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Postgraduate course

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SENI) MA

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

Two students in primary education classroom

The UK is in need of highly skilled practitioners with knowledge of issues relating to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN/D). This programme equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to be one of these much needed practitioners.

York campus

  • Duration – 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Course overview

Whatever your current role within educational practice, the programme will provide an opportunity to build your knowledge of theoretical frameworks by studying an exciting range of innovative modules.

This is a flexible programme, and you can tailor your learning to your own individual context and background. For example, the MA in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion (SENI) 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.

There are three compulsory 30 credit modules and one compulsory 60 credit module, as well a 60 credit dissertation. Part-time students will study one module per term in the first year, one module in the first term of second year and undertake their dissertation throughout the second year. Full-time students will study two modules during each of the first two terms and the compulsory 60 credit dissertation will span the whole year.

Course structure

Level 1


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module aims to 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

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your knowledge and 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 develop your knowledge of inclusive approaches and methods through which education can be investigated. 

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module will enhance your understanding of the pedagogical principles and practices of teaching inclusively in educational settings, with particular reference to teaching children and young people with SEN/D. It will encourage critical reflection around how provision is led, supported and coordinated. By emphasising critical participatory principles of shared knowledge, decision making and educational collaboration, you will develop confidence around effective partnerships with external agencies, families and young people.

Credits: 30

Optional module

The module will develop your knowledge of traditional and emergent theories of transition and contemporary perspectives regarding the life course. You will identify and evaluate the impact of transitions across all stages of life from infancy, through to childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age.

Credits: 30

Optional module

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 dominant discourses, examining assumptions regarding vulnerability, dependency and autonomy.

Credits: 30

Optional module

on this module you will identify and  assess possible societal and educational changes at a global level. Globalisation will be a key concept, especially the contested nature of both origins and effect. You will consider its effects on education systems and processes, both in the present and the future. You will also be encouraged to evaluate the impact these factors have on current debates and trends in education and reflect on their implications at a global level. 

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module approaches contemporary issues in education at a national level. You will draw upon various approaches to, and theories about, social justice, creativity, enterprise and diversity to analyse socio-political factors. These include legislation, educational policy and ideological shifts in application to a range of situational factors such as gender, socio-economic background or disability. You will be encouraged to evaluate the impact these factors have on current debates and trends in education and reflect on their implications at a national level. 

Credits: 30

Optional module

This module allows you to broaden or deepen your knowledge and understanding of a subject relevant to your own development. The module comprises the local element of the distinctive ‘Global, National, Local’ structure within the MA. It is designed to support the exploration of issues smaller in scale than those explored through either the global or national focus.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

This module is the culmination of the programme 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 as well as enhancing your writing skills.

Teaching and assessment

The learning and teaching strategies include lectures, masterclasses given by visiting professors and speakers, tutorials, seminars, workshops and e-learning activities via our virtual learning environment (VLE). There will be particular emphasis on engagement in individual and group enquiry to develop skills in critical questioning, creative thinking and problem-solving.

Delivery is structured to include two weekends each semester and some evening teaching for full-time students.

Self-study time
Outside of taught sessions, you are encouraged to undertake further study which may include reading journal articles, engaging in online discussions, and preparing for assessments.

Assessment methods
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


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in Education or another related subject.

If your degree is not in Education or a related discipline but you can demonstrate extensive work experience in the field, your application may be considered.

If you have a PGCE which you gained within the last five years then we can recognise up to 60 relevant M level credits for this to provide exemption from two of the modules normally studied in the second year of part-time study. This means that you would complete and pass the first year modules and then proceed straight to your dissertation study.

International students

If you're an international student, you'll need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent (with no skill below 5.5).


Entry onto this postgraduate course will require you to attend an interview.

We are happy to arrange interviews via Skype for overseas students.

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU fees for 2022 - 2023

For UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £3,250 per year.

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

International (non-EU) fees for 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £6,500 full time

    International 2021-22 £12,750 full time

Alumni Scholarships

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

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst 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.


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

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now link. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Part-time

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