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MEd Inclusion and Special Needs Education

Course Description

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 - learning related to the accommodation of difference. Likewise, the educational special needs task is being radically re-conceptualised.

Meeting the diversity of learner needs within today’s classrooms and schools is one of the most challenging and important tasks facing education today. Drawing on research-based practice, the MEd in Inclusion and Special Needs Education addresses these challenges in a straightforward, supportive and practical way. The programme aims to develop forms of teaching that reach out to all learners within a class, as well as the establishment of school conditions that will encourage such developments.

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 Education Secretary (tel: 028 9097 5923/ 5032, ) for advice.

Core Modules

◦An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (compulsory, online)
◦Reimagining Special Needs Education: Inclusive Pedagogy (compulsory)
◦Special Needs Education and Issues of Equity (compulsory)
◦The Intellectual Foundations of Special Education (compulsory)
Optional modules may be chosen from the School's Educational Studies (MEd) degree.


There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed through written assignments, project reports, or online multiple choice tests and online discussion list contributions.

Visit the MEd Inclusion and Special Needs Education page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

(Student Profile)


2038.jpg Why did you decide to study for the MEd Inclusion and Special Needs Education at Queen’s School of Education?
I chose to study at QUB firstly because the University has a good reputation which held a two-fold attraction to me, meaning both good teaching and a respected university degree for my CV. Secondly, QUB provided the course I was looking for and offered flexibility with the part-time option which allowed me to choose my own pace within a 5-year timeframe. This was particularly important to me as I have a long-term health condition which can mean needing that extra flexibility. Having previously worked as an English teacher in an inclusive comprehensive I had always wanted to learn more about Special Educational Needs (SEN). SEN and other additional needs are not covered in any depth on teacher training courses. Inclusive schools are great in theory but cannot work unless the staff has the proper training to assist students with additional needs. I wanted to empower myself to help such pupils meet their potential.
What have you found most interesting or useful about the course?
It has opened my eyes to how many educational and additional needs there are and the wide impact they can have on students’ daily lives. At first I felt quite overwhelmed but gradually through the teaching we learned many different routes to help open doors for these students where before there were only barriers. The course also challenged my own attitudes towards ‘needs’ and ‘disability’ and ‘inclusion’ and our class discussions and essay questions raised interesting and sometimes difficult questions about how we perceive and provide support in our schools.
What is your experience of the teaching support and student facilities at Queen’s?
It’s been a long time since I was at university and the difference in facilities is amazing! The availability of support has been fantastic: library assistance, Postgraduate Centre, access to computers etc. The School of Education is also very quick to provide advice and answer questions relating to your studies. The tutors on my course have been knowledgeable, approachable, interesting and inspiring. I have also been helped by Disability Services due to a long-term health condition and I have found them incredibly supportive and respectful. As a part-time student who lives out of Belfast I have never felt isolated because of the good lines of communication via phone and email provided by QUB.


Entry Requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent recognised qualification in any subject discipline.Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent recognised qualification may also be considered if they have at least 2 years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context.Applicants should also have a teaching qualification or a minimum of 1 year of experience in a formal role within the school/classroom setting and access to a school/classroom working environment.Language requirement for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.5 (taken within last 2 years) or approved equivalent, minimum score of 5.5 in all 4 elements.

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