Field of International School Leadership

MPEd | Field of International School Leadership

This field of study is offered in collaboration with International School Leadership (ISL), a subsidiary of the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), that is focused on delivering professional learning opportunities to school leaders around the world. The degree prepares students to lead schools with a focus on student achievement in rapidly changing economic, social, and cultural environments. Key topics include leadership and schools for the 21st Century, field-based research in intercultural contexts, organizational capacity building, and strategic processes for school improvement planning.


Important Note

The successful completion of a Master of Professional degree does not lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).


The objective of this field of study, and the MPEd overall, is to provide in-depth, graduate-level, in-service education to professionals who will be competent in identifying and responding to complex problems in curriculum and pedagogy. Emphasis is on developing thoughtful and reflective critical practitioners.

  • Support the professional learning of educators who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities;
  • Provide opportunities for candidates to develop and demonstrate collaboration, communication skills, and leadership skills to work with diverse professionals and communities and to build partnerships;
  • Provide field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful responses;
  • Draw on and develop a critically reflective professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge and that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry; and,
  • Emphasize the generation, transformation, and use of critically reflective professional knowledge and practice.


The MPEd is designated as a full-time program. Full-time status requires that students complete four half-courses in one year. MPEd students will complete one course per semester (fall, winter, intersession, summer) for two years. Full-time students have access to all student services at Western. See School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for details.

This program of study is a course-based cohort model. Approximately 20 students will be admitted to each cohort. This cohort structure will provide ongoing support within the course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.


ED 9512A Leadership and Schools for the 21st Century

Review major relevant leadership theories and their application to leadership. Examine the attributes of effective school leaders for 21st century teaching and learning using an international leadership framework. Identity the characteristics of effective schools using a variety of school effectiveness frameworks. Probe problems and challenges confronted by leaders in varying contexts and cultures. (.50 credit)

ED 9424B Conducting Site-Based Research in Intercultural Settings

Explore a number of methods for conducting field-based research in intercultural contexts, such as: program evaluation, action research, critical reflective practice and cross-cultural techniques and modes of inquiry. (.50 credit)


ED 9515L Strategic Processes for School Improvement Planning

Examine how school leaders aim to achieve school improvement through a focus on the development of effective and practical school plans. Explore the role of evidence-based decision making, the use of data-driven strategies, the application of monitoring strategies and the concept of implementation fidelity. (.50 credit)


ED 9516L Organizational Capacity Building

Examine the role of emotional and cultural intelligence in creating the foundations for group and individual professional learning.  Investigate the dynamics of various social structures that promote and facilitate professional learning. Explore strategies to improve relational trust, professional capital, and collective efficacy. Probe effective classroom practices: learning styles, universal design, inquiry-based learning and, assessment and instructional strategies. (.50 credit)

ED 9517A Intercultural Learning Capacity Building

Examine a number of models of intercultural learning from psychological, sociological and philosophical traditions. Investigate frameworks of ‘intercultural competence,’ ‘transformative learning,’ and ‘difficult knowledge’ and how they could be employed in conceptualizing one’s own research. (.50 credit)


ED 9518B Individual Capacity Building

Investigate personal factors and thought processes that impact leadership effectiveness. Consider the role of reflection, self-assessment, and performance appraisal in improvement efforts. Examine the notion of ‘ethical fitness’ by probing ethical leadership dilemmas.  Explore coaching and mentoring as strategies for improvement at the individual level. (.50 credit)


ED 9519 Capstone

A culminating course in which candidates work together on framing, analyzing, and responding to problems and challenges they encounter in their leadership practice.

(1.0 credit)

Faculty Research

Pleasee see our Faculty Profiles here




 Admission Requirements

  • Minimum level of education required: Four-year Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum average: 70 per cent
  • English Proficiency Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

For direct admission, applicants must be from an English speaking country or meet either of the following English test scores:

  • Min TOEFL ibt: 86.0 (Minimum reading: 20.0; Minimum writing: 20.0; Minimum listening: 20.0; Minimum speaking: 20.0)
  • Min IELTS average: 6.5 (Minimum reading: 6.0; Minimum writing: 6.0; Minimum listening: 6.0; Minimum speaking: 6.0)

For conditional admission, instead of submitting IELTS or TOEFL scores, you may complete English courses prior to the academic program. The length of the English course is determined based on your level of English proficiency.

You may qualify for advanced standing if you have: 

  • PQP Master's Dimension
  • PQP (without Master's Dimension)
  • AQ Specialist
  • Principal's Development Course
  • Leading Educators Across the Planet (LEAP) International Exchange

For further information, contact our Recruitment Officers by email at


Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.


The Faculty of Education recognizes the financial commitment required to pursue professional graduate studies.

As the majority of our programs are fully online, we offer students flexible learning that allows them to fund their education by remaining in their current employment. Some employers offer subsidization or time release opportunities for the professional learning of their employees. As a result, internal funding is not available for these programs.

There are also many external funding opportunities for competitive candidates in our professional programs. Download this PDF file for an additional list of over 30 external awards (see more information below). Also, visit online sites that contain numerous award opportunities.

Please note that students must apply for these awards individually. Read the qualifications carefully, and contact the award provider for more criteria and award information. Some application support is available from the Research Office for research-based awards only.

Many private financial institutions offer financing options (with particular rates and payment plans) to full-time students. Please contact a representative of your preferred financial institution for more information.

Provincial governments offer a variety of loan programs to help students finance their studies. Ontario residents may be eligible to apply for OSAP.

The Government of Canada's CanLearn website provides a listing of contact information for the offices of all government student financial assistance programs. Please visit CanLearn to find your province or territory listing. The Government of Canada implemented the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) to encourage higher education and training. The LLP allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 a year from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. For further information on this plan, visit the government's website at


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 and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here:

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