Masters in Teaching and Learning / Educational Leadership - PgDip / MTL / MEL

Part Time
October 2018
Study is mostly based within your own institution.

The Master's in Teaching and Learning/Education Leadership (MTL/MEL) is designed to boost your professional learning in your school, college or place of work.

You’ll already be making your mark in the working world, but eager to put the polish on your qualifications by studying for a Master’s degree.

What's covered in the course?

The really attractive aspect of this course is that it frees you up to gain a further qualification without giving up your job - that's because our course is delivered only in schools, academies or colleges on a part-time basis - so our highly experienced tutors bring their expertise to you.

This is a practice-based programme designed to support your professional learning and development as a teacher. We only deliver this course in school, college or other educational settings to groups of teachers. Currently we work with over 500 teachers in 35 school-based groups across the West Midlands and further afield.

This course is personalised and linked to your workplace practice. You'll enjoy the flexibility to choose the areas of research and study on which you wish to concentrate as you move through the programme. There is also an emphasis on online learning so you will access this course in a blended delivery format. Our staff will support and guide you around module choices and research methodologies.

As a work-based programme, it will focus on your day-to-day practice, whether you work in a school, academy, college or other educational setting, in whatever role. We value collaboration in the development of teachers and leaders to maximise your impact on the individual pupils, students or adult learners, or organisations and communities with which you work.

The programme supports continuing professional development and is rooted in a concept of partnership, which incorporates professional respect and promotes learning at all levels. You’ll be involved in action research, class observation and textual analysis of policy documents and there is a strong emphasis on practice-led enquiry. 

Through developing you as an educator or manager, our MTL/MEL will enable you to embrace change and successfully meet new challenges and opportunities in your professional practice. You'll build on your previous workplace learning and practice, and be able to take increasing responsibility for your own development within a wider professional community.

Please note that completion of this course does not lead to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Why Choose Us?

  • The MTL or MEL integrates seamlessly with your current job.
  • You could use evidence or credits from previous study (such as a PGCE) as accreditation towards your MTL/MEL through accreditation for previous credited learning (APCL)
  • Your increasing knowledge of educational theory will help you to reflect critically and evaluate your practice.
  • The benefits of shared thinking through group sessions are balanced with a focus on individualised support to develop your own professional learning.
  • The programme reflects the current government's emphasis on practice in teacher education.
  • Teachers researching their own practice is a powerful method of promoting professional learning in educational contexts.
  • You’ll develop skills of enquiry and the use of evidence, in relation to the impact of professional practice on the outcomes for learners within the work context.
  • This course will provide you with the opportunities to undertake academic study and prepare you for even higher study in the long term should you wish to take the next step with an EdD or PhD.
This course is not open to International students

This course is only available part-time in collaboration with an education HUB partner. 

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Amanda French.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

New £10,609 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,609 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

Applicants should have a degree or equivalent qualification, or professional experience that equates to degree level.

In most cases, applicants will join the course as part of a workplace group and suitability to join the programme will be agreed between the University tutor and institutional leaders.

Exemption from some modules may be granted for appropriate prior learning including credits gained on a PGCE course.

UK or EU students

Pathway Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MTL (SCITT) PgDip / MTL / MEL Oct 2018 PT 2-4 years See fees information below
MTL/MEL PgDip / MTL / MEL Oct 2018 PT 2-4 years See fees information below

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Before you apply, please qualify which MTL/MEL partner HUB you wish to work with.

Contact us

For more information about available HUBs please contact the programme leader on: or

Fees information

We have a formal contract with schools and colleges to provide places on this course. They will then charge fees directly to you. For information on fees and payment policies, please contact your school or college.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

PgCert and PgDip stages

Postgraduate Certificate

  • Choice of modules from the list below equal to 60 credits (this can include APEL and ACEL)
  • Modules can be selected for MTL or MEL, except where shown

 Postgraduate Diploma:

  • Select a further 60 credits of modules from the below list (different from the 60 credits of modules completed for the PgCert stage)
  • Modules can be selected for MTL or MEL, except where shown
Module options as follows:
Introduction to Master's-Level Study
20 credits

This module focuses on your transition to level 7 work.  The transition is important because although a typical taught Master’s programme can look very similar to its undergraduate equivalent there are a number of important differences, such as the greater emphasis on your ability to undertake independent, self-directed study. This is true for all taught units, not just the dissertation project that concludes a typical Master’s programme; we will expect you to prepare for assignments by independently researching your particular areas of interest and experience.

