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Masters Degrees in Special Needs Education, United Kingdom

We have 79 Masters Degrees in Special Needs Education, United Kingdom

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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. Read more

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.

What's covered in the course?

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.

Why choose us?

  • This course is delivered by qualified lecturer practitioners from NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders, making it a unique partnership merging theory and practice.
  • We’re proud of our high employability rates, with 98 per cent of the School’s postgraduate students in employment or further study six months after their course (DLHE survey results 2014/15).
  • The course focuses on development of pupil potential and how to meet all needs to promote a more effective teaching/classroom environment.
  • You will develop new ways of thinking and new skills to enhance your impact on the development and learning of these special pupils.
  • You can use this course to put you at the forefront of professional practice in special education and more importantly explore new potential in your pupils.
  • This recognised qualification will help you to meet a variety of Continuing Professional Development requirements.
  • You can use evidence of previous study or relevant experience to claim Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).


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The . Management of Special Education in Developing Countries . Read more

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.

Download information on all the postgraduate study programmes in the School of Education (PDF)

Course details

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.

Learning and teaching

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.

Employability

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.



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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. Read more

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.

Why Inclusion and Special Needs Education at Queen's?

◦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.

Programme Structure

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.

Short Courses

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, ) for advice.

Core Modules

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.

Assessment

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.



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The National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCO) is a legally required qualification for all new Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs). Read more
The National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCO) is a legally required qualification for all new Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs).

This course will support you to improve your knowledge of current legislation, theory and practice in Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision in schools/colleges and your skills in meeting those needs.

This course will assist you to fulfil your leadership role as outlined in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2014):

• Overseeing the operation of the institution’s SEN policy
• Coordinating provision for SEND
• Liaising with the relevant designated teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
• Advising on a graduated approach to providing SEN Support and effective deployment of the institution’s delegated budget and other resources
• Liaising with families of children with SEN, other schools and relevant external professionals/ agencies
• Liaising with potential next providers of education and consulting young people and families to ensure a smooth transition is planned
• Working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school conforms to the Equality Act (2010)
• Ensuring that the institution keeps records of young people with SEN up to date.

You will be able to tailor the three assignments to fit your, and your institution’s, needs.

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/education-national-award-for-special-educational-needs-co-ordinators

Course detail

• Study on a course designed for to develop SENCOs’ professional attributes and knowledge, understanding and skills, to enable you to fulfil the leadership role set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2014).
• Explore course content highly relevant to mainstream and special school practitioners alike, focusing on issues related to literacy difficulties and dyslexia in schools, and how potential barriers to learning can be removed
• Develop your understanding of concepts, theories and approaches to literacy difficulties, including dyslexia, and inclusion in schools, and on your potential for influencing change
• Gain insight into the learning of dyslexic and other pupils/students who experience difficulties in literacy development/specific learning difficulties, and ways in which learning might be more effectively supported
• Benefit from a qualification that could be used as the basis for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim into an MA Education course (Level 7).

Modules

• Introduction to special educational needs co-ordination in schools
• Further development of special educational needs co-ordination in schools

Assessment

Your individual development is assessed via six diagnostic, formative and summative assessments.

The first assessment in Unit 1 requires application of personal understanding of current legislation to individual contexts and critical reflection on the extent to which current school/institutional practice is inclusive and compliant with the law.

Assessments then focus on critical application of assessment theory to individual learning and behaviour needs, the design, development, and implementation of an individual plan linked to needs, and critical analysis of the effectiveness of this, with implications for future plans.

Assessments in Unit 2 relate to institutional level: analysis and reflection on current school/college policy in SEND and inclusive practices; analysis of areas for improvement in institutional SEND provision; the design, development, implementation, critical evaluation, and reporting on a small-scale practitioner research project focused on achieving the desired improvement.

Careers

The course is specifically designed to enable you to meet the learning outcomes for the qualification (NASENCO) that is legally required for all new SENCOs in schools. It enables you to fulfil the leadership role of SENCO in a school with greater confidence, competence and from a much better-informed position.

After graduating you will be in a good position to apply for positions of greater responsibility in schools/colleges.

The units on this course can be used as a short route to an MA Education (Special Educational Needs), providing 60 credits of recognised prior learning.

