The inclusion and achievement of students with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) within mainstream education is an important current focus. By acquiring specialist teaching and assessment skills, you’ll broaden your career opportunities within and beyond the school and college context.
The modules combine theory and practice. You’ll study through workshops, case studies and assignments, justifying your professional practice through research. Modules comprise taught sessions and assessed projects, and can be completed full-time in one year or part-time in up to five years.
You’ll develop your theoretical and practical knowledge of SpLD/dyslexia, and will learn specialist approaches to the identification, assessment and teaching of learners with specific learning difficulties.
The first module of the course enables you to assess a learner, compiling an individual profile based on your findings, and design/deliver an individualised programme of support. You’ll also explore methods and strategies to develop the inclusive practices which can support learners across the curriculum.
The second module will develop your ability to undertake full diagnostic assessments for dyslexia to inform programmes and appropriate support, such as Examination Access Arrangements.
A further module will allow you to develop an understanding of the difficulties faced by primary or secondary students with SpLD/dyslexia or dyscalculia when learning mathematics, and provide you with knowledge about how to support them.
If you already have specialist SpLD/dyslexia qualifications and wish to gain a PATOSS Assessment Practising Certificate, a further module can facilitate this.
For more information on careers, please view the Course Handbook: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/course-handbooks/ife/PG-Specific-Learning-Difficulties-and-Dyslexia-handbook-2016-2017.pdf
Modules are taught through twilight lectures and workshops, usually a three hour session each week from 5-8pm.
Many sessions are led by the Course Leader, who is a specialist in the academic and practical aspects of SpLD/dyslexia. Others are delivered by visiting tutors with particular areas of expertise such as an educational psychologist or dyscalculia specialist
Each module is coursework-assessed (7000-10,000 words per 30 credit module). The dissertation is 15,000–20,000 words and worth 60 credits.
The programme can serve as a stepping stone to becoming a Specialist SpLD/Dyslexia teacher and assessor working either in a school setting or independently. This is also helpful pathway for those working within SEN leadership and management roles such as SENCO in schools. It can also lead onto further PhD studies in SpLD/Dyslexia, education or similar fields.
Areas of career direction include: Specialist learning support and teaching possibilities, Advisory Teacher roles for Local Authorities, educational leadership and management, curriculum design and development, higher education research and teacher training.
For more information on careers, please go to your Course Handbook: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/course-handbooks/ife/PG-Specific-Learning-Difficulties-and-Dyslexia-handbook-2016-2017.pdf
The Special Educational Needs (SEN) programme investigates issues involved in the education and development of children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities and disadvantages. Our programme is founded upon a commitment to forms of education which enable the participation, learning and development of all.
Students studying on the programme engage with aspects of theory, policy and practice relevant to international and local contexts. With its international profile, this programme brings together teachers and other professionals working directly with children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or disadvantages, as well as policy-makers and managers in areas of SEN and Inclusive Education.
On the MA Special Educational Needs, students choose between two distinct pathways, Inclusive Perspectives or Psychological Perspectives, which reflect different theoretical traditions and approaches to practice, provision and policy within the field of special educational needs, disability and inclusion. Both pathways are relevant to mainstream and special education contexts.
The Inclusive Perspectives pathway emphasises the application of inclusive and person-centred values and critical educational analysis. Concepts and theories such as person-centred education; participation and ‘voice’; the social model of disability and difference; and human rights and equalities are used to consider educational practice, provision, policy and systems relating to pupils experiencing difficulties in educational settings.
The Psychological Perspectives pathway emphasises the use and application of psychological theories. Concepts and theories of cognition, educational testing, and social and emotional development are central in developing psychologically informed understandings of children and young people experiencing difficulties in educational settings.
Students greatly benefit from engaging with the insights, experiences and perspectives of other course members, from a diverse range of contexts and backgrounds. The combination of their own experiences, insights gained from others on the course and the theoretical resources offered by learning within the modules, enables students to deepen their understanding of, and to be able to challenge, the barriers that hinder the learning, development and participation of children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or disadvantages.
The teaching provided on modules is informed by active research and scholarship in the field of Inclusive Education and SEN practice and policy. All lecturers leading modules on the programme have high level specialist qualifications, teaching and leadership experience in the field of Education, SEN and Inclusive Education.
All students complete a common module which takes a broad view of key perspectives and issues in SEN, it also introduces the psychological and inclusive perspectives. From here, students undertake specialist modules within the programme, depending on their chosen pathway.
