Learn to lead in the K to 12 environment and make positive change in schools. Develop strategies to improve administration, assessment, communication and culture. IB certificate option available.
Schools across the country are seeking qualified candidates for leadership roles such as principals, vice-principals and department heads.
The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management gives aspiring educational leaders like you a relevant, accessible post-graduate program to meet the requirements of school districts.
With a focus on the K to 12 environment, this textbook-free program will help educators understand concepts, practices and research to improve the school experience.
You'll study leadership theory and practice specifically for schools, with a focus on social justice, communication and building a strong culture.
You'll examine how to align curriculum and instruction with assessment and how to integrate technology into schools.
And you'll learn how to improve schools, translating research into action-oriented strategies that make a positive impact on students, staff and the community.
You'll be prepared to lead meaningful change in complex and challenging educational environments.
International Baccalaureate certification
Students in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management program can tailor their studies to be eligible for an International Baccalaureate Organization certificate. If you're interested in this certification, you will need to indicate so in your application form and complete IB-specific work throughout the program.
The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management program is approved by the Teacher Qualification Service.
Program completion option
In addition to course work, you'll complete a major project in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management.
Who it’s for
This program is designed for K to 12 administrators and educators who want to advance their careers by becoming qualified as leaders and managers.
This program is delivered through a blend of online learning and an on-campus residency.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
Each 3-credit online course requires approximately 100 hours of work.
You'll start your program with a non-credit, but required, course about academic integrity.
This blended program has a two-week residency.
Residencies are intensive and immersive. Many students say this time together is the highlight of their program.
During your residency, you can expect to:
- attend classes full time (e.g., Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- complete homework and individual and team assignments outside of class hours
- take part in extracurricular activities
IB advanced certificate in leadership research
If you're pursuing the International Baccalaureate Organization's advanced certificate in leadership research, you'll complete separate requirements throughout this program.
Courses in date order
Introduction to Academic Integrity
Leadership for Learning: From Theory to Practice
Leading for Social Justice
Research for School Improvement
Building and Managing the School Communities: School Culture and Communication
Communication in School Leadership
Leading Technological Integration in Schools
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Advanced Research: Thesis Proposal
Supervising, Coaching, and Mentoring for Professional Learning
Directed, Field, Lab or Major Project
Developing Leadership Capacity Through Reflective Practice
Major Project: Designing and completing an enquiry process in the field
Directed, Field, Lab or Major Project
- Applicants should be educational professionals with a four year undergraduate degree in a related field from a recognized post-secondary institution.
- Relevant work experience.
- Candidates with some undergraduate education and significant relevant work experience may be eligible for flexible admission. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
English language proficiency
- If English is not your primary language, please review our English language requirements.
All applications to this program require submission of the following information and supporting documents before your file can be assessed for admission:
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs. Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.
Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should consist of a one or two page letter indicating your motivation for seeking entrance to the program. Your statement should comment upon your personal and career goals, the expectations you have for the program in relation to the achievement of your goals, and the strengths you feel you can bring to the program. You are also encouraged to demonstrate your interest in/experience with team work, collaborative practice, professional learning communities or communities of practice.
Your two letters of reference should consist of a personal character reference and a work related reference.
- Personal character reference: Your personal character reference should consist of a letter from someone who has known you for several years outside of the context of your work. Please ask the writer to indicate the length of time and context in which they have known you, and to consider the following attributes in their letter about you: honesty, integrity, responsibility, adaptability, concern and respect for others, sense of self-esteem and confidence.
- Work-related reference: This letter should attest to your performance in the context of your current or previous work. The letter can address such areas as leadership potential, career commitment, human relations and supervisory skills, flexibility, communication, and technical skills.
Your structured resume should include the following:
- Education: List all post secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Work experience: Please include name of organization, length of service (month & year), and a brief description of duties.
- Training and professional development: List career related training and professional development programs completed within the past five years. Include the source of training, and the duration and year completed. List other training and personal development programs not already identified.
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include name of the organization, length of service and a brief description of your duties.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, the community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information : Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee. For example, electronic or digital copies (disk or flash drive) of business papers/documents/business plans, etc., might be useful. In certain cases we may require such documentation for individual candidates.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada, must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
- Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
RBC Community Integrated Learning Grants
Funding for students completing a required career learning and development (CLD) work term in the community of at least 420 hours with an organization that cannot provide wages or compensation.
