MA - Education with Special Educational Needs and Disability

    • Full or part time
      Full time , Part time , Online distance learning & On campus available
    • Course fees
    • Course Disciplines
      Academic Studies in Education - Special Needs Education Education - Other
    • Course Start
      See Course
    • Course Duration
      1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
    • MBA Program Type

    Course Description

    To create an inclusive society, different professionals must work together, from education, health and social care to government. Our MA Education with Special Educational Needs and Disability will support your specialism and prepare you to collaborate.

    Understand in depth the special educational needs and disability (SEND) requirements of children and young people up to 25 years old. Be clear on SEND rights, ever-complex legislation and specific conditions. Have answers for those under your care, their families and fellow professionals.

    The area of special educational needs and disability (SEND) has seen much government interest recently. This course focuses on inclusion. You’ll be able to make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and meet the aspirations of their families.

    You’ll join a learning community of committed students, professionals and specialist tutors from a range of related disciplines. Here, the fields of education, health and social care and local and national government combine, as they must in the real world for the greatest outcomes. You’ll understand the perspectives and frameworks of the various stakeholders involved in supporting children and young people with SEND. That means you’ll never work in isolation.

    You’ll learn about the duties of the different professionals you’ll encounter in your career, and the best practices followed. You’ll be able to see your role, and that of others, within the widest possible context. As SEND professionals, we play an important part in family life through to shaping the inclusive society we wish to see.

    You’ll also develop as a specialist in your area of interest, with opportunities to build on the skills you need, alongside understanding. Your role will be to intervene, so we’ll concentrate on maximising your impact, including adopting the right strategies. We’ll help enhance your communication and inter-personal skills too.

    Rather than sit exams, every assessment will advance the knowledge and skills you need in the field, from report writing to critical reflection and delivering presentations. This assessment work is well-supported; many of the professionals on this course returning to education find this extra help invaluable. Besides specialist tutors, you’ll benefit from guest lecturers and working alongside other MA Education students.

    This course is offered full-time in both January and September. Applicants joining with credits from a PG Cert or PGCE can opt to take the course part-time in September.


    Over the course of the year, you'll learn about specific needs and conditions, and how to approach intervention in a way that balances the needs of the various stakeholders involved. You'll also explore the ideologies, values and evidence that lie behind educational policies, how these are implemented in practice, and their impact on individuals, groups, and different parts of the educational system.

    You'll learn about issues and questions, methods and strategies in education research, then use this knowledge to plan, conduct and write up a major research or work-based project.

    We use a range of assessment methods to demonstrate your developing knowledge and theoretical understanding. Assessments will also expand the skills you’ll need in practice to best support children and young people with special education needs and disabilities, alongside their families. And you’ll be able to show how you’ve learned to engage other professionals across disciplines, empowering them to be as effective as possible.

    Instead of sitting exams, you’ll benefit from collaborative assessments, including making group presentations. You’ll develop core strengths in valuable appraisal methods, such as the ability to carry out individual critical reflections. You’ll also carry out an extended evaluation of issues applied directly to your specific interests and context.

    Each assignment will progress your learning, assessing your ability to communicate with clarity, both verbally and in written reports aimed at a range of audiences. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can meet postgraduate-level study, and have fluent, accurate English. Please see entry requirements for further details.

    Modules are subject to change and availability.

    Core Modules

    • Intervention for SEND
    • Professional Enquiry for Education
    • Exploring Educational Research
    • Developing Educational Research
    • Postgraduate Major Project (double module)

    Links with industry and professional recognition

    With strong links to Local Authorities and schools, we’re experienced providers of in-house training for schools and academies locally, nationally and internationally. Our Education courses are practice-focused and relevant to today’s classroom.


    This course will support your career ambitions as a SEND professional. This can be in the areas of education, health and social care, a local authority support role or even national policy making. For newly-qualified professionals, including tomorrow’s teachers, the MA will enhance employability, helping you on your path to becoming a SEND specialist.

    If you’re already a Specialist Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), you’ll increase your understanding further. We will accredit a SENCO award, and the prior knowledge that comes with this programme, so you can progress to an MA with fewer modules.

    Teachers and those in allied roles, including learning support assistants and teaching assistants, will find this course valuable for personal development and career advancement. It could even help with a move to a related field. The same is true for those committed to delivering SEND health and social care.

    International students may wish to use the approaches to strengthen and influence policy and provision within their home country, or develop new structures and career opportunities.

    Whatever your background, interests and professional needs, you’ll learn how to make a difference by engaging collaboratively. And it’s up to you how far you take this course. Professionally recognised intermediate awards (PG Cert and PG Dip) are available if you don’t wish to study for the full MA.

    Visit the MA - Education with Special Educational Needs and Disability page on the Anglia Ruskin University ARU web site for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    A first degree, with honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2) or equivalent.

    If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.

    Please see course website for further details.

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