Postgraduate taught 

Educational Leadership MEd

Shaping professional identity and practice: using critical reflection in the transition to headship EDUC5953

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course is designed to provide course participants with the intellectual knowledge and critical skills and capabilities to understand and theorise their own intellectual and professional growth as a novice headteacher leading change and improvement in schools. 



Requirements of Entry

• have a first degree or equivalent

• have a teaching qualification

are fully registered with the GTCS

have completed the Pg Certificate Into Headship or equivalent

are endorsed by their employer as an existing Head Teacher

have a supportive reference from their employer

have access to a suitable workplace environment in order to be able to overtake the practice-based components of the programme


Summative assessment: this will consist of a critically reflective report on their transition into headship, their professional problem solving in practice and an initial outline strategic plan for professional learning. This will form part of the overall evidence for submission.


The summative assessment will comprise 4,000 words and permit the candidate to demonstrate the impact of the integrated learning process.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide beginning headteachers with the intellectual knowledge and critical skills and capacities to understand and theorise their own intellectual and professional growth as a novice headteacher leading change and improvement in schools. Critical reflection on their own experience therefore shapes and permeates this programme thus making it responsive to the new head teacher in their own context.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ develop further and apply their emotional intelligence, adaptability and resilience to strategic and system-level leadership

■ demonstrate critical understanding of sustained professional growth as a key factor in improvement

■ develop and apply critical foresight in understanding the complexity of change and in driving improvement

■ articulate values based leadership through the creation and communication of a strategic vision for the school and its community

■ demonstrate and apply the use of academic and professional literacies to overtake the learning outcomes for the course.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.