Up to $8,500
ACT WEST Community Foundation Fund
The ACT WEST Community Foundation helps support single mothers build better lives for themselves and their children.
up to 4 years tuition
Admiral John Charles and Mary Charles Scholarship
Awarded annually to a second year School of Humanitarian Studies student who is currently serving or retired military.
Active students (In-course)
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) works to improve the lives of blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians...
From $1,500 to $2,500
Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award
Assist students in underrepresented populations who wish to promote diversity.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Scholarship
This scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence, supporting students who excel both academically and through their leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Andrea Fallan Memorial Bursary
Provides financial assistance to a second year BCom student for exceptional leadership, community involvement, and dedication to promote a cohesive team environment.
Active students (In-course)
Asper Foundation Communications Award
Awarded to students in communications-related degree working in, or seeking to work in the communications industry.
Active students (In-course)
You can choose how you want to complete the final component of your Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management.
Option 1: Research paper
In the applied research paper, you'll examine an issue of significance to your work. You'll use the skills and knowledge gained in coursework, as well as examine academic literature related to this issue, and you'll develop a change leadership plan that is ready to implement.
Option 2: Thesis
Students who choose the thesis stream are required to apply for approval. The application process is in place to ensure students are committed to finishing the thesis within the two-year program time frame.
You'll be working under a tight timeline, given that the thesis will require primary research with ethics approval.
You'll work with a thesis supervisor from the department.
Students in the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management program can tailor their studies to be eligible for an International Baccalaureate Organization certificate: the advanced certificate in leadership research.
IB certificates are recognized around the world and show you are well-versed in opportunities and issues that face IB schools.
As part of the IB community, you'll have access to a unique enrolment pathway, available only to IB educators. You'll also learn about IB opportunities like professional development and research and participate in exclusive discussion forums.
How to apply
When you complete the personal statement in your application form, include information about why you are interested in this certification and its relevance to your career.
If you're pursuing the IB advanced certificate in leadership research, you will complete separate requirements throughout the master's program. The workload will be equivalent to the students in your program who have opted not to pursue IB certification.
- You'll register with IB and obtain access to their network and resources.
- You'll complete IB-specific readings and assignments.
- You'll study IB-related research topics.
Visit the IB website for more information.
This program is textbook-free. All assigned readings are available at no cost through open educational resources, ebooks, journals and online sources.
These types of courses are known as "Zero Textbook Cost" and aim to improve access to education and enhance student outcomes.
Royal Roads University’s applied research mirrors its interdisciplinary curriculum and is based on being solution-oriented and real-world focused. The research featured here aims to inspire and celebrate the relevant work students perform in their programs and in their fields. The following students have been nominated as examples of research in action and student research excellence.
Title: A Systems Thinking Approach to Developing Targeted Strategic Solutions to Better Systemic Environments
Laurie Jensch’s research project utilizes a systems thinking approach to diagnosing root causes of issues by mapping an Albertan school in an ordered network and analyzing the effects of implemented changes made to the network through a mixed-method tool, thereby enhancing strategic decision making and responsible resource management.
Jensch’s project investigates the combining of two different methodologies, the first is a mapping survey tool called Kumu, which through work initiated by Milgrom-Elcott and Berlow (2018) identifies root causes defined as highest leverage problems and explores their interconnected relationships or causal links, which allows for a clear picture of the collective stakeholders’ voice.
The second process called SenseMaker, created by a company called CognitiveEdge, employs a storytelling approach, allowing for narrative data collection to be self-interpreted by the participants, thus avoiding researcher bias. This tool has the added benefit of generating meta-data which can be quantified into visual graphical displays while still keeping participants’ stories intact and in their raw form. Laurie’s approach was partly inspired by M. Jenal, an independent economic consultant, who states “patterns of change far beyond any hypothes[es] can be scanned allow[ing] us to see parts of the system that we would not have noticed.” Laurie found that this tool has the added advantage of testing beliefs of a system, analyzing implemented changes, and helping researchers see if these changes have been embedded in the system.
Using these two system builders combined in an innovative way, Laurie’s approach can help stakeholders to sense their context, have insight into unseen issues, and provide focused strategic solutions to solve deeper systemic issues, allocating resources to bring about the positive change in their organizations.
Laurie foresees possible extensions of this project, including targeted, school district-wide changes where school issues are mapped, with its unique culture protected, commonalities discovered, and district strategies improved.