The MA in Inclusive Special Education has been designed to encourage greater understanding and a critical appreciation of the trends and developments in special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision in our schools.
You will have the opportunity to engage in the conceptual, philosophical and ethical debates relating to the education of children and young people who have a special educational need and/or disability both nationally and globally.
There will be a strong emphasis on promoting equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and social justice.
The Programme will therefore be relevant for educators working in any educational phase and in mainstream, special and specialist setting and has been designed to achieve a close connection between your studies at Masters level and your workplace practice.
There will be two modules in each academic year and you will be able to begin the dissertation in either Semester 1 which starts in September or in Semester 2 which starts in February. While the course content in each module will cover a range of topics you will be encouraged and supported to develop your research in your specific area of interest in SEND and inclusive practice.
Critical Disability Studies (30 credits)
In this module you will be critically evaluating the discourses and models of disability and inclusive practice through relevant literature and develop insights into the interrelationship between social policy, political frameworks and ideological perspectives on SEND. You will investigate disability rights; equality of opportunity and advocacy in a global and political context, cultural representations of disability; SEN and ethnicity; the impact on families; social exclusion; ethics and disability. You will be encouraged to engage professionally and academically with a review of relevant literature into educational practices for pupils with SEND with the aim of evincing change within your workplace practice.
Communication and Interaction (30 credits)
This module aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the range of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) experienced by children and young people, including; dyslexia, autism; specific learning difficulties, selective mutism; sensory impairments; bilingualism, and pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) and a SEND. You will critically examine the latest research and legislation on the education of children and young people who have a speech, language, communication difficulties and evaluate the range of educational and therapeutic interventions that are currently being used in schools and settings. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the links between research and educational practice by undertaking a case study in your workplace.
Exploring Inclusive Pedagogy (30 credits)
The aim of this module is to critically examine the concepts of inclusion in education and how special educational needs and disability is positioned within different establishments and phases of education. You will debate the social and educational implications for different types of inclusive provision and critically examine policies and practices that promote partnership with families and multiagency collaboration. Other topics will include teachers and TA/LSAs working together; partnership with parents; evaluating educational and therapeutic interventions; personalising learning; equality and diversity; the role of the SENCO; transitions from Early Years through to FE; SEND legislation and the political agenda and inclusive leadership. You will undertake an action research project to inform and change inclusive practices and promote school improvement.
Engaging Learners with Complex Needs (30 credits)
In this module you will develop your knowledge of a range of complex medical, developmental and psychological difficulties and how they affect learning and development. You will critically examine motivational and psychological theories; neuroscience and learning; complex medical needs; multisensory teaching for pupils with complex needs; mental health in children and young people; foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; attachment needs in children and young people; the legal and ethical frameworks for safeguarding children; the role of specialist and alternative provision, and multi-agency collaboration. For the assessment in this module you will critically evaluate teaching and learning strategies and alternative provision that supports pupils’ access to the curriculum through an observational study.
Dissertation (60 credits):
The dissertation represents the culmination of your study for the MA in Inclusive Special Education degree. It is divided into two 30 credit modules (Part 1 and Part 2) that focus on research methods for practitioner inquiry and developing an article for publication.
Part 1 (30 credits): You will design a medium scale enquiry with the intention of understanding and / or intervening to improve inclusive practice for children and young people with a SEND in the workplace on a topic of your choice. You will need to demonstrate a critical awareness of the ethical issues underpinning educational research and clearly justify choices in the research design, methodology and methods to address these issues. You will design, apply and critically evaluate data gathering and analysis methods to investigate a chosen aspect of SEND and/or inclusive practice and interpret your findings to inform the development of practice and the achievement of children and young people with a SEND.
Part 2 (30 credits): You will need to successful complete Part 1 before continuing with Part 2. Part 2 will give you the opportunity to problematise practitioner research within the wider context of educational concerns in the education of children and young people with a SEND, and the application of ideas from literature to school-based inquiry. You will achieve this through a critical review of the research including international research and professional literature around a chosen area of practitioner inquiry to inform your understanding of how to select relevant data and provide justification for the methods used and the implications future action. This will culminate in a greater understanding of the approaches and techniques for writing and disseminating work of publishable quality.
The MA in Inclusive Special Education can normally be completed in 3 years on a part-time basis, as follows:Two years (four semesters) with one module per semester, plus a further year (two semesters) for the dissertation.