Funding

For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/course/applicationform

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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

By the end of the programme, students should be able to:

  • contribute to contemporary international and national debate in the field of special education and inclusion, and disability studies
  • produce and communicate evidence-informed, reasoned argument in writing and orally
  • demonstrate how concepts, theories and evidence can inform an understanding of issues and practice
  • carry out a focused special and inclusive education inquiry into educational practice
  • enhance professional practice through greater knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness.

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).

Core modules

  • Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education
  • Research Design and Methodology

Optional modules

In addition to the two core modules students take at least one module from the following:

  • Autism: Research and Practice
  • Inclusive Pedagogy: Changing Practice through Action Research
  • Language Development
  • Psychology for Special Needs
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development
  • Understanding SpLD (Dyslexia)

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.

Dissertation/report

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

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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

  • Behavioural Co-ordinator, The National Autistic Society
  • Mathematics Teacher, Skills for Growth
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teacher, Special School of Piraeus
  • Special Needs Support Assistant, The UCL Academy

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.



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The MA in Education - SEND is relevant to a wide variety of settings and across the age range from early years through to post compulsory education in college, university and other contexts. Read more
The MA in Education - SEND is relevant to a wide variety of settings and across the age range from early years through to post compulsory education in college, university and other contexts. There is a strong focus on social justice and inclusion and the opportunity to reflect on your own professional practice throughout the courses.

MA in Education SEND is designed for people with an interest in autism and critical disability studies and for practitioners across the age range into post compulsory education. Based on the principles on 'nothing about us without us' content is informed by the experiences of people who identify personally with autism and /or SEND.

You'll develop a particular strand of interest into the dissertation and have opportunities to disseminate your findings to the work place and throughout the course. The Centre for Educational Research has a number of ongoing disability focused research projects and hosts the Disability Equality Research Network (DERN). This provides a vibrant supportive environment for your research and ensures that course content is always research-informed.

The programme will take place at LSBU (K2 Building) or in Special Educational Needs partners' schools and be delivered by academics and experts from the Special Educational Needs sector. Evening and weekend taught sessions are complemented by an extensive virtual learning environment and delivered on campus or elsewhere by arrangement. Students, wherever located, become part of diverse and stimulating LSBU community and the vibrant Centre for Education Research.

National Award for SEN Co-ordinator

You can also choose to take the recognised award of 'National Award for SEN Co-ordination' or options that will further deepen your understanding of SEND.

Modules

All modules are assessed by a mix of assignments, presentations, research projects and portfolio development.

Year 1

Students take two of the optional modules list below in year 1:

Special educational needs and disability
Part 2 SENCO National Award
Teaching and learning:
Understanding autism and learning
Autism individuality and identity
Part 1 SENCO National Award

Year 2

In addition to one of the modules listed above

Research Methods (compulsory)

Year 3

Dissertation (compulsory)

Timetable

Weekly evening seminars during term time.

Bespoke CPD sessions can be delivered on request.

Teaching and learning

You'll be taught by Dr Nicola Martin who has substantial experience in the field of autism including working with Professor Baron-Cohen on the Cambridge University Autism Project. She was also formerly director of the Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Martin is currently a lecturer at LSBU and is a Principal Investigator for Research Autism.

You'll also be taught by Gianna Knowles who has considerable experience of working with school staff to develop their Special Educational Needs Departments. Gianna has published a range of academic textbooks that support staff development in this area.

You'll benefit from an up to date Virtual Learning Environment via Moodle and be actively encouraged to make use of the extensive range of support services across the university. You'll have access to a supervisor during the dissertation phase.

Placements

Access to the workplace (including voluntary work) is essential for most of the modules within the MA.

Professional links

The department has wide professional links within and beyond the university and the UK. Examples include:

• The Equality Challenge Unit
• The Alliance for Inclusive Education
• Equality and Diversity Forum Research Network
• The Leadership Foundation
• Research Autism
• Theorising Autism Project
• Teacher Education for Equality and Sustainability Network (TEESNet)
• National Association of Disability Practitioners
• Commonworks (for a just and sustainable world)

Recent guest lectures have been given by disabled academics and parents of pupils who have experienced special education.

Employability

MA Education Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is designed to deepen your understanding of working with pupils /students in any educational setting, across the age range into adult education. It is therefore relevant to employment in school, college, alternative education settings and to work with disabled students at university. Content is applicable to teachers and staff in non- teaching roles, such as mentor, disability officer or learning support assistant. The content is also relevant to staff in strategic and operational leadership roles.

