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Postgraduate study
Education & Youth

Applied Education Leadership PgCert

This programme is organised around the notion of school improvement and supports the development of leadership and research skills for education practitioners. It is designed to support you to apply your learning to your own professional practice.


Course overview

You will have the opportunity to reflect upon practice in your own school, with a focus on your own leadership skills, and the content of your local Education Commission Report, which will inform the identification of areas of professional concern for your school and explore your own approach to leadership using diagnostic tools for self-assessment. It will enable you to conduct a small-scale enquiry, negotiated with your head teacher and the programme leaders, which will contribute directly to your own school improvement plans.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

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Course details

You are required to be in employment as a teacher in either primary or secondary education. The programme takes an individualised learning approach, so it is tailored to meet the needs of a diverse range of school improvement. You study 60 level 7 credits made up of two modules. Within these modules you are encouraged to share your experiences and perspectives on aspects of education practice. You will complete a 360 degree self-assessment tool. Peer-led discussions on a range of research and practice issues raised in sessions and directed by Education Commission Reports provide the opportunity for intra-professional discussion and debate, and to consider relevant issues from the perspective of other professional educators.

Course structure

Core modules

Education Leadership in Practice

The module enables you to critically evaluate leadership theory in relation to professional practice. It is an opportunity for you to critically reflect upon your leadership practices and to undertake a school-based project. You also reflect upon the change management process in relation to the implementation of your school-based project.

Integrating Leadership Skills and Methods of Enquiry for Education Leadership

The focus of this module is on integrating theories of leadership and educational enquiry for school leaders in order to contribute to raising achievement in schools through targeted interventions. You explore your own leadership skills and competencies through completing a 360 degree skills analysis. You will also acquire the necessary research skills to develop a small-scale school-based project to enhance school performance. The selection of research area and method of enquiry will be decided in consultation with the module leader.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Staff have specialist interests in leadership and research methods in education which enables them to effectively support you to explore and enhance your leadership skills and then develop and conduct a school improvement project. Another important element is how we support your transition to studying at level 7. You are provided with academic support to help you understand the requirements of master’s level study; to develop your skills in academic writing and referencing, critical thinking and critical writing; and in the key IT skills such as literature searching.

We recognise that you are the expert in your practice and you are encouraged to share your experiences and perspectives on practice through tutor-led and student-led activities. Peer-led discussions on research and practice issues raised in sessions provide opportunities for intraprofessional discussion and debate. You will consider relevant issues from the perspective of other professionals which supports you to apply theories of leadership to practice as well as integrate and synthesise a research methodology to develop new approaches to school improvement. The links between educational theories and professional knowledge, is a valuable part of the learning process. There is a research-informed approach to the development of school improvement, and you will be encouraged develop a community of support which will provide opportunities to share good practice, develop peer support networks, and to engage in collaborative learning.

How you are assessed

The assessment allows you to reflect on your own leadership skills, and produce assessed work that benefits your working context. The summative assessments revolve around developing and researching professional practice; you will reflect on the results of the 360 degree self-assessment tool, produce a research proposal for a school improvement project and then write a report on this project.


Entry requirements

Standard postgraduate entry criteria will apply, plus;

You must be an education practitioner employed within an education setting and able to contribute to school improvement. You must also provide an approval letter from your head teacher confirming support throughout the programme.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

This course is for middle and senior leaders in primary and secondary education.



  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: Monthly 3 hour workshops, plus supervision support in the second year
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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