M.Ed. in Educational Policy Studies - Leadership Focus (online)

This information is only applicable for students who started the program prior to Fall 2013. This program is no longer offered.

As of Fall 2013, we are offering a Master of Professional Education (MPEd) in Educational Leadership Studies.

The Master of Education in the field of Leadership is designed to prepare candidates for professional and/or management leadership roles in Education. Through situating the program within a practitioner-scholar approach, students will develop competencies in using and creating research and applying knowledge and techniques to solve problems of practice related to leadership. Students will experience a program solidly embedded within the adult learning literature and employing signature inductive pedagogies and pedagogical tools; an in-situ opportunity designed to facilitate the application of research and theoretical knowledge; a participatory culture; technologies to map knowledge and knowledge-producing systems through distance and other delivery frameworks; and, a cohort model constructed on the principles underlying communities of learners. Although research is embedded within all courses, the program itself is course-based.

Admission Criteria

For admission to the Master of Education program, students must possess a degree from an accredited university. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requires at least a 70% average in senior level academic courses, as determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, taken in the last two full-time years of the undergraduate degree.

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 86, which no individual score below 20 for the internet based version; 213 for the standard electronic version; or 550 for the paper and pencil version.
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council. The minimum acceptable score if 6 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centers in the US and 3 in Canada.
  • The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). The minimum acceptable score is 60. The CAEL Assessment is offered in several countries throughout the world as well as Canada.

Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB or CAEL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and postdoctoral Studies by the testing agency.

Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English (as determined by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) may be considered in lieu of these test scores.

Faculty Research

Faculty conducting research in the area of Leadership:

Coulter, Ph.D.

Rebecca Coulter, Ph.D.

FEB 1161C
519.661.2111 x 88603

Katina Pollock

Assistant Professor
FEB 1025
519.661.2111 x82855

  • Derek Allison
  • Jerry Paquette

Route of Study

The route of study for this program is Professional Route (course-based option) only. Students will take a minimum of seven half-courses and master’s seminar (practicum) course.

Students join together as members of a cohort that collaborates as a professional and academic “community of practice.” This cohort structure will provide ongoing support within the course work. In this approach, a new group of 20 students will be admitted each year. Each cohort group will proceed through the program together, enrolling in the required courses. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, a continuous enrollment requirement will be necessary which will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.

For two years, students will take one course each fall and winter semester and two courses in the summer semester. See Typical Program of Study (below) for more information.


The M.Ed. in Educational Policy Studies - Leadership Focus (online) program is designated as a part-time program.

Part-time - A typical part-time course load for those working full time is one course in the Fall term, one course in the Winter term, and two courses in the Summer term (one in Intersession and one in Summer Session).

Online Study and Technology Recommendations

This program is a blended program.

Sakai OWL:

Online and onsite courses are available via the Sakai OWL platform, although instructors of onsite courses use this tool to varying degrees as well. Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here: http://owltoo.uwo.ca.

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer

Typical Program of Study

Each specialization class will be framed within an overarching problem of practice which will serve as the catalyst for identifying other problems and issues of practice students encounter in their own work and for engaging in problem solving and applied inquiry. Coursework will be loosely structured to supplement and guide this inquiry around the content area, theoretical formulations, and research findings. The goal is to develop students’ abilities to employ reasoning processes as they weave together theoretical formulations, results of empirical research, and facts from real-life situations into a comprehensive analysis of the educational situation. Ultimately, our goal within each course is for students to develop an inquiry stance to examine and collaboratively address from various theoretical and research perspectives authentic problems of practice in their professional work.

Program Sequence and Detail

Students will take one course in the Fall, one course in the Winter, and two courses in the Summer (one in Intersession and one in Summer Session) for two years.

The program’s concentration in leadership education exposes students to context-specific best practices and cutting edge research and emphasizes the application of theory to practice. Students are also provided with opportunities to view practice within context and apply their research and theoretical knowledge in their emergent roles as professionals within a laboratory of practice. The year ends with teams of students collaborating engaging in the development of a capstone project.

Year/Term Course Description
Year 1 Fall ED 9500 Power, Politics & Policy in Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives This course analyses the various factors that have influenced the evolution of school systems and recent changes in pedagogy, curriculum and school management. The development of scholarly research and writing skills will be emphasized.
Year 1 Winter ED 9501 Theories of Educational Administration An introduction to concepts and theories fundamental to the study and practice of educational administration. Reference will be made to theories of organizational and administrative behaviour with emphasis on such topics as bureaucracy, systems, leadership, motivation and planned change.
Year 1 Summer - Intersession ED 9503 Education Finance for School Leaders While situating the financing of education generally within its larger economical and related socio-political contexts, and while surveying contemporary issues in the financing of education in Ontario, this course focuses primarily on issues, such as school-based budgeting, with most relevance to and impact on the school level.
Year 1 Summer - Summer Session ED 9508 Educators and the Law This course affords opportunities to explore areas of intersection of education and law, e.g., judicial involvement with administrative decision-making, teacher dismissal, pupil suspension, liability of educators, human rights and labour relations. This course is taught through discussion of readings and cases.
Year 2 Fall ED 9507 Graduate Seminar in Leadership The various models, theories and concepts associated with leadership in schools will be examined. Particular focus will be on the major theoretical elements of leadership that are specific, relevant and practical. Throughout, students will examine critically the current and seminal pieces of research in the area to identify possible trends in the study of leadership.
Year 2 Winter ED 9678 Diverse Traditions: Approaches to Educational Research An introduction to the major approaches to researching questions about education. The methods arising from their assumptions are reviewed, with emphasis on the nature of questions addressed and the forms of explanations sought. Students will apply the emergent issues in their own areas of interest. Prerequisites: Policy students should not be registering for this in their first term of study.
Year 2 Summer - Intersession ED 9623 Ethics & Educational Policy By means of various case studies, this course will consider the extent to which ethical considerations enter into the making of sound policy decisions. Sample issues are: censorship and textbook selection; compulsory schooling and liberty; the distribution of education and justice.
Year 2 Summer - Summer Session ED 9691 Special Topics - Interdisciplinary: Master's Seminar This culminating course is designed for students who have opted for the course-based Master’s program in Educational Studies. Students will draw together concepts from their previous courses, and apply and extend those concepts to an education topic of their choice. Students will also be expected to consider ways for knowledge transfer and mobilization of their ideas.