Recognise your talents and become a dynamic leader in your field.

Join an online MSc in Leadership designed to inspire ambitious leaders for our public and third sectors.

The degree features educational leadership training created in partnership with the Scottish College for Educational Leadership, Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government.

  • Grow confidence as you build your skills in leadership and management theory.
  • Learn to identify issues and facilitate improvements within your own organisation.
  • Start putting your new skills into practice from day one.

Using work-based projects, you’ll explore leadership in the context of your own workplace – and enjoy teaching that’s tailored to you, your work and your career goals.

You’ll access and work with the latest academic research in this area, and train with successful leaders from a range of sectors from around the world.

By the end of this degree, you’ll be able to...

  • Explain and evaluate a range of leadership and management theories.
  • Weigh up solutions to lead positive change in organisations.
  • Make informed contributions to professional debates.
  • Engage in critical reflection of your own practice.
  • Analyse evidence to make better professional judgements in complex situations.
  • Apply leadership theories to improve professional practice in a range of settings, including education, social services, nursing, and the police.
  • Respond more confidently to policy changes, social and economic shifts and other external factors.

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Masters (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
  • or start with one of the short courses that make up this degree (30 credits).

How you’ll study

Online learning

MSc Leadership in Professional Contexts is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

Your teaching

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Work-based learning

You’ll blend theory with practice, undertaking projects within your own workplace, ensuring your learning is always relevant to you and your employer.


This is a popular element of the MSc, pairing together participants from very different work environments.

Encouraging fresh perspectives, you’ll learn from your partner’s experiences and the professional challenges they face. Exposing you to a sector outside your own can free you from the group-thinking so common within organisations. You’ll also develop coaching skills you can adapt and use in your own place of work.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from academics and researchers within our School of Education, guest lecturers and senior leaders from a diverse range of organisations. In recent years, this has included Chief and Assistant Chief Constables, a former NHS Chief Executive, leaders from international businesses and local authorities. You’ll gain insight into leadership practices around the world, connecting online with an international community of tutors and peers.


This degree is assessed entirely online.

Your support team

Where this will take you


Whatever your background, and whatever your career goals, this MSc will prepare you to lead more successfully now and in the future.

You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to lead improvement in professional settings such as:

  • education and children’s services
  • social services
  • fire and rescue services
  • nursing and health care
  • caring agencies
  • the police and security services, and
  • other public or third sector settings.

Your qualification will be recognised by employers and institutions throughout the UK and internationally.

Lifelong career support

Our careers support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

We’re here with 1:1 appointments, CV checks, interview prep, and to connect you with job opportunities around the world.

Fees and funding

The fees quoted above are based on you starting your studies with us in the 2022/23 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2023/24 academic year. Fees for future academic years are provisional, but our indicative fees assume a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

Don’t worry, you do not have to pay the full degree fee upfront.

You can pay for your degree one term at a time. This gives you a flexible way to spread the cost.

Entry requirements

MSc, PgDip, PgCert

You can apply for this degree if you:

  • have an undergraduate degree
  • or can provide evidence that you can work at postgraduate level.

This degree involves some work-based learning, so you must also:

  • be able to undertake studies in your workplace or other appropriate agency.

Master of Science

180 credits


This indicative cost is based on180 credits of study over three years, starting in January 2023.

Postgraduate Diploma

120 credits


This indicative cost is based on120 credits of study over two years, starting in January 2023.

Postgraduate Certificate

60 credits


This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in January 2023.

Apply for this programme

Start month
January or September

This indicative cost is based on180 credits of study over three years, starting in January 2023.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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