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SEN Specific Learning Difficulties (PGDip)

Course Description

The Postgraduate Diploma in SEN Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) is one of a range of special educational needs courses that are offered by the University of South Wales at postgraduate level.

This course is for you if you have at least two years experience of working with students with SpLD and are looking to gain a qualification to enable you to apply to the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) for either Approved Teacher Status (ATS or ATS HE/FE) or an Associate Membership of the BDA (AMBDA or AMBDA FE/HE).

The course may also be of interest to other approved professionals, such as speech and language or occupational therapists and educational psychologists.

The Postgraduate Diploma in SEN Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) is recognised by the British Dyslexia Association for the award of Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA). It is also recognised by the Joint Council for Qualifications as the appropriate training for completing Access Arrangements in Secondary Schools.

Those who have obtained the PG Diploma in Spld (AMBDA) are eligible to assess and diagnose dyslexia.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1280-postgraduate-diploma-sen-specific-learning-difficulties

What you study

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma SEN in SpLD you must pass four taught modules:

• Understanding Learning Difficulties and Disabilities which is taught on the campus or can be accessed via e-learning
• Specific Learning Difficulties
• Managing and Supporting Children and Young People with Specific Learning Difficulties
• Research Methodology

Both SpLD modules focus not only upon specific difficulties in literacy and numeracy, but address the wider spectrum of potentially associated conditions eg. Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The course enables participants to gain knowledge of:

• The vast range of differences within the SpLD continuum
• Current research on the identification of learners experiencing problems with literacy and numeracy
• Assessing individual learning needs, using both standardised and non-standardised methods
• Planning programmes of work for individual pupils based on initial and on-going assessment
• The effects on learning, self esteem and behaviour of SpLD
• Monitoring the progress of learners who may show uneven or intermittent standards of achievement
• A variety of strategies and resources, including ICT and technical aids, for assisting pupil organisation, drafting and presentation of work
• The monitoring, evaluation and auditing responsibilities within school or service, in respect of the quality of provision for pupils with SpLD.

Learning and teaching methods

Students undertake two modules in year one, and two modules in year two. Both SpLD modules are taught on Monday evenings for three hours on campus over a period of 12 consecutive weeks.

Assessment methods

The first module is assessed on the basis of a written assignment of 5,000 words (or equivalent).

The second module is assessed in two ways:
- For students seeking a professional award, the successful completion of 30 hours of teaching experience and assessment of relevant files (equivalent to 5,000 words)

- For other participants, one 5,000 word assignment, or the equivalent

Employment Prospects

Most students proceed to the MA dissertation, in order to achieve the award of MA SEN.

Following successful completion of the course, some students have gained posts as school and college SENCOs, specialist tutors in SPLD services, set up their own SpLD consultancies, or become LEA Advisors. Others have published books and papers on the subject and gained doctorate awards.

Visit the SEN Specific Learning Difficulties (PGDip) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Qualified Teacher Status plus teaching experience or a minimum of two years’ experience of supporting students with literacy difficulties in further or Higher Education. Students choosing modules which have a placement component as part of the assessment process will need to provide evidence of a current enhanced DBS check (or its equivalent if you are an EU or international student). If English is not your first language you should be able to demonstrate a level of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent (minimum score of 5.5 in each band).

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