This course prepares you for a broad range of roles where you can improve the life experiences of individuals with special learning needs. You’ll build the skills and knowledge to support children and adults with diverse needs, such as specific learning difficulties, physical disabilities, behavioural problems and sensory impairments.
Specialist knowledge to take you far
You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of all aspects of SEND. We engage you in discussions and debates, harnessing the latest research to stimulate your thinking and challenge your ideas. You’ll also explore the possible psychological, sociological, philosophical and biological causes of SEND.
Successful SEND support relies on collaboration from a range of professionals including carers, social workers, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) and therapists. As part of the course, you’ll take a close look at the importance of this multi-agency support and the positive impact it can have on individuals.
Gain vital practical skills on placement
Throughout the course we place a strong focus on real world learning. To ensure that you’re ‘career ready’ when you graduate, you’ll learn a range of practical techniques to help support individuals both inside and outside the classroom.
You’ll undertake two placements as part of your studies, giving you important insights into professional practice. You can choose to be based in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, social services, adult provision or charitable organisations. In your second year, you’ll have the option to undertake study and a placement abroad.
Be inspired by our expertise
Our course is delivered by a dedicated and enthusiastic team, including experts in the fields of education, health, psychology and social work. They will share their experiences with you and provide fresh perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of working in SEND.
The University has a growing reputation as a centre for excellence in SEND and inclusive practices, which means your course is underpinned by latest theories and innovative ideas. Our lecturers regularly publish their work and have conducted important studies into a wide range of subjects, such as managing the inclusion of SEND pupils in the classroom.
Draw on our professional networks
Our strong professional links enrich your learning and introduce you to leading practitioners. Our Visiting Professors include notable figures such as Brian Lamb OBE, who chaired a high-profile inquiry into parental confidence in SEND and whose work has influenced major policy changes.
We have launched a Professional Development Network for SEND and Inclusive Practice which brings together practitioners who are working to ensure positive, effective and inclusive education across the special and mainstream sectors.
As part of this professional community, you’ll be able to take part in our annual SEND conferences which attract influential guest speakers and spark important debates about how to improve SEND provision.
A vibrant learning experience
We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, welcoming learning environment where you will receive plenty of encouragement and guidance. Our tutors are approachable, dedicated and passionate about their subjects.
You’ll learn in our Kirtley Building which offers first-rate facilities, including specially designed collaborative learning spaces and a large hall for practical activities and observing learning in action.
Pursue your personal interests
We offer a choice of optional modules so that you can tailor your studies to match your personal interests and career aspirations. These could cover themes such as autism in children and adults, attention disorders, diversity in social, emotional and behavioural development, and diversity in communication, speech and language development.
If you would like to broaden your horizons further still, you also have the Go Places, Go Further scheme, we have agreements with universities in countries such as Amsterdam and Brussels, where you can explore a new culture and add an extra dimension to your CV.
Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English
Interview / Audition
Please Note: A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required to commence this course at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this course.
If you have lived outside of the UK in the past five years (excluding holidays), you will need to provide a current satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were resident in. You will need to submit this at your course induction. Further information can be found on the gov.uk website.
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Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
Throughout the degree, you’ll be supported and encouraged to develop your capacity to evaluate, analyse and critically engage in the field of SEND, drawing on a wide range of learning, teaching and assessment activities. As you progress, you’ll be expected to undertake increasing responsibility for independent self-directed study, drawing on the range of resources available to you. At all levels, you are invited to engage in e-learning opportunities.
How you'll be assessed
There are no exams. You’ll be assessed through small group work, individual peer presentations, completion of directed tasks and drafting of tasks, tutorial discussions and coursework.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Our BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs and Disability degree prepares you for a wide range of careers in the SEND sector, including family liaison, advocacy, inclusion support, teaching assistance, mentoring, adult education and careers services.
You could also take your skills and knowledge to the next level by progressing to postgraduate study in areas such as health, psychological services and social care.
Please note that this course does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). However, if you’d like to train to be a teacher, you can apply to study one of our postgraduate courses, such as the PGCE Primary or PGCE Post-14 with Specialism.