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Education Leadership

Module titleEducation Leadership
Module codeEFPM007Z5
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Jonathan Doney (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The purpose of this module is to explore theory and practice related to leadership in educational contexts. The module will introduce you to major schools of thought on education leadership and to the ideas, theories and cocepts underpinning these varying perspectives. It will examine the research basis of education leadership theory and practice and the relationship between education policy environments and the development of leadership in education contexts. You will be asked to critically examine leadership theory and practice in a range of local, national and international contexts and to undertake a study of leadership in an educational setting with which you are familiar.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aim of this module is to facilitate critical examination of education leadership in global, national and local contexts. You will consider theories of leadership and their relationship to policy, international research and the educational settings in which leadership is practiced.

This module will examine key questions such as:

  • What is leadership?
  • What is the relationship between leadership and education?
  • How do different policy environments impact upon education leadership?  
  • What are the major school of thought on education leadership?
  • What is distributed and collaborative leadership?
  • How might leadership promote and support learning communities?
  • What factors might inhibit the development of education leadership?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a critical understanding of different notions of education leadership
  • 2. critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives on education leadership
  • 3. demonstrate a critical understanding of key global, national and local issues in education leadership

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. critically reflect upon and evaluate your own understanding of education leadership and its application to education settings with which you are familiar
  • 5. consider and critically reflect on ideas concerning the relationship between educational leadership theory, research, policy and practice
  • 6. critically evaluate research evidence related to education

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. synthesise and organise ideas to present a convincing argument
  • 8. engage in critical, reflective debate
  • 9. critically apply theoretical ideas, policy positions and research implications to educational leadership practice
  • 10. undertake both directed and independent study to recognise, justify and analyse key ideas in education leadership literature and relate these to research, theory, policy and practice

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The content of the module may change to reflect emerging and developing theory, research, policy and practices in the field of education leadership. Nevertheless it will consider key questions and perspectives on education leadership and content:

  • Alternative conceptions of education leadership
  • The relationship between education leadership and gender, social class, ethnicity and religious belief
  • Locating the educational within leadership
  • The relationship between education leadership and social, cultural, economic and political contexts
  • Identifying and exploring the major trends in education leadership travelling between different local, national, international and global settings
  • Education leadership and the wider public policy environment

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities4812 x 4 hours per week of online seminars
Guided independent study48Preparatory work for taught seminars (including reading; research tasks; collaborative tasks)
Guided independent study104Completion of directed study tasks integral to the taught seminars
Guided independent study20Completion of formative assignment tasks
Guided independent study80Completion of summative assignment tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay1,000 words1, 3-8Written
Written essay1,000 words1, 2, 4-9, 10Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay905,000 words1-10Written and grade
Engagement log10500 words10Written and grade


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (5,000 words)1-108 weeks
Engagement logEngagement log (500 words)108 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Fuller, K. (2013) Gender, Identity, and Education Leadership, London: Bloomsbury.
  • Gronn, P. (1999) The Making of Educational Leaders. London: Cassell.
  • Gronn P (2000) Distributed properties: A new architecture for leadership. Educational Management and Administration. 28(3), 317–338.
  • Gunter, H. (2012) Leadership and the Reform of Education, Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Hall, D., Moller, J., Schratz, M., and Serpieri, R. (2017) From welfarism to neo-liberalism: Conceptualising the diversity of leadership models in Europe. In: Waite, D. and Bogotch, I. (eds) The International Handbook of Educational Leadership. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
  • Hall, D. (2013) Drawing a Veil over Managerialism: Leadership and the Discursive Disguise of the New Public Management, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 45 (3), 267-282.
  • Lingard, B., Hayes, D., Mills, M., and Christie, P. (2003) Leading Learning: Making hope practical in schools, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Ozga, J (2009) Governing education through data in England: from regulation to selfâ??evaluation, Journal of Education Policy, 24 (2),149-162.
  • Spillane, J. and Diamond, J. (2007) Distributed Leadership in Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Thomson, P. (2008) Headteacher critique and resistance: a challenge for policy, and for leadership/management scholars. Journal of Educational Administration andHistory, 40 (2), 85–100.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module Dropbox for sharing resources and materials


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Leadership, policy, practice

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date