Inclusive Perspectives Pathway content: Students critically explore the issues involved in children’s behaviour using sociological approaches. You will reflect on your own and society's beliefs about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour, which often relate to medical and psychological foundations of schools’ policies and practices. The social pedagogical approach is also explored as a basis for inclusive teaching and learning. A critical analysis of instrumentalist/functionalist approaches to teaching is developed with a view to enhancing holistic development and the participation of pupils as a means of addressing barriers to the inclusivity of the classroom.
Psychological Perspectives Pathway content: On this route students engage with the idea that socially and emotionally well-adjusted students perform better at school, whilst social and emotional aspects of learning have become marginalised in a highly competitive education system. The use of psychometric testing is covered, with an exploration of its appropriate uses (students can gain a Certificate of Competency in Educational Testing, accredited by the British Psychological Society, from successfully undertaking this module).
Optional modules are available to students on both pathways which focus on Dyslexia as a Specific Learning Difficulty and on Autism in Education. Students also have an option, instead of taking a taught optional module, to take a (non-taught) Independent Study module to learn about a specific issue relevant to their pathway and interests, which is not taught about in the programme.
The final module is an independent research-based enquiry (either a Dissertation or Practice-Based Research Project), which is founded upon the pathway perspective chosen, but is also subject to the student’s choice of topic.
Required modules for both routes
The Programme supports and enables:
This new programme will interest graduates who want to make a difference to the lives of a wide range of children in education. You will compare inclusive educational practices in Scotland, the UK and across the world. You will study particular approaches to removing barriers to learning and including all children.
The programme has specific pathways for Postgraduate Diploma (visually impaired learners), Postgraduate Diploma (deaf learners) and Postgraduate Diploma (bilingual learners).
You will choose three option courses from this range:
The programme aims to:
Suiting newly qualified teachers and experienced practitioners alike, this programme provides a qualification that can open doors to a new career in inclusive and special education, or an advanced role in the field.
It can also provide the foundations for a career in policy formation and development, as well as a broad range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.
Sounds of Intent offers students an introduction to the eponymous music-developmental framework for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). At the same time, the ‘Sounds of Intent’ programme offers professional development for music practitioners interested in working with children with learning difficulties.
This one year part-time, postgraduate certificate is an internationally unique opportunity to be part of the most exciting new area of work currently happening in the field of music and special educational needs. You will be introduced to the ‘Sounds of Intent’ music-developmental framework and learn how to use the resources and assessment tool available through the website. The course has both theoretical and practical elements, and is assessed through essays, a portfolio of work and a placement.
The resource has taken over 10 years to research and develop, involving hundreds of practitioners from across the special education sector. The tool is made up of three components, an online assessment tool, a curriculum framework and downloadable resources. This course will develop and train students in terms of their academic and practical skills in music provision, using both fundamental theoretical and research issues, and providing opportunities for the application of new knowledge within your own professional context. For example, you will be able to develop and design a music curriculum for children with learning difficulties using Sounds of Intent materials, and lead and advise on the use of music and the materials in your organisation, for the benefit of students.
You will be introduced to a range of techniques required to promote the musical development of children with Special Educational Needs, as well as developing an understanding of the learning development of children with SEND. You will also learn how to assess students’ needs using Sounds of Intent materials. There is a focus on students being able to reflect on their practice and use these to improve their outcomes.
This Postgraduate Certificate comprises three modules, each lasting one term: ‘An introduction to Sounds of intent’, ‘Using Sounds of Intent in the field’ and ‘Using Sounds of Intent for Curriculum Development'.
There is a focus across all modules on students using the Sounds of Intent materials in their professional contexts from the beginning of the course. You will initially do a pilot assessment of six pupils or clients, completing the online activities with them, before you reflect on your outcomes, and compare these to a piece of academic research carried out with Sounds of Intent. You will be supported in these activities with two days of lectures explaining the use of the materials, and covering issues of observations, recording evidence and ethics.
As the course progresses, you will be supported in a longer project, of eight weeks, of assessing a further six pupils or clients. You will have regular contact with staff in the Department of Education, who will help you to reflect on your practice, and jointly you will find ways to ensure that you are developing at the same time as supporting effectively the development of your pupils.
Finally, there will be a chance for students to reflect on their individual abilities and experience of using the Sounds of Intent framework, so that professional growth can be extended beyond the end of the course.
The Sounds of Intent qualification will support those seeking work in special schools, or with pupils/students with special educational needs/disabilities, and community music contexts.