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MA Specific Learning Difficulties

Course Description

Accredited by the British Dyslexia Assocation, this is a nationally recognised qualification designed for classroom practitioners who are working with children and young adults who are experiencing specific learning difficulties in reading, writing, and spelling.

The course is of particular relevance if you have responsibility for dyslexia or SpLD within an educational organisation or advisory service, or if you are a teacher supporting a network of schools.

SENCos will find the course of value, not only in terms of assessment and teaching, but also in their role as consultant and manager.

We also offer a Specific Learning Difficulties FE/HE route aimed at those teaching in a college, university or other post-16 educational setting who want to specialise in dyslexia.

The emphasis in Years 1 and 2 is on practical skills. Whilst taking the course you will be required to assess and teach students experiencing specific learning difficulties in your own workplace. In Year 1 you must assess one student, and teach for at least one hour a week for 20 weeks.

In Year 2 you must assess another student and teach for at least one hour a week for 10 weeks. This supervised practice of teaching will enable you to meet BDA requirements. The BDA stipulate that the great majority of this teaching must be one-to-one, though a small amount of group work is permitted. In addition, you must carry out assessment on a different student for access arrangments.

You can progress to an MA in Year 3. Tutorial support is provided for dissertation work in Year 3.

The course is designed to help you to:

Appreciate the problems experienced by learners/students with SpLD.
Examine the debates which take place about the nature and causes of such learning difficulties and the controversies about the form of educational provision required.
Further your skills in assessing the abilities and difficulties of individual children or young adults.
Write assessment reports for a range of purposes, audiences and individuals.
Further your competence in devising appropriate intervention strategies.
Develop skills in teaching, using a structured, multi-sensory approach.
Develop confidence in advising and supporting learners, parents and other teachers.
Develop your ability to deliver support with study skills through a structured approach
Enable you to carry out assessments for access arrangements in examinations

Special Features

. The Postgraduate Certificate leads to Approved Teacher Status (ATS) of the British Dyslexia Association and the Postgraduate Diploma leads to AMBDA (Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association).

. Those who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma are eligible to apply for a Patoss Assessment Practising Certificate or BDA Assessment Practising Certificate.


Visit the MA Specific Learning Difficulties page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally need:A UK honours degree or international equivalentQualified Teacher Status (QTS)A minimum of two year’s teaching experienceUp to 60 credits can be claimed by teachers who have already undertaken a post graduate award in Specific Learning Difficulties that is BDA accredited at Approved Teacher Status (ATS) level.

Course Fees

UK and EU students part-time £700 per 30 credit unit. There is also a fee of £240 associated with BDA Accreditation.

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Recipient: Manchester Metropolitan University
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