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Education: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) (MA)

Course Description

MA Education Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) 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. The course is informed by the experiences of disabled people and based on the principles on 'nothing about us without us'.

The theoretical aspects of the programme will deepen your understanding of the application of theory to practice, the legislative context and inclusive learning.

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.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/ma-education-special-educational-needs-and-disability

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.


- Leadership and management for SENCOs and Disability Services Managers(NCTL National SENCO qualification)
- Teaching and learning (SEND /Autism)
- Researching special education
- Dissertation

Plus two options from the following optional modules:
- Equality and achievement
- Equality, inclusion and citizenship
- Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
- Leadership and Management for SENCOs

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


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. 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.


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

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.

Visit the Education: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) (MA) page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Good honours degree or equivalent. Please discuss your qualifications with the admissions tutor if you are unsure.

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