MSc Education (Leadership and Policy)

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Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two to five years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

Leaders in education are expected to continue to improve learning and promote equality for learners whilst responding to the latest changes in policy. Through the Leadership and Policy specialism you will develop the theoretical knowledge and skills to lead quality improvement and promote social justice within organisations . Through the different units you will critically engage with ideas and practices related to leading and managing organisational change; and educational effectiveness . You will identify and analyse the ways in which ideas and policy agendas act across and within national boundaries. You will have the option to study in depth ethical management, mentoring and coaching and social justice in education.

This specialism develops knowledge and skills for: leading and managing staff, promoting social justice in educational organisations, using and conducting research, and policy analysis. You will be expected to develop your own views and a distinctive voice relating to education leadership and policy. Through assignments and dissertation research, there will be opportunities to study in-depth the topics that are of most interest to you.

The programme is designed for professionals with at least one year's full-time experience in education as a teacher, administrator, university lecturer or early-years practitioner. The programme attracts a diverse cohort of professionals, who bring their unique perspectives and experience to our highly interactive teaching and learning. Graduates from the Bristol Masters programme have gone on to become education ministers, advisors, school leaders, lead training within business organisations and university-based researchers.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Core units:

  • Introduction to Educational Inquiry
  • Education Policy in a Global Context
  • Quality and Improvement in Education
  • Leading and Managing Change

Optional units:

Students studying this programme will be able to take optional units from across the school.


You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree (or equivalent) and a year's appropriate professional experience.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


We aim to offer our students the academic and personal development opportunities that will equip them to respond to the intellectual, social and personal challenges that they will encounter throughout their lives and careers. 

Our overarching goal is to enable our graduates to display the following characteristics:

  • Equipped to demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in their chosen field
  • Visionary, imaginative, innovative, reflective and creative
  • High ideals and values, including a strong sense of social justice
  • Highly employable, world wide
  • Adaptable with the potential to be leaders in work and in the community. 

Read more about the journeys of some of our graduates.

How to apply
Application deadline:

Not fixed but early application is advised. 

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 44% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 36% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 19% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Student Services Office Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4491 Email:

Graduate School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square
Bristol BS8 1JA


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