Special Educational Needs MA

Year of entry

Masters Study and Funding online event

Watch on demand to receive expert advice on how to fund your Masters and invest in your future. Book your place

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) and three years of relevant professional experience.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£10,750 (total)
International fees
£22,250 (total)

Course overview

Teacher working with student

This programme is for those who want to gain an in-depth knowledge of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to inform and develop effective practice. It will give you an understanding of inclusive approaches and equip you with the skills to analyse the theories and research evidence that underpins them.

We view SEND from multiple perspectives and use a variety of theoretical frameworks to explore key issues. We value and share our wide-ranging expertise and experiences and encourage you to contribute to and reflect on the various debates and discussions. Our seminar groups are diverse and energetic; you will meet teachers from around the world and from different educational contexts.

We offer students a vibrant intellectual and academic experience. You benefit from weekly face-to-face seminars, individual or small group tutorials, and independent study activities on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will learn about local settings offering best practice in inclusive education, and be invited to research talks with leading academics from across the University and a range of external speakers.

Course details

You will complete two compulsory core modules and choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that interest you or are particularly relevant to your career. You will produce a substantial piece of original research in the form of a dissertation. In preparation for this, you will work with a supervisor to devise a suitable topic and be given training in research design, methodology and ethics.

You will be required to study and pass all your compulsory modules. You will also be required to study 60 credits of optional modules and pass at least 30 credits of these.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Special Educational Needs MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 60
Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Approaches 30
Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Curriculum 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will study 60 credits from the below:

Module Name Credits
Creative Inquiry, Communication and Learning 30
Education, Language and Society 30
Directed Study in Education 1 30
Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder 30
Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 30
Children's family and personal relationships 30

Learning and teaching

We use a range of learning and teaching methods including seminars, online learning and tutorials. A significant amount of independent study is expected at this level; this allows you to build your academic skills, prepare for and reflect on the face-to-face teaching and pursue your own interests through the dissertation. The compulsory module seminars take place in the early evening, and tutorial slots are typically late afternoon. The modes of delivery and timetables for the optional modules vary so please check the module catalogue for more details.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use a variety of formative and summative assessment methods, these include; essays, research reports, case studies, reflective logs, critical reviews, presentations and posters. We do not use any examinations. We encourage students to submit draft material and plans for feedback. We provide assessment support online via email or in a virtual classroom on the VLE, via telephone/skype meetings and at face-to-face tutorials.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent and at least three years of relevant professional experience.

We may consider applicants with alternative experience on an individual basis.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Thursday 29 June 2023

UK – Friday 18 August 2023

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

• Original or certified copies of your transcripts
• Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
• Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Education

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions

Email: pgeduc@leeds.ac.uk


UK: £10,750 (total)

International: £22,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Education usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

This programme provides teachers and education professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to reflect on and develop their practice. It is relevant to a wide range of educational contexts and settings and can support career development in a variety of ways. Past students have used the qualification to help them progress in management and leadership roles, or to specialise in supporting pupils with particular learning profiles and needs. The course also provides an ideal route into further study and we have an excellent track record of graduates continuing to doctoral level through our well-established EdD and PhD programmes.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.