It is a professional and academic degree that provides an in-depth understanding of inclusive practice in education across the age range (in keeping with the 0-25 framework in the Children and Families Act 2014). The degree is relevant from early years to post-compulsory education in a wide variety of settings. The diverse requirements of learners identified with SEND and best practice to support inclusive learning and achievement will be explored. You'll be encouraged to critically engage with relevant theory and legislation contextualised and applied in practice.

This programme will contribute to your employability and the National SENco award may be a requirement of your workplace.

Students wishing to achieve promotion or develop a career in education benefit from having a higher degree. Progression from the MA to the EdD further enhances employability and promotion prospects, particularly in academia and research. CVs are improved by having publications in refereed journals and this is encouraged and supported on the MA as well as the Doctorate in Education.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

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The University of Birmingham is a Department for Education and National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) approved provider for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. Read more

The University of Birmingham is a Department for Education and National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) approved provider for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

It has been running accredited (Masters level) professional development programmes for special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos) for over 15 years. Over a thousand SENCos have successfully completed their training over this period and given excellent course feedback!

The University runs partnership versions of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination course with the following Local Authority partners: Birmingham; Dudley, Sandwell & Wolverhampton (combined cohort); Staffordshire (Entrust). 

Within these Local Authority areas teachers wishing to apply for a place on the course work in a range of maintained mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, academy and free schools, and pupil referral units (PRUs).

SENCos working in other neighbouring Local Authority areas may also be able to join one of the partnership courses (in 2014-2015 for example, SENCos from Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Solihull, Telford and Wrekin and Warwickshire were participating in versions of the course).

This Masters level course (60 credits) has been updated to reflect changes to the NCTL learning outcomes framework. It is also closely aligned to the changes taking place to special educational needs and disability policy, provision and practice in England including the changes to SEN Code of Practice (2015).

We are currently recruiting to this programme. The programme is inviting applications for the following cohorts.  

  • Birmingham and Black Country based programmes starting September 2018. 
  • Staffordshire based programmes starting January 2019. 

Course details

The National Award is a mandatory qualification, 60 Credit Masters level course which all SENCos who are new in role must undertake. The course meets the requirements of the SEN Code of Practice (2015 Section 6.86).

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) states:

(1) The appropriate authority of a relevant school must ensure that the SENCO appointed under section 67(2) of the Act meets all of the requirements in either paragraph (2) or (3). 

(2) The requirements in this paragraph are that the SENCO:

  • is a qualified teacher;
  • if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002, has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and
  • is working as a teacher at the school. 

(3) The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the head teacher or acting head teacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school. 

(4) Where a person becomes the SENCO at a relevant school after 1st September 2009, and has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, the appropriate authority of the school must ensure that, if the person is the SENCO at the school at any time after the third anniversary of the date on which that person becomes a SENCO, that person holds the qualification. 

The training courses are 12 months in duration; however, SENCos have up to three years from the point at which they are designated as a SENCo in which to complete the award. Final responsibility for ensuring the school’s compliance lies with the school’s governing body.

The course is designed to support a SENCo’s professional development, giving them an opportunity to reflect upon and improve their practice whilst learning more about the coordination of special educational needs, leadership and management, policy and supporting the individual needs of children and young people.

Learning and teaching

The course content is related to local and national contexts and the teaching and learning opportunities are delivered by local and nationally based experts such as experienced teachers, Educational Psychologists, school leaders, Inspectors, therapists and service leads.

The National Award covers: 

  • the role of the SENCo & the statutory framework for SEND (including relevant policy requirements) 
  • effective approaches to identification, assessment and intervention (principles and practice; differentiation – quality first teaching, waves of intervention, individualised education planning)
  • responding to diversity (areas of need) – cognition and learning; communication & interaction; social, emotional and mental health, sensory and/or physical needs 
  • pupil participation, parent partnership & inter-service collaboration 
  • inclusive provision management (effective use of human resources and interventions, and evidence based practice) 
  • developing and sustaining effective SEND leadership (preparation for inspection; whole-school initiatives such as Achievement for All) 
  • Professional development to improve practice. 

The teaching takes place over ten face to face days during term-time. The days are evenly spread over the school year and sessions are taught in local authority/school centres and at the University of Birmingham. In addition, all students have access to the online virtual learning environment and full library facilities to support their learning.  

