Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Your next steps...

Open days

Take the next step in your teaching career with a Master's degree that develops your education practice through innovation. 

  • Flexible degree allowing you to participate via school hubs, in person at St Mary's University or through the blended and online options.
  • Apply your learning to practical situations within your own school, using your learning to lead effective change.
  • Access to excellent tutorial and supervisory support.
  • Enables schools and staff to advance their professional skills and expertise in leadership through the development of a research culture.

Why study Education: Leading Innovation and Change (Edinburgh)?

If you currently work as a teacher or educational leader, our well-established Master's degree will ideally suit your professional development needs. It's also suitable for other education professionals, such as:

  • Business managers
  • Chaplains
  • Librarians
  • Data managers

The degree is designed to meet your needs, regardless of the educational phase you are working in or the stage of your career you're at.

It'll enable you, as a current or aspiring middle/senior leader, to reflect critically on your experience and understanding of leadership. You'll develop scholarly knowledge that allows you to link theory with your practice.

You'll have the opportunity to explore an area of interest and relevance to your professional role and career development as you undertake a small-scale practitioner research enquiry, leading to evidence-informed innovation.

Why St Mary's?

We have a long and proud tradition of excellence in teacher education. You'll work with a group of experienced MA tutors who provide you with high-quality teaching. The team have experience in teaching, management and leadership, as well as research and consultancy.

Leading Innovation and Change offers you a flexible approach to obtaining Master’s degree. You can choose to attend monthly Saturday schools in person or via distance learning.

You'll apply your learning to practical situations within you own school, using your knowledge to drive effective change, whilst critically engaging with contemporary educational debates.

Studying this degree will give you access to excellent online learning resources. You'll also have access to our dedicated library for Education students, which has a range of study spaces, open access IT facilities and a café.

Education degrees in Edinburgh

As well as this course, we also offer two other Education postgraduate degrees in Edinburgh:

Education degrees in London

This degree, as well as many other Education Master's degrees, is also available to study at our London campus in Twickenham. These pathways include:

Course lead

Matthew Dell headshotMatthew Dell
Senior Lecturer

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

You will normally be expected to possess a good honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent qualification approved by the University.

Additional requirement information

Experience of working in an educational setting or a relevant professional interest is also required.

Accredited prior learning

Applicants with up to 90 Level 7 credits (for example from a PGCE, National Professional Qualification or National SENCo Award) are eligible to apply for exemption from up to three modules.

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Course content

The degree consists of five modules: four compulsory and one of our specialist optional modules. Your specialist module will allow you to focus on an area of interest within leadership or pedagogy.


  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Core
  •  Core

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

This Master's programme supports your long-term career development. This is evident from the high proportion of graduates who achieve internal or external promotion to middle and senior educational leadership positions within a year of completing the programme.

Graduates of this programme are well placed to pursue doctoral studies on either a Professional Doctorate (Doctor of Education) or a PhD.

Return to sub navigation

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

This degree is taught within the Gillis Centre (formerly St Margaret's Convent and School) in Edinburgh.

Teaching methods include a combination of lectures, group seminars, workshops and individual tutorials.

Modules are taught either at St Mary’s through intensive Saturday Schools (approximately monthly) or study days in school holidays or fortnightly twilight sessions.

Assessment methods

Learning is assessed through a variety of methods:

  • Reflective journals
  • Research proposals
  • Essays
  • Case studies
  • Portfolios
  • Seminar and conference presentations.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2022

  • Home: £6,990
  • International: student visa not accepted

The tuition fees listed are for the duration of the course. Students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree. Please see clause 5.15.2 of the Tuition Fee Regulations for further information.

Tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee per module for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


We are offering bursaries of £500 to parishioners of all dioceses in Scotland participating in a full postgraduate programme at the Gillis Centre beginning in September 2022, provided this is matched by a similar contribution towards the fees from the parish.

Scottish students cannot currently get loans from Student Awards Agency Scotland to study at the Gillis Centre. Applicants will need to self-fund their studies.

Home and International students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. Please visit our alternative postgraduate funding webpage for more information about external scholarships and grants for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please submit and enquiry.

Further information

Previous dissertations

  • What are pupils’ experiences of mental health and wellbeing during examination periods and how can school X meet their needs?
  • How does a Catholic school live out its preferential option for the poor?
  • How can debating impact on students’ argumentative and evaluative writing skills in English?
  • How can newly qualified teachers in a secondary school be retained beyond their second year?
  • How do teachers perceive school-based Continued Professional Development?
  • Developing positive attitudes to mathematics in a primary school.
  • Schools: Engines for growth: Exploring the role of school leadership in developing people.
  • An investigation into the impact 'setting by ability' has on children's learning outcomes
  • How can I improve my practice as team leader?
  • How do we best engage nursery pupils in Forest Education?