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    UCL Institute of Education Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas



  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Part time: 2 years Flexible: up to 5 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    15 July 2019

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This leading programme in the field of dyslexia prepares teachers to critically evaluate and develop evidence-based practice to become specialist teachers and assessors of learners with literacy difficulties. This programme is recognised by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) for Approved Teacher Status (ATS) Approved Practitioner Status (APS) and Associate Member of the BDA (AMBDA).

About this degree

Students will gain an understanding of how learners typically develop literacy skills and what happens when difficulties occur. Students will learn how literacy difficulties can be identified and how to develop an individualised support programme. As part of this programme students will administer standardised tests (in their own educational setting) and teach (in similar settings) learners with literacy difficulties.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (150 credits) and a research report (30 credits).

Compulsory modules

All modules are core to this qualification

  • Understanding SpLD (dyslexia)
  • Evidence-Based Practice SpLD (dyslexia)
  • Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia)
  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Research Report

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.

Research project/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a research report of 6,000 to 7,000 words. The report is written over the course of the final year with support from a supervisor (days and times TBC by prior arrangement).

Teaching and learning

We encourage students to study over 3 years via Flexible Modular mode. If you choose to take a government loan, you will need to complete your studies in 2 years. This programme is delivered via face-to-face daytime lectures and evening sessions at UCL IOE. It is assessed by coursework assignments, recordings of administering assessments and teaching pupils, plus a research report. The Dyslexia Modules are generally taught on Wednesdays, and Research Design and Methodology on Tuesday evenings every Autumn term.


Students are required to work with children and young people under the age of 16 to demonstrate core competencies of the programme. Additional learners under 18 are allowed.


Students must find and have access to pupils: we do not find placements for students. Approximately 30 hours of teaching Intervention is required and students will need to find 3 pupils they can assess.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Part-time students may apply for the UK Government Postgraduate Loan.

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 within a broad range of areas. Some are working as specialist teachers of children with SpLD (dyslexia), while others have jobs as specialist teacher assessors; many combine both. Graduates can also be found working as headteachers, special educational needs co-ordinators, local authority advisors, university lecturers, disabilty advisors and in research roles.


Successful completion of the programme will allow students awarded the ATS/APS to support learners with dyslexia (up to the age of 18 years), and with the AMBDA qualification to undertake diagnostic assessments and support learners with dyslexia.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is taught by a range of leading researchers and professionals in the field of dyslexia. It uniquely offers a rigorous academic programme combined with professional practice qualifications fully recognised by the British Dyslexia Association and UCL Institute of Education, an internationally recognised university.

Critical engagement with current research and evidence-informed practice, supported by professionals and researchers, will enable the participant to reflect on their learning and enhance workplace practice.

Professional practice is supported by a team of AMBDA specialists. It will provide the understanding, knowledge and skills required to teach and assess children and young people with literacy difficulties.


Please note that whilst this course is accredited by the BDA, the BDA is not responsible for the day to day running of the course. Any feedback or queries should therefore be addressed directly to the Programme Leader at UCL Institute of Education.

Department: Psychology & Human Development


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is suited to experienced teachers, teaching assistants or others with a minimum of two years' relevant experience, with an interest in working with learners with literacy difficulties, and/or wishing to have the ATS, APS or AMBDA qualification that enables them to become specialist teachers or practising assessors.

Application deadlines

2 September 2019

Applicants must complete the SpLD application pupil access form and upload it with their application. 

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Visit the Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) MA page on the University College London website for more details!