Taught course

Inclusive Special Education

University of Chichester · Institute for Education

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from all professionals working in the field of education, with or without QTS. Standard requirements: normally ◦graduate status (second class honours or above) ◦work in an education related field ◦overseas applicants - a certified level of proficiency in English of at least IELT 6.5 or its equivalent If you do not have a degree or have a class 3 degree, your application will be considered individually on merit.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

The MA in Inclusive Special Education has been designed to enable experienced professionals in education and related professions to critically engage in the social, political and global debates relating to the education of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities. The programme offers an in depth focus on contemporary perspectives of inclusive special educational practices and an opportunity to widen your theoretical understanding through research in the workplace.

Course content

The MA in Inclusive Special Education has been designed to encourage greater understanding and a critical appreciation of the trends and developments in special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision in our schools.

You will have the opportunity to engage in the conceptual, philosophical and ethical debates relating to the education of children and young people who have a special educational need and/or disability both nationally and globally.

There will be a strong emphasis on promoting equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and social justice.

The Programme will therefore be relevant for educators working in any educational phase and in mainstream, special and specialist setting and has been designed to achieve a close connection between your studies at Masters level and your workplace practice.

Our facilities

You will study for your MA in Inclusive Special Education at our Bognor Regis Campus. Over the past few years, we have redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bognor Regis Campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research.

A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.

We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Our brand new award winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus.

It hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors. Also situated in the LRC is the Support and Information Zone, Costa Coffee and over 80 open access work stations.

An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans. The campus also offers purpose built classrooms for the teacher training courses, as well as lecture and seminar rooms.

Indicative modules

There will be two modules in each academic year and you will be able to begin the dissertation in either Semester 1 which starts in September or in Semester 2 which starts in February. While the course content in each module will cover a range of topics you will be encouraged and supported to develop your research in your specific area of interest in SEND and inclusive practice.

Critical Disability Studies (30 credits)

In this module you will be critically evaluating the discourses and models of disability and inclusive practice through relevant literature and develop insights into the interrelationship between social policy, political frameworks and ideological perspectives on SEND. You will investigate disability rights; equality of opportunity and advocacy in a global and political context, cultural representations of disability; SEN and ethnicity; the impact on families; social exclusion; ethics and disability. You will be encouraged to engage professionally and academically with a review of relevant literature into educational practices for pupils with SEND with the aim of evincing change within your workplace practice.

Communication and Interaction (30 credits)

This module aims to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the range of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) experienced by children and young people, including; dyslexia, autism; specific learning difficulties, selective mutism; sensory impairments; bilingualism, and pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) and a SEND. You will critically examine the latest research and legislation on the education of children and young people who have a speech, language, communication difficulties and evaluate the range of educational and therapeutic interventions that are currently being used in schools and settings. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the links between research and educational practice by undertaking a case study in your workplace.

Exploring Inclusive Pedagogy (30 credits)

The aim of this module is to critically examine the concepts of inclusion in education and how special educational needs and disability is positioned within different establishments and phases of education. You will debate the social and educational implications for different types of inclusive provision and critically examine policies and practices that promote partnership with families and multiagency collaboration. Other topics will include teachers and TA/LSAs working together; partnership with parents; evaluating educational and therapeutic interventions; personalising learning; equality and diversity; the role of the SENCO; transitions from Early Years through to FE; SEND legislation and the political agenda and inclusive leadership. You will undertake an action research project to inform and change inclusive practices and promote school improvement.

Engaging Learners with Complex Needs (30 credits)

In this module you will develop your knowledge of a range of complex medical, developmental and psychological difficulties and how they affect learning and development. You will critically examine motivational and psychological theories; neuroscience and learning; complex medical needs; multisensory teaching for pupils with complex needs; mental health in children and young people; foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; attachment needs in children and young people; the legal and ethical frameworks for safeguarding children; the role of specialist and alternative provision, and multi-agency collaboration. For the assessment in this module you will critically evaluate teaching and learning strategies and alternative provision that supports pupils’ access to the curriculum through an observational study.

Dissertation (60 credits):

The dissertation represents the culmination of your study for the MA in Inclusive Special Education degree. It is divided into two 30 credit modules (Part 1 and Part 2) that focus on research methods for practitioner inquiry and developing an article for publication.

Part 1 (30 credits): You will design a medium scale enquiry with the intention of understanding and / or intervening to improve inclusive practice for children and young people with a SEND in the workplace on a topic of your choice. You will need to demonstrate a critical awareness of the ethical issues underpinning educational research and clearly justify choices in the research design, methodology and methods to address these issues. You will design, apply and critically evaluate data gathering and analysis methods to investigate a chosen aspect of SEND and/or inclusive practice and interpret your findings to inform the development of practice and the achievement of children and young people with a SEND.

Part 2 (30 credits): You will need to successful complete Part 1 before continuing with Part 2. Part 2 will give you the opportunity to problematise practitioner research within the wider context of educational concerns in the education of children and young people with a SEND, and the application of ideas from literature to school-based inquiry. You will achieve this through a critical review of the research including international research and professional literature around a chosen area of practitioner inquiry to inform your understanding of how to select relevant data and provide justification for the methods used and the implications future action. This will culminate in a greater understanding of the approaches and techniques for writing and disseminating work of publishable quality.

Teaching assessment

The MA in Inclusive Special Education can normally be completed in 3 years on a part-time basis, as follows:Two years (four semesters) with one module per semester, plus a further year (two semesters) for the dissertation.

We appreciate that circumstances can change and part-time students are helped by having flexible study arrangements. To that end, you will be able to intermit from the programme for a maximum of 2 years over the whole programme, provided that you return and complete the MA within five years.

A module (30 credits) is a unit of up to 24 hours taught delivery, typically over one semester with its own discrete assessment. Modules consist of taught sessions, seminars, and one Saturday workshop each semester. Sessions will normally be delivered on alternate Tuesdays between 5.30pm - 8.00pm and 10.30am – 3.30pm on the Saturday.

The MA in Inclusive Special Education draws on a range of assessment methods including practitioner research projects; 6,000 word essays and presentations. The dissertation is in two Parts: Part 1 is a small scale research proposal and project and Part 2 is preparing the research for publication.

To gain an MA in Inclusive Special Education you will need to complete four modules (4 x 30 credits) and the dissertation (60 credits), giving a total of 180 credits.

You can exit the programme at any time and gain an interim award.

After successful completion of two modules you would be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice (60 credits) and after four modules you would be awarded with a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (120 credits).

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months

Course contact details

Diana Seach
01243 812178