Learn about our brand-new BA Education, Leadership and Culture degree

by | Oct 13, 2023 | Academic insight, Education | 0 comments

We caught up with Josef Ploner, Programme Director for the brand-new BA Education, Leadership and Culture course, to tell us more about this unique undergraduate degree at the Manchester Institute for Education.

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself and your connection to this new degree?

Hi! I’m Josef Ploner and I am the Programme Director of the new Education, Leadership and Culture BA programme and I’m very excited about the programme being launched.  

I’ve been working at Manchester since 2019 where I teach and research on international and comparative education, but also on the educational dimensions of heritage, leisure, or tourism. My teaching and research is underpinned by the belief that education is one of the most powerful means to generate equality, inclusion and social change, and permeates all aspects of our daily lives.

Before joining the Manchester Institute of Education, I have ‘cut my teeth’ as researcher and lecturer at two universities in the north of England, and I have also worked as museum curator and educator.  

Why has this degree been created?

The idea was to create a programme that is relevant, practice-oriented, and offers something unique to students which makes them stand out when graduating.

The degree will help students develop a comprehensive understanding of educational practice, research, and leadership fit for the 21st century. They will explore how education defines and shapes cultures, societies, and our everyday lives, and they will be able to apply creative, practical, and inclusive solutions to contemporary educational challenges. Besides formal education in schools and universities, this also means thinking about education and leadership more widely in non-formal, civic, or digital learning environments, for example, in relation to art, heritage, and the creative industries, diverse urban communities, policy making, or learning with technology and social media, among others.

Why should I study this degree?

There are many reasons, but one is certainly that we are a UK top 10 education department (QS 2023), so I am proud to work within an outstanding team of lecturers who undertake cutting-edge research and outreach work in the subjects they teach.

I think our students will appreciate that the programme is not just confined to the classroom as much of their learning will be supported by study trips, field work, placements and collaboration opportinities with educational and cultural organisations in Manchester and beyond.

We have also designed innovative and varied assessment methods where students can apply their learning in authentic and creative ways. For example, they may be asked to produce an educational app, podcast, or storyboard, or engage in a learning project with a museum, school, or community group. Besides being more ‘fun’ than traditional exam-based assignments, the purpose is for students to develop valuable skills that nurture their interests and passions and, ultimately, support their career aspirations. 

How will this degree help me find a job?

The way the programme is designed, and the opportunities it offers in working with an excellent team of academics, as well as educational, creative and cultural partner organisations, will help students towards a range of future careers.

Potential career routes for BA Education, Leadership and Culture include:

  • Specialist areas of education such as the cultural, heritage, arts, and museum sectors, leisure and creative industries;
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and charities focused on eduction, culture and communities, intergenerational, or lifelong learning;
  • Work in schools and other formal eductional organisations (outreach, curriculum design, community engagement, etc.)
  • Youth work and education;
  • Cultural and educational policy making or consultancy;
  • Educational project management;
  • Education intervention training and delivery in professional/industry contexts;
  • Online, distance and e-learning providers;
  • Digital educational design and content creation;
  • Research in academic, creative industry, or third-sector settings.
What are the entry requirements?

Typical entry requirements are A-Level: ABB or IB: 34 points overall, with 6 5 5 at Higher Level (correct at the time of posting). You may also have to pass English language requirements. We do not require specific A-level subjects as our aim is to welcome applicants who bring with them a diverse set of previous interests, skills and expertise. See entry requirements for more information.

*Please note that this course is subject to approval as of time of posting.


For more information please visit the BA Education, Leadership and Culture course profile.

For general admissions enquiries telephone: +44(0)161 529 4700 or email ugadmissions.seed@manchester.ac.uk