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Education and Special Educational Needs (MA)

Course Description


The MA Education and Special Educational Needs programme has been designed to cater for the interests and requirements of professionals in all kinds of educational settings, from early years to post-compulsory. This named award will provide opportunities for professionals and practitioners to undertake masters level study in aspects of education that are of direct interest and relevance to them, underpinned by engagement with the most current and influential literature and with a keen awareness of the rapidly transforming social and political contexts in which education is located.

The provision of this pathway for the study of Special Educational Needs recognises a growing interest in this aspects of educational provision and the faculties commitment to work for educational equality and social justice. The pathway is distinctive in drawing on Disability Studies perspectives in order to interrogate the nature and origins of the Special Educational Needs discourse. This pathway will enable students to take a critical stance on historical and current practice enabling them to challenge implicit and damaging assumptions about the nature of Special Educational Needs and the implications for learners. The pathway will be informed by the application of a Critical Disability Studies theoretical framework enabling Liverpool Hope University to offer a distinctive and critical approach to the ways in which educators conceptualise and practice ‘special’ education.


The full Masters award requires you to gain 180 credits, including a dissertation in a specialised area of your choice. Prior to a dissertation, students will complete four 30 credit modules. These will include:

Critical Disability Theory (30 credits)
Focusing on critical theory from the modern and postmodern eras, this module provides a basis for an interrogation of Disability Studies and Special Educational Needs. From Freud to Foucault, Goffman to Garland-Thomson, Derrida to Davis, McRuer to Murray, and so on, the module follows the progression of critical disability theory from the early twentieth century to the present day. Though explicitly theoretical, the content of the module is grounded in experiential knowledge. Concepts such as stigma, the normate, panopticism, normalcy, narrative prosthesis, dismodernism, crip theory, aesthetic nervousness, autistic presence, and the metanarrative of blindness are explored in relation to social, cultural, and individual attitudes toward impairment, disability and education.

Special Educational Needs: Segregation, Integration and Inclusion (30 credits)
This module offers an interrogation of Special Educational Needs as an area which is both complex and diverse. This world is dominated by professionals, families and administrators who try to work together to meet individual needs. There are many views as to what counts as SEN, or disability and how these relate to learning difficulties. Perhaps most contentious of all, though, is how educational provision for these children should be organised. This module critically examines the field of SEN and inclusion. It explores the ideological and political debates that have shaped its development as well as the contemporary attitudes that dominate inclusive education in the 21st Century.

Students complete a third specialist module from the wider MA Education modules on offer and the core research methods module.

Visit the Education and Special Educational Needs (MA) page on the Liverpool Hope University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants require a good honours degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent.Please note that a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau is required for students where they are required to visit settings other than their own workplace and involves access to children.In addition, overseas students will normally be required to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent qualification that meets the UK Border Agency requirements.

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