MA Special Educational Needs
This programme is mainly aimed at qualified teachers who want to gain a deeper knowledge of special educational needs (SEN) to develop effective teaching and learning strategies.
You’ll choose whether to focus on SEN issues in England or internationally. This means you’ll either study topics like inter-agency working under Every Child Matters, or how SEN provision compares between different countries. Then you’ll expand on this knowledge when you choose from optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that interest you or are relevant to your career.
You could study developmental disorders, inclusive provision and more – and you’ll benefit from sharing the ideas and experiences of teachers from around the world as well as the local area. This programme will give you an understanding of the latest concepts approaches to effective, inclusive approaches, while equipping you with the skills to analyse the evidence that informs them.
You’ll be taught by members of the Childhood and Youth research group, which has a long-established, international reputation for research. The course distils the expertise within the team and draws on research that we have conducted, funded by agencies such as the ESRC, Action Research, and private and charitable UK organisations that work with children.
We offer students a vibrant intellectual and academic experience. Not only will you benefit from weekly research-led teaching, but you’ll have the chance to attend seminars with leading academics, hosted by the School of Education or other departments.
You can also apply for the PGCert in Provision for Children with Developmental Disorders which allows you to study the modules on developmental disorders from the MA Special Educational Needs. If you decide to move on to the MA afterwards, you can use the credits gained from the PGCert to count towards your MA.
From the start of the programme you’ll build your understanding of the context of SEN education. You’ll complete one core module, allowing you to focus on SEN provision within England and worldwide, considering issues such as inclusive education, how schools and local authorities interpret national education policy or the ways in which SEN provision differs between countries.
This lays the foundations for the rest of your studies, which will allow you to choose from a range of optional modules. You could focus on developmental disorders, teaching strategies for children with different needs.
Throughout the year, you’ll develop sophisticated skills in research and analysis that you’ll apply to your critical study – an independent piece of research you’ll submit by the end of the programme, on a topic of your choice which may be related to the needs and priorities of your school.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
There are two compulsory modules, and you’ll choose another three optional modules.
|Compulsory modules||Optional modules|
|- Critical Study|
- Special Educational Needs: Principles and Practice
- Special Educational Needs: International Perspectives
|- Directed Study in Education 1|
- The Context of Deaf Education
- Co-ordinating Inclusive Provision II
- Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder
- Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Teaching Children with Learning Difficulties
- Developmental Disorders in the Early Years
- Teaching Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
- Special Needs Coordination 2a
- Special Needs Coordination 2b
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods. For this course, most modules are taught with a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, which will take place in the evening. However, independent study is crucial to this degree, since it allows you to build your skills, prepare for lectures and pursue your own interests more closely.
These are no exams on this course. Instead you’ll largely be assessed using written coursework such as essays, case studies and other assignments.
Individuals take this qualification at different points in their career and their motivations and ambitions vary. However, it is clear that it can have a very significant impact.
For some, it helps them to critically reflect on classroom activities and enhance their teaching practices. For others it provides the foundations for moving into a more specialist role, or opens up the opportunities for progress onto doctoral studies.
Applicants who are not in full-time work are encouraged to undertake some volunteer placements which help them to contextualise their studies and strengthen their CV.