Master's Degree Programme in Educational Leadership

Kasvatustieteen maisteri
Tutkinto-ohjelman tyyppi:
Ylempi tutkinto-ohjelma
120 op
Kasvatustieteiden laitos, Kasvatustieteiden ja psykologian tiedekunta
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020


Master’s Degree Programme in Educational Leadership is a 2-year programme of 120 ECTS credits. The programme aims to prepare highly competent educators and raise the quality of education in the diversifying contexts of the globalized world in which education is the key to the success of both individuals and societies. As globalization interconnects different countries, their education systems, and the people working in them, an international orientation and understanding are among the key issues in shaping the future of education and our learners. The programme offers both theoretical and practical skills from wide selection of educational subjects ranging from early childhood to old age.

During the Master’s Degree Programme in Educational Leadership, students will gain a broad understanding of the field of education with a particular awareness of international issues in education. Students will also gain insights from Finnish education system and from our international connections. Besides the national and international teaching in the programme, the most prominent daily contribution to the internationalization is the multicultural student cohorts with knowledge and expertise in their own culture, history, politics, society, economy, religion etc. In addition, we aim to provide inspiring connections and possibilities to attend academic discussion locally and globally.

Students will have the opportunity to specialize in areas of education that they find as most relevant and interesting. Students will acquire scientific expertise in the field of education and be able to work with theories and analyse and develop educational practices. Aim is that students can acquire relevant skills and knowledge for highly digitalized and technology based learning environments and culture. With research-based teaching, students develop as competent and critical members of digitalized information and knowledge society. The Master’s Degree creates a foundation for producing scientific knowledge and applying scientific methods in practice in the field of education.

Graduates of the programme will be well prepared for work in a variety of educational settings, for example, as educational consultants, coordinators, teacher educators, researchers or educational planners. Contemporary and future oriented digital solutions will be applied in both teaching and evaluation, as well as in communication in general. Workplace skills will be built in cooperation with education practitioners, and students understanding of relevant qualifications and skill will be strengthen through guidance on expertise, professional identity and agency development in both individual and social level. As basis of this, is the responsibility and commitment of the student that is strengthen through entrepreneuristic attitude. Studies are built as connected with contemporary work life of educational specialist and student’s realization of changing work life competences are supported by integration of practice and theory. Applicable digital solutions integrate into the program as both tools of teaching and learning.

Our mission is to graduate visionary educators who educate, develop and empower people and systems with research based knowledge, humane values, appropriate skills and responsible attitudes that make difference in changing world. Our vision is that the programme provides competencies that graduates can utilize in becoming globally good educators. Our strategy in the implementation of our mission and vision takes place through our learning culture, pedagogy and curriculum. After finishing the programme and being awarded the degree of a Master of Arts (Education), students are eligible to apply to doctoral studies.


The Faculty of Education and Psychology implements a phenomenon-based curriculum. Our objective is to prepare highly competent educational professionals for diverse context of the globalised world. The aim is to learn to understand the phenomena related to education by combining different theoretical and practical aspects. The variety of different perspectives offered contributes to a deep understanding of the discipline. The graduates are highly employable in a wide variety of educational settings with their professional expertise depending from their selected specialisation studies, such as Early Childhood, Inclusive Education, Guidance and Counselling, Foreign Language Pedagogy, Educational Leadership, and Current Issues in Education and Psychology. Phenomena based curriculum facilitates learning through real life phenomenon, which are studied in an authentic environment. The aim is to understand the phenomena related to education by combining different theoretical and practical aspects. The variety of different phenomena include: Learning and Guidance, Competence and Expertise, Scientific Knowledge, Interaction and Cooperation, and Education, Society and Change. These phenomena are integrated into the course content and are offered to develop a deep understanding of the discipline.

