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Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) - MA

Course Description

This leading programme in the field of dyslexia prepares teachers to critically evaluate and develop evidence-based practice to become specialist teachers and assessors of learners with literacy difficulties. This programme is recognised by the British Dyslexia Association for Approved Teacher Status (ATS) and Associate Member of the BDA (AMBDA).

Degree information

Students will gain an understanding of how children typically develop literacy skills and how it might go wrong; how literacy difficulties can be identified and how to develop an individualised support programme. As part of this programme students will administer standardised tests (in their own educational setting) and teach (in similar settings) learners with literacy difficulties.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (150 credits) and a research report (30 credits). All modules are core to this qualification. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Assessment of SpLD (dyslexia)
-Evidence-based Practice SpLD (dyslexia)
-Research Design and Methodology
-Understanding SpLD (dyslexia)
-Research report

Research project/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a research report of 6,000 to 7,000 words.

Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered via face-to-face evening and daytime sessions at UCL Institute of Education. It is assessed by coursework assignments and recordings of administering assessments and teaching pupils with literacy difficulties, plus a research report of 6,000 to 7,000 words.

Students will be required to work with children and young people up to the age of 16 years to demonstrate the core competencies of the programme.


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as specialist teachers of children with SpLD (dyslexia), while others have jobs as specialist teacher assessors; many combine both. Graduates can also be found working as headteachers, special educational needs co-ordinators, local authority advisors and research roles.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Primary School Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teacher, Galliard Primary School & Children's Centre
-Special Educational Needs School Teacher (Head of Keystage a, White Spire School
-Specialist Teacher, Special Education Needs (SEN), London Borough of Tower Hamle
-Literacy Consultant, London Borough of Camden
-Manager of Language and Learning Team, London Borough of Merton Council

Successful completion of the programme will allow students awarded the ATS to support learners with dyslexia (up to the age of 16 years), and with the AMBDA to undertake diagnostic assessments and support learners with dyslexia.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is taught by a range of leading researchers and professionals in the field of dyslexia. It uniquely offers a rigorous academic programme combined with professional practice qualifications fully recognised by the British Dyslexia Association and UCL IOE, an internationally recognised university.

Critical engagement with current research and evidence-informed practice, supported by professionals and researchers, will enable the participant to reflect on their learning and enhance workplace practice.

Professional practice is supported by a team of AMBDA specialists. It will provide the understanding, knowledge and skills required to teach children and young people with literacy difficulties.

Visit the Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) - MA page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. A minimum of two years' teaching experience is also a requirement and ideally, appropriate experience of working with children with literacy difficulties. Students will need access to pupils under the age of 16 with literacy difficulties to teach and assess.

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