Assessment

The assessments have been designed to meet the requirements of the course and enhance school self evaluation procedures.

Specific assignments - course participants all need to complete three 4000 word written assignments at Masters Level:

  • An evaluation: focusing on specific course content and aspects of the SENCo’s role and school based SEN procedures. 
  • A case study:  focusing on in-depth work with a young person and their family.
  • A professional development project presented as a brief ‘research report’ focusing on an aspect of professional development carried out by the SENCo in her/his school or setting.

Employability

This course will enable SENCos to meet essential requirements for undertaking the role in English schools. These requirements are set out in regulations and state that:

Governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of Academy (including Free Schools) must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as SENCo for the school.

The SENCo must be a qualified teacher working at the school. A newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and where they have not previously been the SENCo at that or any other relevant mainstream school for a total period of more than twelve months , they must achieve the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination within 3 years of appointment.



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This MA is designed for practising professionals, or those interested in research, in special educational needs and disability (SEND) – usually in schools, the lifelong learning sector and universities. Read more
This MA is designed for practising professionals, or those interested in research, in special educational needs and disability (SEND) – usually in schools, the lifelong learning sector and universities.

Its modular structure allows you to personalise your choice of units and progress at a pace that best suits you, with a final phase focused on educational research via a dissertation.

The MA Education engages you with key issues in education and aims to encourage your evidence-based practice, as you make direct and meaningful connections between the course and your own experiences and aspirations.

The course helps you to broaden your knowledge educational ideas and research findings, as you identify and justify recommendations for further action. This places you in a better position to develop your work as a classroom practitioner or school leader.

Intermediate qualifications available:

• Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Masters level
• Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/education-special-educational-needs

Course detail

• Study on a modular course designed for professionals in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), that allows you to accumulate credit at a pace that suits you, with assessments based around needs specific to your role in your educational organisation
• Explore the process of teaching, learning support and/or educational leadership, focusing on personal, academic and vocational interests relevant to your educational context
• Develop your understanding of assessment formats with a negotiated focus in support of both individual and organisational needs
• Gain from undertaking primary research that informs your current practice, as well as acquiring the necessary research skills to engage in future research and progress to a PhD or EdD programme
• Benefit from a course that provides a clear progression route following completion of your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course, develops both you and the organisation within which you work and could be used as the basis for further study at doctoral level (PhD and EdD).

Modules

Units on offer include:

• Meeting Diverse Needs
• Understanding Pupil Behaviour in Schools or Understanding difficulties in literacy development and dyslexia (these are distance learning units)
• Leading change in Education
• Enhancing Practice in Educational Contexts
• Research Methods in the Workplace
• Dissertation (Special Educational Needs)
• Educational Leadership in Context
• Analysing Policy: Children’s Voice
• Exploring Coaching and Mentoring
• Early Years Education and Care

You will receive guidance on the units that are most appropriate for your career aspirations and interests

Assessment

You will complete a range of assessments, many of which you can tailor to your existing or developing interests and experience.

You will do a number of oral presentations, which not only improve your ability to present information in a professional and coherent way but also enable the sharing of research and experience amongst the group.

Written assessments include portfolios, case studies, essays and literature reviews.

You will develop your research skills throughout the course and apply them to a final applied project or dissertation

Careers

This Master’s qualification will enhance your chances for promotion and for employment in other contexts. Master’s study supports promotion to senior positions in the field of education.

The course is designed to help you engage, study and critique key issues in education as well as to be able to identify and justify recommendations for further action.

As a Master’s graduate, therefore, you will have the confidence, knowledge and critical skills to prepare and present a strong application to senior posts in the field of education.

Previous graduates have gone on to take up enhanced roles within their organisation; some have undertaken PhD study.

Funding

For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/course/applicationform

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This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and is mandatory for all SENCOs appointed since 2008. Read more

This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and is mandatory for all SENCOs appointed since 2008. This course will enable you to meet the learning outcomes as prescribed by the government.

You about skills and approaches to leadership; and to develop and evaluate inclusive cultures, systems and approaches to education. These new skills help you to make a difference in your school and to the wellbeing, participation and achievement of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

You reflect on, analyse and respond to current issues of practice through professional learning in the workplace and you are supported by experienced local special educational needs and disability (SEND) professionals as well as a mentor in your own school.

