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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    17 July 2018

Course Content

Course content

This programme is mainly aimed at qualified teachers who want to gain a deeper knowledge of special educational needs (SEN) to develop effective teaching and learning strategies.

You’ll choose whether to focus on SEN issues in England or internationally so you will either study areas such as inter-agency working under Every Child Matters or how SEN provision compares between different countries. You will expand on this knowledge when you choose from our optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that interest you or are relevant to your career.

You could study developmental disorders and inclusive provision, and you’ll benefit from sharing the ideas and experiences of teachers from around the world as well as the local area. This programme will give you an understanding of the latest concepts approaches to effective, inclusive approaches, while equipping you with the skills to analyse the evidence that informs them.

You’ll be taught by members of the Childhood and Youth research group, which has a long-established, international reputation for research. The course distils the expertise within the team and draws on research that we have conducted, funded by agencies such as the ESRC, Action Research, and private and charitable UK organisations that work with children.

We offer students a vibrant intellectual and academic experience. Not only will you benefit from weekly research-led teaching, but you’ll have the chance to attend seminars with leading academics, hosted by the School of Education or other departments.

You can also apply for the PGCert in Provision for Children with Developmental Disorders that allows you to study the modules on developmental disorders from the MA Special Educational Needs. If you decide to move on to this MA programme afterwards, you can use the credits gained from the PGCert to count towards your MA.

Course content

From the start of the programme, you’ll build your understanding of the context of SEN education. You’ll complete one core module, allowing you to focus on SEN provision within England and worldwide, and consider issues such as inclusive education, how schools and local authorities interpret national education policy, and the ways that SEN provision differs between countries.

This lays the foundations for the rest of your studies, which will allow you to choose from a range of optional modules. You could focus on developmental disorders, or complete a directed study on a topic relevant to your interests and experiences.

Throughout the year, you’ll develop sophisticated skills in research and analysis that you’ll apply to your critical study – an independent piece of research you’ll submit by the end of the programme, on a topic of your choice which may be related to the needs and priorities of your school.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Approaches 30 credits
  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Curriculum 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Developing Teaching and Learning Through Evidence-based Practice 30 credits
  • Directed Study in Education 1 30 credits
  • The Context of Deaf Education 30 credits
  • Deafness and Development 30 credits
  • Design and Evaluation of Digital Learning Environments 30 credits
  • Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder 30 credits
  • Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 30 credits
  • Children's family and personal relationships 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Special Educational Needs MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Special Educational Needs MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods. For this course, most modules are taught with a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, which will take place in the evening. However, independent study is crucial to this degree as it allows you to build your skills, prepare for lectures and pursue your own interests more closely.


These are no exams on this course. Instead, assessment works through written coursework such as essays, case studies and other assignments.

Career opportunities

Teachers and specialists take this qualification at different points in their career and their motivations and ambitions vary.

For some teachers, it helps them to critically reflect on classroom activities and enhance their teaching practices; for others, it provides the foundations for moving into a more specialist role or opens up the opportunities for progress onto doctoral studies.

We encourage applicants who are not in full-time work to undertake some volunteer placements to help them to contextualise their studies and strengthen their CV.

Visit the Special Educational Needs MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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