Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

MA Special Educational Needs

This programme is for those who want to gain an in-depth knowledge of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to inform and develop effective practice. It will give you an understanding of inclusive approaches and equip you with the skills to analyse the theories and research evidence that underpins them.

We view SEND from multiple perspectives and use a variety of theoretical frameworks to explore key issues. We value and share our wide ranging expertise and experiences and encourage you to contribute to and reflect on the various debates and discussions. Our seminar groups are diverse and energetic; you will meet teachers from around the world and from different educational contexts.

We offer students a vibrant intellectual and academic experience. You benefit from weekly face-to-face seminars, individual or small group tutorials, and independent study activities on our Virtual Learning environment (VLE). You will visit local settings offering best practice in Inclusive Education, and be invited to research talks with leading academics from across the University and a range of external speakers.


Polixeni Apostolidou
I found the seminars and the interaction with the tutors and colleagues to be the most interesting and enjoyable part of the programme.

Polixeni Apostolidou

Special Educational Needs MA

You will complete two compulsory core modules and choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that interest you or are particularly relevant to your career. You will produce a substantial piece of original research in the form of a dissertation. In preparation for this you will work with a supervisor to devise a suitable topic and be given training in research design, methodology and ethics.

You will be required to study and pass all your compulsory modules. You will also be required to study 60 credits of optional modules and pass at least 30 credits of these.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Approaches 30 credits
  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Curriculum 30 credits

Optional modules

You will choose two modules from a list which may include:

  • Developing Teaching and Learning Through Evidence-based Practice 30 credits
  • Directed Study in Education 1 30 credits
  • The Context of Deaf Education 30 credits
  • Deafness and Development 30 credits
  • Design and Evaluation of Digital Learning Environments 30 credits
  • Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder 30 credits
  • Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 30 credits
  • Children's family and personal relationships 30 credits

Learning and teaching

We use a range of learning and teaching methods. Most modules are taught with a combination of seminars and tutorials. A significant amount of independent study is expected at this level; this allows you to build your academic skills, prepare for and reflect on the face-to-face teaching and pursue your own interests through the dissertation. The compulsory module seminars take place in the early evening, and tutorial slots are typically late afternoon. The modes of delivery and timetables for the optional modules vary so please check the module catalogue for more details.


We use a variety of formative and summative assessment methods, these include; essays, research reports, case studies, reflective logs, critical reviews, presentations and posters. We do not use any examinations. We encourage students to submit draft material and plans for feedback. We provide assessment support online via email or in a virtual classroom on the VLE, via telephone/skype meetings and at face-to-face tutorials.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification and, normally, at least three years of relevant professional experience.

We may consider applicants with alternative experience on an individual basis.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Please contact the School of Education postgraduate admissions team for information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

Application Deadlines

We generally advise you to apply before the end of July.

Documents and information you need

  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcript of your results.
  • Two references.
  • A personal statement of 750-1000 words, telling us something about yourself and why you would be suited to the programme.
  • If English is not your first language, you will need to send us evidence of your English language qualifications.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Education Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: £7,500 (total)

International: £17,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This programme provides teachers and education professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to reflect on and develop their practice. It is relevant to a wide range of educational contexts and settings and can support career development in a variety of ways. Past students have used the qualification to help them progress in management and leadership roles, or to specialise in supporting pupils with particular learning profiles and needs. The course also provides an ideal route into further study and we have an excellent track record of graduates continuing to doctoral level through our well established EdD and PhD programmes.

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