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IE903-30 Leading Educational Change & Improvement

Academic year
Centre for Education Studies
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Pontso Moorosi
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module will develop an understanding of educational change and improvement from a research and practical perspective, and look at how that can impact teaching and learning outcomes. You will be comparing, evaluating and critiquing international reform efforts and developing knowledge about the dynamics of improvement as a strategy for change.

Module aims

To develop an understanding of leadership, educational change and improvement from a theoretical, research and practical perspective.
To compare, evaluate and critique international educational reform efforts.
To develop knowledge about the dynamics of leading improvement as a strategy for educational change.
To assist students to lead organisational improvement and change.
To understand the relationship between leadership, educational improvement and learner outcomes.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The module will incorporate the following areas:

  • Educational Change and Reform
  • Improvement and Change
  • Educational Effectiveness
  • Educational Improvement
  • Building the Capacity for Improvement
  • Leading Improvement
  • Improving Teaching and Learning
  • Evaluating Improvement
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • To demonstrate report writing, research skills and methods, and working with and leading other professionals.
  • Describe and discuss a range of influences on organisational improvement and apply that understanding in order to undertake change and development in the participant’s organisation.
  • Outline alternative leadership theories and interpretations of effective leadership practice.
  • Collect and use data to diagnose areas for improvement.
  • Evaluate theory and research on improving pupil and student achievement, and apply this knowledge.
  • Use models, theories, and conceptual frameworks from research and other literature to plan improvements and evaluate activities and programmes to improve achievement.
Indicative reading list

Fullan, M. (1999) Change Forces: The sequel, London: Falmer Press
Harris, A. (2002) School Improvement: What’s in it for Schools? London, Routledge/Falmer
Harris, A., Bennett, N. and Preedy, M. (1997) Organisational Effectiveness and Improvement, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Hopkins, D. (2001) School Improvement For Real, London: Routledge/Falmer
Hopkins, D., West, M. and Ainscow, M. (1996) Improving the Quality o Education for All, London: David Fulton.
Stoll, L. and Fink, D. (1996) Changing Our Schools, Buckingham: Open University Press
Gray, J;, Hopkins, D. and Reynolds, D. (1999) Improving Schools: Performance and Potential, Milton Keynes: Open University Press
Hargreaves, A., Lieberman, A., Fullan, M. and Hopkins, D (eds) (1998) The International Handbook of Educational Change (in 4 volumes) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Hopkins, D. (2001) Seeing School Improvement Whole, London: Falmer Press
Joyce, B., Calhoun, E. and Hopkins, D. (1999) The New Structure of School Improvement, Milton Keynes: Open University Press

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

Students' assessment entails writing up a review of literature. To complete this assessment task they are expected to search and review academic literature which requires them to possess an understanding of research findings from existing published research.


Participants of the module are drawn from various disciplines including education. Students are thus encouraged to engage leading change (and related concepts) as an interdisciplinary subject that is applicable to different institutional contexts.


The module draws on international case studies and literature and students are expected to develop awareness of global influences on local educational systems.

Subject specific skills

Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of:

  • the underlying values, theories and concepts relevant to educational leadership and management and their application
  • the diversity of learners, teachers and leaders and the complexities of educational change and educational contexts
  • the complexity of the interaction between learning and local and global contexts, and the extent to which participants (including learners, teachers and leaders) can influence change and improvement
  • the societal and organisational cultures, structures and purposes of educational systems, and the possible implications for learners, teachers, leaders and the learning process
  • constructively critique theories, practice and research in the area of educational leadership and management
Transferable skills

Leadership skills
Written communication skills
Independent learning skills
Communication and presentation skills
Interpersonal communication skills
team building skills
Self-awareness skills
Analytical and critical skills
ICT skills
Time management skills
Problem solving skills
International cultural awareness skills

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 8 sessions of 3 hours (8%)
Seminars 2 sessions of 3 hours (2%)
Tutorials (0%) 1 session of 15 minutes
Private study 270 hours (90%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
tbc 100%
Feedback on assessment

Students will be given formative feedback on course activities; these are preparatory steps towards developing the assignment. Students will receive formative feedback upon completing and submitting these activities to the Course Tutor (via e-submission). This is an opportunity for students to receive feedback related to the assignment (in addition to the formal feedback received upon submitting the assignment).\r\nStudents will also be given written feedback on the Assignment Proposal that is a compulsory activity before students embark on the 5,000 word assignment.\r\n


This module is Core for:

  • TIEA-X31M Postgraduate Taught Educational Leadership and Management
    • Year 1 of X3M1 Educational Leadership and Management by Dissertation
    • Year 1 of X3M2 Educational Leadership and Management by Professional Route
  • Postgraduate Award in Leading Educational Change and Improvement

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of RIEA-X3X8 Postgraduate Research Doctorate in Education
  • Year 1 of TIEA-X30F Postgraduate Taught Childhood in Society
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X35Q Postgraduate Taught Education (Full-time)
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X35R Postgraduate Taught Education (Part-time - 2 year)
  • Year 1 of TIEA-X31L Postgraduate Taught Educational Innovation
  • Year 1 of TEQS-X3AN Postgraduate Taught Global Education and International Development
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X3V7 Postgraduate Taught in Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (Full-time)
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X3V9 Postgraduate Taught in Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (Part-time - 2 years)
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X3V5 Postgraduate Taught in Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (Part-time - 3 years)
  • Any Postgraduate course which is approved by course leader