Learning and Guidance form a multilayered phenomenal entity that can be analysed in a variety of ways. The starting point is the diversity of learners and learning processes, which also contributes to the complex nature of learning guidance. In addition to the individual level, learning can be examined on the level of communities and society, and from the perspective of interaction between these levels. Learning is always context-bound: something learned in one context is not necessarily transferred to another context or situation. Learning is lifelong, life-wide, formal or informal. Because all learners are different, it is essential to identify and take into account their individual qualities in providing them with guidance on learning and with guidance on learning to learn. Learning is bound to the societal missions of education and training: ensuring the continuity and transformation of culture and communities. Therefore, education, training and learning are also political issues. Educational policies, including the drafting of national core curricula, involve power struggles and interest-based negotiations.

Competence and Expertise are complex phenomena that have been explored from the perspectives of psychology, sociology and various other disciplines. In psychologically oriented research, expertise has been studied, in particular, as the development of high-level competence, whereas a social sciences orientation has focused on expertise as a communal and societal phenomenon. Themes related to expertise and its development include, for example, learning at the interfaces of education and working life, learning in different communities and networks, professional identity and agency, and the management and development of organisations. The study of these themes is integrated with the development of students’ own expertise in educational sciences and scientific thinking.

Scientific Knowledge is a central element of expertise, particularly in the academic professions. The construction of scientific knowledge has been analysed, for instance, in the philosophy of science, in the study of scientific thinking and – more generally – of higher education and learning, and in the study of cognitive development in adults. The phenomenon is thus related to such themes as psychological and social development, learning in adulthood, scientific thinking, the essence of scientific knowledge, professional ethics, and the responsible conduct of research. Education is analysed as a discipline in relation to other disciplines.

Interaction and Cooperation are phenomena in which people are examined in relation to each other. It is intertwined with pedagogical education, as well as with the pedagogical expertise that develops therein, in various ways: (1) as competence, (2) as participation and inclusion, and (3) as spaces of encounter. In studying the phenomenon, these perspectives overlap and complement each other. The phenomenon is analysed in the formal and informal learning environments of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Interaction and cooperation as competence focuses on the knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with the interactive relations that people need in order to promote learning, growth, development, change and wellbeing in individuals and communities. Competence in interaction and cooperation implies the ability to act in an interactive educational and guidance relationship with children, adolescents and adults. The spaces of encounter are concrete and physical, abstract and invisible, as well as virtual.

The field of phenomena called Education, Society and Change focuses on the dynamic societal factors that provide opportunities and set the marginal terms for education, training and, more broadly, for the entire socialisation process. Education and training simultaneously support and maintain as well as renew the structures and activities of society – tradition creates a tension between stability and change. Therefore, education and training are examined through temporality, which opens up the perspectives of the past, the present and the future. The practices of education and training are also connected to the prevailing sociohistorical situation, culture, politics, ideologies and power structures. These factors determine the social and structural terms of education. In addition, issues related to social justice, inclusion, equality, diversity, otherness and growing social inequality are reflected on within this field of phenomena. Societal change is represented, for example, by different forms of modernisation, such as individualisation and globalisation, the differentiation of lifestyles and values, and increasing freedom of choice.

Upon completion of the Master’s degree the student will be able to apply following expected skills in five different phenomenon areas and beyond:

Learning and Guidance
- analyse different processes of learning and guidance and relate them to the diversity of learning environments
- be aware of the diversity of concepts of knowledge, learning and the human being and their relation to learning cultures

Competence and Expertise
- evaluate and document one’s own professional growth
- develop the competencies needed in working life
- develop the work environment by searching for scientific and practical knowledge in the area

Scientific Knowledge
- critically analyse scientific research
- develop one’s own thinking based on research
- conduct scientific research in the field of education

Interaction and Cooperation
- gain intercultural knowledge and competence and apply them in practice
- work competently as part of a team in a multicultural environment

Education, Society and Change
- understand and critically analyse educational phenomena in an international context by integrating scientific, experimental and practical aspects
- understand the field of education as promoting human rights and equity


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