Applied Educational Leadership MA

Distance learning programme

The Applied Educational Leadership MA is a world-class, fully online programme for middle or senior leaders in schools, colleges, universities, charities, edu-businesses and government. It is a powerful boost to personal development, employability and promotion. Students bring change to their professional contexts through personal study and research, enabled by high-quality dialogue with their tutors and global network of peers.

UK students International students
Study mode
Flexible
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£10,800
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£22,200
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
Not applicable
5 calendar years
Programme starts
January 2022
September 2022
January 2023
Applications accepted
September 2022 entry: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications open

January 2023 entry: 07 Feb – 07 Oct 2022

Applications open

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in any subject, and at least two years' relevant work experience. Word processing, Internet and email skills are all basic requirements of this programme. You must have regular access to a computer with an internet connection to use the Virtual Learning Environment, where all programme resources are located.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

As an applied programme, this MA will improve a student's understanding of educational leadership theory, enable them to apply it to their own working environment, and to undertake research in their settings. It will foster students' continuing professional development, allowing them to consider issues related to the policy context of education. It will also give them the chance to think through, apply and evaluate strategies for leading change.

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for educational professionals who may be based in the UK or anywhere in the world and who are likely to be educational leaders or managers in a variety of settings.

What this course will give you

The Department of Learning and Leadership's excellent reputation stems from the quality, depth and breadth of its research and development work, and from its promotion of educational leadership both nationally and internationally.

The department is at the forefront of developing research, new knowledge and publications for and about leadership and learning. This informs the content of the AEL course.

AEL has an outstanding team of tutors with long experience as educational leaders and researchers in the field.

The foundation of your career

The programme links rigorous academic content to practical application throughout. Students develop skills in leading staff, working with teams, increasing motivation, leading change, assessing research claims and developing research-engaged institutions. Wider philosophical and value stances are explored, enriched by informed professional perspectives from a diverse global cohort. This leaves students better prepared for a wide range of professional contexts in changing times.

Employability

Graduates of this programme work across a broad range of areas. Some are working as senior and middle leaders in education institutions worldwide, while others have jobs as government ministers and advisers. Graduates can also be found working as local government leaders and consultants. An increasing number work in or start edu-businesses. Many AEL students gain promotion during the programme as it offers evidence of their dedication to personal and professional development.

Teaching and learning

This online programme allows flexible study around other commitments. Students share their skills and experience with peers, supported and directed by tutors. In-depth guides are provided for each module, containing readings, outlines, commentary and activities supported on the Moodle site. Students are assessed through written assignments and blogs.

The AEL MA programme is built around personal study supported by online dialogue and messaging. There is no face-to-face teaching, and students are never required to be online at a particular time. Tutors give extensive feedback on draft assignments, as well as responding to and evaluating students' online contributions to dialogue. During the dissertation year students are supported by both the module tutor, who supports generic research and study skills, and a supervisor, who helps them develop and write up a research project. Recommended study time is around 10 hours per week.

Modules

Flexible

Students first study the two core taught modules, before moving to a choice of two out of four optional taught modules. On completing all the taught modules, students study for their dissertation. Taught modules start in September or February; the dissertation starts in both.
As a modular/flexible programme, students can defer at any point without penalty until the next start point, up until the 5-year registration limit.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Applied Educational Leadership.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Educational Leadership and Management MA/MBA

Watch the presentation from our programme team and find out what it's like to study graduate programmes in Educational Leadership and Management at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £10,800
Tuition fees (2022/23) £22,200

Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their dissertation.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Value: Full tuition fees and some allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees and a stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Applied Educational Leadership at graduate level
  • why you want to study Applied Educational Leadership at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Submitting an up-to-date CV is also vital for assessing your eligibility for this professional programme.

AEL has two starting points per year, in September and January. Please note that this programme requires that applicants have experience of educational leadership and are in a leadership position during their studies. Students with a strong application but not meeting all criteria can make their case in the personal statement.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.