You develop

  • a critical understanding of the values, principles and dilemmas of inclusive practices and policies
  • a specialist knowledge base enabling you to obtain, evaluate and communicate current information regarding special educational needs and disabilities.
  • an active community of practice with SENCOs and experienced SEN professionals supporting your leadership of change
  • the skills and practices of reflective practice to develop effective partnership working with pupils, families and colleagues
  • the skills and practices of professional enquiry to enable you to evaluate the impact of practice

You have access to current SEND practitioners and experts in the field who share up-to-date practice. Your university tutors specialise in SEND and have complementary experience across age phases and special and mainstream schools. Their expertise supports your understanding of inclusive principles and practice, using research and theory to support your reflections, enquiries and study skills.

You complete a number of assessments that are focused on the development of effective practice in your school. Assessments consist of two practice-based portfolios

Portfolio 1 – SENCO as manager

This consists of

  • an evaluation of school policy relating to special educational needs and disability in relation to current national policy and guidance. This involves engaging with parent's in order to inform policy.
  • an evaluation of the school’s additional provision for children and young people with special educational needs. This includes an analysis of school data and lesson study to inform effective provision mapping

Portfolio 2 – SENCO as leader

This consists of

  • developing the role of SENCO as leader through evaluating and developing effective partnerships with other stakeholders
  • engaging with pupil voice in order to inform professional learning developments and to support colleagues in making effective provision for children with particular SEN or disability

Further information

For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.

Course structure

12 months part-time

You attend up to ten teaching/tutorial/study days which are spread over the course duration.

Core modules

  • SENCO as manager: evaluation and developing policy and provision

This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their management role evaluating, reporting on and developing policy, systems and provision in the context of national legislation and guidance, current knowledge on effective practice and wider equality and human rights agendas.

  • SENCO as leader: people, principles and partnerships

This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their leadership role in the context of the principles of inclusion, person centred planning and working in partnership with colleagues, children and young people and their families.

Modules

Modules cover • inclusive principles and values • social and medical modules of disability • the role of the SENCO in analysing organisational needs and managing change • the national policy context for SEN and disability including the SEN Code of Practice • equality and data protection requirements • formulating and reviewing policy • accessing and interpreting school data - tracking progression and participation • provision mapping • designing, evaluating and reporting on systems and provision • lesson study and action research methods • rights and duties under equality legislation • person centred planning and partnership working • the local context for the implementation of Child Assessment Framework (CAF), school support and Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) • leadership • role of the SENCO in leading professional learning • holistic assessment • researching and evaluatiing current knowledge and debates regarding high incidence special educational needs and disabilities • theories of learning and development • identifying needs and barriers to learning and participation • systematic evaluation in professional contexts

Assessment

Portfolio 1 – evaluation and review of policy, and analysis of additional provision for children and young people with SEN.

Portfolio 2 – evaluation of partnership with stakeholders, and planning for strategic professional learning.

Employability

This course enhances your skills as a special educational needs co-ordinator so you can continue to improve the school experience for children with SENs or disability and to support the developing practice of other professionals working in your school or setting. It also develops your leadership skills, enabling you to explore whole issues and development. It is also suitable if you want to work in an advisory or support role in the area of SEND.

Academic credits gained by successfully completing this course can be used towards a masters degree.



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The programme aims to develop participants' professional knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts; and debates addressed in the academic and professional literature in order to lead and co-ordinate special educational needs and disability (SEN and D) provision across an educational setting. Read more

The programme aims to develop participants' professional knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts; and debates addressed in the academic and professional literature in order to lead and co-ordinate special educational needs and disability (SEN and D) provision across an educational setting.

About this degree

By the end of the programme students should be able to:

  • contribute to contemporary debate in the fields of both special education as well as inclusion and disability studies
  • produce and communicate reasoned and informed reflective argument, both in writing and orally
  • carry out a focused practitioner inquiry relating to the role of the SENCO, supported by relevant literature sources
  • improve professional practice through greater knowledge, skills, understanding and awareness

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits each).