Master's Level Study
20 credits

Doing a Master’s degree involves many skills, which will be familiar from an undergraduate programme of study; however, there are some crucial differences. This core module is designed to introduce you to the principles of educational research at Masters level encouraging you to build on your experiences of conducting independent research. The module covers everything you need to know in order to conduct research effectively.

Reflecting on the Workplace
20 credits

This module forms an introduction to the processes and importance of active reflection around educators’ and educational managers’ professional practices in the workplace.  It promotes the importance of reflexivity for educational professionals by asking you to reflect upon how key critical incidents in your working life can be illustrative of wider educational practices and principles.

Curriculum Matters
20 credits

It is very important that educational professionals are able to critique their practice in terms of the historical traditions of their subject and the curricula that support it.  This module is designed to equip you with a critical perspective, informed by knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse critically the ways in which curricula is led and managed across educational settings.

Critical Pedagogies
20 credits

This module provides an opportunity to explore and debate critical pedagogical issues such as critical literacies, student and lecturer identity formation, critical discourse analysis and dialogical teaching.

You will examine the relationship between these theories and teaching and learning practices across a variety of educational settings and contexts. 

20 credits

The place and role of assessment in education today is highly significant. Assessment is not only concerned with grading and marking learners, it also serves an evaluative function for ways in which schools, colleges, universities, and other learning sites can be evaluated. This module is designed to equip students with a critical perspective, informed by knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse critically the ways in which uses and purposes of assessment function across a range of educational settings.

Critical Issues in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
20 credits

For this module you will examine the societal issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability, with an emphasis on the equality, diversity and Inclusion agenda in educational policy and practice.  You will engage in a critical and challenging exploration of the principles informing equality, diversity and inclusion across the education sector in the UK and internationally. 

Policy, Politics and Practice
20 credits

This module explores the politics and historical trajectories of education and education policy. It draws on concepts from the social sciences such as the state, globalisation, neo-liberalism, discourse, policy cycle, convergence, policy learning and policy borrowing and considers the ways in which they impact on education practices (including assessment, teaching and learning etc.) across the different sectors.   

Professional Enquiry
20 credits

This module forms an introduction to active reflection on an aspect of professional practice in the workplace.  It is designed to build on the Research at Masters Level module and many students may choose to carry out the research covered in the proposal that they created for that module.

The module develops your ability and confidence to carry out a small-scale, practice-led/work based professional learning, which can be critically reflected upon and evaluated with regard to your professional development in teaching and learning or management.

Researching Teaching and Learning (MTL only)
40 credits

This module provides an opportunity to carry out a practice-based enquiry in teaching and learning in the workplace.  It encourages an active approach to personal and organisational development using research as a change agent for personal and institutional development. 

It builds on the Introduction to Research at Masters level and consolidates your ability to conduct professional practice-based enquiry skills through a small-scale project linked to an identified development focus in teaching and learning.

Leadership and Management (MEL only)
20 credits

This module will consider leadership and management definitions, values, theories, strategies and styles and their impact on the performance of others and on teaching and learning; the relationships and differences between leadership and management.

It will examine the role of legislation, policy, guidance and local/national frameworks in relation to educational leadership across a range of setting.

Developing Partnerships and Collaborative Working (MEL only)
20 credits

Partnership and collaborative working with business, industry and employers, other stakeholders, is increasingly a part of the modern educational landscape across all sectors for a variety of reasons, operating in a variety of ways.  For example, consider multi-agency working in schools, information sharing and partnership with external agencies to support learners with special needs or the ways in which further and higher education institutions work with industry around employability

Coaching and Mentoring for Leadership (MEL only)
20 credits

This module aims to support you to become an ethical and critically reflexive practitioner, able to operate effectively as a coach or mentor in a range of different educational settings.

In this module you will be encouraged to think critically and increase your awareness of issues in adult learning and development that impact directly on coaching and mentoring practices. 

Institutional Effectiveness and Change Management (MEL only)
20 credits

In this module approaches to institutional effectiveness and improvement in education and how they are reflected in national educational policy agendas will be discussed. Cross-national education models for institutional effectiveness and change management used in schools, further and higher education institutions will be critiqued and evaluated.

Researching Educational Leadership (MEL only)
40 credits

This module provides an opportunity to carry out a detailed practice-based enquiry in educational leadership in the workplace.  It encourages an active approach to using research as a change-agent for personal and organisational development. It builds on the Introduction to Research at Masters Level module and consolidates your ability to conduct professional practice-based enquiry skills through a small-scale project linked to an identified development focus in educational leadership. 

