Systems Learning & Leadership

Promoting powerful new approaches to learning and leadership, and placing learning at the centre of individual and organisational change

 

The Graduate School of Education is currently re-designing and optimising its Masters-Level programmes to ensure they are best equipped to play their part in addressing future teaching, leadership and research needs, locally and globally. 

Applications to the MSc Systems, Learning and Leadership are therefore temporarily suspended for the 2014/15 academic year. A wide range of provision is still accepting applications, and we encourage consideration alternatives from our provision.

The revised programme provision will be launched for 2015/16 and we encourage interested applicants to regularly check our website and keep in contact (ed-masters-admiss@bristol.ac.uk) for further details.

 

Addressing all topics with the rigour of postgraduate student, this programme is tuned to the practical application of:

  • Improving learning power through learning design and coaching for learning Improving learning effectiveness with authentic enquiry and assessment
  • Improving leadership through harnessing collective intelligence
  • Enhancing organisational change through systems designing
  • These learning practices also form the modus operandi of the programme

What is this programme about?

It promotes powerful new approaches to learning and leadership. These put learning at the centre of individual and organisational change, especially in complex and uncertain conditions. The programme is designed to help you to identify and develop your own, and your team’s ‘learning power’, harness collective intelligence, engage in systems thinking and facilitate enquiry, all in alignment with organisational purpose and strategy.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for leaders and aspiring leaders in the private, public and third sectors as well as in education. You may be a chief executive, senior manager, head teacher, or team leader. You want to develop in yourself and your organisation powerful new approaches to learning and leadership. You are someone with responsibility for results, for yourself, your team, your students... your ‘community’, in the widest sense.

Why is it relevant to you?

It follows that you need to be able to identify and develop your own learning power, to acquire new methods of retrieving and manipulating knowledge and information. This involves recognising and managing your own learning, influencing others to do the same. The challenge is to develop your own and others’ motivation, skills and aptitude for learning and to align these with organisational purposes. You need the ability to negotiate the values, issues and dilemmas of the workplace, in a manner that forms the basis for active participation in the wider community and ecosystem within which you, and your work, exist.

Why is it significant to the time we live in?

Change is constant. Change and learning are twin sides of the same coin. This programme is about understanding and experiencing deep learning and change. Willingness to change is a function of awareness, of what is happening and why. This is true for individuals, organisations and communities. Our ‘learning power’ is our individual and collective capacity to engage in change. Your learning power is a complex mix of dispositions, lived experiences, social relations, values, and beliefs that coalesce to shape your engagement with particular learning opportunities. It is expressed in the stories and relationships you bring to your professional tasks – and it requires team work, humility and courage.

Research basis of the programme

This programme has emerged from the internationally acclaimed research and development programme which produced the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) - a self-assessment tool for identifying and strengthening an individual's 'learning power'. This research was initiated by Patricia Broadfoot, Guy Claxton and Ruth Deakin Crick (who is now programme coordinator for the MSc Systems Learning and Leadership) and funded by the Lifelong Learning Foundation. Since 2003 ELLI has developed into a framework for learning conversations and learning design. It empowers individuals and teams to take responsibility for their own learning over time. Outcomes are meaningful in a 'real life' context. Together these design principles constitute an approach to learning which is authentic – created by you, while being real and meaningful to your circumstances.

 

 

EDUCM5922 Transformational Change: Learning Power, Theory & Practice

This unit will introduce students to the concept of 'learning power' and the personal qualities necessary for effective learning, change and leadership. It will begin with a review of the theory and empirical evidence about learning power and will explore the concept of personal learning and change, particularly in relation to narrative, life story and identities. The unit will address the development of assessment of 'soft skills' and problematise the concept of 'virtue' for the 21st century, focusing on competences of learning how to learn and knowledge co-generation as outcomes. It will provide practical and theoretical approaches to mentoring and coaching as key vehicles for personal growth and developing learning power for learners at all levels of a learning system. The unit will interrogate such concepts as personality, identity, story, dispositions, knowledge and competence as aspects of learning as a complex, dynamic process. The Unit will provide accreditation for people wishing to continue to use the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory in their professional practice.

