The Special and Inclusive Education MA will develop a student's knowledge of key concepts and issues related to special and inclusive education, enhancing their understanding of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. It will give students the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise evidence, theory and practice, and help them to apply conceptual and theoretical frameworks to professional policy and practice.
By the end of the programme, students should be able to:
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), and either two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits) or three optional modules (90 credits) and a research report (30 credits).
In addition to the two core modules students take at least one module from the following:
Students choose either one or two further options from the list above or, subject to the Programme Leader's approval, from elsewhere at the UCL Institute of Education.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 10,000 to 12,000-word dissertation or 6,000 to 7,000-word report.
Teaching and learning
The MA is taught through lectures, group discussions, small group one-to-one tutorials, and computer lab classes. Compulsory and optional modules are assessed by a range of assessment strategies including presentations and a 4,000-5,000 word written assignment; students may choose from a range of assessment titles. In addition, students may choose to write either a report (6,000-7,000 words) or a dissertation (10,000-12,000 words).
NB: This MA is not a teacher training programme and does not aim to train students via school-based training and teaching placements.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Special and Inclusive Education MA
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as managers in mainstream and special schools and other educational settings, while others support those with special educational needs and disabilities directly. Graduates can also be found working as staff in specialist services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
This programme provides students with the opportunity to study in one of the country's leading specialist departments in special educational needs and disability, and educational psychology, working with internationally recognised tutors who have published widely in the areas of special education, inclusion and disability studies, and who contribute to Master's and doctoral programmes worldwide.
The programme team is committed to creating an intellectually challenging context in which students are encouraged to discuss practical knowledge, experience and ideas in order to extend their understanding of special and inclusive education.
This programme attracts students with rich and varied professional and personal experience, both nationally and internationally, and fellow students provide a valuable networking resource.
The MA Education Studies programme is designed for education professionals who would like to further their knowledge and understanding of children and young people in society. You will be able to select from a wide range of modules in areas including special education needs, disability and inclusion and leadership and management in education, allowing you to shape the programme to your interests and career aspirations.
Schooling can be viewed as just one context within which education may take place; there are many other contexts in which educational approaches are used to work with children and young people. Some of these contexts include advisory work, early childhood practice, educational administration and policy, learning support and the third sector to enhance educational provision for children, families and communities. This MA will explore education across these different areas.
The programme will draw on the wider professional experiences that students may have of working in contexts where educational approaches are important. These may include experiences such as employment in youth work, sports’ coaching with young people, working for charities with children and young people to provide learning opportunities in this country or internationally.
This MA will cover critical social and educational theories and perspectives, as well as policy and practice relevant to global and local educational contexts. It will support you to achieve a critical awareness and understanding of education in its broadest sense as a process of human learning and development in and for human society.
You will benefit greatly from engaging with the insights, experiences and perspectives of your peers who may come from a diverse range of contexts, backgrounds and experiences. These insights combined with your own experiences and the theory gained from the modules will allow you to deepen your understanding of working with children and young people and of education in its broadest sense.
All lecturers leading modules on this programme have specialist qualifications, teaching or leadership experience in the field of education, with relevant research and scholarship backgrounds, which will help to shape the content of the programme.
Those with less practical experience will need to have studied a degree programme such as BA Education, BA Children’s Studies, BA Youth Work, BA Early Childhood Studies, BA Social Pedagogy or BA Sports Coaching, all of which emphasise the practices of working with children and young people to enable their participation, development and learning.
This MA allows you to engage with a range of topics, across different areas of education, with a particular focus on the critical theories of global policy and of the social relations of difference and power in educational contexts.
You will be introduced to the key concepts of race, ethnicity, class and gender in the Power in Education and Society module. You will be moved beyond theoretical knowledge to reach an informed position in relation to equality, diversity and social justice in education. Awareness will be raised of past and current international discourses in education, critically examining how they impact on children, young people, families and communities.
You will also analyse current debates on education policy and will learn to identify new policy sites and policy actors in the education arena, in the Key Concepts and Current Debates in Global Education Policy module.
The compulsory final dissertation module will give you the opportunity to select a topic of your choice and undertake a critical enquiry of the subject. You must also take a (required) research module, called Undertaking Social and Educational Research, which is designed to teach you about social and educational research and to prepare you for the dissertation.
You can select a further three modules from a range of options, including those from related MA programmes in Early Childhood Studies, SEN Disability & Inclusive Education and Education Leadership and Management. This gives you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding in an area of education that interests you, or is relevant to your chosen career. A maximum of 2 from any of these programmes can be taken and decisions about which of these are appropriate for each student are made by the Programme Convenor in consultation with students.
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
The Management of Special Education in Developing Countries is a full-time programme for teachers, administrators and non-governmental organisation staff who are working in special education in developing countries and who wish to develop their management or leadership expertise. Although most students are not from the EU, this course is also suitable for UK/EU students.
The Management of Special Education in Developing Countries programme is for teachers, administrators and NGO staff who are working in special education in developing countries and who wish to develop their management or leadership expertise. The programme combines modules in Special Education with modules in International Studies in Education, using theory and practice from both in order to enable participants to improve management practice in the national context in which they work. A research dissertation also enables participants to put together management and special education in a uniquely relevant way for them.
This International Studies in Education programme has been taught at the School of Education for 50 years, and the School has one of the largest SEN departments in the UK. In consultation with tutors, you will choose modules totalling 100 credits from those available in the International Studies in Education and Special Education programmes, with a minimum of two modules from either field. You will also need to take the Researching Education module. A research dissertation will enable you to put together management and special education in a way which is uniquely relevant way for you.
