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Education | Faculty of Education Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2021

Educational Leadership

Master of Arts

The master of arts (MA) degree signifies the acquisition of advanced knowledge in the student's field of specialization and competence in conducting significant and original research in education. This program is intended for current or prospective leaders who are engaged in educational activities in a variety of societal workplaces (e.g. schools, colleges, community agencies, health agencies, justice agencies, arts agencies). While the program is grounded both in research and in practice, it has a strong philosophical and conceptual orientation that encourages students to view issues and problems in the workplace in more complex and educative ways.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not meet these requirements may be considered if superior scholarly or professional achievement is demonstrated.

Admission is granted to a specific degree and to a particular program or specialization. Application information is available from the Faculty of Education.

Program Requirements

This program consists of courses and a thesis for a minimum of 30 units. Students may also complete additional elective courses, as required or approved by the supervisor.

Students must complete

EDUC 719 - Research Approaches in Educational Leadership (3)

Covers research methods, with special reference to research in Education Leadership. Fundamental theories, practices, and ethical issues of educational research are discussed. The course addresses some of the fundamental challenges and decisions in designing and using educational research.

EDUC 813 - Organizational Theory and Analyses (3)

This course critically examines organizations in which educational leaders work from different theoretical perspectives and in light of research evidence. It also critiques several past and current reform initiatives, and explores specific topics in-depth. A central and pervasive question of the course concerns organizational purposes, especially with respect to learning, and how these purposes are served by organizational structures and processes.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G031 Rebecca (Becky) Cox
EDUC 817 - Policy Processes (3)

This course examines three interrelated aspects of policy studies as a critical function of the educational leadership role: conceptual and theoretical foundations concerning policy, policy actors, and policy processes; current research in the field; and topical issues and problems. It also considers social, economic and political contexts (e.g. technologization, corporatization, pluralism) and how they affect education.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G031 Daniel Laitsch
EDUC 818 - Leadership Studies (3)

This course examines three interrelated aspects of educational leadership studies of conceptual and theoretical foundations, with a particular emphasis on ethics of leadership; current research in the field, including feminist and cultural critiques; and topical issues and problems of leadership practice. Considerations of leadership character and role, power and authority in organizational relationships, and organizational goal achievement are central to the course.

EDUC 904 - Fieldwork III (5)

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G001 Th 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM
SSCK 9500, Burnaby
G031 David Zandvliet
G032 Michael Datura
G033 Rebecca Cox

and a thesis

EDUC 898 - Master's Thesis (10)

The thesis is a research investigation designed to generate and/or examine critically new knowledge in the theory and/or practice of education. The thesis should normally be completed and approved in three terms. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G001 TBD
G002 TBD

Students must also complete a minimum of three units of elective graduate EDUC courses that have been approved by the supervisor.

Students will be required to demonstrate appropriate research competence that may necessitate also completing

EDUC 863 - Quantitative Methods in Educational Research (3)

Focus on critical analysis of quantitative research in education. Research studies examined will be based on exploratory and confirmatory data analysis, including group comparisons and correlations. Students will use calculators and computers for data analysis and display. Prerequisite: EDUC 810 or 864.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G001 Th 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
EDUC 866 - Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (5)

This course introduces students to qualitative research in education and examines topics such as identifying problems, using conceptual frameworks, coding, data analysis, drawing interpretations, and constructing arguments.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G001 Kristiina Kumpulainen
We 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM


Normally before the fifth course, a master's thesis research plan is presented to the faculty member whom the student proposes to be supervisor. The supervisor and at least one other faculty member, chosen in consultation with the supervisor, constitute the supervisory committee. The master's thesis is examined as prescribed in Graduate General Regulations 1.9 and 1.10.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements within nine terms.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.