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Master of Social and Community Leadership

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


18 months

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


University of Auckland


Advance your leadership, professional and research skills. Learn how to develop innovative programmes and powerful evaluations that can create meaningful social and community change.

Programme overview

This masters degree is designed with curious and committed practitioners in mind. Build skills and knowledge to advance your practice, as well as social and community change.

The programme is grounded within a strong social justice framework. You will develop advanced skills and approaches in leadership, social innovation, programme design implementation and evaluation. These will help you to lead, innovate and evaluate for social change.

This 180-point programme is flexibly designed to suit those working full-time or part-time in community, government, not-for-profit and social good sectors, as well as graduates from a range of disciplines.

Programme structure

Research Masters 180 points

Two core courses (30 points total): Innovation, Design and Evaluation (SOCCLEAD 706) and Leadership, Ethics, Systems (SOCCLEAD 703)

A Research Methods course (30 points): Research Methodologies (EDUCSW 700) or Maori and Indigenous Research (EDUC 787)

Thesis (90 points)

This programme is designed for flexibility, to suit those working full-time or part-time.

It comprises the core courses from the Postgraduate Certificate in Social and Community Leadership, plus a research methods course and a 90-point research thesis project. The thesis project can be focused on a need or opportunity within the community or something relevant to your workplace. The project will give you real-life, in-depth experience as you build strong research, investigative and evaluative abilities. You will learn how to use research to increase and improve social and community leadership.

You will have the guidance and support of an experienced supervisor throughout your research.

You'll also need to meet other requirements, including time limits and total points limits. See Postgraduate enrolment.

Where could this programme take you?

There are various career opportunities available based on prior experience, expertise and elective specialisation within the MSCL. Common themes include leadership, project management, research, evaluation, programme design, social innovation and development, consultation, policy development, social change, community and health development.

Jobs related to this programme

Community and social organisation leader

Community developer and designer

Learning designer

Policy analyst

Programme designer/project manager

Social and community educator

Social and community facilitator/advocate

Social innovator/consultant

Further study options

Doctor of Philosophy

Entry criteria

You must have completed an undergraduate degree at a recognised university (or similar institution) with courses in social science subjects comprising at least 15-20% of your degree. You will need a GPE of 5.0 in the most advanced courses taken in your degree.

IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.5 and no bands less than 6.0; Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 90 and written score of 21; Paper-based TOEFL: Overall score of 68 and a writing score of 21; Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Overall score of 176 and no bands below 169; Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: Overall score of 58 and no PTE Communicative score below 50; Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP): Grade of B-; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85.

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