6 days' attendance per module, 9.30-4.30 - usually on alternate weeks over two terms

Core modules

  • Special Educational Needs Coordination: Improving Teaching and Learning
  • Special Educational Needs Coordination: Leading and Managing Change

Optional modules

There are no optional modules on this programme.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Each module is delivered over six days. A Learning Log needs to be completed as the practical component. Assessment is through a practitioner enquiry assignment for both modules consisting of 4,500-5000 words each. The focus is on the practitioner as researcher within the participants’ own education institution.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination PG Cert

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Upon successful completion of this programme, students are able to transfer the 60 credits into UCL's MA in Special and Inclusive Education or MTeach in Special Educational Needs.

Employability

This programme will prepare participants for progression to employment as SEN co-ordinators or for senior leadership roles within schools in a variety of settings.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is run by the Department of Psychology & Human Development - Centre for Inclusive Education, formally SENJIT (Special Educational Needs Joint Initiative for Training) at UCL, which has a national and international profile in delivering Master's programmes in special educational needs (SEN). It is delivered by specialists who currently practise in the field along with researchers with international profiles in SEN, disabilities and inclusion.

Students will get the opportunity to meet regularly with colleagues working in different local authorities in London and further afield.

The Centre for Inclusive Education (formerly SENJIT) offers research-informed and practice-orientated courses and knowledge exchange activities and fosters strong links with local authorities, academy federation trusts and teaching school alliances.



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Why study at Roehampton. All modules are taught in the evening. Choose a specialist pathway in either Inclusive Perspectives or Psychological Perspectives. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • All modules are taught in the evening
  • Choose a specialist pathway in either Inclusive Perspectives or Psychological Perspectives
  • Tailor the programme to your own needs and interests
  • Gain the Certificate of Competency in Educational Testing accredited by the British Psychological Society (optional) as part of the programme or as a stand-alone module

Course summary

The Special Educational Needs (SEN) programme investigates issues involved in the education and development of children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities and disadvantages. Our programme is founded upon a commitment to forms of education which enable the participation, learning and development of all.

Students studying on the programme engage with aspects of theory, policy and practice relevant to international and local contexts. With its international profile, this programme brings together teachers and other professionals working directly with children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or disadvantages, as well as policy-makers and managers in areas of SEN and Inclusive Education.

On the MA Special Educational Needs, students choose between two distinct pathways, Inclusive Perspectives or Psychological Perspectives, which reflect different theoretical traditions and approaches to practice, provision and policy within the field of special educational needs, disability and inclusion. Both pathways are relevant to mainstream and special education contexts.

The Inclusive Perspectives pathway emphasises the application of inclusive and person-centred values and critical educational analysis. Concepts and theories such as person-centred education; participation and ‘voice’; the social model of disability and difference; and human rights and equalities are used to consider educational practice, provision, policy and systems relating to pupils experiencing difficulties in educational settings.

The Psychological Perspectives pathway emphasises the use and application of psychological theories. Concepts and theories of cognition, educational testing, and social and emotional development are central in developing psychologically informed understandings of children and young people experiencing difficulties in educational settings. 

Students greatly benefit from engaging with the insights, experiences and perspectives of other course members, from a diverse range of contexts and backgrounds. The combination of their own experiences, insights gained from others on the course and the theoretical resources offered by learning within the modules, enables students to deepen their understanding of, and to be able to challenge, the barriers that hinder the learning, development and participation of children and young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or disadvantages.

The teaching provided on modules is informed by active research and scholarship in the field of Inclusive Education and SEN practice and policy. All lecturers leading modules on the programme have high level specialist qualifications, teaching and leadership experience in the field of Education, SEN and Inclusive Education.

Content

All students complete a common module which takes a broad view of key perspectives and issues in SEN, it also introduces the psychological and inclusive perspectives. From here, students undertake specialist modules within the programme, depending on their chosen pathway.

Inclusive Perspectives Pathway content: Students critically explore the issues involved in children’s behaviour using sociological approaches. You will reflect on your own and society's beliefs about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour, which often relate to medical and psychological foundations of schools’ policies and practices. The social pedagogical approach is also explored as a basis for inclusive teaching and learning. A critical analysis of instrumentalist/functionalist approaches to teaching is developed with a view to enhancing holistic development and the participation of pupils as a means of addressing barriers to the inclusivity of the classroom. 

Psychological Perspectives Pathway content: On this route students engage with the idea that socially and emotionally well-adjusted students perform better at school, whilst social and emotional aspects of learning have become marginalised in a highly competitive education system. The use of psychometric testing is covered, with an exploration of its appropriate uses (students can gain a Certificate of Competency in Educational Testing, accredited by the British Psychological Society, from successfully undertaking this module). 

