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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

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  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 3 years part-time

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  • Course Fees

    Please see website

Course content

The MA SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs) will appeal to those who are working in the field of SEN/ALN and Learning Disabilities, in particular those who are working in education (SENCos/ALNCOs, specialist teachers, one-to-one tutors within FE/HE together with learning support staff across a range of settings). This Special Educational Needs qualification is also of interest to professionals working in health, such as speech and language therapists and occupational therapists and other non-statutory organisations.

The SEN/ALN course has been designed to enable experienced practitioners in education and related professions to critically engage in the social, political and global debates relating to the living and learning experiences of children, young people and adults who have special educational needs and learning disabilities. It will encourage greater understanding and a critical appreciation of the trends and developments in SEN/ALN and disability provision across schools and relevant settings. Our SEN/ALN course also offers an in-depth focus on contemporary perspectives of SEN/ALN, learning disabilities and inclusive practice together with the opportunity to widen students’ theoretical understanding through research and evaluation within their respective professional roles. Awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level; Postgraduate Diploma level and the full Masters degree.

What you will study

There is a wide range of modules to choose from, providing the opportunity to have a postgraduate course specifically tailored to meet your individual professional needs. You will study the specified module of the MA SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs) course – SEN/ALN: Contexts and Concepts – and in common with all of the professional learning programmes, you will study the Research Methodology module. 

You will also select two or three additional modules from the Professional Learning Programme. Examples of modules include:

Autistic Spectrum 

This explores theory, policy and practice in relation to all aspects of autism

Dyslexia Theory and Assessment and Working with Dyslexia: Linking Theory, Assessment and Practice

Both modules are externally accredited by the British Dyslexia Association at either an approved teacher/practitioner (ATS/APS) level or the associated membership (AMBDA) level. They are ideal for those who are working with children, young people or adults with specific learning difficulties and want a recognised qualification in this field.

Leading and Managing SEN/ALN 

Designed for educational practitioners who have or aspire to the role of SENCo./ALNCo. The module is designed to equip students with a better understanding of the theory and practice relating to the varied and challenging skills required of the SENCo/ALNCo. in order to respond to the changing landscape of SEN / ALN. 

A full list of modules is available from Amanda Kelland, award leader.

Awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level (after completion of two taught modules); Postgraduate Diploma level (after completion of four taught modules) and the full MA (after completion of a dissertation).


Modules are normally assessed by a written assignment of 5,000 words.


Those who undertake the SpLD modules, with a view to gaining accreditation from the British Dyslexia Association, will undertake a specialist teaching practice. For other students, there may be opportunities to link with specialist settings on a voluntary basis.


An Additional Learning Needs qualification demonstrates that you have developed advanced level skills in analysis, evaluation and research.

If you are interested in the possibility of gaining a higher degree by research, your tutors will be pleased to discuss the opportunities at the University of South Wales.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Servicethroughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

Visit the SEN/ALN (Additional Learning Needs) - MA page on the University of South Wales website for more details!




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