Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion MA - University of Sunderland

Course overview

This course is designed for professionals who are involved with Special Educational Needs (SEN). The course equips you to develop SEN provision, allowing young people to reach their full potential in school and to make a successful transition into adulthood. At the same time you will continue your broader professional development and acquire Masters-level skills in research and analysis.

The content of the course includes taught modules on ‘Inclusive Education’, ‘Barriers to Learning’ and ‘Approaches to Teaching and Learning for Learners with Special or Additional Needs’. You will also receive training in rigorous research methodologies and undertake a Masters dissertation on a topic that reflects your personal interests.

The research elements of the course are supported by the University’s Centre for Pedagogywhose specialisms include teaching styles, motivation, human relationships in learning and comparative education.

Most people who join the course already have a PGCE or another teaching qualification. Your written outputs, together with the experiences and activities of the course, will provide a portfolio of evidence that can open up new opportunities and a fresh stage in your career.

We also offer a full-time Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion MA which enables you to fit your studies alongside other commitments.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying an Education course at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

  • Approaches to Teaching and Learning for Learners with Special or Additional Needs (30 Credits)
  • Barriers to Learning (30 Credits)
  • Inclusive Education (30 Credits)
  • Research Methods (30 Credits)
  • Dissertation (60 Credits)

You will negotiate the topic of the dissertation with your tutors. This allows considerable flexibility over your area of research.

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include seminars, workshops, support sessions and directed study. Many modules are available online.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include written assignments, presentations and the dissertation.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Course location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. It’s a vibrant learning environment with a strong international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world.

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from over a hundred PCs in the St Peter’s Library, three computer laboratories, and wireless access zones. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

University Library Services

The University of Sunderland has a total of over 430,000 books with many more available through the inter-library loan service. You will benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals, many of them in online format. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.


The David Goldman Informatics Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's,
St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold an honours degree. A recognised teaching qualification is desirable but not essential.

Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and no less than 6 in Reading, Speaking and Listening.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Tuition fees for part-time postgraduate students are £225 per 10 Credits.

Please note that part-time courses are not available to International students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

This course prepares you for promotion and development in roles linked to teaching, educational management and other educational settings.

Higher salaries are available for teachers who take on additional responsibilities such as the co-ordination of provision for those with Special Educational Needs.

A Masters qualification will also give you broader career options including possible roles in lecturing, journalism, the media and arts administration.

Past graduates from this course have gained employment in roles such as the following:

  • Special needs and inclusion
  • Senior management in education
  • Special Educational Needs teacher

A Masters degree will also open the way to further study towards a PhD and university teaching roles.


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

Apply for this course

To apply for this course use the relevant link below.

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Carolyn Nozedar

For more information, contact:

Christopher Webb
Tel: 0191 515 2566
Email: christopher.webb@sunderland.ac.uk


The Recruitment Team
Tel: 0191 515 3845
Email: ell.enquiries@sunderland.ac.uk

Programme Starts  
Monday 5th October 2015 Apply now

The details

Course Name Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion
Classification MA
Course Mode Part-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 2 to 3 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 5 October 2015
UK/EU Fee £225 per 10 credits
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

Honours degree

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Programme Starts  
Monday 5 October 2015 Apply now