Browser does not support script.

Postgraduate Course

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion MA

Explore concepts surrounding national policies and practices so you can make a real difference in the lives of young people with (SEN/D).

Presentation for SENI

In England, about 1.3 million children and young people are identified as having Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEN/D). The UK is in need of highly skilled practitioners with knowledge of issues relating to these children and young people. This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge to be one of these much needed practitioners.

York campus

  • Duration – 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2023
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview You will need to attend an interview for this course.

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £7,000 part time

    International 2023-24 N/A part time

Discover Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at York St John University

Course overview

Whatever your current role within educational practice, this course will give you the opportunity to build your theoretical understanding of SEN/D. Through studying an exciting range of innovative modules you will learn to critically evaluate relevant policy, practices and resources.

This is a flexible course, and you can tailor your learning to your own individual context and background. For example, the course provides a clear progression for SEN coordinators (SENCOs) who may have previously completed a Postgraduate Certificate Award.

Through experiential enquiry, research and scholarship, you will learn about historical and contemporary theoretical frameworks surrounding SEN/D. You will also develop the research skills needed for analysis and appraisal of SEN/D provision.

Course structure

How you will study

You can only study this postgraduate course part time. The course is designed to accommodate those working full time, so teaching sessions will take place on weekends and in evenings.

You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules
  • 1 optional module
  • A compulsory dissertation

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30


Through this module you will develop your knowledge and understanding of SEN/D as a theoretical concept, and locate it within the wider statutory and regulatory frameworks. It will provide opportunities to critically appraise SEN/D policies at local and national levels and reflect on the complexity and range of debates.

Credits: 30


On this module you will develop an understanding of inclusive approaches to research in education, particularly for populations that might be considered marginalised or vulnerable. You will engage with research evidence and build an understanding of inclusive approaches and methods through which education can be investigated.

Credits: 30


This module will enhance your understanding of the pedagogical principles and practices of teaching inclusively in educational settings. You will focus specifically on teaching children and young people with SEN/D. You will be encouraged to critically reflect around how provision is led, supported and coordinated. You will develop confidence around effective partnerships with external agencies, families and young people.

Credits: 30


This module is an opportunity to explore contemporary issues relating to special educational needs, dis/ability and inclusion. Informed by academic and current affairs, you will approach the topics critically, evaluating the implications and limits of inclusion within educational settings and society more generally. You will engage with theories regarding vulnerability, dependency and autonomy.

Credits: 30


For your independent project or study, you will choose an area of interest which relates to local issues in education. Independent study may be empirical, theoretical, hypothetical or a combination of these. A supervisor will support you through your project with one-to-one tutorials.

Credits: 60


This module is the culmination of the course and an opportunity for you to engage in a substantial piece of research. You will demonstrate a creative and individual approach to exploring an aspect of special educational needs and inclusion. In doing so you will extend your knowledge, skills and understanding of:

  • Research methodology
  • Ethics
  • Analysis
  • Critical reflection

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a range of methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Masterclasses given by visiting professors and speakers
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • E-learning activities via our virtual learning environment (VLE)

There will be particular emphasis on engagement in individual and group work. This will allow you to develop skills in critical questioning, creative thinking and problem-solving.

All of our taught sessions take place on weekends. Outside of taught sessions, we encourage you to undertake further study. This may include reading journal articles, engaging in online discussions and preparing for assessments.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.



Our assessments have been externally commended for being innovative yet rigorous, and we’ve received very positive feedback from our students.

On some modules you will be able to negotiate the assessment type so that it aligns to your interests and needs. For example, you could choose to write a funding bid, a proposal for a small-scale investigation, a report or another agreed assessment type.

Your final study is your dissertation or major project. This offers you the chance to further study a topic of particular interest and importance to you.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview You will need to attend an interview for this course.

If your degree is not in education or a related discipline, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

If you have a PGCE which you gained within the last 5 years then we can recognise up to 60 relevant credits for this to provide exemption from 2 of the modules.

International Students

Unfortunately we are unable to offer this course to international students.


You will need to attend an interview for this course. Once you have applied, you will receive further information about your interview from our Admissions team.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £3,500 per year for 2 years of part time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £7,000 part time

    International 2023-24 N/A part time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Special Educational Needs and Inclusion take you?

This degree will give you the skills and insight to pursue a career in a number of fields within the Education sector. You will develop skills such as time and project management, how to analyse date and present your work, and responding to feedback.

This will give you an advantage in careers such as:

  • School and college teacher
  • Early Years professional
  • Community educator
  • Museum educator
  • Learning mentor
  • Education manager

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Part time

Course highlights

More to explore

students looking at map on a desk

Discover postgraduate study

Campus buildings and gardens on Lord Mayors Walk

Why choose York St John?

Get in touch

Cookie Settings