School Leadership & Management (Scottish Qualification for Headship) (inservice programme) PgDip

School teacher with class

This is the preparation development programme for aspiring headteachers in Scotland. The programme combines the professional award of the Scottish Qualification for Headship with the academic award of the PgDip.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • This programme has been running successfully across Scotland and has been recently revised and re-accredited with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
  • The programme is delivered by staff who work with a range of national and international groups in supporting leadership development at all levels in the school.
  • We are one of the founding partner in the Western Consortium for aspiring headteachers in Scotland.

Programme structure

The focus of the programme is on the development of leadership in school and to enable participants meet the Scottish professional standard, The Standard for Headship.

The programme consists of four units

  • Educational leadership
  • Improving capability
  • Leading to improve learning part 1
  • Leading to improve learning part 2.

The programme uses a blended learning approach, including taught elements, distance learning, collaborative peer and group learning as well as practice based learning, in which you undertake whole school management development projects.

Background and aims

This programme has been running successfully across Scotland and has been recently revised and re-accredited with the GTCS. It is designed to enable successful applicants to complete a programme of study to post graduate diploma level, which will also enable them to demonstrate their achievement of the Standard for Headship.

Who is the programme for?
This programme is aimed at aspriring headteachers who have already established a basic understanding of the management principles and have successfully undertaken leadership and management tasks in school at either project leadership or team leadership level.

What will you get from this programme?
The purpose of the programme is to enable participants to:

  • develop knowledge and understanding of school leadership and management theory and practice as it applies in various school settings
  • develop further the use of critical reflection to enhance professional practice
  • develop the leadership and management competences as specified by the Standard for Headship in Scotland.

Students on this programme are sponsored by their employer.

Introductory Reading
At the induction day for the programme participants are advised of the core texts:

  • Bell, L. and Stevenson, H. (2006) Education policy: process, themes and impact, London: Routledge.
  • Bennett, N., Crawford, M. and Cartwright, M. (2003) Effective Educational Leadership, London: Paul Chapman.
  • Brookfield, S. D. (1995) Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • O’Brien, J., Murphy, D. and Draper, J. (2008) School Leadership, Edinburgh: Dunedin Press, 2nd Ed.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
APL (either APFL or APEL) will be considered for specific learning outcomes within courses 1, 2 and 3 to a maximum of 60 SCQF credits, providing claims for prior learning can draw on evidence generated within the last 5 years before submission but should preferably refer to more recent illustrations of competence e.g. 2- 3years

What our students say

"The course really gets you to think about the situation in your own school and capacity for change. It also gets you to focus on internal and external influences upon the school that previously little thought was given to.”

“I would never have been able to tackle my new headship position without the preparation I got through doing this course.”

“I have learned so much about the skills required to become a headteacher and the practical implications of that. The time has allowed me to reflect on where I see my own career going and I have developed strong relationships with colleagues.”

“I have made significant progress over the two years in my theoretical and practical understanding of leadership and management. I have used this to lead people in a way I would never have done before.”

“The last two years have been the best professional development I have undertaken. It has been great to discuss the challenges of headship with colleagues with similar challenges and experiences.”


The programme includes practice -based learning, particularly in Units 3 and 4, where the participants will be required to carry out a whole school strategic improvement intervention in their own establishment. Much of the work of Units 3 and 4 will consist of carrying out and evaluating the programme of activities in school, which have been agreed in Unit 2 and reflecting on the critically on their leadership of this intervention.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

You must be fully registered with the General Teaching Council and have five years teaching and access to a suitable work environment. Entry to the programme is through local authority or employer nomination.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2015-16 (subject to change and for guidance only)


Home and EU part-time only - £1300 per 30 Credits

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

As a graduate you would have all the necessary attributes for senior leadership and headship positions within schools.

How to apply

The first step in the application process is with your school's Local Authority. After verifying the eligibility of your application with your Local Authority SQH Coordinator, you must continue the process by following 'Apply Now below, and completing the online application.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU) 24 July 2015
  • UK and EU applications 28 August 2015
    (with the exception of those programmes offering SFC funded places)

Classes start September 2015 for most programmes and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now