Online Microcredential in Teaching

Developing Educational Leadership in Practice

Strengthen your education leadership skills and put the latest theories and research into practice, with The Open University.

Created by

The Open UniversityThe Open University

Learn more

Develop your leadership style to become an effective leader in education

Education leaders have a key role to play in shaping the direction and culture of an educational setting. They need the skills to motivate others, adapt, and create strategies to respond to change rapidly - something that became increasingly important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This 12-week microcredential explores the latest theories and research in educational leadership, and provides a solid introduction to the skills, knowledge, tools and language needed to help you futureproof your career.

Created by The Open University, you’ll benefit from the expertise of world-class academics who are known for their inspiring and engaging teaching methods in educational leadership, as well as their research that looks to influence practices, policies and debates – both nationally and internationally.

Learn how to be an equitable and inclusive leader in education

You’ll explore what it means to be an ethical leader in diverse educational settings and situations, and gain insights to help you challenge traditional ideas of educational leadership. Through engaging course materials and examples, you’ll be encouraged to critically consider how you can address issues of equity and diversity in education.

You’ll discover how to lead positive change and support teaching and learning effectively with a focus on leading through uncertain or complex events such as a global pandemic, changes to government policy or resourcing issues.

Apply your leadership skills to a wide range of education settings

This course will be equally as valuable to school settings as well as multiple educational environments including nurseries and pre schools, further education colleges, higher education institutions, charities, NGOs, multi academy trusts, governing bodies and business contexts with an education focus, such as private tuition companies, and non-accredited short course providers.

Create your own education leadership style

Throughout the course, you’ll be encouraged to identify and critically analyse your own personal or professional goals so that you can begin to build on and develop your educational leadership skillset and style.

You’ll discover the tools to become a more confident leader in a variety of educational environments, equipped with strategies to lead with confidence, overcome challenges, and make a difference.

Explore the latest education leadership theories and research with subject experts and peers

Throughout the course, you’ll be able to explore a broad range of educational leadership theories and research, gaining focused knowledge from subject specialists, including new approaches such as the consideration of a decolonising framework for educational leadership.

You’ll reflect on their application in relation to your own setting and regularly have the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and experiences with like-minded professionals on the course as you learn together.

Learning will draw on a range of engaging and highly relevant examples and case studies from a variety of professionals and settings, including a global perspective, that will bring your learning to life.

From the start of the course, you’ll be able to use your newly gained knowledge to make a positive impact as an educational leader, applying the skills you learn to improve performance in your current role, or progress to the next step in your career.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded by academic experts from The Open University.

What skills will you learn?

  • Practical application of key concepts and theories
  • Leadership skills
  • Leading through uncertainty
  • Identifying and applying ethical practices
  • Application of educational leadership models
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Construct and present a reasoned argument for your ideas
  • Analytical skills

What you will achieve

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

  • Explain and evaluate what is meant by leadership, educational leadership, and management
  • Engage critically with concepts and debates about educational leadership to develop your own practice
  • Assess and investigate educational leadership practices that are socially just and ethical
  • Design, justify and apply creative solutions to leadership issues within your own context
  • Engage with a community of practice and develop a personalised action plan for your future self-development

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

To study this postgraduate microcredential you will ideally have:

  • A Bachelors degree, or an equivalent level qualification
  • Experience working in an education setting, for example early years, a primary school, special school, secondary school, further education college, EOTAS/alternative educational provision, informal education settings, or higher education

If you do not have a degree or equivalent level qualification you may find the postgraduate level assessment challenging.

The course material does not assume that you are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential would benefit anyone currently working in, or looking to work in, an educational leadership role or looking to further develop their skills and knowledge about educational leadership. In particular, it will enhance the employability of:

  • Teachers, teaching assistants, supervisors, tutors or lecturers
  • Current educational leaders and managers, senior teachers, supervisory teaching assistants, tutors, lecturers, education business leaders

The course content and case studies will be relevant to learners within different professional contexts across the globe.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any announcements relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 9 Oct 2023

    Developing Educational Leadership in Practice

    Strengthen your education leadership skills and put the latest theories and research into practice, with The Open University.

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by academic experts from The Open University. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.

What you will receive

15 UK Credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at postgraduate level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 11 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Mrs Christine Bower is a Lecturer at The Open University. She is a former primary school teacher and is particularly interested in equitable and inclusive education for all children and young people.

Dr Amanda O'Shea is a Lecturer in Microcredentials at the Open University and is a former teacher of mathematics and science. Her special interests are in educational assessment and mathematical talk.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

What are our learners saying?

Add a new skill or forge a new path

"I recommend Futurelearn to anyone looking to learn and upskill...If you are in the job market, you might want to add a new skill or forge a new path."

They bring the classroom right to you

"FutureLearn courses are always interesting and informative. They bring the classroom right to you and send you on a journey to explore new ideas and offer interesting topics."

When would you like to start?

Enrolment for this microcredential is closed. We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Register to find out more about this microcredential and future start dates.

    Find out more

    Not sure if microcredentials are right for you? Fill in your details below and we will send you more information to help you make a decision.

    By clicking submit, I agree to FutureLearn's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


    We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

    You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

    Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

    There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

    No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

    Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.

    The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.

    Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.