Aims:

• To develop understanding of the key characteristics of contemporary theories of learning and learning to learn and of the complexities of the variables that impact on learning

• To consider critically theory, research and professional knowledge about learning and transformation and its application to students contexts

• To develop understanding of assessment for learning and building learning power

• To consider the links between personal development, change and learning through students reflection on their own learning process through the unit

• To consider factors that impact on the learning at institutional, national and global levels.

• To develop a theoretical and professional understanding of sustainable learning and of learning power.

 

EDUCM5000 Introduction to Educational Inquiry

This core unit provides an introduction to the variety of methods used to conduct research in education. It engages students in the key debates surrounding educational research and its importance in developing educational policy and improving educational processes. The question of what constitutes good educational research is addressed and students will be encouraged to develop strategies to better understand and critique the immense variety of educational research reported in book and journals. In this course, students are introduced to the entire process of conducting educational research from the initial stages of thinking about research questions to designing a project, choosing particular methodologies and methods. Students are encouraged to look at this from a political and philosophical as well as educational perspective and also to consider and reflect on the key issues that educational researchers face, including how it is possible to ensure good ethical practice. Particular emphasis is placed on research designs for complex issues and processes.

The unit aims are to:

• present the main philosophical and methodological positions within social science research with special reference to research in education

• appreciate the importance of critically engaging with research literature

• understand and engage with the process of research design and its conduct, including issues in data collection and analysis

• be prepared to undertake an empirically-based dissertation

• enrich their reading and understanding of research literature that they engage with in their other units on the MEd programme.

This is a core unit for all MEd programmes, for MSc Neuroscience & Education and for MSc Systems Learning and Leadership

 

 

EDUCM5920 Inquiry Based Learning: Developing Your Learning Journey

This unit will provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of enquiry based learning, exploring its application to workbased learning in addition to a formal curriculum. Students will explore the relationship between the identity, self and contexts of the learner and the achievement of learning outcomes, which meet the requirements of a formally assessed curriculum. They will do this methodologically through sequential thinking and learning capabilities developed as a 'nine step process' and scaffolded through the concepts and dimensions of learning power. The idea of engagement will be central and will link with life story and narrative. The nature of knowledge in the information age will be examined and the sequencing of the learner's encounter with knowledge will be a key focus, developed through authentic enquiry. The concept of learning as a 'journey' with four 'stations' (selves, personal qualities, knowledge and competence) and systems thinking and designing will provide a framework for theoretical and practical exploration.

Aims:

• To develop understanding of the key characteristics of enquiry based learning

• To consider critically theory, research and professional knowledge about enquiry based learning and its application to students contexts

• To develop understanding of assessment for learning

• To consider the links between personal development, change and learning through students reflection on their own learning process through the unit

• To consider factors that impact on the learning at institutional, national and global levels.

• To develop a theoretical and professional understanding of sustainable learning

 

EDUCM5205 Organisational Leadership in a Context of Change

This unit will enhance participants' understanding of the nature of organisations at all levels and their leadership and management in the context of global, national and local change. Following a review of contemporary organisation theories, leadership theories and associated research, the unit will focus on issues such as organisational cultures, how leaders learn and what they do, decision-making, strategic management, issues of organisational power and politics, and the leadership and management of change. These topics will be considered in the context of local, national and global policy and participants will be invited to reflect on specific management and leadership issues in the organisations with which they are familiar.

Aims:

• To understand the key characteristics of contemporary organisations.

• To understand the complexities of leadership in contemporary organisations.

• To assess the significance of contemporary theory and research for understanding specific organisations and their cultures.

• To critically consider theory, research and professional knowledge about the management of change.

• To evaluate factors that impact on the management of change at institutional, local, national and global levels.

• To explore the extent to which concepts and ideas highlighted in the research and theoretical literature can be applied in different political and cultural settings.

 

 

EDUCM5923 Complex Systems: Organisational Learning and Change

This unit will provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of systems thinking. It will investigate the use of models to explore and make interventions and challenge students to reflect critically on the worldviews underlying these models. Key concepts of purpose process and performance will be demonstrated and exploration will be made of the use of various forms of systems models, including hierarchical process models and systems dynamics to demonstrate how shared understandings of organisations emerge.

Aims:

• To develop knowledge and understanding of the world as a highly interconnected set of technical and social entities which are hierarchically organised and produce emergent behaviour

• To promote reflection on and further inquiry into organisational problem solving using complex systems

• To develop academic skills of library research and assignment writing.

