Educational Leadership

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

1 year(s)

Places available

No restrictions.


Full-Time, Part-Time


Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

* This course is now closed for 2017 entry. To register your interest in the 2018 course please email


In the current climate of structural and political pressure on improving educational performance and opportunities, there is an increased focus upon the quality of leadership within educational institutions. This MSc recognises that a high-quality educational system depends on leaders from all walks of life and all types of positions, regardless of title. It is intended, therefore, to provide leadership development for people who work in all manner of roles in the educational system: classroom teachers, formal school leaders, local authority personnel, policymakers, and any individual with a direct interest in the primary and post-primary school sectors.

The programme aspires to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and creative capacity to respond to a variety of leadership challenges faced in contemporary educational institutions. It challenges traditional notions of 'leaders' and 'leadership' pointing to new, more collaborative and more organic models of leading. It is expected that graduates will be able to inform their professional practice with the latest research evidence in the field to nurture meaningful relationships in educational communities, address issues of equity and diversity, support teaching and learning, and ultimately ensure quality outcomes which are tailored to contextual needs. We seek to develop in students the ability to critique current leadership practices and to enact changes that will improve education for all.

Why Queen's?

  • Active student involvement in sessions (student-led sessions)
  • Assignments tailored to topics of interest to each individual student
  • Research-led teaching
  • International outlook on leadership issues
  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Blended learning format
  • Online discussions and debates
  • Small group work and presentations
  • International mix of students enabling exchanges of knowledge, experience, and perspectives
  • World-class teaching/facilities

Credit Transfer

Students who have completed the Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH) degree within the last 10 years are eligible to credit transfer (up to 30 M-level credits towards the taught modules). The credit transfer application must be submitted at the same time as the online programme application as retrospective applications are not accepted.


The programme is tailored to working professionals. It is partly delivered online, while face-to-face teaching sessions take place in the evenings to facilitate attendance. Part-time students can remain in their workplace during their studies and directly apply new knowledge in their settings.

Course Details

Missed the recent webinar?  The recording is now available to watch:

Educational Leadership 

Speaker -  Dr Stefania Giannakaki, Programme Director

Click here to watch the recorded webinar

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (3 years) basis. Individual modules may be studied as a short course. . Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

The MSc is awarded to students who have successfully completed six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 15,000 - 20,000 word dissertation (60 CATS points).

Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or an Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.

We've made it easy to study for a masters module as a short course.  If you would like to apply for a short course, please contact the Education Secretary (contact details below) for advice.


Indicative Number of Modules per Semester

Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.


List of Indicative Programme Modules

Modules (all 20 CATS points):


  • An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (compulsory)
  • Leadership for Change (compulsory)
  • Leadership Theory and Practice: an overview (compulsory)
  • School Effectiveness and School Improvement (compulsory)

Optional modules may be chosen from the Educational Studies (MEd) programme. Full details of this programme are available on the School website.


Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester

Varies, depending on module choice and study mode (full-time/part-time).


Assessment & Feedback

There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed by coursework.

Learning and Teaching

Evening Only

A combination of face-to-face sessions and online learning formats.

Entry Requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline. Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context.

Please note: The closing date for applications to this programme is Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 4pm. Applications received after the closing date will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by the closing date have been processed.

International Qualifications For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.


International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfastoffers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Gillian Beavis
School of Education
Tel: 9097 5923

Lead Academic

Dr Stefania Giannakaki

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Graduates have found this degree beneficial for improving leadership practice in their workplace.. Others have found it beneficial in expanding the roles they undertake at work, and gaining employment or promotion. Some progress to doctoral-level studies and research.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

Normally self-funded, although the School may offer a limited number of scholarships. For any available funding please see the Scholarships page on the School website.

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website:


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