Moray House School of Education and Sport

Leadership and Learning (MEd)

This Masters-level learning, which is significantly subsidised by the Scottish Government, will start in August each year.

The MEd Leadership and Learning is a professional masters degree programme with a dual academic and professional dimension. It is designed specifically for practising teachers and educational leaders and managers to undertake practice-focused masters level study.

It is structured to provide a coherent yet flexible pathway for masters study that is aligned with and supports professional learning relevant to an individual’s professional context, career stage and potential career pathways.

It is a practice-focused and practice-based programme and is underpinned by critical enquiry and a commitment to developing the dispositions of collaborative professionalism. Each course provides opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and critical understandings of practice and an individual’s learning is highly contextualised and situated within their own context

The programme is aligned to the GTCS Professional Standards (see Standard for Career Long Professional Learning and Standards for Leadership and Management), with the PG Cert: Into Headship also leading to the award of the Standard for Headship. The programme is also underpinned by the national model of professional learning.   

Programme Structure

The MEd Leadership and Learning comprises four named PG Certificates (worth 60 credits each). Each certificate can be taken on its own, and to achieve the full MEd Leadership and Learning a combination of 3 of the PG Certificates is required (see visual below). Normally, individuals commence study by undertaking one of the three core PG certificates which are detailed below and outlined in the visual :

PgCert: Core Processes for Leadership and Learning

Primarily aimed at class teachers and non-promoted staff; focus on developing pedagogical practice and understanding through critical enquiry approaches.

  • Comprises 3 20-credit courses, all of which are compulsory to achieve the PG Cert CP.

PgCert: Core Processes for Leadership and Learning

PgCert: Middle Leadership and Management

Designed to meet learning needs of middle leaders who are in a promoted post (such as Principal Teacher/Curriculum leader). 

  • Aligned to the GTCS Standard for Middle Leadership and Management.
  • Comprises one 20-credit and one 40-credit course, both of which are compulsory to achieve PG Cert: MLM.

PgCert: Middle Leadership and Management

PgCert: Into Headship (with Standard for Headship)

  • National qualification for all aspiring headteachers.
  • Dual professional and academic qualification.
  • Subject to national requirements and awards the GTCS Standard for Headship.
  • Comprises one 20-credit and one 40-credit course, both of which are compulsory to achieve PG Cert: IH. 

This certificate is currently the pathway for new and aspiring school headteachers to achieve the standard for Headship which is now mandatory for all newly appointed headteachers in Scotland. Local Authorities and Education Scotland manage applications for this certificate.

PgCert: Into Headship (with Standard for Headship)

PG Cert: Growing Professional Learning 

This is a new 60-credit PG Certificate within the MEd Leadership and learning. It is designed to develop in-depth professional knowledge and expertise in a specialist area of supporting teacher professional learning. Study will focus on understanding and developing approaches and models for professional learning, how to build capacity in and with others, develop skills in coaching and plan high quality professional learning.

This Certificate will be relevant to a wide range of participants including headteachers and senior leaders with strategic responsibility for building capacity and professional learning; middle leaders with departmental and line management responsibility for supporting teacher learning; and class teachers who are responsible for supporting student teachers and/or probation teachers as mentors.  

We will have funded places available for 2023-24. Further information to follow.

On successful completion of your first PG Certificate, you may then choose to progress to undertake one of the PG Certificates from ‘Column B’ (diagram below), this would enable you to gain a PG Diploma.  

This includes options from the core PG Certificates as well as the PG Certificate: Extended Work Based Project or selecting up to 60 credits of relevant Level 11 study offered within the University. This provides an excellent opportunity to explore a subject specialism, deepen knowledge in a particular curricular area or develop expertise in an area such as digital education, outdoor learning, learning for sustainability, inclusive education and many more.

For some it will be possible to use Level 11 credits achieved from either your Initial Teacher Education PGDE or other relevant PG certificates you have achieved to gain Advanced Standing against part of the MEd programme. We welcome applications for Advanced Standing for study undertaken at either the University of Edinburgh or other universities. 

To achieve the full MEd Leadership and Learning you must successfully complete a 60-credit certificate from each of Column A, B and C (PG Cert: Extended Work Based Project).   

PgCert: Extended Work Based Project

Work based enquiry project involving participants investigating an educational issue/element of practice within their context through extended critical enquiry.

PgCert: Extended Work Based Project


MEd routes schematic

Application Process

The Application process is led by our Partner Local Authorities. Contact your Local Authority with any questions or to indicate interest.

Candidates outwith our Partner Local Authorities are welcome to apply but you must be able to self-fund your place.

Local Authority contacts:

Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact the Teacher Education Partnerships team (

Related Links

Local Authorities partners

Visit the University’s Degree Finder for detailed entry requirements and to apply.

Once you have had your initial application accepted by your LA and a place offered by the university, you should then follow the ‘Apply now’ process to complete your University application and enrolment.

Apply Now