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. To achieve the full MEd Leadership and Learning, a combination of three of the PG Certificates, one of which is the Extended Work-Based Project, is required. Normally, individuals commence study by undertaking one of the four core PG certificates which are detailed below.

PG Certificate

To earn a PG certificate, you must take one of these courses:

PgCert: Core Processes for Leadership and Learning

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

  • Comprises three 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 the 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)

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.

  • 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

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, as well as 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
  • class teachers who are responsible for supporting student teachers and/or probation teachers as mentors 

PG Diploma 

Those who wish to earn a PG Diploma must take one of the core PG Certificate courses listed above and an additional 60-credit course from the following:

  • PG Certificate: Core Processes
  • PG Certificate: Middle Leadership and Management
  • PG Certificate: Into Headship
  • PG Certificate: Growing Professional Learning
  • PG Certificate Leadership and Learning: Extended work-based project
  • 60 credits from any relevant UoE masters programme

This includes options from the core PG Certificates as well as the PG Certificate: Extended Work-based Project. You may also select 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.

It may 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. 

When you complete your first PG Certificate and one of the options above, you will earn a PG Diploma.

MEd Leadership and Learning

To achieve the full MEd Leadership and Learning you must successfully complete three 60-credit certificates, including the Extended Work-based Project, for a total of 180 credits.

During the work-based project, participants will investigate an educational issue or an element of practice within their context through extended critical inquiry.

PgCert: Extended Work-Based Project


Application Process

The Application process is led by our Partner Local Authorities (please see list below). Your Local Authority representative will be in touch about opportunities for professional development in 2024-25.

  • City of Edinburgh 
  • Fife
  • Midlothian
  • Scottish Borders
  • East Lothian
  • West Lothian

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

Please note, only GTCS registered teachers working within a Local Authority can apply. Currently the programme is not open to international students.

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