and innovative approach
  • Cultivate problem-solving and creative thinking skills
  • Critically evaluate situations and implement measurable improvement
  • Strategically plan and lead teams through change
  • Develop systems-level understanding and implement changes across all levels
  • Contribute beyond yourself and your Immediate organisation to contribute to the wider sector and conversation

What can I study after an MBA Education?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree is a key entry requirement in opening doors to study at this level.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you 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

  • Applicants should normally have a good first degree or National College ADSBM and have a minimum of three years' experience of employment in a related field
  • International students will be required to demonstrate the university standard of English language (IELTS) at Level 6.5 (including written English) prior to commencement on a course. Students who do not meet this requirement will be advised to seek support from Anglia Ruskin University's Language Centre.
  • Applicants should be working within an educational context within a role that includes leadership and Management responsibility.
  • We will also consider applicants seeking entry to this course with at least five years leadership and management in education, through experiential learning.
  • You will need to provide evidence that a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance has been undertaken.
  • 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

As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this course is £10,650.

The tuition fees you pay each year for the full Educational Leadership and Management MBA will be £5,325. The course is studied over 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. Anglia Ruskin University 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

Dio - ARU Student

ARU has allowed me to achieve my personal and professional ambitions. It’s worth every penny of the tuition fees. I self-funded my course and I’ve had no regrets investing in my career.

Read Dio's story
Sophie - ARU Distance Learning Student

Being a distance learner, you do not feel like you are on your own. There is always someone who will get back to you on a query in a timely manner and the tutors always get back to you quickly and in such a friendly and helpful way.

Read Sophie's story
Shipa - ARU Student

The distance-learning mode helped a lot, as I was able to manage my job, family life and study in the comfort of my home whilst still developing my career.

Read Shipa's story
Michael - ARU Distance Learning Student

It was a great opportunity to learn from experienced professors, engage in stimulating discussions, and expand one’s worldview from an academic lens to accompany my work experience.

Read Michael's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

30th April 2024

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

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