Optional modules are available to students on both pathways which focus on Dyslexia as a Specific Learning Difficulty and on Autism in Education. Students also have an option, instead of taking a taught optional module, to take a (non-taught) Independent Study module to learn about a specific issue relevant to their pathway and interests, which is not taught about in the programme.

The final module is an independent research-based enquiry (either a Dissertation or Practice-Based Research Project), which is founded upon the pathway perspective chosen, but is also subject to the student’s choice of topic.

Modules

Required modules for both routes

  • Perspectives in SEN and Inclusion
  • Undertaking Social and Educational Research
  • Dissertation OR 
  • Practice-based Research Project

Inclusive Perspectives

  • Behaviour, Inclusion and Exclusion in Education
  • Teaching, Learning and Social Pedagogy: working with difference, difficulty and individuality

Psychological Perspectives

  • Assessment and Intervention in Education
  • Social and Emotional Dimensions of Learning

Optional modules 

  • Behaviour, Inclusion and Exclusion in Education
  • Teaching, Learning and Social Pedagogy: working with difference, difficulty and individuality
  • Dyslexia as a Specific Learning Difficulty
  • Autism: Principles, Practices and Perspectives
  • Assessment and Intervention in Education

Career options

The Programme supports and enables:

  • Careers in professional practice and leadership: teaching, advisory work, SEN coordination, inclusion management, support assistance.
  • Careers in policy-making, implementation and development of inclusion and SEN provision.
  • Careers in research and developing the inclusion and SEN workforce in further and higher education.

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The . Inclusion and Special Educational Needs.  programme is part-time and is designed for students who wish to study a range of modules relating to Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN). Read more

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs programme is part-time and is designed for students who wish to study a range of modules relating to Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN). The programme is delivered in a variety of modes:

  • In years one and three the programme is a distance learning programme, completed wholly online.
  • In year two, the programme is either distance learning or blended learning depending on the pathway taken.

Download information on all the postgraduate study programmes in the School of Education (PDF)

Course details

ISEN aims to enable in-service teachers, school leaders, policy leaders, and others working directly or indirectly with children with disabilities in the UK, Europe, and around the world to study across a broad spectrum of inclusion and special educational needs.

There are three core modules within the ISEN programme which you will need to complete in the first year. These modules are Cross-Cultural Issues in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Evaluation and Policy Analysis for Inclusive Education, and Inclusion: Individual and group differences. The aims of these modules are as follows:

  • an overarching understanding of educational inclusion and SEND and associated policies;
  • frameworks for evaluating policies and practice; and
  • introductions to different SEND groupings (as conceptualised in many educational systems).
  • an exploration of the socio-cultural conceptualisations of disability and SEND practice in a global context 

Taking these three modules will give you credits for a 60 credit PGCert (ISEN), and will enable you to then follow a more specialist pathway in year 2 (PG Diploma) where you will benefit from studying on our existing programmes such as Autism, LLD (Language, Literacy and Dyslexia), and SEBD (Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties). In year 3, as an MEd student you will work towards completion of your dissertation under the supervision of University of Birmingham staff. 

 Download information on the different levels of award and progression routes (PDF opens new window)

You may also be interested in these programmes:

Learning and teaching

The Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (ISEN) programme is part-time and in years one and three is completed wholly online. In year two, the programme is either distance learning or blended learning depending on the pathway taken. Blended learning consists of a mixture of both campus-based and distance learning elements. 

Please note that we require you have at least 2 years professional experience in the areas you wish to study before you can be considered. 

Studies can take between 1 – 6 years, depending the level of study and the individual situation of each student, however most master’s level students complete within 3 years. 

Employability

This programme is designed to supplement professionals already working in the field, or those seeking a general introduction to topics within inclusion and special educational needs. In general, this includes teachers, education advisors, special educational needs coordinators, head teachers in schools, managers of community and charitable organisations, support workers in places such as a university or workplace disability service unit, social workers or nurses providing care for persons with disabilities, or a staff member of a Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health, amongst other things.  

There is the opportunity to work towards a further professional qualification in the field of Education, which includes progression to a PhD or EdD. Many of our graduates successfully apply for roles working with children and young people with special educational needs. 



