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MBA Education

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  • Objectives
    The course aims to offer a comprehensive and critical analysis of current policy and practice issues within the education service. The course is based on six taught modules and submitted assignments. The course materials are introduced at two-day residential sessions and then used as the basis of a theoretical evaluation of policy and practice as experienced by the student. The course develops research skills through the assignments and these are applied in a dissertation undertaken from the September of year 2 and submitted one year later. The dissertation topic is individually negotiated and offers an opportunity for consideration of work-based, local or national policy and professional applications. The course has been designed to meet the pattern of competences evolved by the Local Government Training Board.
  • Entry requirements
    There are no specific undergraduate subject requirements but students should have a good honours degree (or equivalent) plus appropriate professional training and/or experience. Overseas students are welcome to apply.
  • Academic Title
    MBA Education
  • Course description
    Part-Time study

    Please note that this programme starts in May each year.


    This is one of the longest established MBA courses for educationalists in the UK. It is designed to serve the needs of the middle, senior and aspiring managers in local authorities, schools, FE colleges, universities, Learning and Skills Councils, and related public and private sector organisations. The programme recruits students from across the UK educational sector as well as from overseas. It is a free-standing course but can be used as a stepping-stone to the PhD and EdD, courses which are also offered within the School.

    Course Structure and Content

    The course comprises six taught modules and a dissertation.

    Students meet for two consecutive days in each of the first five terms of the course. This opportunity to work together at Keele has been regarded as a vital support for what is essentially a distance learning course.

    The normal pattern of teaching is that a full day is given to each module with theoretical
    introduction, consideration of practical applications and then an extended case study. Distance learning materials have been specially commissioned for each module so that the focus is on service provision rather than on generic educational issues. Assignments are submitted about two months after each introductory session. The course director assumes a tutorial responsibility for all students, but after dissertation interests have been determined, supervisors are allocated from the teaching team.

    Course Modules

    The six taught modules (120 credits) are:

    Year 1

    • Organisational behaviour and development – the culture, operation and evaluation of groups and teams (15 credits)
    • Quality, improvement and effectiveness – best practice and best value in action ( 0 credits)
    • Strategic management – planning for and coping with change (15 credits)

    Year 2

    • Resource management – maximising resource creativity, evaluation and audit (15 credits)
    • Human resource issues – performance management and team enhancement (15 credits)
    • Research Methods – introduction and guide to research methodologies, concepts and issues ( 0 credits)

    All modules are taught from the perspective of administrators and leaders in the education service and public/private sector policy researchers. Keele tutors are supported by senior practitioners in Education, together with guest speakers with specialist knowledge and/or research experience in the sector.


    There are no formal examinations. Assessment is based upon assignments and the end of course dissertation. All assignments are between 3,000 and 4,500 words in length and are graded according to School and University guidelines. Work that does not secure the 50% pass grade can be resubmitted.

    The dissertation of 16,000-18,000 words is similarly marked and constitutes one-third of the total Masters programme (60 credits). The degree may be awarded with distinction where work shows exceptional merit. All marking is full, structured and developmental. Tutorial support is available during assignment preparation. In order to be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate a student must have successfully completed 60 taught module credits. In order to be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma a student must have successfully completed 120 taught module credits.


    Some students are able to obtain funding support from their employers.

    Career Destination information

    Our students have been appointed as LEA CEOs, Deputy Chief Education Officers, Assistant Chief Education Officers, senior advisors, FE college executives and VPs, inspectors, school heads, university school heads and similar executive positions.


    Our intention is that key elements of the teaching will be provided by a member of the Education or Management School of the University working alongside support tutors from various parts of UK education, including local authorities, colleges, schools, and universities.

    Course members will be taught and/or supervised by a team drawn from:

    Dr Stephen Whitehead (Education, Keele University)
    Prof Roger Seifert (HRM & Industrial Relations, Keele University)
    Prof Derek Glover (School of Criminology, Education, Sociology & Social Work, Keele University)
    Prof Christopher Rhodes (Birmingham University)
    Gillian Cleland (School of Criminology, Education, Sociology & Social Work, Keele University)
    Mark Davies (Consultant Leadership Development)
    Prof David Cracknell (University of Chester)
    John Freeman (Dudley MBC)
    John Hull (School of Leadership Consultant)
    Richard Morcombe (Walsall College)
    Paul Thomas (MBA Director, University of Wales)
    Yvonne Hill (School of Criminology, Education, Sociology & Social Work, Keele University)

    At most residentials we invite nationally known figures from education management, policy and research to lead two-hour talk and debate
    sessions with the students.

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