Educational Leadership and Management MBA

Postgraduate (2-3 years distance learning, part-time)

Distance learning


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Apply directly to ARU


Embarking on this MBA is a clear signal to your employers that you’re strongly motivated to succeed. Tailor your studies to focus closely on your current role and boost your educational leadership and management skills to an advanced level.

Full description


Whether you’re a teacher with some management responsibilities or a leader in an institution, you can boost your career with this course.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Strategic Management in Education
    This module will focus on developing a deeper understanding of effective strategic planning in order to achieve organisational aims. Students will need to be able to make clear links between the strategic planning and the strategic vision of their institutions. They will engage with theoretical models that will encourage them to evaluate and review existing provision and to consider planning for improved management within their institutions. They will combine independent reading and wider research with focused work based learning to draw from real context experience and practice. They will develop an implementation plan in the form of a presentation complete with rationale and reflective commentary.
  • Leading Educational Change and Improvement
    Within this module students will engage in theory and wider research in relation to performance evaluation, leading change, and improvement planning and change management. Students are required to use metrics and their knowledge and understanding of benchmarking performance in order to identify an area of practice that would benefit from improvement they will produce a critically reflective commentary that will provide the underpinning rationale for the action plan, linked to models of good practice. The commentary will be required to evidence a deep level of understanding of change management and include proposed strategies for mitigating against any perceived barriers to change.
  • Developing Effective Management Systems
    This module will enable students to engage in a process of critical evaluation and analysis to focus upon systems for managing information, relationships including staff and stakeholders, communication and reporting. Ensuring knowledge is managed effectively in order to provide comprehensive information that will facilitate efficient leadership and management in relation to staff, stakeholders, finance, facilities and measures for dealing with wider policy issues. This module encourages students to focus on internal and external systems in order to engage in a meaning review of their own organisation whilst drilling down to evaluate procedural systems and the effectiveness of information management. The module will concentrate on programme rather than project management and students will not only review and evaluate their own systems and processes, but also engage in wider research by comparing and contrasting management systems across other organisations; either from education, associated disciplines such as health or social care or from industry.
  • Professional Enquiry in Education
    This module offers students the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in an area of personal and professional interest, relating to education. The notion of enquiry used in this module is broad and is intended to reflect the contributions which students bring to advanced study of education from both their academic and professional contexts. Students may pursue individual or small group enquiries or a larger group of students may work, with a specialist tutor, to enquire into an agreed subject area together.
  • Research Methodology
    The module examines diverse approaches to educational research and explores research ethics, methodologies, methods and design. The module will draw upon a range of research literature and theory so that students are exposed to the idea of challenging existing theoretical stances and philosophical aspects of educational research. The module is designed to support the needs of postgraduate students who are ready to prepare a major project proposal. This module will incorporate peer group and tutor-facilitated discussions and observations plus tutor inputs and small group and whole group study.
  • Major Project
    The Major Project is central to the Masters award and enables you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You will use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge. You will also be in a position to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice and to expand existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice.

You will complete the core modules detailed above. This course does not have any optional modules. Modules are subject to change.


You'll be assessed in a variety of ways. Individual, creative responses to the tasks are welcomed but they’ll also give you the chance to refine your academic writing skills. Assessments will mainly be written, focused on practice and drawn upon evidence from practice in line with the subject benchmarks of the MBA.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our online learning management system.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

Distance learning, 2017/18 (per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity, or 60 credits per year). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period, or for more credits. All fees are for guidance purposes only. Your offer letter will contain full details of credits and fees, or you can contact us if you'd like more information.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online

We are revalidating this course in 2020, which will mean some modules listed may change.
As part of the changes we intend on offering a distance learning version of this course. If you are interested, please apply for the part-time version and we can amend your application to distance learning after the course validation event.