 

EDUCM5921 Knowledge, Technology and Human Interests in the 21st Century: A Collaborative Inquiry

The main aim of this unit is to provide a theoretical and methodological understanding of inquiry based learning in the context of a technological society. Examples will be drawn from such scholarship as Benjamin's Arcades Project and Harvey's Spaces of Hope. Students will be equipped with the ability to match local and subjective demands with those imposed by the context itself, as a product of the technological society by undertaking a collaborative demonstration of the core approach, focusing on a local context.

Aims:

• To enable students to understand and use inquiry based learning in the context of a technological society

• To provide students with the background concepts, and theoretical frameworks to be able to understand the challenges of learning in the 21st century

• To facilitate critical, engaged and original cultural reflection on learning and change, in individuals, organisations and communities

• To support students to recognise, isolate and access creatively the range of knowledge systems on which personal and institutional success depend

 

 

Once you have completed 120 credits at the taught stage, you will progress to the dissertation stage. On 15th September, you will be expected to submit a 15,000-word dissertation.

At the beginning of the Spring term, you will begin to discuss potential research topics. A dissertation supervisor will be allocated to you in February, and you will be expected to start work on your dissertation by the end of the Spring term. Between April and September, you will carry out planning, research, analysis, writing up and binding of your dissertation.

 

 

The structure of the MSc Systems Learning and Leadership programme is as follows:

Mandatory

EDUCM5000 - Introduction to Educational Inquiry (20 credits)

Programme Units:

 

 

You must also take:

·         EDUCM5922 Transformational Change: Learning Power, Theory and Practice

·         EDUCM5920 Inquiry Based Learning: Developing Your Learning Journey

·         EDUCM5923 Complex Systems: Organisational Learning and Change

Optional Units:

Choose2 further units from:

·         EDUCM5921 Knowledge, Technology and Human Interests in the 21st Century: A Collaborative Inquiry

·         EDUCM5205 Organisational Leadership in a Context of Change

 

Or from any other Masters-level units across the School

EDUCM1900 Dissertation (60 credits)

 

 

Students on the MSc Systems Learning and Leadership will need to refer to various handbooks during their studies; these examples for the academic year 2013/14 are offered here to provide further background to the programme.

 

We ask former students to tell us about how their experience of the University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education has made an impact on their lives, and how they have used their studies to make an impact on education in their schools, universities, workplaces and societies.

Find out what they said on our 100 stories site, produced to celebrate a century of education studies at the University.

100 Stories - search term: 'Learning Power'

 

 

The Graduate School of Education is currently re-designing and optimising its Masters-Level programmes to ensure they are best equipped to play their part in addressing future teaching, leadership and research needs, locally and globally. 

Applications to the MSc Systems, Learning and Leadership are therefore temporarily suspended for the 2014/15 academic year. A wide range of provision is still accepting applications, and we encourage consideration alternatives from our provision.

The revised programme provision will be launched for 2015/16 and we encourage interested applicants to regularly check our website and keep in contact (ed-masters-admiss@bristol.ac.uk) for further details.

 

 

 

 

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for the academic year 2015/16 for our Masters programmes are as follows:

Home & European Union (EU)  
Full time £5800
Part time (over two years) £2900
Part time (over 2-5 years) £650 per 20 credit module
Overseas (non-EU)  
Full time £14,500

NB for the MEd Psychology of Education (BPS) programme, the full time Home fee will be £6100.

The full-time fee listed in the table above is the full cost of the programme. Further information about part-time study is available.

All tuition fees rise incrementally each year, so if you study for longer than one academic year, you can expect to pay a higher fee in your second year than in your first. The annual rise is normally around 5%.

Other Expenses

When planning to study at Bristol, it is important that you consider other costs which you will incur during your studies, such as accommodation (including utility bills), travel, books, insurance and socialising. Your offer letter will provide general guidance about the cost of living in Bristol. Please be aware that the cost of living in the UK is quite high in comparison to other countries, and you should plan accordingly.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Graduate School of Education does not offer any funding directly to students on Masters programmes, but support is available elsewhere within the University.

Fees & Funding offers a variety of advice and resources to potential and current students who are looking for funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Financial Help for Postgraduates is particularly useful for Masters students.

You might also find the following resources useful when looking for postgraduate funding: