Program Description

Across the country schools are experiencing ongoing difficulty in recruiting qualified candidates for leadership roles. Aspiring leaders need to have access to relevant and accessible post-graduate programs to be able to meet the educational standards required by many school districts.

Our two-year MA in Educational Leadership and Management (MAELM) program is designed to help educators develop a critically reflective understanding of school improvement concepts and research. The MAELM program is designed to enable graduates to lead meaningful change that has a positive impact within the school community.  It is a comprehensive Teacher Qualification Service (TQS) approved program that responds to the education sector’s need for qualified school and district leaders.

The program is specifically designed for working professionals. It is offered in a blended model comprised of online learning and one intensive two-week long on-campus residency period in July or August. This format allows participants to substantially enhance their educational credentials, while minimizing absences from their workplace.

Faculty with real-world experience deliver relevant curriculum and experiences that ensure existing and aspiring school administrators develop the knowledge skills and mindsets required to function as effective leaders within complex and challenging educational environments.

Who It’s For

The MAELM program is well-suited for administrators and educators looking to influence cultures and processes to improve the learning experiences of students while supporting teachers and staff. The program is designed for individuals working in K-12 settings who want to gain skills and credentials as leaders and managers to advance their current career or launch a new one.

Applicants who do not have the formal academic education to qualify for admission may be assessed on the basis of both their formal education and their informal learning, in accordance with the Flexible Admission Policy. Please see Program Admission for more information.

Find out about the transfer agreement between Royal Roads University and University of the Fraser Valley here.

Program Structure

Online (pre-residency1)

  • The program starts online for 3 weeks. In addition to course readings, interaction with fellow students in your cohort, and beginning assignments, you’ll learn about the RRU learning platform (Moodle), and find out more about our learning community and resources.


  • You will have a 2-week on-campus residency, where you’ll get to interact face-to-face with your instructors, classmates and team members. You’ll complete homework and meetings outside of regular class hours, making this an intensive yet rewarding time.

Online (post-residency)                              

  • Online learning courses are delivered over using our Internet-based Moodle platform. Supported by the rest of your cohort, you’ll be actively engaged in individual and team-based activities, projects and assignments that enable you to apply what you are learning to your own professional context while you are taking each course.

Research Paper:

Your two-year program will culminate with an applied research paper that will enable you to integrate the skills and knowledge gained in the previous coursework in the examination of a real-world issue of significance to your own professional context. You’ll examine the academic literature related to the issue and develop a change leadership plan that allows you to take concrete action to address the issue once you have graduated from the MAELM program.


Graduates will be able to apply practical tools and strategies to address issues, challenges, and opportunities related to supporting student achievement and growth. Graduates will have the skills to:

  • Facilitate the collaborative development and implementation of shared values, vision, mission, and goals to support learning and achievement for all students;
  • Understand and use change and improvement processes to support student learning and achievement;
  • Build positive and effective relationships between the school, families and the larger community;
  • Integrate evidence-based decision making approaches into school leadership practices to support school growth and improvement;
  • Engage in meaningful self-assessment and self-awareness to enhance leadership skills, positive relationships, and professional goals;
  • Maximize opportunities for curricular, instructional, and assessment practices to have a positive impact on student learning and achievement;
  • Apply systems thinking to strategically plan and manage the school environment to support student learning;
  • Foster and sustain an inclusive culture and climate to support both student learning and professional growth;
  • Implement authentic and meaningful strategies for supporting and supervising teachers’ instructional capacities to maximize student learning and achievement; and
  • Lead collaborative and systematic inquiry processes that support school improvement.