Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

MA Special Educational Needs

In this Section:

MA Special Educational Needs is a one year full-time, or two years part-time, programme for teachers and associated professionals working in either mainstream or more specialised contexts.

The programme is suitable for both UK-based and international students, and considers both UK and international policy contexts. Recent and current students have come from Cyprus, Greece, Hong Kong, Kenya, Namibia, Oman and Taiwan.

MA in Special Educational Needs considers the principles, policies and practices in the inclusive education of learners with special educational needs (SEN) in both UK and international legislative, oversight and reseach contexts.

The programme addresses special educational needs for a wide range of age groups, and covers issues such as policy, legislation, assessment and intervention, inter-agency working, partnerships with parents, and pupil participation.

You will have the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge of current concepts, information and techniques related to special educational needs, and will analyse and evaluate the evidence behind effective strategies for teaching and learning.

PGCert in Provision for Children with Developmental Disorders

If you are looking for a one year, part-time, evening programme in Special Educational Needs, you may be interested in our PGCert in Provision for Children with Developmental Disorders.

This programme gives you the opportunity to study the Developmental Disorder modules in the MA Special Educational Needs programme, and you can always transfer your credits forward to MA Special Educational Needs should you decide to pursue a masters level programme once you have completed the PGCert.

Many students follow this programme to enhance their prospects of a career working with children with SEN in educational or other contexts.  Some students go on to complete research degrees in the area.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

Critical Study/Dissertation allows you to design and undertake a small-scale research project related to your own interests in the field of education.

Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Approaches allows you to learn about policies, research and practice in relation to inclusive provision from both a historical and international perspective.

Optional modules

You will choose three optional modules from the following list.

  • Directed Study in Education 1
  • Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Special Education Needs: Inclusive Curriculum

More information

Polyxeni  ApostolidouI found the seminars and the interaction with the tutors and colleagues to be the most interesting and enjoyable part of the programme.

Polyxeni Apostolidou

The programme aims to meet the professional development needs of practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of effective educational practice for pupils with special educational needs.

As well as developing specialist knowledge of current concepts, information and techniques related to special educational needs, you will also develop the ability to critically analyse and evaluate current research and scholarship in the area.


The MA (SEN) is delivered by members of the Childhood and Inclusive Education research group. This team has a long-established, international reputation for research in SEN and inclusive education. In particular, members of the teaching team have expertise in areas including ...

  • issues in policy and practice
  • interventions in language and literacy
  • assessment and intervention for children with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
  • deafness and bimodal bilingualism.

We are able to provide students with up-to-date information about our research areas, explore the methodologies we use, and provide critical reflection on our own work.

We offer students a vibrant intellectual and academic experience. Not only will you benefit from weekly research-led teaching, but you will also be invited to attend relevant seminars with leading academics, hosted by the School of Education or other departments.


Dr Mary Chambers
Director of Student Education and Associate Professor in Special Needs in Education
Tel: 0113 3433576
Email: M.E.Chambers@education.leeds.ac.uk

Dr Paula Clarke
Associate Professor in Childhood and Inclusive Education
Tel: 0113 3439410
Email: p.j.clarke@leeds.ac.uk

Dr Susan Pearson
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 0113 3433227
Email: s.e.pearson@education.leeds.ac.uk

Dr Jo Pike
Programme leader and lecturer in Childhood Studies
Tel: 0113 3433210
Email: J.Pike@leeds.ac.uk

Dr Sian Roberts
Lecturer in Childhood Studies and Inclusive Education
Tel: 0113 34 34601
Email: S.Roberts@leeds.ac.uk

Prof. David Sugden
Professor of Special Needs in Education
Tel: 0113 3434533
Email: d.a.sugden@education.leeds.ac.uk


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