MEd Educational Leadership

The MEd Educational Leadership programme is designed for those aiming to make a difference in schools through leadership that is focused on learning and school improvement.

This distinctive, evidence-focused programme builds on the National Professional Qualifications and develops capacity for leadership and expert practice in schools. 

The knowledge and experience you will gain from this programme will place you in an ideal position to inform future improvement and make a difference to the overall performance of your school. It will enhance your ability to lead school improvement by using research and evidence to develop, and in some cases, challenge current practices.

On the MEd Educational Leadership programme you will:

  • Engage with leading academics and expert local school leaders
  • Be part of a research-informed community which harnesses cutting-edge and seminal research literature and conducts research and enquiry to review and improve practice and school improvement initiatives
  • Develop capacity for rigorous and critical analysis of evidence from research and evidence from practice in improving schools
  • Develop your own specialist areas of expertise through research, leadership enquiry and other practice-focused

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Find out more about both of our Educational Leadership programmes (PDF)

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching and research in a wide range of areas of educational practice and policy. It is an international leader in education and has a history of top-rated research dating back to its founding in 1896. It is one of the largest research-led schools of education in the UK employing over 100 academic staff and teaching more than 2,500 students. 

Why study this course?

  • A flexible mode of delivery.
  • It will enable you to build new networks and develop as an education sector leader.
  • You will work with new ideas and approaches to solve organisational challenges.
  • You will develop the capacity for rigorous and critical analysis of evidence from research and from practice in improving schools.
  • You will develop specialist areas of expertise through research, leadership enquiry and other practice-focused assignments
  • The assessment may be tailored to suit your own subject specialism, phase and professional interests.


Year 1

Understanding School Improvement 

Leadership for School Improvement 

Leadership Enquiry

Year 2

Educational Policy and Improving Schools 


The Master’s dissertation (8,000-10,000 words) is an opportunity for you to develop in-depth understanding of an educational topic of personal and/or professional interest. 

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees 2019 - 2020


Code 9163 £6,167 (This is the total fee for both years for those starting in 2019).


Code 9163. Please contact the school for details

Learn more about fees and funding

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

Scholarships, Studentships and Loans

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK provides up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, please view the Scholarships webpage in the School of Education. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page.

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

Entry requirements

This is a ‘fast track’ professional learning programme which requires students to have prior experience and understanding of educational leadership.

All applicants are required to:

  • be currently working in a teaching, leadership or school support role;
  • have a National Professional Qualification (NPQ), equivalent professional experience, or equivalent M-level credits related to school improvement and educational leadership;
  • hold a good first degree, diplomas or other relevant qualifications.

International students

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students who wish to improve their knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for academic study at the University of Birmingham. Students with conditional offers have the option of attending one of these courses instead of retaking IELTS 

English language support - during your studies

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.  For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.   

How to apply

Monday 1 July 2019 is the application deadline for international students (Tier 4) who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2019 made after this date. The deadline for Home/EU (non-Tier 4) students is Monday 12 September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2020 entry in early October 2019.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The Assessment consists of a combination of academic and school focused assignments and a dissertation, all designed to be tailored by you for your own subject specialism, phase and professional interests.

The blended learning format includes a combination of distance learning and face-to-face seminars. The Distance learning content includes short research and study skills modules which support the core modules. 

This programme is designed to provide a firm basis in theory and evidence for new and aspiring leaders in education. This leadership may be exercised in schools, colleges or administrating authorities or roles providing support for school improvement. Leadership may be in the form of direct responsibility for organisational strategy and practice or it may come in the form of leading professional development. With a strong focus on connecting research to practice and using and analysing evidence, this course also provides a firm basis for students wishing to pursue further study on EdD and PhD programmes.