University of Cambridge logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 6.57k / 1 year
  • Foreign: $ 13.1k / 1 year
  • Deadline:
  • 31 5월 2017
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 162pts.
  • Duration:
  • 2 years

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    This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and school improvement, both through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues, and through their application in the conduct of individual research projects. The teaching team draw on their research to illustrate ideas, and  occasionally welcome visiting academics to enrich the route still further. Students are encouraged to share their experiences and perceptions, and to learn from each other while relating knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts. Participants come with varied backgrounds, from the UK and overseas and as such the course has an international perspective.

    The overall aims of this specialist route are to enable participants to develop:

    • An advanced knowledge and understanding of educational leadership and school improvement
    • A set of skills for analysing educational leadership and school improvement issues and practices
    • The ability to bring together theoretical perspectives on educational leadership and school improvement and apply an informed critique of their inter-relationship
    • The ability to contribute to informed development of policy and practice in educational contexts
    • Familiarity with a range of frameworks for understanding pupil, professional and organisational learning

    The route content is covered through eight interrelated themes.

    1. Leadership for Learning
    2. Policy, Structures and Change
    3. School Effectiveness and School Improvement
    4. Issues and Dilemmas
    5. Perspectives on Leadership
    6. Perspectives on Learning
    7. Schools, Cultures and Communities
    8. Educational Evaluation

    This route focuses on leadership and learning in the context of school improvement and with reference to practice, policy and theory. The concept of leadership is treated as problematic and examined as it applies to pupils, teachers and support staff as well as those with formal leadership responsibilities. The route is underpinned by the values and principles of "Leadership for Learning: the Cambridge Network" that include a democratic concept of leadership rather than a hierarchical one, and a view of learning as a shared enterprise crossing the traditional divisions between 'teachers' and 'learners'.


    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the Educational Leadership and School Improvment route, students are expected to be able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of literature and concepts relating to educational leadership, school improvement, and learning
    • Show abilities in the critical analysis of educational leadership and school improvement issues and practices
    • Apply knowledge and understanding of educational research to plan and implement enquiry into an issue related to the route
    • Communicate the outcomes of their study and research through extended writing conforming to stipulated academic expectations and conventions


    Students wishing to continue from the Master of Education to PhD or EdD are required to achieve a mark of 70 or higher for the thesis.

    The course is composed of two key elements:

    • the research methods training course
    • the 'Educational Leadership and School Improvement' thematic route

    Teaching time is split between the two elements, with 32 hours of teaching being given to research methods and 64 hours being given to the subject specific content.  The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, smaller group seminars and individual supervisions.

    One to one supervision

    4.5 hours per year.

    Seminars & classes

    The course involves 96 hours of face to face teaching over the two years.  This is made up of a mixture of lectures and small group seminars. Teaching sessions take place in the Faculty, once a week (on Wednesday afternoons) in the Michaelmas and Lent terms.  There is only a small amount of teaching in the Easter term when students are writing up their theses.


    In the Easter term students are required to give short presentations about their research.


    Throughout the programme, written work is submitted and detailed feedback is provided.  Students submit two essays and a thesis. Informally, feedback is also provided through regular supervisions.  At the end of each term, supervisors write an on-line report which can be viewed by the student via the Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System.



    The thesis is up to 20,000 words in length and submitted at the end of August in the second year.

    Where a candidate receives a provisional fail mark, an oral examination is required.


    Students are required to submit two essays of 6,000-6,500 words each in their first year (one submitted in February and one at the end of August).

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    • Magistr (Master's Degree) at Pass level. Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of good or 4/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 4/5 Bologna Bachelor's from other institutions with an overall grade of 5/5, Excellent
    • Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of Excellent or 5/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 5/5
    • IELTS (Academic) 7.5
    • TOEFL Internet Score 110
    • £50 application fee
    • First Academic Reference
    • Second Academic Reference
    • Transcript
    • Personal Reference. This is only required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

    Extra Materials 

    Please note: If you are applying for the 1-year full time MPhil or the 2-year part time MEd, please complete the tasks below.  This route is not open to PGCE-MEd applicants.

    Please upload the essay, article critique and teaching & leadership experience on to your self-service account.

    The coordinators of the MPhil/MEd in Educational Leadership and School Improvement (ELSI) route thank you for your application. Applicants are requested to submit three written tasks to assist in the selection process.

    1. An essay of no more than 1,000 words, addressing the following questions:

    • What is your interest in educational leadership and school improvement?
    • Why do you want to study ELSI at masters level?
    • How might you contribute to the learning of your fellow students?
    • What problem, issues or questions do you want to explore as part of the MPhil/MEd?
    • How did you learn about the ELSI course?

    Please write this as an essay (rather than direct answers to five questions), ensuring you cover the points above, but not necessarily in the same order.

    2. A 1500-word critique of a research article* by Cynthia Roberts, which is available at

    *Roberts, C. (2013). Building Social Capital through Leadership Development. Journal of Leadership Education 12 (1), 54 - 73.

    3. Teaching and educational leadership experience: ELSI specific entry requirements

    Candidates applying for the ELSI route are normally expected to have taught for at least three years, and to have experience of exercising leadership beyond the classroom - often but not exclusively through formal positions of responsibility.

    Please provide details of your teaching and educational leadership experience. This does not need to be full details as on a CV, but sufficient to show you meet the entry requirements. Please include:

    • Teaching experience (please include number of years of full time equivalent teaching experience, types of institutions, approximate dates, and whether full or part time)
    • Leadership experience (details of your educational leadership experience, including dates, institutions, and role or responsibilities or impact)

    If you do not have the teaching and educational experience normally expected for the ELSI route, please say why your application should still be considered (NB we accept and welcome applicants with a variety of backgrounds and know that the experience necessary to learn and participate fully on ELSI can be gained in different ways).

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