Vancouver Island University's Faculty of Education

Cowichan Campus MEd Program

Advance your career as an educational leader with Vancouver Island University's Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDL) program. Designed for working professionals in the field of education focused on bringing change and instructional leadership to their community.

This graduate program is enriched with school administration, educational psychology and educational research teachings that provide students the foundational building blocks to become innovative leaders in the school system. This program prepares students with the practical, ethical, and social tools to solve problems, manage conflict and encourage growth. Graduates of the program find employment in leadership positions in the education sector, both domestically and abroad.

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Program Details

The MEDL program at the Cowichan Campus runs as a part-time, cohort-based model designed for working professionals who can commute to campus in Duncan, BC. Classes are held in person meeting Friday evenings and Saturdays six times during each of the Fall and Spring semesters over two years. Two courses are also held through the month of July between first and second year. Coursework is designed to support thesis development with thesis progression beginning in the first course of the program. To view thesis work from previous cohorts, click here.

The program is ideal, but not limited to, aspiring and practicing school leaders. Grounded in the rich educational leadership literature supplemented by extensive faculty expertise and experience, the program provides a balance of research, policy and practice. Graduates of our program will have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and attitudes of successful leaders as outlined in the Leadership Standards for BC Principals and Vice-Principals. These competencies are central to formal and informal leadership in schools, as well as other educational leadership roles in various other areas such as post-secondary education, social work, and the not-for-profit sector.

Program Outline (Weekends & Summer Option)

Download the MEDL Cowichan Campus program outline here. Applications for the fall 2023 cohort are open.

Year 1 Credits
Fall Semester 2023
MEDL 500 - (Foundations of Educational Leadership) 5
Spring Semester 2024
MEDL 550 - (Research in Education) 5
Intersession (July 2024)
MEDL 600 - (Educational Change) 5
MEDL 590 - (Leadership Values and Ethical Decision-Making) 5
Total Credits 20

Year 2 Credits
Fall Semester 2024
MEDL 580 - (Leadership in the BC Context)* 5
Spring Semester 2025
MEDL 650 - (Leading Learning) 5
Intersession (July 2025)
MEDL 680 - (Field Inquiry) 5
MEDL 690 - (Major Project) 5
                                                                                 Total Credits 20
Total Program Credits 40

*Students may take MEDL 581 as a directed study in place of MEDL 580.

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Admission Requirements

To be admitted into the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree, (preferably a Bachelor of Education degree, or equivalent), from a recognized university that is acceptable in content to the Faculty of Education with either:
    • a cumulative grade point average of “B” in the final two years and/or 
    • demonstration of academic excellence
  • Applicants whose previous degree was obtained in a country where English is not the primary/official language and from a university where English was not the language of instruction must meet one of VIU’s English Language requirements for Graduate Programs.
  • Acceptance and satisfactory review of the following items by the Admissions Committee:
    • A résumé outlining teaching experience (two years preferred).
    • A letter of intent explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate work in this area.
    • Two current, confidential assessment reports (reference letters are not acceptable in lieu of the confidential assessment reports).

Flexible Admission

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may be admitted with lower formal qualifications when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship. The objective of flexible admission is to recognize prior learning accomplishments and to ensure a high probability of successful program completion. Applicants must show evidence of having sufficient knowledge, skills and attitudes to complete a demanding academic course of study. Applicants seeking Flexible Admission will be required to:

  • Provide a letter of intent explaining why they wish to pursue graduate work in this area;
  • Provide a detailed résumé, including evidence of applicable learning;
  • Provide two current, confidential assessment reports;
  • Provide two or more letters of reference;
  • Provide official transcripts of all post-secondary coursework

In limited cases, applicants may also be required to:

  • Provide a portfolio containing evidence of applicable prior learning;
  • Appear for an interview;
  • Take one or more qualifying courses; and/or
  • Provide additional documentation as may be required to adjudicate the application

Notes on Admission

  • Enrollment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
  • For application review, applicants must submit all admission documents, including official transcripts for all post-secondary coursework/studies within two weeks of the admissions deadline. Applicants are advised to submit documents as early as possible.

Transfer from other Institutions

Applicants may apply to the Program Chair for possible transfer credits from other accredited Master's programs.

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For full program details, tuition fees, and other policies, see the VIU Academic Calendar MEDL page.