- Take a clear progression route into careers where you can help achieve better outcomes for children and young people with SEND
- Draw upon legislation, theory, research and practice to identify and discuss contemporary issues and dilemmas surrounding inclusion and SEND
- Explore the growing need for education, health and social services to work closely together and the implications of multi-professional working
- Gain a better understanding of the legal responsibilities facing practitioners today
- Develop your ability to interpret, understand and conduct research at masters level, sourcing and harnessing key information as the basis for critical analysis
- Collaborate with others to generate, articulate and debate your own interpretation and understanding of inclusion and SEND
- Learn from a dedicated and expert team with a high profile for research in this field
Our MA Inclusion and SEND applies an interpretivist approach, with a focus on exploring and discussing a broad spectrum of understandings of disability, impairment, special education and inclusion.
A specialist MA with broad appeal
This course is aimed at graduates from disciplines such as education, childhood, SEND, and the social sciences who want to advance their knowledge in this important area and to focus on a social model analysis of disability and impairment.
In addition, it is valuable for anyone who holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCo) or a PGCE (with Level 7 credits). They may be able to use some, or all, of their existing masters credits as the basis for topping up their award to the full MA.
At a time of growing global interest in equality, diversity and inclusion, the course is also an excellent platform for international students keen to pursue careers in this field.
We offer a part-time as well as a full-time route to the MA for those who would like the flexibility to balance their studies with work and other commitments.
A rapidly evolving area of practice
Our MA has been introduced at a time of major changes in provision for children and young people in England labelled as having SEND.
With legislation undergoing its most significant reform in almost 30 years, the nature of the workforce has altered and more professionals than ever before are specialising in this field, including greater involvement of voluntary organisations and intervention therapies.
This MA will therefore equip you for careers in settings where education, health and social services professionals are expected to work in ever closer contact. We explore the implications of greater multi-professional working and the legal responsibilities faced by practitioners.
Help shape the debate about SEND
Throughout the course, you will be actively encouraged to think reflexively, identify good practice, challenge accepted conventions and ultimately help achieve better outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
As SEND and inclusive provision are areas of education that generate much debate, you will examine contentious issues in relation to contemporary theory, policy and practice. We will encourage you to revisit your current assumptions in order to develop more informed opinions.
You will draw on philosophy as a lens through which to analyse different interpretations of inclusion and SEND. In addition, you will deepen your understanding by considering the lived experiences of individuals who are described as having special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Pursue your personal and professional interests
There is the opportunity for you to focus on themes which match your current working role, professional interests and career aspirations. As the culmination of your studies, you will undertake an independent study into a subject of your choice – designing, implementing, evaluating and reporting on your own research project.
To prepare for this project, you will gain a critical understanding of research techniques and principles, including ethical considerations which are pertinent to inclusion and SEND.
Expertise to inspire you
Research-informed teaching lies at the heart of this course. You will learn from a dedicated and experienced teaching team with wide-ranging expertise in the areas of inclusion and SEND.
They have conducted influential research into issues such as professional development for practitioners working with SEND and models of teacher education which help promote inclusive classrooms. They have also undertaken studies into autism, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, attachment disorder and the experiences of learners with social, emotional and mental health needs.
We have a highly regarded Centre for Educational Research and Innovation which places particular emphasis on special needs education and works with a wide range of partners to promote more inclusive and socially just outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
A dynamic programme of visiting speakers
Your learning will be informed by our extensive professional links with organisations such as the SEND Forum, the National Association of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, the National College of School Leadership, the School Development Support Agency, and local authority leads for inclusion and SEND services.
Throughout the course, you will have the chance to hear from visiting speakers who will add an extra dimension to your studies. Reflecting our focus on effective multi-professional working, these will include professionals who are working within school, health and social services settings.
In addition, individuals labelled as having SEND will be invited – in person or via video – to share their narratives of their own experiences.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
We have designed the MA Inclusion and SEND to be both innovative and challenging. It includes engagement with real world scenarios and workplace practice where appropriate as a context for your learning.
You will engage actively with varied interpretations and multiple perspectives of inclusion and SEND. This includes learning through seminars, workshop group work, reading group debates, analysis of practice, case studies, problem-solving activities and contribution to collaborative forums.
Latest research – by University staff and other specialists in the field – underpins this course so that you can reflect critically on contemporary issues in the discipline. You will also gain valuable insights through engagement with our programme of visiting speakers.
How you're assessed
Assessment is through written assignments and/or presentations.
2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)
£700 per 20 credits*
£700 per 20 credits*
£14,700 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
Additional costs and optional extras
Successful completion of the MA Inclusion and SEND will improve your career prospects, pave the way to further professional and academic study, and broaden your opportunities to engage with the wider educational research community.
It is an excellent platform for employment in a wide variety of occupations in educational settings. If you are already working in a relevant field, the masters qualification will enhance your potential for promotion within your professional sphere, including leadership roles in inclusion/special education.
In addition, because the MA places a strong emphasis on advanced scholarship and research skills, you will be well placed to secure employment as a researcher or research assistant specialising in education, health or social care subjects.
You could also continue your studies by completing additional qualifications such as a PGCE for the primary, secondary or lifelong learning sectors, or for those with qualified teacher status (QTS, QTLS or EYTS) the National Award for SEN Co-ordination (NASENCo). In addition, the MA will provide a solid foundation for study at doctoral level, such as our EdD or PhD.
If you are an international student, you could harness your MA learning not only to open up new career opportunities but also to help shape and influence policy and practice in your home country.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Printing and binding of Independent Study dissertation (2 copies) for assessment
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.