Master's stage

This is an individually-negotiated, independent dissertation study worth 60 credits.

Doing a Master’s degree involves many skills, which will be familiar from an undergraduate programme of study; however, there are some crucial differences. This core module is designed to introduce you to the principles of educational research at Masters level encouraging you to build on your experiences of conducting independent research. The module covers everything you need to know in order to conduct research effectively.

Master's-Level Research
60 credits

How you learn

This programme is delivered to groups of teachers and/or managers within their own workplace, whether that is a school or college. Delivery is via a combination of face-to-face teaching, online learning and independent study.

Applicants may be eligible for accreditation of prior learning, either experiential or certified which can be discussed on an individual basis. As a result, there is no mandatory module apart from Dissertation.

You'll be able to choose from a wide variety of modules focusing on key areas of interest for educators and educational managers. All the modules are linked to your personal, team and institutional development priorities. You'll have the opportunity to use your increased knowledge of educational theory and practice to complete your own research.

Research projects are agreed with and supported by your tutor. This allows you to focus developments that really matter to you, your learners, your colleagues and community.

The outcomes of these projects are shared and submitted as assignments, with the intention that they support real understanding, change and improvement in your workplace practice.

Where possible, we encourage practitioners to work collaboratively on research projects, although assignment submissions are individually written-up.

Teaching breakdown

10 Contact time MidnightBlue
90 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

Assessment methods

Assignments for all modules are designed to develop enquiry skills and critical reflection, through implementing actions, gathering workplace evidence and relating findings to relevant literature. Students are also expected to disseminate their research findings to colleagues at their place of work in support of professional and organisational development.

Further study

After achieving your Master's degree, you may be keen to do further study. We offer you a thriving research programme which leads to a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) or PhD qualification.

For doctoral study we welcome enquiries from teachers looking to do research into any area of education practice or policy. Your interest may lie in early years, primary and secondary schools, academies and colleges, or the fields of higher education and lifelong learning.

Who we're working with

We currently work with over 500 teachers in 35 school-based groups across the West Midlands and further afield. This includes many Teaching School Alliances, including:

  • Arthur Terry
  • Heartlands
  • John Taylor
  • Ninestiles
  • RSA Academies
  • Stourport
  • Sutton Park
  • Two Mile Ash (Milton Keynes)
  • Denbigh (Milton Keynes)

Enhancing employability skills

This course offers you a valuable way of boosting your employability skills and gaining promotion. Your knowledge, skills and confidence are enhanced by studying at Master's level while working towards real change and improvement to practice.

MTL/MEL project assignments allow you to develop new approaches to teaching, leadership and other educational roles, demonstrating evidence of their positive impact.

Graduate jobs

Achieving your Master's degree might assist you in implementing new ideas in the workplace or encouraging your colleagues to look at polishing their own skills. You’ll find that our courses give you a great opportunity to fulfil your Continuous Professional Learning and Development (CPLD) requirements, as well as support positive change, allowing you to progress further up the career ladder.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.


In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Amanda French

Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise

Amanda has worked in higher, further, adult education and the voluntary sector for 30 years as a lecturer, writing developer and researcher and is currently employed as Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise in the School of Education.

Her PhD in Education: ‘Through a glass darkly”: Lecturers perceptions of Academic Writing’:  was about lecturers’ perceptions of academic writing and writing development practices in higher education. 

Her other research interests include academic writing, learner development in higher education , participatory research with children, transition experiences in education, employment literacies, widening participation and social justice, radical methodologies, critical pedagogies, postgraduate teaching and learning. I have presented on published on these areas nationally and internationally.


Ian Axtell BA (Hons); PGCE; DPSE; PG Cert; PG Dip; MEd

Programme Lead for MTL/MEL

Ian taught in a variety of schools for 20 years before joining the School of Education at Birmingham City University. His passions are for Arts (particularly music) and Physical Education which he led in a couple of high schools. Ian have always worked in primary schools as part of my teaching role. He finished this first part of my career in education as an Advanced Skills Teacher.

Since joining the School of Education Ian has led Music Education and the Secondary Partnership Team.  These roles helped him to develop a fascination for teacher professional learning. He seized the opportunity to become Programme Lead for the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) and Masters in Education Leadership (MEL) which aim to enhance a teacher’s own professional practice. Ian values the opportunity to work with colleagues in schools, creating spaces for re-thinking practice so it becomes informed and enhanced through connections with education theory. Theory and practice should never be seen as separate, but embedded together to form a holistic view of professional identity.