M Phil in Education University of Cambridge

M Phil in Education University of Cambridge

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’.