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This programme focuses on inclusive practice. It is intended for teachers and other professionals working with students who are experiencing barriers to learning and participation or other special educational needs, whether in mainstream, special schools/units, colleges or early years settings. Read more
This programme focuses on inclusive practice. It is intended for teachers and other professionals working with students who are experiencing barriers to learning and participation or other special educational needs, whether in mainstream, special schools/units, colleges or early years settings.

Supported by current research, practice and theory, the programme is designed to help you develop your knowledge, understanding and critical skills in the analysis and evaluation of current research, theory and practice. The programme will provide you with opportunities to explore a range of areas, such as international developments in special/inclusive education, how to work with and involve parents and children and the school's role in promoting inclusion. You will also look at a range of topics that arouse controversy and debate in the area of special needs.

Please note that the MSc Education (Special and Inclusive Education) is designed for professionals with one year's experience, either in paid employment or as a volunteer.

Programme structure

Core units
-Introduction to Educational Inquiry
-How Schools Can Respond to Diversity and to Pupils' Special Needs
-Controversial Issues in Special and Inclusive Education
-Inclusive Education and Working with Parents/Carers

Optional units
-Students studying this programme will be able to take optional units from across the school.

Dissertation
-You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Careers

We offer the academic and personal development opportunities to equip you for the intellectual, social and personal challenges that you will encounter during your career. Our overarching goal is to enable our graduates to display the following characteristics:
-Equipped to demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in their chosen field.
-Visionary, imaginative, innovative, reflective and creative.
-High ideals and values, including a strong sense of social justice.
-Highly employable throughout the world.
-Adaptable, with the potential to be a leader in work and in the community.

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This specialist education pathway seeks to investigate the complexities around the concept of inclusion. Study is focused on those who might experience marginalisation in society, particularly in educational contexts. Read more

This specialist education pathway seeks to investigate the complexities around the concept of inclusion. Study is focused on those who might experience marginalisation in society, particularly in educational contexts.

There is a strong emphasis on finding ways to develop inclusive curricula to meet the needs of all learners including, for example: those defined as having special educational needs; travellers; those from challenging backgrounds; and ethnic minorities.

MA in Education, Inclusion and Special Needs can be studied one year full-time, or up to five years part-time.

Study information

You study three core modules:

  • Contemporary and Critical Perspectives in Education
  • Research Methodologies in Education
  • International and Intercultural Education

And a specialist module focused on inclusion and special needs. 

You then complete a 60 credit dissertation which will allow you to identify and examine a topic of interest to you.

You may leave the programme after stage 1 with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or after stage 2 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education if you have earned sufficient credits.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

Our Masters students explore a range of current educational practice, looking at key issues and policy.

Graduates leave with reflective and practical skills and the knowledge they need to contribute to their chosen learning community.



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The MA Education is designed to enhance your professional practice and help you make improvements which will make a positive difference either within the classroom or your particular work environment. Read more
The MA Education is designed to enhance your professional practice and help you make improvements which will make a positive difference either within the classroom or your particular work environment.

Highly flexible, it caters for educators with a diverse range of experience, development needs, and study requirements. It is suitable for teachers, those in leadership or policy-making roles, and other practitioners working in education or related settings.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

This MA will enable you to explore concepts, approaches and issues relevant to the teaching and learning of students with special educational needs and disabilities. It is suitable for educators working with learners of all ages in specialist or mainstream education. One module includes practical school visits and a two-week experiential placement.

The syllabus may include:

* Legislation and policy – SEN classifications; statutory assessments; implications of new legislation; international context

* Types of need – including learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties, specific learning needs (e.g. dyslexia, numeracy, literacy), sensory and physical needs, communication difficulties

* Theory and practice – current thinking in relation to need, intervention, diagnosis and assessment; models of learning; curriculum models; personalisation and differentiation; and design and evaluation of materials

* Inclusive education – main concepts including integration, segregation, exclusion; international perspectives

* Teaching and learning – appropriate approaches depending on need

* Collaboration and support systems – including role of SENCO, peers, teaching assistants, support staff and pupil participation

* Systems and management of SEN – models of provision; the role of special schools; national agencies; voluntary groups

* Practical school experience – observations on practice, curriculum and teaching

Modules

The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand, please see the website for a current list of modules available http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/education/educationma/modules/

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