The course permits a choice of modules from the International Studies in Education, and Special Educational Needs, courses. Students attend regular lectures and seminars for the first two terms, have personal dissertation supervision for the third term, and are assisted to access a wide range of library and online learning resources. The course is assessed by coursework assignments and a dissertation, and topics can be chosen to match the interests, expertise and needs of students. Some students do fieldwork for their dissertation in another country, but this is not a requirement. It is helpful if students have experience of working with disabled children in different countries, and bring relevant materials, which are not available online, for their coursework, e.g. printed project evaluations, reports in local languages, health education materials, photos and videos.
The MA in Management of Special Education in Developing Countries is ideal for graduates who wish to develop their management or leadership expertise within special education. Upon completion of this course, you will have experience in managing a variety of learning needs within your school and support colleagues to take a more inclusive approach in their own pedagogy. =
With this Master’s degree, graduates will become eligible to apply for a range of international posts in relation to SEN, Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR), and project management. Sites such as ‘Devnet’ and ‘UN Jobs’ provide many examples of relevant opportunities. The degree does not give qualified teacher status in the UK or elsewhere, but is a valuable additional qualification for those who have a relevant first degree (e.g. international studies, psychology, social work, development studies, public policy), and/or a teaching or health care qualification.
There is the opportunity to work towards a further professional qualification in the field of Education both within schools and in other settings, including progression to a PhD. The excellent careers advice provided by personal tutors has encouraged many of our graduates to successfully apply for leadership roles related to inclusion and diversity in schools and other educational settings. These include: lecturers, policy developers, head teachers, special educational needs coordinators and managers of community and charitable organisations.
As contemporary societies become more heterogeneous, and as inclusive education reforms gain currency across the world, educational systems are being challenged to address some fundamental questions about teaching and learning related to the accommodation of and respect for difference.
Underpinning the movement for inclusion is a concern for social justice and wellbeing. Meeting the diverse needs of learners within today's schools, colleges and universities, is one of the most challenging and important tasks facing education today.
This thoroughly revised Master's degree is unique not only because of the disciplinary approaches it employs, but also because students study and apply an approach to wellbeing that has been developed by some of the world’s leading thinkers.
This is an approach that is internationally recognised by, for example, the UN, and whose principles are increasingly found in government policy on education and SEN, namely the Capability Approach. We are one of the very few institutions in the UK to offer this practical and ethical approach to assessing issues of SEN, equality and inclusion.
The skills you will develop include critical thinking skills and how best to be an inclusive practitioner. Importantly, this is a professionally based degree which means that you will apply what you have learned to your own professional practice whether you are a classroom assistant, SENCO or university lecturer.
◦As a prestigious Russell Group University, Queen’s is ranked 8th within the UK in relation to research intensity;
◦ Education at Queen’s has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% of the research undertaken within the School assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REF, 2014);
◦We provide a professional development opportunity for: mainstream primary and secondary teachers from the newly qualified phase of professional development onwards; and, individuals whose professional or voluntary roles are strongly associated with life in regular classrooms and schools e.g. School Governors, Learning and Behaviour Mentors and Classroom Assistants;
◦We understand the many demands on students’ time, so the content is delivered in a mixture of face-to-face and online formats and you can study one or more of our modules as a short course;
◦If you don’t want or need to study for the research dissertation, flexible exit qualifications (PG Diploma, PG Certificiate) are available.
The MEd in Inclusion and Special Needs Education is awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 CATS points from taught modules and 60 CATS points from a Master's dissertation.
Exit qualifications are available. Students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or an Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.
We've made it easy to study for a Masters module as a short course. If you would like to study for one of the modules in the MEd in Inclusion and Special Needs Education as a short course, please contact the Postgraduate Secretary (tel: 028 9097 5923/5032, [email protected]) for advice.
Core Modules (compulsory, all 20 CATS points):
An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (online)
This module will provide you with an understanding of differing perspectives that underpin quantitative and qualitative methodologies and is required preparation for your research dissertation.
Reimagining Special Needs Education: Inclusive Pedagogy
We will focus on deconstructing Special Needs Education and Inclusion by exploring how some popular approaches and behavioural theoretical models have influenced our understanding of SEN. Much of the ‘knowledge’ of special education is, arguably, misconceived and promotes inequality, rather than addresses it. In examining the consequences of, for example, labeling, we will consider a powerful rationale for inclusion based on theories of social justice.
Special Needs Education and Issues of Equity
We will examine how stereotyping and prejudice contribute to forms of ‘epistemic injustice’ whereby what certain groups of people know is given less credibility and weight simply because of their disability, sex, class or ethnicity. The testimony of members of stigmatized groups is likely to be discounted because of prejudicial beliefs and attitudes, which can magnify the effects of injustice as well as create others. Our judgments, as we will learn, are likely to be affected by implicit biases even when we think we’re making judgments of scientific or argumentative merit. The effects of such epistemic injustice is the marginalisation and exclusion of already vulnerable such as the disabled, the working class, women, and people of colour.
Social Justice in Special Needs Education and Inclusion
We will explore some of the complexities of understanding equality in education and sketch some of the flaws with popular approaches to, and conceptions of disability and SEN. While all systems across the world espouse equal entitlement to education, the precise content of this goal is difficult to determine and agree upon. One approach which has emerged with considerable power and application is the Capabilities Approach (CA). The CA is an evaluative framework that entails two core normative claims: first, the claim that the freedom to achieve well-being is of primary moral importance, and second, that freedom to achieve well-being is to be understood in terms of people’s capabilities, that is, their real opportunities to do and be what they have reason to value.
Two optional modules may be chosen from the Educational Studies (MEd) degree.
There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed through a written assignment of 3000 words that is informed by the student’s own professional practice and experience.