Postgraduate taught 

Leadership & Learning PgCert: Online distance learning

Leadership for 21st Century Learning EDUC5053

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide an introduction to research, policy and practice relating to leadership and management in contemporary educational settings. Participants will critically examine 

■ the nature of educational leadership, 

■ the role of leadership in delivering improvements in learning and teaching, 

■ the significance of aspects of school culture and environment to creating effective contexts for learning.

Participants will also have the opportunity to evaluate their professional skills and leadership potential and to reflect upon the contribution that they can make to securing improvements in learning and teaching within their context.


A blend of synchronous and asynchronous online components.

Excluded Courses



The assessment is in two parts and participants must complete each part successfully to achieve a pass grade.


Part 1 

A self-assessment of leadership skills and next steps for professional development drawing from self-evaluation and supported by relevant evidence (2000 words)


Part 2

A critical review of research and policy in educational leadership and the significance of leadership to delivering improvements in learning and teaching. (4000 words)

Course Aims

This course provides an introduction to theoretical and applied understandings of educational leadership for those who wish to enhance their professional practice and/or progress to a leadership role in an educational establishment.


The key aims are to:

■ offer an intellectually stimulating introduction to theories and debates in educational leadership and examine the application of these to the practice of leadership in educational settings

■ deepen participants' understanding of current research and policy related to the role of leadership in delivering improvements to learning and teaching and consider the significance of environmental factors such as school culture,

■ provide opportunities for participants to reflect upon their professional skills and evaluate their potential to lead improvements in learning and teaching.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of this course participants will be able to


Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a critical understanding of academic debates in educational leadership and consider the implications for the practice of leadership in contemporary educational settings.

Analyse critically, current research and policy relating to the role of leadership in securing improvements to learning and teaching.

Review and critique theoretical and applied understandings of conditions likely to support effective learning and teaching and consider the implications for practice.

Critically reflect upon and evaluate their professional practice and the potential to lead improvements in teaching and learning within their context.


Skills and other attributes in

Subject-specific/practical skills

■ Develop and demonstrate a critical understanding of the significance of leadership in securing improvements in learning and teaching.

■ Evaluate critically, current educational policy relating to learning and teaching and identify implications for practice.

■ Use literature, research and other relevant data to inform the analysis and the development of professional practice.

■ Analyse relevant evidence, including feedback, to inform self-evaluation and identify their leadership skills  and development needs.


Intellectual skills

■ Critically engage with a range of research, academic debate and relevant policy to explore the relationship between leadership and learning.

■ Appraise critically, the implications of policy by identifying the significant educational issues faced by their organisation and its wider communities.

■ Synthesise theoretical and practical understandings to evaluate professional practice and the potential to lead improvements in learning and/or teaching within their context.


Transferable/key skills

■ Critical evaluation.

■ Self evaluation and reflection.

■ Self management skills.

■ Communication skills and the ability to maintain and enhance working relationships with others.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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