Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
In addition to the many masters' and PhD graduates, each year we have over 500 students become newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Our excellent links with local schools ensure that our employment rates are consistently high, with well over 90 per cent of our NQTs finding a teaching job last year.
With pay scales to match other industries, job security, an excellent pension and better work-life balance, teaching is becoming one of the most sought-after professions of today. Our masters' and professional courses have allowed many teachers to gain promotion within their institutions. A number of students also continue their studies onto EdD/PhD courses to develop a career in educational research.
This award provides the opportunity to engage with theoretical perspectives and research in the field of inclusion and disability, both nationally and globally. The programme is relevant to both UK and *international applicants and starts from the premise that terms, such as inclusion, disability and special needs are contestable.
You are encouraged to critically engage in those social, political and global debates relating to the education of marginalised groups of children and young people.
The question of how can education promote greater equity in an increasingly diverse society is central to the award. In this way, the MA provides outstanding professional development for those working in education, enabling them to deepen their understanding of how to develop more inclusive practice within their own professional setting or country context.
Sessions are led by highly qualified tutors from the Faculty's Education and Social Research Institute who have relevant expertise and professional experience.
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.
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.
If you need to get a good grounding in special educational needs, disability and inclusion at postgraduate level, this course will broaden and challenge your existing knowledge. It could be a starting point for a future career in a range of settings or help you to develop in your current role. If you are already a SENCO it will give you many skills for your role and help you develop and expand this in line with the range of special needs you may encounter.
Our course doesn’t aim to provide you with all the answers. Instead it will enable you to explore and develop new thinking and ultimately work towards expertise in your field. If you believe that pupils with special needs have untapped potential, and you want to help them explore this, then this is the course for you. Inclusive learning and teaching are at the heart of any good practice; these modules will help you explore this further and understand the important role of nurturing development in all pupils with special educational needs.
You do not need a teaching qualification to study on this course, nor do you have to intend becoming a teacher. We welcome anyone who wants to expand their understanding, knowledge and skill set in the changing world of special education and disability.
You’ll have the opportunity to explore how the education system works for special needs and disability, how it all evolved and the challenges it poses for these pupils. You’ll broaden your knowledge on the range of conditions and their impact on learning and develop new teaching skills to help pupils overcome their day to day challenges. The focus of all modules will be critical thinking, challenging and developing your knowledge to enable you to become an expert in your field.
Gain the qualification you need to teach in the area of special educational needs in Post-16 and Further Education, previously known as Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET), and including 14-19 provision.
It is suitable whether you are new to teaching and need us to find you a placement, or if you are already working as a teacher or trainer within the SEN context and want to become qualified.
The course maps to the national framework for teaching qualifications in Post-16 and Further Education, the new Diploma in Education and Training for Disabled Learners (DET, previously DTLLS). The course is recognised by the professional body, currently the Institute for Learning (IfL) and sector body the Education and Training Foundation (EtF). It enables you to apply for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status for Post-16 and Further Education, which is equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in schools. QTLS is currently awarded by IfL who charge a fee for membership and QTLS registration. An employer may be willing to pay the fee for you.
On the course, you
You apply the course theory through your teaching practice. This consists of at least 120 hours teaching over either one year or two. During the course, University staff and your placement or workplace mentor assess your teaching practice eight times.
Key areas covered include • planning and preparing to teach • assessment for learning • teaching methods • behaviour for learning • using technology in teaching and learning • progression against the professional standards • understanding your wider professional context.
Settings of Post-16 and Further Education and Training include • further education colleges • school sixth forms • higher education institutions • adult and community learning providers • private training companies • public services • 14-19 educational providers.
After successfully completing the course, you gain a level 7 qualification equivalent to DTLLS or the new Diploma in Education and Training, but at masters level, and you can use these 60 credits towards a masters course.
We have partnerships with a range of settings across the Post-16 and Further Education sector, who provide you with a wide range of placement opportunities.
If you do not have an undergraduate degree or equivalent and need an initial teaching qualification, you can study our CertEd Post-16 Education and Training. This route is not available with the special educational needs specialism.
For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.
The course is recognised by the Education and Training Foundation (EtF).
We have an excellent graduate employment record. On average 95% of our PGCE graduates are teaching or in further study within six months of graduating.
Previous students have gone on to teach in • further education colleges • sixth form colleges • schools • public services • private training organisations • voluntary sector.
Others work as educational development officers or similar for local education authorities, non-governmental organisations and charities.